To Have Done

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Happy Day, beginner of things.   Happy Day, continuer of things. Happy Day, ender of things.  We are all sparks and conduits and keepers and quashers.

It is frightening to have a mission.  To know what you are meant for, to know what you love in the world, to know that you bear gifts that exist in no other combination, in no other form and they will not exist again once you pass through this existence.  If you don’t acknowledge this, there is no one else who possibly can.   You have but one entrance and one exit.

It is also deeply comforting.  If you let go of others’ plans for you, if you can embrace what it is you’ve been given, you can get enough answers to tide you over.  To work with.

I know I am a writer.  I know it with Elizabeth Gilbert-style assurance. In blood and bone and when I wake and when I sleep. I know it as Robert Louis Stevenson knows his little shadow and it has gone in and out with me every day of my life since I made the first discovery of language.

I also know I’m a cute thing.   Maybe more like a stuffed animal cute, but cute, kawaii, Bee-ish.  I’m endearing and good-hearted and supportive of others.  I am empathic and attentive to the heartaches and discomforts of others.  I am clever, sharp-witted, bent towards the light, but with that shadow stitched to my ankles.  I am not so very different than any person who spends their time looking about.

I can also be the absolute opposite of all of those things and when I’m in stress, fear, anxiety, frustration, yearning, shame…I am rarely any of them.

It can feel embarrassing to nakedly say you’re lonely, you want help, you’re trying to get better, you’re afraid that you won’t, you’re struggling with money and weight and absence of love.  But I think over time, not letting yourself look and see the wound of that is far more dangerous than any collective laughter or rejection or pity you might receive by allowing your mess to be lived on paper.  To have it be spoken and plotted on charts and recited back at you.

Oh, there’s the girl who’s trying to lose weight.  Okay.  There she is.  There’s the girl who is trying to get over her driving fears.  Alright.  I see her, blinking at us with her girl-like eyeballs.  That’s the girl who wouldn’t like to be a one-girl show the rest of her life.

Deep breath.

Yes.  That’s her.

….

It feels rather nice to be wearing the waders, to have exercised and to be getting ready to sort out my assigned chapter, to know that my body feels different because I’ve driven it to be that way.  That if I keep going, it will come with me. I’ve taken steps.  The momentum is on my side.

No real pithy end line is coming to mind.  No big tears today, I know I’m working on this for me.

Time to write!

Wind Turns the Tree Into Bone

I keep waiting for the giant red patent leather shoe to drop.  The crimson stiletto of Valentine’s Day Single Girl decompensation.  I keep waiting for a big, obvious reason to start bawling.  I don’t feel like that sounds all that fun, really, though.  I basically would be outright abusing myself to demand that I have “a good cry” for the sake of having one; unpacking and shitkicking all my emotional garbage about the room isn’t going to free me at all.  It doesn’t make a knock on the door happen and cause some magical stranger appear to fall head over heels for me on Valentine’s Day.  Beating my head against the wall has never so much as made someone on the other side beat back, so what I’m achieving is a sore head and that’s about it.

Also, I’m ignoring all the histrionics I’m hearing (which I guess, is only from one person and it’s kind of what I expected so..) and I’m not watching TV.  I’m just not buying in.   This year, it actually made me laugh, the swarm of men in sweatpants, kids trailing behind them, eyes obviously agog and reeling with sugar highs, determinedly seeking the floral department at the grocery store trying to buy the last wilted bouquets of roses in the case. Someone walked out with a vase full of white roses, which I have to imagine is not going to be as effective as he hopes, or maybe there’s some unfortunate funeral.  Of a virgin nun. White roses?

They all just know they have to do something and they’re mentally gauging their bank accounts and what the woman will be pissed over and they’re rumbling about how she never fucking gives them anything and she’ll probably complain anyway, but it’s Valentine’s Day and that’s the law and so they shell out the money for some flowers that’ll be dead in a week.

For the first time, I feel honest when I say if that’s what this holiday is conventionally about, if that’s the most we can expect, opting out doesn’t feel so deflating.  I’d much prefer celebrating radical self-love.  Which I can fearlessly say involves all definitions of that word.  I have healthy, good food (as well as a breakfast cupcake provided by work) for dinner, I’ve got exercise to do and some laundry which I may or may not feel super into, I’ve got my words and my friends and I’m on track right now.  I got a full larder and a clear, if tired, head.

I just don’t see the use in acting out, I’ve spent years doing that and it hasn’t shifted the playing field at all for me.  Pizza and cake and gummi bears do not bear impact on the goals for this year, if anything they set the timetable back.  It just doesn’t honor this spirit to coat it, bread it, dump it in hot oil and leave it to settle.

We’re moving on.

I’m just saying that you are still today what you were yesterday and will be tomorrow: a worthwhile person.