The Body Demotic: Day 7

So yesterday, though nobody would know it to look at me, nobody would know it without going after me with a needle and a fine-toothed comb, was a hard, heartbreaking sort of day.  I’m not dating anyone, though, naturally, I kinda sorta thought I was.  And I kinda sorta am.  Still.  But not really.  I can’t claim the title.  Wouldn’t hold up in court. And that’s as much clarity as anyone can give me on the situation.  Wait it out until you don’t feel like waiting anymore.  Like, what, what does that actually mean?  Care about me until it becomes a problem for you.  What’s it actually require of me?  A woman with broader shoulders and some sense would say, okay, halfway is not enough, we’re just going to hurt ourselves on the sharp edges of this. But I’ve pecked at crumbs and ash my whole life when it comes to affairs of the heart, so this understanding that the porch light is going to be left on for me, always a dish of food and water at the door doesn’t trigger the negative reaction that it should.  Even if it’s clear I’m never getting in the house. I think, well, there’s food here. That’s not nothing.  And nothing ties me down.  I can keep my own devices as it pleases me.  It’s what I wanted, right? It’s everything I’ve ever believed, that’s all.  The best relationships are those conducted entirely by post?

And I thought I took it in stride, accepting the ambiguity of it all, the inevitability of my hope being broken down into a sticky sort of powder, until I realized, about halfway through the evening that I was acting like a teenage maniac.  A stupid, stupid maniac who is going to regret her choices when they spin around and smack her in the face.  Emailing the RP’er like some kind of ridiculous swanning princess who thinks she can set a world down for two years and pick it back up and find it entirely as it was.  That was never going to happen and I knew that.  But still, I was free! I was uncommitted.  I was not on a path towards anything or anyone.  I was officially and am officially single.  Sort of.  Only nothing’s changed.  And it was only ever going to be about me.

I don’t really feel comfortable writing it out, this thing in medias res which might well be speculated upon and swiftly deciphered if anyone were of a mind. I suspect they’re not, but nevertheless, I feel bad enough about it that I want the shame shield to hang up like a Great Wall of China (and not some evil, orange-hued paltry attempt at nothing) between us.  Sit down with me and a cup of coffee, glass of wine, and I’ll tell the rest.  Suffice it to say that it all had to be entirely as it was, but my own good intentions done effed me again.  The world has changed much since all these trains hit the station at the same time, and I am certainly not the soul to demand anything of anyone, certainly not punctuality.

It’s just going to be disappointing is all.  Not evil.  It’s not evil.  Not yet.

Given these truish facts, I am endeavoring to continue on something I know is benefiting me – my small, paltry attempt at getting this body on the same page as my mind.

A Coterie of Whirlygigs: Day 3

So many things going on.  Task upon task upon task.  I used to fear and crave this sort of life.  That my creative self would be broken upon its rocky shores, that my life could be pulled up out of its primordial ooze and spun into an elegant vase by the forces of just being busy.  Being full of purpose and absent of time to worry and suffer and build up anxiety within. Being a vessel void of anxiety seemed always like a good way to be.  Daydreaming of adult life as a girl, I always imagined silver cars up steep hills, making the hairpin turns out of a harried, glittering city, into the mountains, the highest mountain to some massive estate.  Sweeping into a room that overlooked the city skyline, a glass of wine in hand, silver stilettos tossed aside to clatter on the marble floor, I would collapse onto some white chaise longue, or even some simple kitchen table and I’d watch the sun set.  I would, I always imagined, feel safe and secure, fully funded, free, and yet, I always imagined myself entirely alone in those moments.

Here I am, grown-uppish, striving for something better for myself than an unhealthy future or capitulating to the belief that I can’t have anything just because that person driving those switchbacks to that hideaway mansion feels so far away from my hopes and dreams as they are today.  I’m actually counting the old calories.  I’m actually drinking water and not eating late into the evening.  I’m actually doing the things I’m asking of myself.  Weird. Who knows what this means?  Who knows what 365 days of this will bring? But it would be something.  It would be something.

So I am trying on the third day to continue.  Not perfect.  Teeth still irritated as hell and they’re begging for help and the best I can mentally say to them is that there is an appointment and it’s 12 days away and unless there’s blood or things falling outta my head, that’s what it is.  I wish they’d call and let me know, I’d love to not have this impede my fun this weekend and next, but I can only do what I can do.  I am just human.  Sorry, gums.  Sorry, I lived a life of dental fear and immoral and indecent dental behaviors, but I can’t undo it now except by being brave and calling…which I did.

So J.  So that talk that seems ongoing and strained and strange.  I mean, suddenly, there’s a slew of compliments…good ones, meaningful ones that only come from someone who’s actually paid genuine attention to you.  But I’ve haven’t been able to say the parts of this that are the hard parts.  The…thank you, but you need to know that if we don’t move on from the nebulous nature of this…that the pull to figure out how to be with someone here, someone local, is going to just get stronger.  It’s going to just be harder to bear and I don’t want us to suffer through that, suffer worse if it comes as a surprise to either of us when we don’t want to suffer anymore.  Not being able to properly call a thing a thing is its own sort of pain.

When I say “Oh, I don’t know” what I mean is, I know exactly, but it would hurt you so I won’t say it.  That’s a deeply disappointing thought.

No disappointment.  We’re on target. We’re on track.

Campestral

Fascinating how the presence of a single word – a word altogether new to me, a word I can’t recall ever having seen written anywhere before just now – can thrill me and change my mood so entirely that I can’t even imagine naming this post what my first impulse was:  The Drop-Off.  Campestral is much prettier, suddenly I’m painting in mental greens and everything is English and brookside and summery and far away from an icy mountain at which I’m flailing about at its bottom.

Day 2 is always hard after a generally good Day 1.  This is why all these business coaches started writing about what happens after you have a great start or launch in your company.  How do you do more better at the same time maintaining and not slipping from where you were? (These are my references these days, sorry, it’s all Blue Ocean Strategy from this point on.)  All of which is compounded by the fact that this whole rig is piloted by me, a girl, a lady who generally forgets to come in out the rain.  I have so much hopes and energy and sometimes there’s just reach way exceeding grasp.  Doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea or a good plan.  I just need a breath to make sure that everything breakable stays on the cart I’m careening around.

I cooked food last night that was good.  I tracked it and was exorbitantly pleased with myself for my organizing and following the materials I’d put together to help me and check, check, check, day 1 in the can, suddenly, I’m going to be slender.  Not precisely?  But close enough.  Then I wake up this morning with a blistering headache and feeling like I’d been running through fields of molasses all night and I come to the kitchen to collect my perfectly portioned brussel sprouts and delicious butternut squash and parmesan ravioli and fuck me if they aren’t sitting there in their containers waiting to be put away like I promised I would last night.  DAMN, I was pissed.  Well, I was as irritated as I get these days about it.  Day 2! The glorious triumph, crushed.  Then, everything felt pear-shaped and slow and if anyone at work cared where I was or wasn’t, it might have
Still, we do some important things.  I called a new dentist and have an appointment in two weeks and I even went so far as to ask to be put on the waitlist.  Bit irritated that I’d have to feel this shittiness while I’m on vacation, but I needed to do something and as my therapist says, this is hard for you, so it’s great when you find the strength to try.  So, yeah, I’m a bit proud of that.
I also had a challenge today to work on an old story.  Still going to try and pull it out if I can.  Only so much in a day, but I’m feeling far more positive now that I’ve eaten and I’m locked down into not eating again until morning – nothing to prowl for.
I need the time back, to write and read and put away dishes, so off I go, but thank you, day 2, for linking me to the future where I’ve done this.  For pushing me out, safe and secure, into the impossible dream.

Your Favorite Cliche: Day 1

Well, here I am.  Day one of 2019.  Locked and loaded.  Imperfect in my plans and desires but missing you all dreadfully.  Every one of you my favorite voice in the Void.  Me not writing last year had reasons, I suppose, but none of them ever seemed very reasonable.  I just didn’t want to deal and I see now, the results of not dealing.  You gain weight.  You stress out.  You lose hair.  Your gums ache.  Your heart is powdered.  You exist but only on the terms of the unforgiving universe.

I would like to think we can do better than that.

So here at the start of the year, I’m not afraid of a useless five hundred a day.  I’m not afraid of repetitive posts, of a whining, broken record telling me the same hopes and draining me of the same fears three hundred and sixty-five times in a row.  Because somewhere in all of my nonsense, there are granules of the good stuff.  Clarity and freedom and mental security where I know what I want because it’s on virtual paper.

I have grand plans for 2019 and I’m not afraid of that, either.  I’m not afraid of the piping, shrill, nasal inner voice that indicates “She always has plans! And all of them go to shit!”  Sure, dear critic, I have plans and want things, things that my circumstances do not warrant, things I am not trained or prepared for, things that I don’t have any way of getting – especially, when I refuse to acknowledge that I want them.  I’m human.  It’s okay.

And I’ve done work in 2018 to clear some paths.  I’m in therapy again.  I’ve got every kind of tracker imaginable and I’m joining boards and teams and taking before shots and measuring myself the way it’s suggested so I have that baseline.  I’m not making any decisions on doing low-carb until after my birthday.  I’m going to try and practice careful tracking and exercise and loosely reducing sugar and starch in the meantime, but I know that I am going to hit those dates and judge myself based on my behavior and I want to give myself the best chance I have.   My friends are coming in a few days – 10 days – and I care more about figuring out some supportive habits that I can keep going through that than showing everyone I can be perfect.  When nobody knows what I think perfect is anyway, nobody cares in that regard at all.  I have what I need to do mapped out.  I have things beyond just dieting and exercise that are important to me to get back into and they’re a part of this movement forward.  I am here.  I will be here, writing my shit out instead of leaving it somewhere lost in a fog in my brain.

J.  Well, there, at least I can say that I am growing myself up.  We had an adult conversation that didn’t go superlatively well.   I cried a lot. He said I was wonderful, marvelous, all the things any girl would like to hear.  But wouldn’t commit to the fact that we’re single, only to say that he is not in any position to meet anyone.  He doesn’t want things to change.  I don’t want things to change, but I know that they have to – I know that I have to have his understanding that I need a person in my life who is here.  The therapist kept reiterating that’s what I need and at first, I felt frustrated, thinking that was something she thought I needed.  But I can’t live a thousand years on a string.  I’ve lived so long that way and it’s what I know, but it isn’t fair.  It isn’t enough.

So that’s going to be a place where work has to be done.

But not today.  Not everything today.  Today is showing up.  Cheering myself for showing up instead of being down and dire about another restart.  Let’s have a lifetime of restarts and caring for myself enough to give a shit about not letting myself go to shit.  Let’s have a lifetime of being a dork about it.  Let’s be cliches, baby!

The Charming Charmer Charmed (5/365)

I owe a lot of words.  A fair wheelbarrow full of words.  Days upon days of not telling you the cut of my jib.

I apologize and am going to start making up for it.  I came home straight away from work and took a shower, just to get my own deep and yet ever-incipient blehness off.  Or at least the top layer of it.  Really, I thought, in my way, in my way that eight years or more years of writing has yet to cure me of, I can just get by with a handful of hours of sleep. I can take the shower in the morning.  A little more time to game. A little more time in the world of make-believe.  Someone else’s make-believe, mind.

The morning, this Priestess of the Holy Dawn discovers, only entails rapture for those who drag themselves up to meet it.  And I was in no fit state to drag myself anywhere.  Just a tragic gamer mess desperate for one more hour when there wasn’t one more to be had at 6:40 in the a.m.  The girlness was incidental.  But I felt sure that as bad as the hair was, as unctuous and displeasing as it appeared, I could at least mitigate the situation with my makeup bag.   The one I regularly leave in my car for just such a purpose.

Well, clever me, clever girl, unfit but dragged down to the parking lot, the Priestess makes a second discovery: no makeup bag.   Then she and I have to make a quick decision, right on the spot.  Go back up and spend 2 minutes looking for it and possibly be a few minutes later and have to do it at my desk which is not either of our favorites…or just go and assume nobody in this vast Vampire Factory will ever turn their head in my direction.

Have you any doubt as to which the Priestess and I selected as our professional behavior for the day?  I swear, I must have looked like death scraped up and served on toast.  Just frightful.  And this is the day that so many new things and new people had to be met.

So I came home as quickly as I could and am determined to get some sort of color on my zombie face tomorrow.  The lesson to all of this is that if I don’t pull myself away to handle my shit, it catches up with me.   And embarrasses me even when I swear I don’t care and it doesn’t matter.  And the game will still be there.  Everything will still be there, I lose nothing to take care of what I need to take care of.

More in an upcoming post as to how the diet is going (not not well, huzzah!), just suffice to say that I’ve been dumb about thinking the world will suddenly bend for me.  Maybe for as long as you have ever known of me.  Maybe longer yet.  And I’m not about to wise up. But I can stop being so damned stupid.

Catching Up (4/365)

You are owed parentheses.
I am in a great state of regret.
I didn’t post yesterday.
It was not on account of a screw-up.  I didn’t fall into a burrito or capsize into some sugary sea.  I did just fine. Imperfectly, but fine.
I just forgot.  I was playing Mass Effect, struggling through that vault on Elaaden – which if you’ve played it, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  I also was watching Critical Role in this final week before it comes back and blows all our faces off and I just forgot.
It’s a reminder to me that habits take energy and thought to keep the repetitive action chain going.  At least, they do at first. The momentum on day four does not yet exist even if I don’t feel so wildly ravenous and despairing of not being constantly on the verge of eating something bad for me. Not eating to hurt somebody.  Frankly, I can hardly get anything of this lunch down as I take a moment away from frenetic emailing to try and sustain myself.  I have to do more, so much more, after yesterday’s completely ironic laissez-faire conversation with a coworker where I called my level of work blissful.
Many, many changes at a job that over nine months has nearly given me whiplash with changes.  Natural in this sort of business, but at the same time, the reactions of those around me encourage me to worry even more.  Wirrah, wirrah, sis boom rah.
It is apparent that my brain is half fuzz. Though, not as an answer to the question of perfect attendance here, just as a notation on how much of my thinking needs constant corralling.  I think about one of these changes at work – a departure for someone I work closely with and my mind instantly glances over at the chocolate bar that is on my desk.  A chocolate bar I bought before I started on January 1st and I have had in my purse and something needs to happen with it – and I think, oh, I could give it to this friend, I should do something nice for her, oh, I should take her out for lunch…but there isn’t time. But you know, some sort of celebratory lunch for me…?  It’s all serotonin and dopamine and giddy giddy giddy don’t stress.
I am not sure if those impulses, however much I can curb them, will ever go away.  That is a bit depressing to think about.   Day four is going to probably look a lot like day 304 in terms of me trying to drag myself towards the light.
I am actually doing well with the diet.  I am actually doing okay in that even though I eat spinach like I’m getting a spoonful of Popeye with every bite, and I feel positively tortured by vegetables…I am eating them, and I am surviving. I am hitting the bare minimum marks I need to hit to feel engaged and okay.  I don’t want to end any streak I know I’ve started.

And You Called Her for a Liar: 3/365

I have caught the Third Day Flu.  The notorious third day, what the fuck, my body’s constant glucose drip that I have so long gone out of my way to provide it with, is gone Flu.

It is the day when if you’re not sure you want to turn your life on your head for this that you give the hell up.

Some days it just sucks.  And I have melted at these points.  I have given up so many diet ghosts because I would really preferred to have somehow not been hit with this natural reality – and my preference in the moment trumped (fuck him and all he stands for) my ability to recall that this is what happens.  There’s some sort of memory block that happens when I’m planning or thinking about low-carb or just reducing the horrifying amount of sugar I generally, casually, eat.  Like having a child, I guess.  You have to forget or you would never, ever do it again.

It happens and it sucks to get headaches and be both hungry and repulsed by food and needing to add water and feeling irritated about having to pee more frequently to accommodate the Suez Canal’s worth of water your supposed to be swallowing every day.

It sucks and rather than transcend, today I choose to do what I need to do and whine at the internet, my very safe place here upon the internet, that it sucks.

But I won’t quit.   Wouldn’t that be hilarious and tragic if all it took was three days off the go go juice and I am broken down completely? Ready to capitulate to any terms for a handful of marshmallows (don’t tempt me, my friends.)

I will respect the fact that I am taking step 3 to get to step 365 – a step ostensibly somewhere far out from where I am right now.  I am taking it like I take my vegetables: with a face that indicates I’ve just been hit in the face with a bitter, skunky baseball.  Literally, my eyes will water at a piece of asparagus.  But I think half of that is just not troubling to cook them in a way that will make them delicious rather than simply edible.  The other half is just the training in my brain that anticipates punishment and a sense of “missing out” and sitting in chairs for hours after dinner refusing to eat the lima beans that were served to me.  Lima beans that tasted like mold, like musty, rotten fuzz in a leathery shell.  Hiding them in napkins to look as though I cleaned my plate.

This is not deep childhood trauma.  This is just an association in my mind that I am well aware of and have build ruts into with how regularly I work at defending and recalling this stance.  Vegetables are not gross.  They are helpful and fine.

So I need to break down the aversion and eat more of them.   Ugh.  I will.  It’s important.

The book: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.