Reify

I have no idea what it means.  Not the word, I know that one, just the newness around my life these days.  The thing that needs reification inside of my brain.  Where am I? What is my value-add? Why am I talking and thinking and being the way that I am?
I think lately I’ve been scaring myself.  Testing my memory and freaking out when I can’t remember, worrying about driving at night with bright lights, feeling flighty and panicky.  Stressing about stairs and heart attacks and bodies in motion rather than, as they ought be, in perpetual rest.
If I give myself this moment to contemplate, an opportunity I’ve experienced a certain dearth of these days, I can understand the paths that converge to bring me here.  The unresolved status I hold right now after the departure of my reason for being hired.  The unending eating out to salve and reassure myself that there’s money in the bank account and everything is okay because we can go to the burger place, the pizza place, the other burger place, the Mexican place, the Chinese place and on and on and on – to the point, the surfeit that I revisited the other day in my title, that I can’t even stomach it. At the end of September, I was just wasting food and burning cash. Ordering in meal after meal, despite not being much more than mildly hungry on any given occasion. Bringing home bag after bag, box after box. It almost was painful, but this compulsion remained because of the salutary idea of eating out that is affixed in my mind.  This sense of biochemical succor that overtakes me. Even now, the idea of a hot, prepared, aluminum-wrapped meal with all the accoutrements included in little plastic two tablespoon cups alongside it set in front of me has this magical, mirage-like appeal.  Like a smoker must contemplate a cigarette, I know it really would quell the yapping, roiling, confused sea inside me, even if the method requires a giant cannonball of heedlessly salted carbs.
But, for two and a half days, I have found some method of subduing this beast without having to get the deck wet.  Already, it’s Tuesday, yes.  The plan, thus far, is working. I have actual supplies on hand now so that I can circumvent the mental process of constantly interrogating myself for the answer to where do we want to go for food today?  It’s home.  Or I have it.  I don’t have to go strolling to the cafeteria for an inescapable Rice Krispie treat (or two) because I have to get something in my mouth so I am sustained.  I brought it and I can eat it and then this massive space opens up of…odd security.  I didn’t have to spend the money.  I didn’t have to go out in world and stumble about.  I can just do as I intended to do.
So it’s not low carb.  It’s not low fat.  It’s not really controlled portions.  It’s not dieting.  It’s just not letting myself go mad on guacamole and unprocessed stress.
And I have plenty of food set for the rest of the week – things I am interested and willing to eat and won’t throw over the plan for.  This is a good, good thing.  That I hope will lead to a sense of control again where I can plan out something legitimately healthy that I can stick to.
There’s just a lot of quiet here and not enough to do and it’s the nature of the calendar that it is logical for me to not be overburdened with tasks while everyone’s getting ready to head out on a business trip, so I can’t caterwaul and beg for activity and things to be thrown on my plate.  Might regret doing that anyway, but that’s the plan for when everyone is settled.  Today has just been a taste of what it’s like to be unoccupied. To find yourself deleting old emails, remembering ancient times, the importance of people who have since drifted into the background. To have fallow fields in your brain pan, an agenda absent of agenda items.  To float with achey muscles.  Maybe I’m getting sick.  I wonder if it isn’t just another layer of sabotage.  Can’t be distracted by a massive tray of tortilla chips, the brain has to rush ahead and think of things that might be broken .
Just give me some water, put me in bed, let me play, let me read, let me dream a bit.  Let me trace back the road to the Faithful Light, not to Mildred but to the child Mildred once was, to a crimson turning of the season.  To full-on autumn and not just a prelude to winter.

Goluptia

This is two weeks or so, maybe more, maybe less, of playing Wil E. Coyote, suspended in mid-air.
I don’t like the part of my brain that keeps clipping sentences.  That doesn’t want to sit and luxuriate in the possibilities of the white, blank page.  I don’t like the part that is mired in so many jutting, stuttered, action items that it can’t conceivably settle down and contemplate a wider world.
It feels safer just to not speak than to say something that might insist on being mentally accepted through the process of having said it.
Sure, I’m freaked out about the unknowable future.   The future that is reliant on me becoming more of this professional, be-yoked person with more of this tunnel-vision, more of this aggressively tight style of brainwork that I don’t like, that demands it else the bottom falls right out, but the future that presents me as a stronger person, a person who might have the strength of will to achieve some of the objectives that me, myself, and I have agonized over for millennia.
Essentially, they are keeping me on for now.  The for now of this for nowness is wildly fragile.  It’s ultralight glass.  I am to serve others, like some sort of chattel servant, until they find the next lord or lady where I may be installed as seneschal.  Or, deemed unworthy of service and shunted to the side, unceremoniously set out on my ear while some more polished and bold chambermaid takes over my duties.
A fellow from work was asking me about my future the other night at the party where we said the first of the long series of goodbyes to my current boss.  I said I didn’t honestly know.  He said, well, you should be fine, so long as you keep adding value.  And I nodded, lamely, subserviently, meekly, distractedly.  I nodded because what do you say to such an earnestly provided and frightfully mechanical statement as that?  Is my printing that email providing value?  Is my wiping down that white board value.  Yes.  On some level, it rolls up into the larger ability of the organization to function.  But the corporate speak, the sense of yourself as a unit, a cog, an ox at the mill, that’s so demoralizing.   Harder still to know how I once idly craved it.  Thought it would protect me from attempting to step out on my own as a writer, from walking against the storm. The storm comes with the fear and the fear comes with me.
But that’s not precisely right if we do care about the precision of language.  I am not a cog now, or I am not meant to be.  I am in the forefront of a lot of people who doubt me at the same instant they are required to trust me.  I am a name that is attached to other names, an engine of emails.  I warm a seat, but it is a well-known, important seat.
My boss hugged me at her party, after she’d had wine and there had been memorializing videos and technical difficulties on some of the videos and whispered “Thank you for everything.”   I said, “Thank you for everything.”  Meaning her basically not letting her doubt overtake her trust, at least so far as our short seven months together allowed.   Who will the next boss be?  What will they expect from me?  What will I provide them if my brain is half-hopeful that I can just write my way out of these places that I’ve always had to walk out of before.
So, one says, go follow thy passion, thy bliss.  Put your feet in the cold river, wander around in the dark, singing to the trees as you go.  Fear nothing, grasshopper girl,  Winter, as so many say, is coming. But winter only comes but once.
You’re supposed to have saved, one says, by 35, double what you’re making in salary.  That.  Will not happen.  That will not even be close.  We will be playing catch up to this benchmark until the end.  Greedy, fearful ants, burrowing in the heat of the lightless earth.
I say these things not to provide clarity of meaning, but to say…damn.
What a fretful, frightful time.

In Triplicate

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It is nice to be mouthless.  Something I could never have reckoned with as a girl who wanted Hello Kitty to be free to speak her Hello Kitty thoughts.  But it is nice not to have to tell you stories of distemper and distaste, not to have to show up and look weak, not to have to…

Sometimes I sit still and I feel as though I have got the whole nation, the whole world’s despair not only over their choice (willing or otherwise) of leader, but of every last little discomfort in their lives.  Every last thing going wrong shuffling about in your head, oh cripes, it’s here in mine. It’s not right.  It’s killing us.  It’s too much.

It’s not yours, something like the Faithful Light will remind me, you only have that slag heap over there.  That’s it.  All the rest of it is not yours.  But, I think, I see it.  I know that it exists – hungry babies, pissed-off fathers, the snow in the morning, this grinding in my skull, that any day something horrible will happen – it will, it’s unavoidable – the inevitable brokenness of every last thing. I have just been ignoring it for a while, but it’s true.  It’s true how terrible it is.

But.  I sit longer and it is also true that I have ice in the freezer which makes the water better to drink and which makes me feel full.  I have a mentor who texts me to come in later, to feel better, to get my spunk back.  I have a mind that reads spunk and still laughs.  I have a mother sleeping soundly in her bed surrounded by my father who loves her and a dog that believes she is the closest thing there is to God.  I have kind friends who multiply the thin wisps of kindness I deign to blow hither and thither.  I have a dear maniac and a dear brick of a cat.  I am not so terribly sick as I might be.

I also had my card today so I was able to buy gas and lunch.  That felt entirely luxurious.  That and despite the panic attacks, the ones that keep ramping up because I feel so down about my ability to quash them and the insurance shit and the money shit and the other shit, I was able to get home before the snow fell.   That’s good.

I did a few things today.  I did what I was asked and a sliver more.

…..

So I am going to run off and try and write a few things before this computer crumbles beneath my fingertips.  There’s always Fallen London and some DAI to chase around.  I am okay.  A few hours here and I feel better even if I’m having the neck/shoulders/teeth grinding thing which upsets everything terribly.  I am alright.  Eventually, maybe we’ll stretch our legs and try and climb up to that next rung on the ladder.  But tonight, alright’s alright, alright?

Time To Get Moving

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Trundle, crumple, bumble.  The cat is in the paper bag.

Stop the whirrrrrrrrl, stop the world!

I am currently more concerned about the drive tomorrow than the questions I’ll be asked and that’s no good.   It will be fine.

Time to take it all very slowly and be very clear.  My only intention is to get myself to get up to dress myself nicely for work tomorrow and after I am done for the day, I will drive to the interview and answer their questions as well as I can.  I will offer everything I can to express my sense that I can take part in their office and make a difference. Then, I’ll figure out how I want to drive home.

I know this driving part of it is suddenly real and under my skin, and the google maps did me no favors, but I can do it.  I can really, actually, do it.  It’s going to be alright.  I’ll be back here to prove it.

It’s just odd, if you come right down to it.  I have felt rather weepy and on the edge of things tonight.  In part because I went to the store with my mother and younger sister and they bought me things for this interview, regardless of whether or not it was easy for them to afford this, it bothers me.  It bothers me that my sister donated funds towards this cause of personal rehabilitation.  I…don’t like this at all. And of course, as part of this, I had to be pleasant and try on clothing and take a good look at myself in the mirror and I did not want to do this.  The result was…a cannonball of memories and deep, skin-peeling frustration about my appearance, and knowing that my moodiness would throw everyone into a tizzy and I needed something that looked professional and good, so I just mumbled quietly to myself while they brought me matronly looking sweaters and pants that didn’t fit until we settled on an outfit I can make work.

Between this and my brow wax, I feel somewhat better about how I will turn up tomorrow.  I will get my nails painted and nearly complete the superfecta.  My hair’s still a right mess.

Then, after all of this attempts internal and external to right my ship and get ready for this challenge, we visited with my half-sister and her fiance and kids.  My niece and nephew including my niece’s boyfriend.  I did sort of feel how depressed and deflated this whole situation makes me – for them, it is easy to make pronouncements and say that it’s completely clear.  Get this new job, get rid of the old ones, they’re screwing you, time to take care of yourself.  No muss, no fuss, just do it because you’re worth it.

It’s a painful thing, to see something fail, something that was supposed to be so wonderful.  And this leap is not just dependent on my wanting it.  I….okay.

But I have my assignment written and printed, I have my necklace that glows and shifts color in the light, and I have my best intentions in the world.

The Fortuneless Cookie

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I ate the ice cream tonight.  After spending the day assiduously avoiding caffeine after another evening of extreme sleep incompatibility, I ate the coffee ice cream.  I also put hot fudge on it.  I may regret it when I lay in bed tonight and my brain is doing the sort of overclocked magic tricks it did last night.  I am hoping to drink more water and…I don’t know, maybe come and do another turn on the couch which sometimes helps, and sometimes doesn’t.  It is, of course, as ever, a question of being afraid of it happening rather than any fear while it happens.  I’m building aversions that are based on nothing. The bed is not the cause of the sleeplessness.  The room is not.  It’s the stress in my head venting, fiendishly, mechanically, over my field of vision.

Eventually, I do sleep.  I just don’t know when.  It wasn’t at 1:30 or 2 when I felt like I could pop my eyeballs out and string them into a necklace, when I felt inescapably trapped in Willy Wonka’s nightmare gondola ride  Maybe at 3?  I should just get up and not lay there, watching the laser light show my brain puts on.  I half-regret forcing myself to submit to the clock rather than the circadian rhythm I’m experiencing – fucked up as it is, it just feels like I can’t let myself lock in this habit, this bad behavior.

I do regret the hiccups that are rocketing through me at the moment.  The TV is showing a Dead Like Me marathon, and every muscle in my body aches for relief.  We had to move more of those tubs full of Naugahyde and flannel and decapitated mannequin heads and for six hours straight, I worked like a dog, mostly I think because I have this interview and I have this whole idea of leaving now climbing over me.   I want to be good about it, even if as I know now, it can’t necessarily be good.

Two years ago, it was the same situation, but the emotions felt different.  End of October, I had the delineation of the trip to Italy between one job and the next.  After so much struggle, I was offered a doorway out of my problems and I was brave enough to take it.  I was farewell partied, twice…I was earnestly saluted and sent off to meet my future.  And my future turned out not to need or know what to do with me.  My future was having problems of its own.  My future and I did not get along.  My future gave up.

And now, there’s a compression of time and need.  If I get this new position (and I may get smacked in the face with a decline or a “that position has already been filled” note so no excitement yet), it’s just me trying to course correct. It’s just me trying to stabilize.  Not to say I don’t care and don’t want the job, just right now…I need a platform that isn’t shaking to stand on.

I need to sleep and I am not tired enough to do it.

You could feed me all of your fears

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And if there was a magic cast, it was a wild magic, so that it did not land precisely, and where it landed, it did not do what it was meant to do.

I am contemplating this job.  The job would be back in the same town I grew up, working with the same circle of people, albeit from a different perspective, as the job I spent eight years struggling at before leaving before this new job that has been so wildly detrimental to me and my life.

If I can allow myself to float past the idea that on its face, I don’t have the precise requirements they are looking for and just move into the idea of what it would be like to be in the job itself, it is hard to imagine myself as capable of doing it.  Sort of.  I don’t know.  Each individual piece is part of a puzzle I was working on, too.  I know the acronyms, the faces, the area, the issues, the struggles, the gossip.  I know the bitchy complainers and the people who pitch in and help wildly. I have friends in most directions.

However, I know that there’s some poisoned relationships I’d now be on the opposite side of.  I know that in the years since I’ve been gone, my job has been vacated twice and people are grumpy and displeased with my boss’ replacement.  I would be working in concert with the person in my old boss’ role, the person who has been spending the past few years trying to get things organized after my time of struggle and learning.  I don’t like the idea of sitting across the table from people who have not had an easy time of it and that’s because of me.  I ran like hell to get out of that situation.

I guess I feel a little bit like Typhoid Admin, that every job I exit seems to have increasing levels of desperation associated with it when I go.

Each individual part of the job feels like I could do that.  But in sum total, without the degree in the field, just my 8 years effectively standing with my foot in the door, maybe that’s just asking to fail.  It’s a job where I will have to be assertive, a self-starter, a person in charge of other people.  Can I do that?  Today, today, I think I can.  It feels in my mind like what I would say when I feel pressure to please regardless of whether or not it’s true.  But everyone says that it’s only for me to set up my qualifications and say I’m a fast learner and ready to go.

And for that money, a comfortable place to work and get to, health insurance, where I don’t have to start from square one.  It’s worth a shot.  It’s worth getting laughed out the door.

+300 words elsewhere

We Love Ya, Tomorrow

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I think it may have been something I ate.

I feel…subpar.  Jittery as all hell.  But mostly, I think it’s just in my head.  I’m just really ramped up these days.  Just really ready to pounce or escape or change or start or something and I can’t and all of that unresolved energy and intent is just frying my nerves.  I am training myself to be on edge.  I hate that.

So here’s a list of peaceful things for me to ponder, relax around, be delighted in, rather than building up this sense of not being able to breathe, sweating, spazzing.

  1. All I have to do is go to the shop tomorrow.  I have lunch already set.  I can get coffee if I wish.  I know precisely where and how and what will be happening.  It will be simple and I may get paid once or twice tomorrow.  We can sleep in till 10a.m if we wish.  Hopefully not, but we do not have to be made to march alone.
  2. I have many, many video games to distract me.  Lots I can start fresh on.  Lots with new features to try out.  Lots of shows to watch with different vibes, different haloes of emotion to walk into. Lark Rise to Candleford for scullery maid mode, As Time Goes By for smiley, sleepiness, Penny Dreadful for possible writing propulsion.  Playlists and music to update.
  3. The Mumford show is just a couple weeks away! I listened to them on the way home and it did help, they do have a comfort factor for me.   The songs wrap around you in a protective way, like some sort of shield.
  4. I tried my level best today despite feeling this constant, breathless anxiety, despite really getting why my being there any further is just insanity, I still tried.
  5. I do not have to talk to, smile at, or impress anyone tonight.  I do not have to chew or cavort or regale.  I do not have to banter or gather together pearls of wisdom to cast at wandering swine.  I do not have to have much more than a pillow to lean against.  I am not in charge of anything more than that.
  6. All of those nights I worried about my teeth and endured only to learn that no spikes are shooting out of my face and that I am actually doing a decent job, gum-wise, save for the incipient cavities that can exist between teeth (how can you get a cavity between your teeth where you can only find a cavity of space, don’t ask me), I can endure this, too.   If my mother can endure all her worries, if the people around me can take theirs
  7. Every now and then I forget I am anxious.   It doesn’t have me wholly in its thrall.   We have sat here, royally, all of us together, or at least an hour poking at this post, and I remain alive.  Just because it feels like I have Sonic’s drowning music on a loop in the back of my mind does not actually mean I can’t breathe or am drowning.
  8. Tomorrow will be better.