What I’ve Been Doing Instead of Blogging
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1 – I am not a professional videographer, dancer, singer, or ukulele player.
2 – I am not a professional anything, actually.
3 – My grandparents, on the other hand, are obviously old pros.
4 – By contributing to this video, all singing, dancing and otherwise foolish parties implicitly and unwittingly agree to be on the internet. Which is basically just a consequence of being alive these days, so…
5 – I am in no way responsible for destroying the image you had of me vocally, visually, or otherwise by shifting from a photo-and-text blog format to a video format. May you be less traumatized than I was the first time I saw what Ira Glass looked like in real life, as opposed to how I’d pictured him in my head all those years. (Ditto for Garrison Keillor).
Worrying ≠ Thinking
I am no expert. At anything, at all. I try to share what I know, because I have not learned it on my own. I have been boosted up and helped along every step of the way, a living tower of family, friends, and mental health care professionals beneath me, so that I may survey my own inner landscape with some distance. From this vantage point, I can look down and say that it is not all bad.
I can tell you that this, too, will pass. That this awful, binding darkness, is fleeting, not forever. The sun will peek its rays through clouds of self-loathing and dark fear, slowly expanding to shed light and warmth on your oh-so lovable (I promise) body and soul.
Of course, as you’ve pointed out, this sunny intermission will pass, as all things do, and the darkness will come again. Yes, it is true.
But I’ve found, or been gently guided to see, that if you hold to the fleeting nature of feelings, a deeper sense of self will emerge, grown-up strong, like roots from the hard ground. And those emotions will not be yours; they will be like a storm front, passing through.
Then the vicious cycle of ups and downs will seem to have some forward motion, the anger and nothingness no longer blotting out the all light and air, nor even competing. Just shady spots, just clouds, over smooth, still waters.
Your cup is so full, and I know that feeling. Negative, poisonous thoughts and looming to-do lists, frustrations and obligations and days where even happy memories hurt. A brain so tormented, and tormenting, that it’s like being locked in a room with a crazy person hurling the most horrible, personal insults your way, with no end in sight. Of course you’d do anything to get away from that person. I know, because I have been that person, have wanted to kill that part of myself.
I know, because my cup is like your cup, too. All I’m asking you to do, as an experiment, is to empty your cup.
Teaching Myself New Tricks
Lately, I’ve Been…
Reading like I mean it. Devouring books, tearing through at least one each week, on the train, during lunch, before bed, everywhere. It makes the 12+ hours/week spent commuting pass pleasantly, and feels better than dicking around on my phone (though I still indulge in a fair amount of that).
Weaning myself off of sugar and special drinks. Oh, how I’ve bribed myself with the promise of soy hot chocolate on a Monday morning (a happy, sweet start the week), or a Wednesday morning (hump-day treat)…or a Friday morning (reward for a week almost over). But now I am listening to my wonderful little body, giving it what it really needs and wants to thrive. Be not fooled by the photo above–I’ve been resisting! Eating my veggies, and snacking in the savory. Like this:
Eating kimchi or kakuteki before 10 am. I crave the crunch, and the spice, to combat my sweet tooth.
Doodling, drawing, penning and posting (the old fashioned way). I forgot how sweet it is to be simply creative. To make something with my heart and hands, then send it off and say goodbye. It’s a modest endeavor, but it makes me feel “like a child stringing beads in kindergarten–happy, absorbed, and quietly putting one bead on after another.”
The urge to create beautiful things is so strong in me. Letters and words, pictures, postcard, shapes, colors, curves, and praise. I want to leave a beautiful mark. Explode into the sky like a firework blossom, and sparks of light float down everywhere.
Delirious with hangover right now, lack of sleep and too many tears. My eyes are dry and burning swollen. But my heart is set to burst. Pen to paper, and I could go for days, unquestioning. To-dos be damned; I want to FEEL, to taste. I want everything delicious, and beautiful, all art.
Maybe these are my death throes. I’ve considered that. But this is what I must do to stay alive. Send it out of me, everywhere, every which way, and be free.
Things Said, Things Done, Things Made, Hearts Won
Lately: postcards, paper cranes, jelly pens. Doodles, daydreams, dawdling.
Words between friends, and a collective wisdom that has been my saving grace.
Here, what’s been said (altered ever so slightly, to protect those hearts wide open):
“Once you are away from a person all that bad stuff that made you want to end the relationship in the first places starts to get fuzzy, then blurry, then it just disappears into the past. That is when you start second guessing yourself. Did I make the right choice? All I can think about are the good times?? Am I with the right person now? What the hell have I done?!?!? STOP second guessing yourself. You made the right choice.”
“So. Not doing REALLY well, but growing and changing and learning really a lot. We eat super healthy, and run, and cross train. We study when we remember, and play frisbee. We do our own things sometimes (my thing? Drinking while doing laundry and watching trashy movies), and then we come back together.”
“I wish you could see yourself! I wish you could see that you are beautiful and awkward and funny and dorky and intelligent and that you can do so much more in life and find new things for yourself. I want you to, like…get in your car and just drive. Drive off somewhere on your own and start new. Because your place and your city and everything will still be there, and still be the same, when you get back. You’ll fit back in in whatever way you want or need to, and your true loves–family, home and friends–will will adjust around you. Friendships that are worth having will knit themselves back together , or pick up right where they left off.”