A Breath of Fresh Air
Sometimes I can’t go straight from things being broken to things being fixed, because I need to make a rest-stop in a place where things are okay. Like a waiting period between identifying the problem and tackling it.
I remember a camping trip, age 19, summer after freshman year of college. I had taken ecstasy for the first time (heavily cut with speed) and spent a wild night talking and emoting at full blast with my best-friend and roommate in the front seats of my boyfriend’s parent’s Subaru. Despite what I’d heard about gnarly emotional come-downs, the next morning I mostly felt tired and newly opened, or pleasantly vulnerable. I got dropped off back at my Mom’s place, where my older sisters were bustling about, cooking and gossiping with Mom, taking care of baby Bashy. The air seemed abuzz with a sort of hectic femininity, with childcare and recipes and house work and strong female bonds. I felt so susceptible to all that womanly grace, and also very overwhelmed.
Because…how could I ever express to my mother and sisters what they meant to me, and how much I admired and needed them? How could I gracefully make the transition from sullen, solitary teenage angst to warm, giving, jovial womanhood? Most importantly, how could I share this new-found love and appreciation without revealing the fact that I’d taken illegal, mind-altering substances the night before?
Ha! Then I remembered I didn’t have to do it all at once. That I didn’t need to make any grand proclamations or sudden life-altering turns to affect the change I wished to see in my life. I could do it little by little. I could start by just being there, spending quality time with my beloved female family. So I sat down on the bed where Natalie was changing Bashie’s diaper, and we talked.
It was a start. Eight years later, we are closer, and it is easier for me to tell me moms and sisters–or any of my friends and family–that I love them. I just had to do it slowly. Start small, and go from there.
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This past holiday week (Golden Week in Japan) was kind of like that. After much (let’s stress that–much) turmoil, much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth, countless sleepless nights and teary mornings and drunken fights and an all-pervasive anxiety…we knew what we needed to do. But first, we needed to rest, and be calm. So we went into the mountains.
Though I often forget it, I know I can’t think myself out of a deep, dark depressive hole with my depressive mind; I can’t rationalize or think things through logically with my anxious mind. First, I have to just calm down. I have to get outside myself, so that I might come back, ready for change and renewal.