My best friend and I used have to a running joke – it was during our initial (and ironic) over-embrace of hashtags that #everythingisterrible was born, but it stuck, and we loved it. (I still love it. It makes everything so much less terrible.)
I recently got an email from an old friend, Thanksgiving always makes me think of him and sometimes my blog depresses him. He hopes I’m well.
I thought about it, and then realized that yes, it appears that my days of sassily commenting on anything and everything are gone, and much like a sophomore album, I’ve become overly aware of everything that I put into the world, so much so that I’ve lost my magic touch of willy-nilly commentary, and instead, settled for the pedantic prose that comprises the highs and lows of life, without even attempting to describe or relate via text the in-between.
Ah, the in-between.
It’s not even the pedantic parts that I’ve neglected lately; it’s the everything. I’ve not been writing. Not writing is not a good thing for me. Coincidentally, perhaps, my everything has been falling apart lately, shedding bits of legitimacy left and right, pixelated shards flying off at warp speed. (Imagine the scene where the Death Star blows up, first becoming pieces, then an all-engulfing ball of flame, exploding outward into the void….it’s like that.)
Instead of the calm that comes from the meditative movement of my fingers over computer keys, I’ve been anxiously assessing life at the speed of my mind, which is in perpetual overdrive, warp speed ad nauseam. Of course, add a pinch of stress and some emotional upset, and you’ve got a recipe for free falling disaster.
The world has turned upside down lately. It’s been dark and dreary, full of nightmares and fits of tears. It was an abrupt return to places I thought I would not again revisit, and yet, found that the oddly familiar comforts of flailing still fit quite well, like an old pair of jeans.
Feelings, those stupidly beautiful emotions that somehow manage to knit my perception of my experiences into the rich life that it is. When it’s beautiful, it’s the best, soaring and sweet, and when it’s dark, it’s the darkest, four am in the dead of winter, sharp and threatening.
At times, I’m overly empathic, ever so much to my detriment. I realized that there were a few specific energy-draining situations in my life, and since one of them is an every day sort of deal, it was a huge revelation for me. I immediately set to work reframing and noticed marked improvement within two days. Ah yes, captain of my own ship, dammit, and a tiny tyrant cannot shape my worldview, despite all efforts to the contrary.
It’s not all doom and gloom, I promise. It can’t be. Even the longest winters must come to an end. Life is like that, I suppose, pedantic in its own right, the natural swaying of states to be expected, and ultimately, hopefully, adapted to, little markers of growth and change, progression and progress.
Grieving is hard. Lots of grief lately. Change is something I hate, and I have a really hard time accepting that I can’t understand everything, or know everything, or fix everything. It’s a thing I’ll be working on until I die. Somethings must be left undone, unfinished, unmended, and that’s okay. (Yeah, I said it. It’s okay. But easier said than done, much like a most things.)
I lost my steel son, Simon, in a remarkably random accident. Mechanical failure took him from me 3000 miles before we would have celebrated our 100,000 mile anniversary, and even though I cried so hard while I was unscrewing his license plates in the back lot of my mechanic’s garage in 13 degree weather (much to the amusement of the staff), I am unscathed, well compensated, and in possession of something that very nearly resembles a vehicle. (Kidding, mostly.) The aptly named Millennium Falcon has nearly 250,000 miles on it, and even though its handling is exactly what I imagine flying its namesake must be like, it is the car in which I learned how to drive; it has carried me safely a million places; parallel parking it doesn’t suck that much; and it will do just fine, minus the fact that it has no/little heat. Layers. Layers. Layers.
I always joke that my guardian angel pin (the one that my mom got me when I was 16 that lives in my car) is the Usain Bolt of guardian angels, but honestly, the universe was looking out for me. In that flash of moment where the steel settled, connected now to concrete and I sat, still and uncertain, I realized that whatever reason I’m here hasn’t unreasoned itself yet, and I might still be needed somewhere to do a thing at some point. Which was a funny way to receive the message, but trust me, it was received loud and clear…I was three inches from hurtling headlong into the back of a giant pickup truck at nearly 40 miles per hour, and in the scratches on the road where my everything fell apart, you see a nearly perfect bell curve come around the truck and into the empty space where the bits (wheel, etc.) fell away and my car collided with just the cement of the high curb. Magic. Or my own magical reflexes, which based on my DOTA gameplay, I can tell you with certainty that it’s definitely not my reflexes, mostly. (Although I am a fantastically defensive/assertive/not tremendously aggressive driver. I’m quick and aware, like a deer.)
I’ve allowed myself to muddle along in the muck for long enough, feeling the bad things all over again in a new and different way (there may be a thousand ways to leave your lover, but did you know that there are at least that many ways to rehash/revisit all your life traumas? Because I didn’t, until recently), and finally, sick of that, I’m taking stock of lessons learned/relearned and I’m hitching up my big girl pants; I’m finally (dear god, finally couldn’t come soon enough) ready to head back into the light.
The funny thing is that these dark spells often signal the coming of something wonderful, opportunity and outreach. The first hints of forward progress came quietly, the beginning of the dawn. Joy is not so elusive; it’s just sometimes hard to see through all the bullshit.
For one thing, I have a very exciting new work announcement coming soon! I’m thrilled, ecstatic, overjoyed. It was such an organic opportunity, and it’s one that I’m hoping will be really fruitful and magical. It’s something I’m feeling incredibly confident about and something that I hope to be able to expand, nurture, and grow.
Also, as I’m so often reminded, I have the best village of people in my life. My village people are wonderful. They’re strange, of course, an odd assortment of randomly skilled human beings with kind hearts, good sense, and killer dance moves. But to be surrounded by love, and to be able to reach out for it when you need it feels really good. I didn’t cry alone this time. I was held and cared for; reasoned at (because everyone knows you can’t reason with me…I’m immune); catered to – did you know you can have people make you things/get you things/bring you tea in the bathtub? I did not. This is a new revelation. I will be taking advantage of this; understood; and mostly, most importantly, heard.
It’s odd, to fall down a little bit when you’re stronger than you were the last time shit went down. It’s odd because you have a new threshold for no more bullshit. My therapist always used to tell me that I have a really uncharacteristically unreasonably high tolerance for crazy, and also a level of optimism that someone with my past shouldn’t actually have, and that those things get me into trouble, because they can’t co-exist together without some really weird things happening. (True.)
But also, somewhere along the way, I picked up on that whole idea of self love (or at the very least became beautifully aware of my own sentience in relation to the rest of the world). I’ve realized that I really do have a breaking point. I also realized that I matter to myself a lot more than I thought. I don’t know how to explain that. But to be able to realize that you’re owning your actions, doing that whole acting with integrity and truth thing, and then accepting responsibility for your shit is a really empowering big deal. Realizing that you are okay and that you get to choose to find that light sometimes gives you that last boost of oomph that helps you climb out of that damn hole of darkness.
But I digress…
In light of choosing to channel all this scattered, nervous energy into new and beautiful endeavors, I have decided that my word of 2017 will be “intention.” With that, my first intention is to breathe. Because dammit, I’m going to learn how to meditate. And if I intend about it now, then I’m bound by my own obligations to myself. It’s hopefully foolproof! I’m going to still myself. I’m going to hold onto singularity. I’m going to spend time in my sphere/cube of universe that I found last year while doing the intense heavy forgiveness meditating and I’m going to love it. I’m going to breathe about all the things, engulfed my own happiest place,which is an odd blend of sparkling darkness, warm watery places, and the distance between the sky and grass. Hopefully it’ll be all right. Or at least still.