It might be that it’s a sunny day and getting closer to spring, and so my low barometric pressure and Seasonal Affective Disorder issues are lower today. Or it could be this really hope-filled Vanity Fair (yes, Vanity Fair! Wait for it) article I read this morning helped me pass an emotional kidney stone. Or it could just be that I’m at a point where I feel just disillusioned enough to stop caring and worrying about everybody else’s feelings and just (finally) take care of ME. But I feel some changes in the air. I feel them, and I welcome them. I sense some Spring Cleaning up ahead.
Last night I fell asleep at 8:30. I woke up at 11:30. Did not get back to sleep until 2:30 am. You know what kinds of things go through my head, when I lie awake until 2:00 am? Keep reading because in several more paragraphs I’m going tell you.
Internet, I am exhausted. Physically, mentally, psychically, emotionally. I simply can’t keep going on like this anymore, it’s not healthy. I cry. All the time. I have always been a crier. Don’t take me to a movie where somebody dies if crying people make you feel awkward. Don’t tell me about your grandma’s heart attack if you’re going to be uncomfortable when tears start. And if you cry, I’ll cry so don’t cry unless you want me right there with you.
But this is exhausting. Seriously, you all: I HAVE to get out of my own head. I have to. I have to let go of fear and resentment and trust issues and just start living my life. If you have any good, tried-and-true methods of doing this, things that work for you or have worked for you in the past, will you please let me know? Because right now, I would like to go back to February 2015. And this is a tad troubling to me because let me tell you: I was a stinking mess in February 2015.
But in terms of how I am today? Lands. I was 100 times happier and more together back then, and that is making me worry even MORE. Because if you’d talked to me in February 2015 I’d have told you I was in the lowest place ever (EVER!). And that it certainly couldn’t get much worse than this. But now. NOW, it is a year later, February 2016, and I am most certain I am the lowest place ever (EVER!), and it absolutely cannot get much worse than this. Which is where the worrying begins because well….February 2017. What horrors will a year from now bring if this is where I’m at today and I was convinced a year ago I’d hit rock bottom?? I swear to god I don’t own any shovels, and do not enjoy digging. (Okay, fine. I do actually enjoy digging. But not with shovels.)
Look at THIS girl (from July 2015):
Total, flipping mess. Oh, she looked and sounded great on the outside. But she was a roiling heap of trouble on the inside. Yet…still. Happier. Tired and stressed out and not really together, but she was happier. Sad-happy. Confused and scared and sad-happy, with not a clue what she was doing or why…but she felt like she was headed somewhere and had at least two good ideas. Because she was so less clingy to ideas of “should.” In fact, she was less clingy period. Way more open-minded. Totally more laid back. And she blonder and tanner and, I suspect, 10 lbs thinner. (Maybe it’s actually really simple and THAT’S what I need to do: go blonder again and get a tan.)
Because right now, that girl has turned into something more like THIS:
But less smiley and 1,000% more skittish. Of everything.
Here’s what I do when I wake up in the middle of the night – I spend a lot of time ruminating and brooding about where I was a year ago vs where I am right now. And that gets me to start thinking about a lot of other things, some I can control, some I cannot:
…how can i be more open-minded and stop caring so much…i hate having trust issues, i really do…i really really believe in free love/bohemian spirit/the anais nin approach to life, so how in the world do i let go of these stale, traditional, standard approaches to people?…at the same time, how can i make sure i’m not a doormat that gets used by people who take advantage of open-hearted and open-minded people…i mean, can you be a nice person, chill and laid back and NOT get taken advantage of?…maybe i need to redefine what it means to “take advantage” of someone…man, credit cards are so evil, omg HOW did that HAPPEN?!?!…wow, that was so nice what that person did the other day, i really need to tell X that it meant a lot to me…consistency from other people matters so much to me these days, but am *I* giving other people enough consistency because my head is so stuck on stupid crap like this?…pathological liars are the worst, how can i avoid them in the future?…is my judgment about other people just broken these days? i always thought i had such good judgment about other people how the hell did i not SEE all the red flags?!?!…how am i going to get through the next 10 weeks of classroom teaching and still keep my energy and data at acceptable levels…that one co-worker, that one co-worker! oh please don’t let me get pushed into that one co-worker’s room next year it will be my saddest time of day…jesus god i hate math word problems, who the hell invented them and why? math should just be straight up solve these numbers…and why do they even put letters inside of number problems anyway?? what sick idiot decided that???…oh my god, i’m going to have to pack up that ENTIRE classroom which means oh my god i’m going to have to set up another classroom where will i find the energy…well, hopefully it’ll be summer and i’ll have gotten more sleep…oh my god i can’t wait for summer to get here…what if they raise my rent here when it’s time to renew? is that going to affect if i can live here another year?…it’s super small when m is here but i do like it, i wish i had a small office room…if i had a small room for an office, i bet i’d take writing every day more serious…why do i just TALK about writing stories but never actually sit down and start and/or finish one???…i guess c and i are eventually going to have to sit down and decide how much longer the separation needs to go on and what our next steps are…i’m so thankful he’s helping me financially, he’s still taking care of me…dammit now i’m crying and i miss my old life, did i make a mistake?? what AM i doing??…no, because when he said that one thing the other day and did that other thing that if *I* had done it would’ve been a big problem, no we make better friends and co-parents than spouses…but i really miss having another grown up in my home with me right now…how can i afford a trip to the beach this summer? i feel a deep need to sit my ass in some sand and my toes in some salt water and to drink margaritas and engorge on seafood…president donald trump, president trump, president the donald…maybe that island in canada isn’t a bad idea…except for winters, canadian winters, oh my god i hate winter so much will it never end…
From 11:30 pm-2:30 am last night, THESE are the kinds of things that run through my mind, exactly what goes through it.
This morning, when I woke up at 6:45, I started ruminating and brooding again. Then I saw THIS interview with Jennifer Garner. She had at me “it’s been a year of wine.” And then I started reading some of more of her thoughts, and I realized: I am not alone. This is okay. A lot of people go through hard, scary, rough times and they are okay. It is okay to change. It is okay to adapt. It is okay to be alone and be a single mom. It is okay to not be okay. It is okay to drink a lot of wine. For a whole year. (Or maybe five, in my case.)
You know what I did after reading that interview? (NO, I did NOT have a glass of wine.) I grabbed a towel and a bottle of water and walked me and my girl over to the complex’s fitness room and got on the treadmill. For 25 minutes. Just fast walking. I am out of shape in ways that are indescribable. But I got my heart rate up, I broke a sweat, and (most important) I got out of the apartment. I find when I don’t stay inside all day I am happier. I am a person who needs to go out into the world, to be outdoors, not sitting on a sofa all day long watching TV or looking at a computer screen. So thank you, Jennifer Garner, for motivating me to do that. (And I agree: the Phoenix rising tattoo is a cry for help, and you are not ashes.)
Miss M has a birthday party this afternoon. The mom of the kid having the party is taking her AND bringing her back to me. I get to go grocery shopping alone! I get to come back and do some cleaning! I can watch more of Breaking Bad! I can read! I can write! Alone! ON A SATURDAY.
It is heady.
First, I made sure the mom is okay carting all these giggly girls back and forth (in addition to M, she’s taking/dropping off another little girl) – I mean, she’s also running the party and all that. She was just fine, she said. Then, I lavished her with thanks and love and praise for her Super Momming generosity. And to that she said, “Oh, well you know, us moms need to help each other out.”
Which, I feel, is EXACTLY something Jennifer Garner would say, too. And so now I’m in love with TWO women, in addition to all the other women I love deeply. And my heart is big enough for more women, and men too. I have so much love inside of me I’m dying to hand out freely to people, it’s insane. Some days, I would like to make passionate love to the entire planet. But I’m also terrified of doing this with the wrong people, giving my love to people who will abuse it or take advantage of it or become weird and creepy about it, and that (I think) is where the yellow brick road of my all my WTF IS WRONG WITH ME THESE DAYS?!?! angst begins.
At any rate, I will reciprocate with play dates for my new love so she can have some free time to herself, and I will invite her to share bottles of wine with me (I hope this mom likes wine. Oh my god, Internet, if this mom likes wine, she and I are SO going to be BFFs).
Also, and finally, I am going to get on the treadmill tomorrow morning, too. My body wasn’t happy, but my Mental State was super happy about that after we finished. And after I hit publish on this piece, I am going over to Fresh Market to buy fruits and vegetables and healthy, ready-made-meals. Because I don’t cook, I’m too tired. And I’m going to have wine with my Fresh Market finds tonight, because that’s what Jennifer Garner would do. And if Ben Affleck were with us, we’d make a lot of jokes in front of him about ashes.