gut instinct in a vortex.

olwenFrequently heard from Miss M:

“JEEZ! Everybody hates me!” (tonight this was because I told her she wasn’t allowed to have 2 lbs of cheese on her taco.)

“Well, GOD! This is why I have no LIFE!” (tonight this was because she has to have her hair fixed for gymnastics pictures tomorrow.)

“GRRRRR!! I’m just going to DIE! In my ROOM!” (tonight this was because I told her the only thing we had for dessert were fresh cherries.)

In other Miss M-related news, she is banned from my phone (AGAIN). My Instagram is private because of her need to put bizarre pictures and videos on it, so the deal is no bizarre pictures or videos without prior approval. What she’s been doing is getting permission for one picture, then sneaking in another or a randomly bizarre video. These are completely cute and innocent; the point is: Follow Directions. Is it hard to follow directions? I don’t have a hard time following directions. I’m a great directions follower. Miss M will never ever make her acting debut in Hollywood if she cannot follow directions. Everyone knows actors who don’t take direction well end up on TMZ in embarrassing stories.

(The video that got her banned she titled People. And it consisted of her saying things like “People…climb mountains, scuba dive…but you can’t move your thumb! To text me back!” and “Why are there 7 billion people in the world? And I’m still single? Huh?? HUH????” My brother’s sage response to her: “BECAUSE YOU’RE SEVEN.” At any rate. It was cute. And totally ripped off from too much YouTuber fangirling so it stayed. But she’s grounded from the phone til the end of May.) (Kids on phones. It’s a controversy. Bill Gates doesn’t and Steve Jobs didn’t let their kids have technology, I think I heard. But it’s like sticking your kid in front of cartoons on a Saturday morning. I plunked myself in front of cartoons every Saturday morning, and I watched a LOT of TV as a kid, and I’m okay.) (Okay, fine. FINE. You’re right: no, I’m not okay. But I’m not out raping and pillaging or gun running in the black market is my point.)

I’ve been fighting this for months, but I’m going to say it. I think it’s time for drugs y’all. I can’t be worried about what other people are thinking or doing, any more. I asked the Internet (my close circle of the Internet, for example: Facebook and Twitter) what to do about my inability to stop overthinking. This is what the Internet advised:

  1. Listen to podcasts. Podcasts may distract my brain from constantly running.
  2. Exercise. (I actually agree with this and am starting to hike/run again. I felt my best when I was running. Things made sense then, and I have the T-shirt/s to to prove it.)
  3. OTC Supplements. (Which I may actually try as well, because over the counter anything is good for me, I say.)
  4. Yoga & meditation. (I would like to do yoga. I keep saying this. I feel like if I keep saying it long enough, it’ll be a real thing that actually happens.)
  5. Make a list of things in/out of my control. Figure out which things I can begin systematically working on and which I just need to let go of. (This would be the hard part for me – letting go of things. Especially when I feel wronged, duped, manipulated, or whatever.)
  6. Get off the Internet for awhile. (I do take Twitter breaks and these are always good things, no matter how long they last. Twitter is an odd place. I’ve said since I started actually using that place, I will say it til Twitter is no longer a Thing.)
  7. Alcohol. (Wine, yes.)
  8. Drugs. (Not over the counter, and legal.)
  9. Sounding board (ie, a good, trustworthy human to talk to – I have these. I will.)

So. There it is. Things I will be working on to pull my collective self together. A mental health to-do list. If it doesn’t work, I will just disappear. I will read books and drink adult beverages by my complex’s pool and pretend none of this ever happened. My friend E told me in Judaism you get to change your name for whatever phase of life you are in; at the time I picked Miriam Tikvah for reasons that are so long lost I can’t really remember now. I think I wanted strength and hope. Which I still do want. Today, I’d choose the Celtic goddess’ name Olwen, whose themes are art, creativity, and the sun. She overcame 13 obstacles to obtain her true love and so yeah. That pretty much feels about right for what I’ve been doing for so many months. Obstacle after obstacle. Hope I’m in the double digits at this point, this pretty much bites.

Can I also tell you a story from my childhood? When I was a 4th or 5th grader, I was a cheerleader for a 4th/5th grade boys’ basketball team. I remember just KNOWING the other girls on my team didn’t like me. I wasn’t as cute as them, I didn’t cheer as loud, I wasn’t an extrovert like them, and my splits weren’t as awesome. Also, I didn’t have dimples like the little blue eyed blonde girl did.

I’d go home after each practice and game and cry to my mom that they didn’t like me. And my mom kept telling me to stop being ridiculous. How did I even know that? They seemed to like me just fine, as far as she could tell. But I KNEW. I just knew. I didn’t know how I knew, I just could feel it. My mom talked to one of the other moms, who talked to her daughter, who rolled her eyes and said, “She’s fine, we don’t hate her, duh.” Or something to that effect.

Finally, my birthday rolled around and I had a party at a roller skating rink. We invited all of the girls on the cheer team. We had a great time, and they were finally warming up and nice to me. As the party came to a close, the girl who’d rolled her eyes at her mom and said I was ridiculous walked up to me and said, “Hey, I don’t know how you knew we didn’t like you, but we really didn’t. But you’re actually okay. Sorry we weren’t that nice to you.” (Later, some of these same girls would turn mean girl and bully me in middle school, but we already talked about that in a different post. Girls are vicious.)

The reason I’m telling you this story is that some times people have gut instincts about things. I am always better off when I listen to my gut instincts. It’s when I ignore them that I get all messed up. And when I ignore my gut instincts, I get messed up, and that’s when I pull back way back from what and whoever and start overthinking things. It’s also when darker forces are able to swirl inside of me, and that is just not going to work for Olwen and me. It is simply not.

So me and Olwen, we’re going to try yoga, running, wine, and drugs. And reading novels and meeting friends for lunch. I like myself better when I’m smarmy and irreverent. I do not like myself when I go all Morgan Le Fay and shape shift into this suspicious black crow of an overthinker.

In other news, I have put 7-8 year olds to work in my classroom. I have this one girl who lives to organize. I’ve never seen anything like it – my entire classroom library is pretty much fixed. And she boxed up both storage cabinets for me. And tomorrow she said she can’t wait to clean my sink area and get that all straightened out (I’m not even kidding – those were her exact words “Tomorrow, I can’t wait to clean your sink area and get that all straightened out.”) This poor child. I can only imagine the torture she’s endured being in my classroom all year, seeing the junk piles literally grow around her.

As a balance, there’s a boy whose desk I cleaned out yesterday and I found juice boxes and half eaten waffles from October in there. Glad I never sat them together.