living out loud

meditation in a pill.

from the program guide to my friend’s wedding…it’s a secret message of love, a blessing.

Y’all. I have to monitor a hallway for the next 4 mornings for a standardized test. Not complaining – I’m basically being paid to sit…make kids be quiet, give teachers bathroom breaks, watch classes when they finish so teachers can return tests and get some chocolate. This is the best job for someone who likes to do a lot of thinking for a couple of hours. Tomorrow I’m going to work on some poetry.

Meanwhile I get hugs from kids from classes not taking the test who’ve randomly left class to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. I love these little people a heck of a lot and I’m getting to do some thinking. I’m so good at that: love and thoughts. An experienced, highly skilled Love Thinker. Where is THAT career? I’d be so awesome at it. I could train others, maybe get my doctorate…become a professor at a liberal arts college. I’d wear flowing, silk dresses with matching infinity scarves, and my classroom would smell of patchouli and nag champa, with Buddhas and soft rugs and pillows instead of desks and chairs. We’d start each class with volunteers sharing a love poem or sonnet that spoke to their hearts. We’d share stories of love and loss and hope and mourning. And sometimes we’d just write. And go out for drinks after class.

I started my chill pill Monday night. I don’t know if it’s working or not, or if it’s just me THINKING it’s working but I am soooo over a lot of things, dearest Internet. I still feel things and I still have thoughts (lots and lots and LOTS of thoughts), but it’s more like I just notice a feeling or thought, consider whether or not I really need to feel that feel or think a lot about that thought deeply or not, and so far the answer has usually been: nope. And so I move on to something else. To bed, usually. This crap’s making me sleepy.

I went to a Jewish-Hindu wedding this past weekend. It was lovely. I think the thing I loved the most about it was the spirituality of the both ceremonies. These are two ancient religions that have been doing things this way since before…since before the Before. I will note that if you get married as a Hindu, they really make sure you know: YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED. That part of the ceremony lasted like an hour and a half, and I was told they cut out like DAYS of it…Hindu weddings last for days. The Jewish part involved drinking wine, signing a holy contract, and breaking glass. Both ceremonies had a binding part, where the couple’s hands were wrapped together. I’m not going to get married again, but I loved the honoring of ancient spirituality. Fascinating.


I’m telling you about this because my very spiritually grounded friend Carol, who is one of my heroes and heart of my friendship heart, who doesn’t know this but it is the truth: she has probably been one of my soul’s teachers since I met her in 1998…she attended the wedding as well. And as we sat waiting to go to the reception, I told her about my recent heartbreak, about how I didn’t realize until a man said good-bye to me that I had these feelings and that my heart hurt. And that he’d asked to stay friendly, and I didn’t know…I didn’t know. And so we sat and talked and she reminded me about how we’re all teachers for each other, that we’re brought the very people we need at just the time/s we need them. That every single interaction with every single person we ever meet, in any way, is exactly as it should be, the way it should be. And that she – an extreme Pisces just like me – knows exactly where I’m at, that she struggles too with her own issues, one of which is being too judgmental. She said probably we’re both very judgmental, of others and ourselves, and we’re most likely judgmental of others because we’re so judgmental of ourselves. And so we both need to stop beating up on ourselves so much, and this will help us accept people more as they are, where they are. That we’ll be able to hear another person’s heart better, and know the right things to say and do. That until then, we just do our best.

Then she said I should think about meditation. I should get myself a little table, and find a little spot in my apartment, and I should put candles and little talismans and pictures and statues and whatever other things bring me a feeling of love and peace, and every so often I should sit in the quiet of my home in front of this little table and just…BE.

This is kind of what these chill pills the doctor gave me feel like: daily meditations. I notice thoughts/feelings, I haven’t really gotten over my sadnesses, but right now I’m just BEING. I’m not doing anything. Beyond writing about it. Really.

I also find I’m less anxious about talking to people- online and off. Usually I really really think before I say anything. Now? Don’t care what you think about me – whatevs. Yesterday I looked like crap at the end of the day…posted a vlog about where I’m at emotionally, didn’t care. I looked rode hard and put up wet, and that was just fine. Juuuussst fine.

So I’m just self-monitoring me right now. Trying to see if it’s a placebo thing – I think this is what I should feel like so I’m feeling this way – or this is what’s supposed to happen as soon as it’s in you. (It’s generic Lexapro, for those wondering. I don’t really want to promote Big Pharma here, but I decided to go ahead and put that out there in case someone else struggling with anxiety and stress is curious. Keep reading; I’m sure I’ll write some more about the experience with it as time goes on.)

I think the real test will be when someone does something completely effed up at work, like I get a bad evaluation or  Nathan Deal’s latest idea goes through (his big idea: find out who all the teachers are who’ve joined the professional association here…so he can either tax the crap out of us for doing that, or basically say: NO MORE PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS. They’re too union-y.) (Nathan Deal is pissing me the hell off, by the way…what an ass clown. Bet he’s voting for Trump. And yet you know what? I just felt that pissed off feeling…and then went: oh, fuck you, Nathan. One day you’ll be dead and I’ll be dead and none of this will even matter. Ohmmmm.) Or the holidays, specifically Christmas. Christmas is always, ALWAYS a doozy for me. If I can get through Christmas all chill and laid back…this shit is GOOD, y’all.

So I dunno. We’ll see. I do know the pill’s helping with Miss M. She can yell at me and I just laugh and laugh. Which stresses her out. Right now, she’s completely obsessed with the fact her one of her nostrils is congested while the other is fine. And she keeps rubbing Baby Vick’s menthol salve all over her chest, in a really really OCD kind of way. I may need to see if they make a kid’s version of this. And I may suggest C look into it, because I really think part of his problem is too much overthinking. I mean, yesterday he gave me an itinerary for the next week (M’s birthday is Sunday, and Friday through Monday is going to hectic). We are not married anymore. Legally, yes, we are. But in practice, we are not, and by 2017 we won’t be legally married. And I bet I will still receive itineraries, because this is how he does Life. The only way he knows to feel a sense of control of things – to know who/what/when/where/why, down to the very exact, precise seconds of whatever thing/s we are doing. Bless him. Bless him and his overscheduled, over-itineraried heart. I can’t live with it anymore, ever again, but we’re co-parenting LIKE A BOSS. I do believe the schedules help. Someone needs to know when Christmas is (that’s actually not a joke – I’d forget…and then all hell would break loose and I’d be a stressed out ball of wax, as my sister in law would say).

The entire last half of that paragraph was the chill pill talking. Soooo chill, y’all. Mellow like yellow. I’m going to start wearing bell bottoms, tie dye shirts, round John Lennon glasses, and sing Imagine, wherever I go.