It's been a strange summer. I think earlier, I wrote that I predict that this was going to be a great one. And undoubtedly it has been. I don't regret a minute of it. In fact there are a lot of minutes that I keep going back to and rewind and replay in my brains when I'm falling asleep at night. Most usually the times when I felt particularly brave or happy or even, if complete honesty is permitted in this space and I think it is because this is my space, sexy. Feelings have been in bounty and in plenty. I've felt thrill and loneliness and wholeness and complete disconnect. I've felt self-crushing gratitude and genuine fear. But the important thing. The exciting thing. The good thing is that I've been feeling them.
I think for the past few weeks, though, I've been in a terribly weird place. To my closest friends I've been referring to it as "my funk". I gave it a silly name and referenced it as though it was something absurd that was hanging around. Like when someone from your past visits from out of town and stays way to long and follows you every where you go. But despite the cheerfullness with which I attempted to deal with it, I'd be lying if I told you that there wasn't a little part of me that was genuinely afraid of what was happening to me. Maybe my Funk was causing permanent damage. Maybe my spirit's been overwhelmed. A big group of us went out the other night for dinner and it should have been fun and exciting and relieving to have so many friends around me after/during a particularly frustrating time in my life. And it was--it was. That was the fact. But I wasn't feeling any of it. I wasn't feeling happy to be surrounded by people who have known me so well for a long time and other people who want to get to know me--hopefully for a long time. I knew I was lucky. I knew that these people like me. I knew that I like them. I knew that I was enjoying my cheese pizza. But I felt kind of... nothing? That's when I knew something was wrong with me. I monitored myself for the next several days and realized that my feelings had been, in fact, broken. Exhausted. Like I blew a fuse. In my brain or something.
I kept thinking so many things that I couldn't make words for and then when I did have words for them, they were surely not anything that I could say out loud. So I wrote it down. Because I have to outlet. That's the only way to process it. And even though these are things that you don't say to other people lest they worry for your mental state, I'm going to share them with you:
All of the anger and stress and disappointment is sitting inside of me.
Taking up residence on my shoulders. The middle of my back. My belly.
Making me ache and creak and break and moan.
I think I used to feel somewhat graceful. Like I could move in a solidly fluid motion.
I'm jittery and jagged and jumpy, now.
It used to be my spirit and my body working together to make things happen.
Now it's just my body.
Being awake in the morning and laying down at night. Staying afloat in between.
Occasionally entertained and distracted.
How did it start and how does it keep going like this?
What's scarier than the fact that it's happening is the way that I don't even care.
Once I put it into words. Once I looked at my truth, I decided that I needed to fix it. My body hurt. My spirit was dry. My friendships were lacking. My creativity was non-existent. I am a firm believer in the unpopular idea that I'm in charge of my heart. Sometimes, though, you have to get pretty manual about digging it out. I didn't like that I didn't care that I was operating like a robot person. I knew that I was going to need to start being very intentional about being good to myself and my relationships or else I would be in serious trouble in no time and not even know how or when I got there. And I've already wasted too much time--I'm not going to wait for everything to sort itself out. It's time to get diligent.
I went to my bathroom mirror (I honestly just spelled it "meerer" and looked at it for a long time wondering what was wrong with that word. The correct answer is, of course, all of the vowels.) and I wrote:
What have I done for:
I don't have a different answer for all of those questions every single day. But this week I've done things for my body. I've been intentional about drinking tons and tons of water. Also I get two 15 minute breaks at work every day and I'm making a point to take little walk/jogs around the store for at least one of those breaks. Simply moving helps the time to go by so much faster and it's also nice to get some new scenery every now and again.
For my spirit I've been trying to pray. There's so much to say about this subject and maybe one day I'll be able to put it into words but for now there's too much confusion and maybe some heartache and probably even a little anger to be able to pin it all down and define it. But suffice it to say that even taking on an attitude of prayerfulness and peace is such a tiny victory that I can't help but celebrate it and count it as a huge win.
The most surprising thing, I've noticed, was the effect that exercising creativity has had on my mood. I bought this bulletin board a few months ago and had grand ideas for it but I hung it on my wall and started using it and never really did anything with it aside from tack recipes onto it. It's large and hangs across a large blank space in my kitchen and I wanted to make it very graphic and colorful and cheerful. I didn't feel in the mood or inspired or excited when I pulled it down and started drawing a grid onto it or even when I started applying the paint, but in hardly any time I was in another dimension. There is something so deeply satisfying about taking something in your brain and translating it into something tangible. Something tactile. Something that you can see. It's not perfect. Up close it's not really even pretty. But it's mine and it does exactly what I wanted it to do. Here it is:
The day after that, I bought a $6 box of hair dye and went to town. I'm now back to being a brilliant brunette with pale skin and bright blue eyeballs.
This post doesn't flow at all. It doesn't wrap up into something nice or anything like that. It's not even funny... But that's alright. I'm feeling good. I'm feeling so good, now.
I think what it is, is seeing change happen. When I started drawing lines on my bulletin board, I didn't know what I was going for--just that I didn't want to keep it the way that it was. Just that I wanted to make an effort and make a change and we'll see how it turned out. Just so happened it turned out well.
Just so happens that I like my hair.
Just so happens that your choices (even impulse ones) can be trusted after all.