She can be cold and she can make you sweat one hell of an existential sweat, but she will come through at the right time with the right hook to keep you turning the page.
Equal parts acid bath and warm, honeysuckle-smelling hug. You never know what you might get and if you’re lucky or unlucky you might get a dose of both in the same breath.
It’s not for everyone, I know.
Sorry. I’ve already called the wahmbulance and they told me to buck up and stop wasting taxpayer money.
I’m happy to have so many people to love that I feel stretched thin. It’s not a bad problem to have, in any way.
I spent a lot of time this year working on a project that more or less fizzled out when I realized it was not going to make it. It was one of those projects that took over everything in my head, one where I thought, “Yeah, this is the one. This is going to change everything.” And then it’s not the one and it doesn’t change everything, and that’s okay. It stings a little to have to take my lumps and move on, and it means I lost a lot of months to a thought process that ended up not getting me where I thought I needed to be, but that’s how life works and that’s how we big-brained monkeys learn and it’s evolution, baby. I learned things and I think I’m better for it in several ways, although I’m still not where I want to be and I’ve got a lot more grey hairs sprouting like tiny fireworks from my scalp than I did this time last year. (I stood in front of the mirror the other day and tried to pluck the ones I could see, and then I found a patch, a whole village of them, living together, and had to stop plucking or risk a bald spot. That is a corner turned.)
In some ways I feel ancient and world-weary and in other ways I feel like I have another life that’s incubating just below the surface and waiting to hatch when conditions are perfect. I’ve been super productive for a few weeks now, with little bursts of creativity here and there that have surprised and delighted me. I’m also quite exhausted and, in strong lighting, I look like a nightmare. I should get more sleep and drink more water. But there aren’t enough hours, are there?
In a couple of weeks I will turn 32, which is an age that is respectable and boring. I feel 32 in every possible way. I’m not complaining, necessarily.
I’m going to dive right in to something I’ve been contemplating writing about for a long time but haven’t had the courage. Because it’s embarrassing and gross. And I tend to only want to write about embarrassing, gross things in past tense with a dollop of self-deprecating humor once I’ve safely moved on.
But this is a present-tense thing I’m struggling with and it’s not over yet. I know some others caught in this cycle too and they know the cyclical frustration and ecstasy involved in it.
I’m a skin picker. Have been all my life. Lately it’s worse than ever and I’ve finally had that moment where I’ve decided that I have to fix it, have to do whatever it takes to stop, because it’s spiraling and it’s stressful, and I know it’s indicative of a deeper problem.
I’m putting this after a jump because I think it might get long. And gross.
I stayed home from work today. Blame it on not getting home from work until 1 a.m. and then being up half the remaining night with an angry stomach. I have powered through days on three hours of sleep more times than I care to recount but today it was not happening. I fed my baby breakfast and kept him away from sharks and live wires until naptime, and then I went back to bed. Sadly I did not get to sneak in another nap the entire rest of the day, but sick days are not the same once you’re 31 and have a kid.
I spent the day wrangling Holden and counseling him on how much more effective words would be than the VERY LOUD whine-grunt he uses to lodge complaints. The sound seriously plucks at something deep and reptilian within me that makes me want to smash things. But in positive language developments, he now says “I love you!” fairly enthusiastically when prompted, thanks to that crazy dog I complained about. He can also locate the dog’s heart when asked. Touché, dog. You taught my kid how to love. Sorry I complained that you were too happy, yeesh.
To be honest, I am only blogging at this late hour because I’m procrastinating going downstairs and going to bed. That is how tired I am. My exhaustion and my laziness are doing battle and you, dear reader, are the real winner here.
What else can I type-blab about?
Oh, we saw a groundhog across the street the other day. Is it THE groundhog?! I don’t know. It never came close enough for me to play nature tracker* to compare and contrast its traits with the photo I have. Obviously, it’s likely that there was more than one groundhog living around here, so even if one of them was hurt or killed, there could be others. But we have decided, officially, to believe that this is the groundhog one of our neighbors tried to murder, and that he fought off death valiantly, and that he is going to eat the shit out of some garden veggies for revenge.
* kudos to you parents who got the Dinosaur Train reference. Pteam Pteranodon 4 LYFE!
My mind is this great humming butter churn of a thing, moving unformed chunks of ideas around slowly and with great struggle.
I have nothing to write about. It is driving me fucking bonkers. I have been sitting here staring at this screen, trying to make it happen, trying to remember something, anything, worth sharing and I have nothing. Everything is extremely mundane. I can’t just write about my kid all the time, cool as he is. I can’t write about work, insane as it is. That’s it, though. I don’t have anything else. I’m not overly happy or overly sad about anything. I just continue to have absolutely nothing to fucking talk about and I think it’s time to pronounce the blog dead because maybe then I will get my mojo back.
I can’t keep writing about not writing.
OK. Now that I got that out of my system, I am just going to write. Some stream-of-consciousness shit helps unclog the mind, doesn’t it? I swear I think I have done this before here and yes I did just search my archives for an example and I came up short.
You are going to think this is ridiculous but I just made myself cry up there, when I decided to consider killing the blog. I’m not even PMSing. I am that emotionally constipated and frustrated. This thing that is mine that used to give me such joy is such a point of stress now. Self-imposed, completely stupid stress! No one cares! Once Google Reader is dead, there might be four people who ever remember to come by here and they know how fucking crazy I am anyway and don’t expect anything from me!
I’m, like, three months behind on Holden’s month-by-month posts. I feel a ridiculous amount of guilt about that, which is sort of making me feel like I shouldn’t write about anything else until I get those out of the way. Stupid.
Is it living in Nashville that has sapped me? Because crazy shit used to happen to me and around me all the time in Memphis. Nothing happens here except sometimes I get irrationally angry at a song Pandora will play. I don’t ever see or interact with people except for the ones I live with or the ones I work with, and all those people are off limits from my (public) online smartassery. I want to tell stories about all you delightful weirdos, dammit! Middle management has taken that from me.
I was thinking earlier about how I have been a middle manager at heart my whole life. How I always wanted to do roll call at school and take names when the teacher left the room. I always wanted to please the authority figures in life so they would know that secretly, despite my age, I was one of them. This explains why I never snuck out of the house or blew curfew without calling my parents and letting them know I’d be a smidge late.
Being a manager, though, has been an interesting trip. I have always always always been nonconfrontational and uncomfortable with delivering bad news or having to provide discipline or critique. It’s the people pleaser in me who is crippled by the thought of hurting someone’s feelings or saying something that will make them like me less. Learning to be OK with people not liking me has been a lifelong struggle, even though I am POSITIVE that there have been plenty of people throughout my life who haven’t liked me. Because, as I discover every few years or so, I am a serious asshole sometimes.
So now I kind of have to get right with that asshole part of me and harness it for good. Harness it to keep people honest, to foster productivity, to pressure people to stay on track. Use it to provide a push but not too hard.
WHY AM I WRITING ABOUT WORK? OH MY GOD, NO ONE CARES.
Work is my life right now. I think about it almost obsessively. How can I be better, do better, cultivate better results?
Is it because I think I’m a terrible mother? Or do I think I’m a terrible mother because I am so focused on my career?
Ew, those feelings are sticky. Best not touch them.
Put $40 in pocket. Ugh, these pants look terrible. Change stupid pants. Go to work. Put $5 dinner on credit card. Never find $40 again.
I used to have the urge to write all the time, just to indulge those itchy fingers and get those mundane thoughts out into the ether, get them out of me. Now I spend a lot of time thinking about sitting down to write something and then thinking about what I would write and getting SO FUCKING BORED with myself. I have nothing to add to the conversation at large. I never did, probably, but I used to do it anyway because that’s what you did on the internet seven years ago.
It’s annoying. I’m mad at my muse; she is off somewhere without me and I always get this way when I feel abandoned.