Friday, March 30, 2012

From Friday

1. Today was the last day of petsitting--I've been taking care of a litter of black lab puppies on weekdays since January, and the last will be sold this weekend. I'll be glad to have my afternoons back, but I'm a little sad to see her go.

2. Here is what I'd write about inchworms if I felt affection for them, rather than revulsion at their mission and massive numbers: I would say something like, everywhere I walk, the air is filled with shining threads of light, strung gently to and fro from tree to car to fence to jungle gym, to the tiny t-shirt of a small boy in my P.E. class on Tuesday.

Also if I liked them I probably wouldn't throw them out the window of moving cars.

But since I do not feel affection for them, and instead feel revulsion, here is what I'll write instead: the fucking things are everywhere. It's like a damn plague of inchworms, and their sticky little threads crisscross everywhere, all over the place, across the driveway, across the doorway, across the playground at work. When I get in my car, if I've left the windows cracked to prevent a little solar oven from forming, there will be an inchworm dangling inside my window. GO AWAY. And if one more child at work comes up to me talking about how great the damn things are or how he can't find any and Jackie won't give him the one she found, it is possible that I will freak out.

3. Today, while I was driving the bus toward an area elementary school, I suddenly realized that I was happy.  Happy. That I had a job and a boyfriend and this new phone, so many friends, this great kindle thing...I'm making it sound like a shallow happiness, and maybe it is in some way, but I don't really think so. It isn't like everything is perfect, or like I have everything I want, or whatever. It's more like, for the moment, I was satisfied. What I had, what I have, was enough. And increasingly often, it is enough. And that is the kind of person I want to be. And the kind of person I've wanted to be for so, so long.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Giving 110%. ish.

So I'm all smug as shit because I just finished putting up a bulletin board, like I'm supposed to do every month (this is the second that I've done since I started in January). It's decent but not even that awesome...but after I put away the stapler and stuff I was dripping swagger on my way back through the library. I was all like BRUSH



Also... my old phone has been breaking, and my new one just showed up in the mail, so excuse me while I go and, as the package says, "master my device."

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I really need to stop doing this to myself.

It's incredible how much fatigue and illness (even such slight illness as I have at the moment--which, by the way, was caused by fatigue) can affect things. How much they can drag everything down. I need to go to bed.

Monday, March 19, 2012

I ought to be in bed

But Chloe is home. My beautiful baby sister, who turns twenty in just over two months. I'm not sure how that happened. Neither of us is really okay with it.

But yesterday I was so worried that she might not be able to come that I made Ian sit and listen to the whole saga of her transportation attempts on our way home from the beach. (By the way, we went to the beach with his friends.) And today when came home from work and saw her I danced over and hugged her and she started laughing, because I looked so happy. We eventually took Miley for a walk, and when we got to the creek at the bottom of our hill, we stopped to listen to the water and the peeping frogs, and then we sat, and then we lay in the dirt and looked up through the trees and the stars, and she took and held my hand in silence, and I was so grateful for the place and the moment and for time with my sister that I wept a little, in silence.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I would like to take a moment to complain.

I'm leaving for the beach after work tomorrow, and, as I will be working from 7am to 7pm,* I will have exactly zero time tomorrow to pack or shower or nap, or eat for that matter, so these things need to happen tonight. And I LIKE TOTALLY do not feel like doing anything at all except reading for a few hours and then going to sleep and then sleeping in WAY past 6:15. And then just teleporting to the beach, rather than hanging out in a car for four hours or so.

*Okay, maybe 6:45. 6:40 if I'm really lucky.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Perhaps it is silly and ill-advised to begin everything I write about the workings of my mind under the assumption that it won't make sense to everyone. Maybe my mind is much like most other people's. Or maybe, even if that is the case, the assumption of misunderstanding helps me to write more clearly. I don't know. I don't know what it was that I had been planning to write about when I thought the above, as I started up my car to come home from tutoring. It needs an oil change. And some stop leak.

Something I was thinking of earlier, though (today? yesterday?) was that when it comes to my having to interact with the emotions of others, I feel like a bull in a china shop. I do. It's fine with me for you to feel whatever way, and I can celebrate with you or hold and comfort you or commiserate, or listen. I have no problem with any of those things. But if I am in some way actually involved in your emotional whatever, I get uncomfortable. And if, God forbid, any part of your emotional well-being is affected in any real way by the state of my emotions, then, though I may hide it fairly well, I'm probably losing my shit over here. So that's been the case somewhat often lately.

I've remembered what I was thinking before, I think. It was about outlook, and attitude I guess. Or about the way depression works. I'm not really depressed, but I am getting my emotions tangled with another person's, lately, and also I am exhausted and also I am sick, and those together can roughly amount to depression if I am not careful about keeping them contained, controlled, and brief.

My life is pretty good right now. I have a job, I have a sweet, sarcastic, funny, and attentive boyfriend, I have great friends and a good support network, I have trips coming up that I'm looking forward to, and soon I'll be moving in with my best friend. But still, on days like today, during weeks like this, everything is dampened by a smoggy haze of negativity and frustration. It's not that the haze can't be broken--today, on the way to tutoring, a man rode past on his motorcycle, and the sound made me grin like a fool, because that motor noise sounds like the beach, and childhood happiness to me--but thirty seconds later my mouth was a thin line again, my eyes were grainy again, and I stared with mild annoyance at the road ahead. On hazy, smoggy days, the film will always seep back and fill the cracks and holes. That's why I felt so blessed yesterday and Monday when I woke up unhappy and phlegmy and hating the world, and, following some brief, silent prayers for assistance, somehow managed to find a way through into a lighter place.

And on light-filled days, metaphorically speaking, almost nothing can stop it. Working ten hours? No problem. Nothing good to eat? No big deal. Pouring down rain? I love rain. What a gorgeous day this is!

I was thinking yesterday about how careful I tend to be about my attitude, and I started to wonder why other people aren't similarly attentive. And then I realized that it's probably because most of them can afford not to be, and the others don't know how to do it. A bad attitude is a trap. There's no two ways about it. A poor outlook is a trap, and the deeper you get, the harder it is to get free. And the more you spread it, the greater the number of people you can pull down with you. I can't allow myself to do that for long. Unless I want to find myself back where I've been before, where I was for so many years, I can't allow myself to wallow in fatigue or anger or frustration for any length of time. I can't allow myself to play the victim.

Of course, I can't just ignore those feelings either--I'm fairly certain that my unconscious habit of ignoring emotions as a matter of course was what got me started on the whole depressive cycle in the first place. Which, if you think about it, may loop back around and explain a little bit of the "bull in the china shop" paragraph above. I'm still working it all out. I guess I probably always will be.

In other news, I saw my first bumblebee of the year this morning. He* made me smile.

*Technically speaking, all worker bees are female. But I still think of them as hims, because I can, and I do what I want.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Look, I never said I was cool.

The other day (alright, a few weeks ago) Ian and I had dinner with my best friend and her boyfriend, and camp came up. Specifically, the fact that this new job I've got will mean that I can't work any sessions, and that I will therefore most likely be spending a lot of weekends up there. And Ian, in an attempt to be all wise and mature and winning (and maybe a little condescending), said something along the lines of, "maybe it's time to accept that the door is closing on that part of your life, and move on."

And that seems like a totally reasonable and obvious thing to say, I guess, but I was floored. I was so floored that I just keep talking about this story. I'm honestly getting a little sick of it, but I keep thinking about it every so often. Because it just doesn't work that way. I was writing about it the other day, in the van, on the back of some papers from work. Here's part of what I said:

"It is difficult to explain and a little embarrassing to admit how shocked I was. In truth I am actually sickened by the thought of 'the door closing' on Alkulana being a part of my life. How could I explain that sometimes a place, a community, an adopted family will get under your skin, and that Alkulana has seeped into my bones? I feel like Wolverine, except that instead of adamantium, my skeleton has been infused with the love of Christ." Because of camp. I love the way I do (and, considering the person I could be, I think I love rather well) because of this community.

Probably nobody cares who hasn't been there, and that's okay with me I suppose. Why should the cool silk of the creek at midnight hold any sway over you? Why should you feel warmed by the early morning sun swimming through the mist and touching down on our daily prayer circle? By the smell of campfire on all your hoodies? By the blissful quiet of rest hour or the welcome relief of a raucous late-night kitchen after staff meeting?

I can't make him, or you, understand. That's how life is. But I hope nothing ever changes the fact that when I am at my worst, when everything is unbearable and I can't find any light, I am sustained by this. It seems ridiculous. (Maybe it is ridiculous.) I know that. But those memories feed me when I am starving. I don't plan to put them away any time soon.

Friday, March 9, 2012

An epiphany in the morning

Driving home from work this morning I had the sudden realization that Ian is, I think, washing away the bitterness I hadn't even realized I still retained over all the stuff that happened with David.

I feel like major emotional crises (that breakup, for me, would fall into that category) are like landslides. Or they're massive floods of emotion that cause landslides. Everything you've worked so hard to build is washed completely away, and you're left in the valley, drowning in muck and wreckage and sewage. And then, hopefully, eventually things start to dry out, and you can finally start to climb again, to build again, to painstakingly carve stairs step by step back into the side of the mountain. And at first it's the most impossible task in the world, but it gets easier. You learn to build. You get stronger. You find a rhythm. And one day you realize that life is moving forward, and you are moving forward, and things are okay.