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.