How to Make a Mental Leap

It’s the title I’m putting on this post and I don’t know how to do it, but maybe if I assert that I already do know, I’ll figure it out.

I know that I have to suddenly become prepossessing.  I have to be able to be in charge.  I can’t dither, or dally, or leave a comma where it need not be.  I have to move mountains and light years and I’ve been given the direction that I should really have already pulled Fuji a few feet to the left.  Bare minimum.

I know this and I know I do not know how to do it.  I have been given kindly words by kind souls who believe or purport to believe in my skills, but I don’t know that those skills actually exist.  Maybe all of the lead-up to being in this job has been some sort of fever dream and I am awoke, ass on the pavement, blinking myself awake as though I’ve just been born.

What I thought was simple is not simple.  What I think is complex is meant to be the mental calculation of a moment.  It is humbling.

So I sat in a room and described how I felt I could do things better and one of those things is improving my connection to this level of work by improving my wardrobe and getting my hair cut.  I said I would do that, so I trotted out and spent a lot of money to have hair I like (though not the sort of hair that were I financially free I would choose.) Tomorrow, because the places I went today seemed to have inadequate quality fabric (though the sort of things I’d be perfectly happy to wear were I not shopping to look like I wanted to be employed where I am currently employed), we will go out into the world and buy something that upgrades some bit of old awful that I used to wear.

In the middle of this, J. is drifting in and out of consciousness on the phone with me as I encourage him to both sleep and eat at the same time because he hasn’t been doing either in a consistent way.  And he sounds pitiful and endearing and maybe a few hours earlier he’d told me I was beautiful so I think this is a good time to ask him to Thanksgiving.

I’d been thinking about this a while, but I still couched it in tentative terms.  Like, I know it’s forever away, and it’s so unlikely and dumb, but I wanted you to know that…like, the holidays are awful and hard and I don’t even know on the getting…but you’re invited to Thanksgiving.

An immediate thank you returns my volley.  An immediate “But I have to work the day after Thanksgiving.”  I say oh, okay.  There’s a few more encouraging blurts before I hang up the phone to go find the confident clothes that are going to transform my life.

I end up finding nothing.

The Blindfolded Heroine

“She’s always blindfolded, otherwise she wouldn’t do anything.”

Integrity.

A day where I realize the new deep.  I knew this realization was coming.  The actual gasping sense of realizing you are in way over your head and you do not know how to begin to survive.

I have a plan.  I have a plan I have asserted I will do.  To survive.  I’ve smiled and earnestly said yes, oh boy oh boy oh boy, I’ll work so hard for you.  And I’ve meant every oh and every boy.  But part of the plan is me figuring out how to let myself shift into an adult mode.  Into knowing, oh, no, that’s not acceptable when someone suggests a change or states a fact.  Into being the gatekeeper.  Into doing exactly what it is they’ve hired me to do.

One must sink or one must swim.  I always thought if I just lay still, I could just float, safely on my own, but there’s been enough of a breeze these days that my tiny allotment of clever inflatables is no match and, bam, I keep hitting the wall.

And that wouldn’t be so bad, except these fancy, high-tech walls are equipped with klaxons that ring like Operation anytime you fuck-up or are adjacent to any sort of fuck-up-yet-to-be.  And that wouldn’t be so bad except you ring the bell, word gets around.  Word gets around fast, if people aren’t already with their glasses at the tip of their nose, watching you.

I got asked today what was going well and was hard-pressed to think of anything, as I was so aware of the bad feedback and needing to correct it.  So desirous to be perfect, gleaming.  Spotless.  And it used to be that my perfectionism was painful because it existed outside of reality – it was my own standards I couldn’t meet.  Now, it’s everybody else’s.

So I need to focus.  Take time and figure this out.  Get my hair cut and look more professional (I suggested this, but was not dissuaded from my view.)   Be willing to spend some portion of Sunday working and picking nits.  I have to lay down on the paperwork and let myself find the rhythm of it.  I have to build flash cards and flow charts and checklists and make notes to staple to my forehead and in the midst of all of that…

I realize how much of me is taken up with other things, other desires, to be writing, often, or to be connecting with J. is another,  or thinking about something to share with my friends, or just to be laying somewhere just not-ting for a while. and how I thought I had all of those curious, distracting thoughts locked down.  That I was working hard at work.  But there’s a lot of needing to not push through and instead, feel the soft touch of one of these kind places and I don’t know how to cut that cold turkey because it’s kind of where my soul is.

But like it or not – and I don’t – something’s got to be done.

The Whirling Fan

Don’t waste my magical writing time with nonsense.  Go to work.

It was a terrible day.  I screwed everything up. I forgot everything.  All my training evaded me.  All my plans fell to shit.  I got yelled at (or the disappointed, I told you, don’t do it again conversation with sternness enough that I am still quite quivery about the whole ordeal) and I am, ultimately, alone.

I mean, I have someone, but I can’t figure out how if this is the sort of having you have with someone who just happens to be taking the same bus you are.  A conversation that intimates nothing.  I want to know, to ask some authority, is this working or not working – what is real and what is just linguistic jiu-jitsu?  And are we all that safe either way?

Instead, I do what I do when I don’t know what to do.  I go and see my mother.  We don’t really talk about the events of the day because as soon as I come in the door after letting her know I needed to come for dinner because it had been a hard day and I had nothing really low-carb to eat, she says You Need to Be More Prepared!  And I won’t argue with the sentiment, because it’s true even if I find myself quite unable to knuckle down and open a laptop after a 10 hour day and face even one email with a questionably aggressive tone.  And they all feel a little bit aggressive these days.  Oh, gosh, it is just the wrong thing to say to a person after a day like this.

My mother.  I will not complain about her, but report this happening with more of a wry attitude rather than one of the usual frustration.   So of course, after feeding me the chicken and green chile and some jello with a heap of whipped cream and giving me her last two shakes in the whole of the world, she begins the quiz.

How long has it been for the diet?  How much weight so far? My answers: a week, and four pounds, six if you go back a bit, are satisfactory.  She gives me the rundown of how to do low-carb for the ninety-thousandth time.   This is not so much wry, is it?  I watch the news with her as we contemplate political eventualities.  I say I have to go.

She has no interest in J.  I have to bring him up if there’s to be any discussion and the discussion is more me venting about the surreal and frustrating nature of the thing.  She is both suspicious and entirely nonplussed.  Who he is and what he wants with me are of no import.  She’ll wait for me to sigh and offer something up, otherwise, it is entirely illegitimate and hell, she may be right.

Still, I leave, and the last thing I hear as I cross the threshold is “You’re getting your waist back again!”

Sigh.  I don’t know.

no tear

The big note of the day: I have worked myself so to the bone, listening, worrying and straining to do my job.  Barely taking time to eat anything.  This, however, did not mean that today was the single best day to order a pizza.

Somehow, I avoided the trap.   And ended up eating other, imperfect, but bonafide low carb.

Yesterday was lovely, for multiple reasons, not the least of which was getting to see MST3K Live.  Twas marvelous.  Simply marvelous.  Loud, but fun and silly and weird and just enough out there to suit what it is and never let it feel too schlocky.

 

 

CLV

It’s day 3 of low-carb. If one believes scales, and I have yet to be convinced, four pounds are gone.  That doesn’t seem right, but sure.  Maybe?  Why not.

Roll on, Day 4.

It is hard.  In the darkness, to sit with these sparklers burning down in the back of my brain.  Adorable.  There’s that word again.  That off the cuff assertion after I say something or am earnest or am in some way undetectable to my, whatever’s going on in your mind, it boils hard enough for that to spill out of your lips.  I hear it and something just runs over the cilia in my mind, this waveform that moves from end to end, right through me and says…you, he means you. Even if I doubt that if he knew me properly he would say such a thing, he said it knowing something more than nothing.  It is a compelling force – the sense of someone else’s attraction.  It is very hard to ignore and set aside.

Not that I am advocating setting it aside – I just don’t know how long this lasts, or what this stage means.  It’s like, briefly, sort of, it was at the start.  This…I don’t want to hang up from you feeling at the end of a call.  A feeling you commented on tonight.  I don’t know how to do this with you being so fully vested in…youness.  A singular person.  Not a field of possibilities.  A choice I can make that will change my life because it involves someone else’s life.  It’s stronger than just another thought floating by in my head.

A woman at work who has become something of an office sort of friend asks about you.  About this saga of online relationships and I’ve given up trying to explain or justify because I will make some assertion as to the tangibility of what we are and the slow, even breathing will become just silence and the compliments just stray interjections that any person of female persuasion would collect from you were they to chat on the phone.

I don’t believe that either, but what can I do that doesn’t feel like a demand that would destroy all of this with words.

I want to say, if there’s a thing I could be doing…a way I could be being…something that would make all of this come together for the both of us…just tell me what it is.  I would do it.  I would go there.  I would make it happen.

But the problem is neither of us know.   There’s movies and stories and magazine articles that make suggestions – but we’re none of us precisely cut from a mold.

Watching Princess Shaw on POV.  Feeling so impressed by her and her drive.  Her willingness to just struggle forward. Curious and hopeful to see how it winds up.  A life touched by someone else after so many years of carrying on and wanting just to be seen.  There’s a lot to get out of it. Persistence.  Persisting.

Pink in Eureka

Certain forms of hysteria have taken hold.  Perhaps because I made the step to get the blog running in some sort of functional form, I have begun to think I am smart about certain things.  This is not the case.

This is day two of going low-carb.  Low-carb = traditional Atkins, 20 carbs or so for the first two weeks, then, we evaluate how shit is going.  I feel better in a lot of ways already.  The scale, as ever, is fucking with me, but it says I lost 3 pounds (yes, we can hear the yelling of WATER WEIGHT from here) overnight.  I don’t know…I do know that it mattered to me to just start this.  To just do it so here I am.  Having had more vegetables today than I’ve had in eons.  More water.    And less food overall.

I still feel weird and tired (again, the shouting of transitioning and detoxing groggery can be heard for miles) and I have done bare minimums in terms of exercise.  But I did do it.  I did do it with nary a complaint.  I will do it again tomorrow.

I keep thinking about what I want.  That is one thing that my new job has really helped with.  The courses I’ve taken have impressed upon me that I need a plan and I need to work the plan. Goal setting and moving in slow, steady steps towards the future.  That you can actually say I want this big, overblown, challenging result and if you mete it out into little, manageable daily contributions, it would happen.   That’s the issue and that’s why I’ve spent so much time avoiding finishing any of these little, manageable steps.  So that I don’t end up somewhere I don’t want to be.

I’ve done this instead of deciding where I want to be and working really hard to make that happen.

I don’t know if I’ll write this way all the time, but I like that this all has just started and it isn’t January 1 and it isn’t a Monday (not yet).  It’s not a perfect takeoff (I don’t imagine I could even recognize it if it was), but it’s like how with every paycheck, I’m adding to savings, already it feels significant.  If I continue on, the possibility continues on.  If I keep clapping, Tink still glows.

So.  What I want is to be with him.  Not…necessarily in terms of trying to have a partnership on a level that demands that one of us move to where the other one lives, though that doesn’t faze me as it once did, but I want a weekend. I want a day of shared space.  Of mutual presence.  Of figuring out if the shit in my head is anything more than shit in my head.   Not putting carts before horses.  But this, all of this, tells me, I gotta keep on this diet on track if this is really what I want.  And I keep testing it and realizing that it is.

 

 

 

 

 

The Lust Ratio

I have had a good start thus far.  I have nearly drunk a glass of water.  I have had my shake.  I have charged my Fitbit even if it doesn’t seem to be noticing every step I take.  I have been able to have a moment of consideration about things I have otherwise felt too harried to contemplate.  These include this blog.

Obviously, for those rare few of you who have visited this page before, you will be noticing a difference.  I made, not an abrupt decision, but an abrupt pulling of the trigger on something I’ve been considering for a while and upgraded this blog.  The upgrade on WordPress doesn’t really move me into some new echelon of blogging elite, it just takes care of a few things I found irritating.  The ads, for starters, which definitely screams quality and kind of upset the layout, more space so if I wanted to add another three or four years worth of pictures I could. (I don’t – but I would like to have some pictures sometime, so you’ll see those.)  It also comes with a domain name and because someone out there owns lustrata.com, I’ve had to improvise to make use of this spectacular offer.

So now, if you wanted to get to my website…you could go to thelustratio.com.  Which is, I feel the need to clarify, not The Lust Ratio.   That sounds like some sort of shitty dating principles, self-help, possibly terrible and upsetting nonsense book that would get famous for a hot minute and then become a joke for the next fifty years. No. It’s the lustratio, the Roman purification ritual upon which this blog was founded.

Conceptually.  I haven’t slaughted a pig of late.  Nor a ram.  Nor a bull.  It is just the idea of getting yourself back in good graces.  Of suffering in order to make that happen.  Of ritual being the bridge between what was and what is desired to be.   That’s what we’ve drove around the dunes of in this blog for the past eightish years?  We.  I.  Just me.  Just me just struggling with myself.  My weight.  My relationships.  My organizational skills.  My ability to hack it at my job.  My life.  Not that we have to take it wholly as a good thing.  Sometimes an obsession with lustratio is tantamount to a refusal to live the time you have, a desire to just lay yourself on the reset button and flutter every few seconds back to square one.  Not so healthy.

We have to review ourselves in these five hundred words of daily reflection, not just the things that have happened.

I will update the about me so that if new people come here, they will understand what has been happening – and not happening – but it is nice to feel like everything isn’t so partitioned anymore.  There’s a lot of content.  Not much of it useful or readable or whatever, but ca existe!

Also, he was present and kind today.  That helps.

It just feels like a bit of a breath of life.  A moment of positivity.