Moonache

The bad habits.  The bad, bad, bad habits.  You give one inch to one of them and down the hill you roll with them all.

Now, I have some ice water.   It seems to be a medicine and I can think again.

Tomorrow: brunch.  And then, we have an order of groceries that does not give a centimeter to the plots of bad habits.  Back on track because failing this has been boring and bothersome.  A sugary slurp, a salty grind, a belly ache and a delirious desire to pay a ridiculous fee for the opportunity.  I feel the reasons out quick as ever as to why a woman who eats out for her meals at every opportunity might feel ill and ungainly.  I lose one wagon, but I know where I can find another one to climb upon.  The path I chose is the only one that will improve my lot.  Out, out, damned spots.  Let me have the future I desire.  Some slice of it, the parts I have my will to alter.

And I hope to find the words tomorrow.  Tell me what we are.  Tell me what you guess we are.  Tell me that this is not the most painful sort of game.  You call yourself single.  Outright.  For all the world.  While an hour later, you say, stay with me.  Just stay with me.   And I do, because where else would I go, and you hardly mean anything more than stay on the line.  Stay attached to this very long strand that clutches around my throat, the one you’ve tied to some bedroom door so that every time you enter I feel a gentle choke.

Because it can’t be real.  Me here, you there.  And as soon as I am the one who begins to believe it possible, as soon as I swear on stones that there’s some grander scheme at work, you go and say, I am single and things are hard being alone.

So I, not wishing to look a fool, say, with delicate darts to keep the truth hemmed up, pinned in, I, too, am looking for the sort of man who…the kind of man who is…the wistful dreams of my heart have yet to be requited in any mortal form and I am amongst ye, oh, walking and wakeful damned who have found your hearts cleaved in full from that of any others.  I share your fate.  I have no answers.  I have no claims.  But no, none of you dare approach me for succor or support, because if you do I shall be forced to drive you out of my presence.  For what manner of villainy would allow for me to idle for hours in some communal, if imaginary bed, and reciting any manner of romantic assertions, cooing and giggling and playing the part and then, wordlessly, doing the same with someone else?  How profaned would I be to learn that he might afflict such an act upon me?

So I have nothing.

Give me the strength to take my nothing in one lump, one gasp, one shot.

 

 

 

Sparkle

Watching:  Tried Ripper Street and it was a bit too straightforward for me.  Fell in and out of a couple of MST3Ks and Rifftrax episodes which I love but don’t require anything from me beyond that.  Have wound up watching Edwardian Country House/Manor House which I watched when it was originally out on PBS and probably have watched again and mentioned here at some point or another.

Doing:  Not so very much doing today. I do need to sort out how to get myself exercising – I’m getting to that point in the dieting cycle where there’s been a bit of weight loss.  Just enough that I can feel a difference in some places,  while not in others.  Just enough where I see a trajectory.  The way to work on this belly is to get myself moving enough that there’s any hope of it melting a bit.  Right now, I don’t have anything happening that is intended for that purpose.

Thinking: We talked three times today.   Once whilst laying in my childhood bedroom. Strange how he can say a thing like how he misses me and I can feel it at so many different layers and points of meaning at the same time.  He misses me and I miss him and it is a patent fact given our closeness, given everything we’ve shared over the now going on eight months.  He misses me and I miss him and neither of us has any real, specific clue as to what exactly we are missing.   How can we, living so far apart, a photo here, a video there.  He misses me and I don’t know yet about what missing entails, what that longing that comes coupled to knowing.  I’ve been through the painful stretching process of missing things that were half-invented anyway.  I’m only just learning what is to connect to someone deeply.  There are no watermarks, no tracing lines.  We just do what we do as we do it.  Still, I thought with yesterday…I’m afraid I have to be vague here for my own sense of propriety…that we could just sail along being in that delirium.  That particular brand of delirium that I seem to crave of late. And today, there was kindness and sweetness and being called beautiful even without makeup, and I am glad of all of that…but…well, I suppose it would get old in its way if you just…

Still.  It is all these things at once.

Eating:  the low-carb continues.  I thought that there might have been some pizza thrown in my path this weekend, but there was not.  So I now have kept going, and I do feel endlessly better when I am eating this way.  It’s situated enough now to be able to tell the significant difference in just…brain function.  I feel more able to sit down and write a page up, I must say, than I do when I’m swirling through sucrose overdose.  I’ve felt alright, and I don’t want to give that up, so the hunt for the next two or three pounds of this weight loss continues.

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

If I Knew You From Adam

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The state of affairs is interesting.  Nothing has changed today from yesterday, nor from tomorrow, and there is no revelatory experience to peel apart, I’m just saying…I’m aware of the gap between what I am now and what I want.  I am aware instead of putting my head in the sand and sighing.

I’ve just now come across a Elizabeth Gilbert quote that rings true, even if it also hangs heavy on my shoulders, which I’ll paraphrase here “If you find yourself stuck in life, you can be sure it’s because of a fear you haven’t faced yet.”

This is true in many areas, deflating, but true.  So the depressive part, the tired part, the worn down, underemployed, insecure, freaked out, hypochondriac part can get better, but it has to wobble upright, and as slow or as quick as it can, do something in the face of the belief that it absolutely cannot produce or act at all.  It just has to do something.  Anything.  Use gravity to fall from dead center.   Despite the impossible physics, the bumblebee has to go ahead and fly.

These are the battles you can retreat from every day of your life.  Nobody will mind if you do.  Nobody will cheer you if you don’t.  It’s your life.  Your end result.

You can go on OKCupid.  You can flip through page after page of earnest men’s faces.  Read their best opinion on how best to sell themselves to the pool of available women, even if you are certain that just as you have this idea in your head of who you want to cull you from the herd, they have this idea of the woman who is meant to rise out of the ocean on the clam shell and anoint them with their love.  You can look around at the mess that you drag with you, the veritable flotsam and jetsam and streaky, slimy seaweed that tinsels your hull, and say, fuck, I wouldn’t choose this, why would they? You can look at these men who say they don’t care about reading, they’re real big on weed and exploring moon caves on their jet-powered mountain bikes, men who want to put a slug of coffee in you while they size you up and hurry back to the primordial ooze in case Botticelli picks them out a good one.  You can look at them and feel deeply disconnected.  Angry, even. That life has its rhythm and you want to play along, but all you have is this broken kazoo.  That what you want does not want you and what wants you, what tells you it wants you in its bed, provokes revulsion, never desire.

You can look and realize how far the roots of suspicion grow.  That you may have to lose limbs to save the body when it comes to false beliefs held tightly round the throat.

A true belief: there is a place of alignment between who you want to spend time with and who wants to spend time with you.  But you have to take your slugs and smile because you care.  You want to have someone to talk to.  You want a warm hand in the darkness.  You want to travel to that set of coordinates.  You want to figure this one out.

Not This Mind, Not This Heart

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Tonight I had one promise I had made to myself.  Be in a fit state to have a bit of a tea party with a dear friend.  This tea party entailed having a cupcake, and watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and just buoying each other up as we go through some challenging and whack times in our lives.

I am glad that after a blah, but pleasant day putting $90 sweaters on old ladies and talking myself down from a few mild panics, I was able to do that.   And so we watched an exquisitely competent woman solve crime, escape by the skin of her teeth, and make out with every man she wanted to make out with.  It was gloriously elevating and, though it sounds as though I am being glib, I feel quite glad for it.  I’m ALWAYS glad for her friendship, but just a moment of not feeling crushed by truths and facts and panics is worth so much.

In the midst of this, I learned that a friend I’d made as a Mumford and Sons fan, a kind-hearted woman who was part of a group that traveled to see them in Bristol, VA/TN, has passed away from a long, hard-fought, and tragic fight with brain cancer.  She was one of the people who stepped up and when I asked about my charitable project and asked how I could help.

When I first met her and shared a room with her on that trip, she had yet to be diagnosed and watching from afar as she came to deal with all that her cancer would come to mean, I remember thinking of her shyness and how much it reminded me of me. How much I wished for both of us. I feel a great sense of honor for having known a woman who could endure all of it and still smile and exude love.  I am so sorry for those close to her, for the grief and loss that they are beginning to know, but I also feel the grace of her life, the war and the surrender, what is important when time is short and our desires are so infinite.  I am grateful for that in light of everything that’s going on around me, everything bashing around in my head, all of my own fears.  Surreal to think of her as someone you could say something like RIP about.  Surreal to think of her as not just waiting with us for the next album.

I slept on the couch last night, hoping to ease my neck.  As I sit here now, I think it must have worked because I’ve forgotten about it for the last five hours.  I woke up, covered in cats and with a message on my phone to get up as my mother was coming over to see the kitten.

There was this moment sitting next to my mother and sister, watching little Eleanor gambol in the sunlight and play and I didn’t think about what should be or would be or politics or money or anything.  And in that instant, I was happy.

Tomorrow, zoo.  Tomorrow, life.

Thank you, Beth.

 

The Dance: Exercise 1

fire-dance-1189315-1280x1920So after some conversations with friends last night, and feeling good for some reason about today, I thought I might share this with them if they see this and anyone else who might find power in it.  If you are feeling overwhelmed by low or absent self-worth, perhaps use this.

The voice, the idea, the feeling of negativity has a body.  It has a look.  It has a language it uses that is familiar and tailored to be its most effective for each of us.  Mine is not yours and yours is not mine.  This negativity, this fear masquerading as wisdom, steals opportunity, it puts you on pause, it turns you away from what might be because of assumptions you make about your ability to proceed not to an acceptable result, but to the perfect landing pad that has the power to fix not just the issue at hand, but EVERYTHING.

I have such a negativity in my head.  And I’m just now starting to deal with her.  If she thinks she’s got an evolutionary purpose to fulfill, then I have decided she’s got to start paying rent.

When I imagine or experience this negative voice now, I have a visualization…thing I do.

I try and visualize the two of us in what looks like an interrogation room.  I’m seated at the chair, looking confident, as she, the so-called detective, grills me about my intentions – it could be about anything. In her eyes, I am constantly fucking up.  “You really think you’re actually losing weight?  You really think so.  Well, I know you ate ice cream.   And it was probably more than one serving.  You are doomed to a life of diabetes and disease.  I just need you to acknowledge that for me.”

And first of all, if it is this petty, and sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t, I am lucky when I am able to laugh and say, “holy shit, I’ve been arrested by the fucking Ice Cream PD?”  Occasionally, she’ll simper and sort of mentally evaporate just at the clarity of how useless she is. Other times she’ll dig in with more cruelty than I’ll be able to approximate here.  “Well, maybe if we caught you sooner, you could get a fucking date.”  And on weak days, or days when I’ve had this sort of mental interaction countless times already, that will be enough to shut me down.  And probably eat more ice cream while she folds her arms in front of her and sneers, throwing all the invectives and belittling comments we both can invent at me, accusing me and shaming me for everything I’ve ever failed at since the beginning of time until the power of the sugar takes over and I don’t think anything whatsoever until the cycle begins anew.

But on REALLY good days, days when I’ve been taking care of myself and accomplishing tasks and balancing ego and id, there’s a second sequence.  It helps if you have good music for this.

She leans back, thinking her potshot has landed, that’s she’s really got me.  She’s put me down and in my place. I close my eyes for a moment until we both hear a laugh. As the interrogation light rises up, the dark room spreads out until we are in an enormous, Mines of Moria-sized gallery ringed with darkness.  The negative force and I turn and see who is laughing.

It’s a warrior woman.  I don’t know her, but I recognize her as personal, mine, a part of me as inextricable as the Negative Detective.  Her eyes are dark but gleam in the single beam of light spilling into the room as though the moon was centered over the opening in the ceiling of the Pantheon. She is painted, a circlet of metal holds back her hair, she is the definition of fierce.  There’s a knife in her hand so sharp that it makes a Ginsu look like a rolling pin.  She scares me in just the right way.

The negativity might respond, might shudder, might try and grow, to fill the room, to throttle me, to in some way insinuate her power.

And then, another, different laugh from another dark corner of this space.  We turn and it’s some romantic hero or interest that matters to me, brooding and comely, maybe smoking a cigarette because there’s no lung disease in imaginary cigarettes.  “Leave her alone, you pointless bitch.”   Maybe at this point he pulls a gun out, just to underline the point that he’s willing to go that far for me, that he’s just that over her bullshit.  I will admit to being a little bit thrilled by this.

We stand up from our seats, the table is gone.  It becomes obvious that we are not a few souls in a giant room, we are surrounded by hundreds if not thousands.  There are warriors, there are friends, there are moments of joy embodied by people I admire, video game characters, heroines of books, Anne Shirley’s there, Mumford, it doesn’t matter.  They are people I find beautiful and powerful.  It is the beauty of my mind, mentally personified. They are all at their most beautiful, most ferocious, most epic and cinematic.   They’ve all got weapons, serious and hilarious, but all of them clearly deadly and drawn.

Everything emanates a single emotion.  A single thought drives them: This girl is ours, she has made us and given us life and force, she has drawn us here and we will defend her against anything.  She had poured her heart into us and we will destroy any threat to her peaceful, joyful existence.

The negativity tries to get meta on me. “They’re just imaginary.  I’m real, I see you, I have been here since the beginning watching you slob and wretch your way through life.”

I can literally hear more laughter.  Voices call out things I typically don’t let myself believe are important – “We have preceded you.  We have seen her in her greatest glories. This is the girl who flew herself to Italy.  This is the girl who gets up every day and strives for the light. This is the girl who is so clever she’s thought to bring us here.  She can do what she needs to do.  We adore her.  We want nothing other than to be near her.  We believe in her.  You are in the house of our spirit and we cannot be destroyed.”

Then, because of who they are and who I am, and if the music’s going…they dance.  This big tribal, happy, stomping dance as they close in on us.  They shriek and holler and spin one another around.

The negativity doesn’t like any of this, but there’s nothing she can do, really.  The power of the beat, of this army of lovers I deserve because I deserve them, because I am strong enough to create them, starts to explode her little pea brain.  Then they whack her with pots and pans and sometimes stab her with knives.  It can get gory like Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? – at the end when his head cartoonifies and acidulates into goop.

But what always happens if we get this far is I feel their strength become mine and I will grab somebody’s weapon, maybe Hotness McLately’s gun and say, with every fiber of myself, all, Gandalf to Wormtongue-infested Theoden, “You have no power here!”   I use the weapon if I have to, joyfully emboldened to wipe her the hell out. I feel the absence of the negativity in my whole body.  It’s been driven back. It doesn’t matter if she returns, we will dance again.

And then, I go about my day.

Give it a go sometime.