This post may be a little bit like Genesis with all of the beginnings.
You may also be able to sing it to a blues beat.
So much has happened during the last four months or so. Most of it bad. Turns out that rushing to the emergency room in the middle of the night was actually a high point.
As I mentioned in a previous post, TEG's mother became very ill, and thus we've moved in with his family to help her with her recovery. So that's five adults and one toddler in a small(ish) space. Surprisingly, it hasn't been as terrible as I had dreaded. But seven weeks is a long time to be away from home.
But that's not even what has turned out to be the biggest problem. Like Dante, “in the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost.” It's been an endless soul winter that moved me inexorably to a worse milestone. My 35th birthday.
Ba da ba dum.
Go ahead and laugh, but I really thought I'd be somewhere else by this time. You know the fantasy—I'd be a polished, brilliant creative writer, living in a fabulous, eccentric charmer of a house, where I often hosted gatherings for my artist tribe. A whole stove of manuscripts would be simmering on every burner—front, back, and side. And of course, I'd have a wonderfully behaved little Madam who would provide endless streams of inspiration and laughter.
Go ahead and laugh. I can wait.
None of this has come to pass (well, that last one is true on very good, really not bad days). Quite the opposite. My writing has dried up, leaving behind a keening muse and sad memories. I am living in a limbo dictated by sick parents, or aging parents, or a million and one practical concerns, not one of which convinces the pouting four year old that I have evidently become.
I had to step away from blogging because I was woefully depressed (and following my Mami's advice, “If you don't have nothing nice to say, then say nothing.”) but also because it wasn't working. Blogging started to feel like some sort of a high school purgatorio where I saw all of you as the Cool Kids, the lucky, bright, brilliant ones, and I couldn't measure up. My genuine excitement for your triumphs was coated over by a slimy ickiness that had submerged all of my finer feelings.
But that's not even the whole truth. I left this place because I reached a point where I was getting angry. Angry that you all were so inspirational and wonderful. Yes, if depression is anger turned inward, mine was a more troubling, encompassing thing, soiling all things at once. Because I didn't have any faith that things could EVER be better, I couldn't stand to read the faith that you all share everyday. I just couldn't believe that things could ever change. I couldn't believe that there would be a day without depression. I couldn't believe in magic or creativity or hope.
And yet, I am back here. Because I need those things I don't know if I still believe in. And I miss you.
I made a radical decision on my birthday this year. If a fuss needs to be made on my behalf, I need to make it. I want to be happy, even if I don't deserve it. Even if I never accomplish another blessed thing in my lifetime. Even if I never write again. I don't want to cut myself off from the whole spectrum of deeply lived life anymore. I get so much happiness from you all—happiness I am still not sure I deserve. I want that, even if your general amazing-ness casts a shadow of envy onto my own life. Because I am happy being an enthusiastic cheerleader, it's one of the few things that I really believe I can do well.
So much more to tell you about—like my foray back into soap opera land, my strange last couple of months, how I've realized that beating yourself up really DOES serve an odd purpose (even though it doesn't actually work) and how I've learned that lying to yourself ruins absolutely EVERYTHING.
Ba da ba dum.
Labels: navel gazing; family tales