I used to be so much better at having things to say, that warranted an outlet like this, a site where I could tip tap my fingers and display the thoughts, neat and organized, concise and without self doubt. I was better at doing this regularly, just like I was better at creating regularly without feeling machine-like and frustrated, and just like I was better at writing letters and notes to friends across the world to make sure that they had something other than pesky bills and notices laying around their mailboxes.
And then, something changed. Sometime between an umpteenth move across the states which stopped feeling like an adventure, but this time more like a tedious exodus, sometime between waking up and going to work and having serious anger issues that the mandatory wall colors in our apartment was that awful “gobi desert” that looks like dried soup (WHY, must apartment buildings have accent walls? If your building looks like an architectural nightmare, leave the accent colors to places with light.) and somewhere in between the crushing realities of house hunting in Los Angeles (the city where everything is an audition) I think I caved in.
Oh shit I left my whimsy in the car and I think it died of heat exhaustion.
I still carried a notebook but instead of dreams and observations it had long lists and cutting remarks of all my recent failures. Where I had success I was on such a high from the surprise of it all, that I felt like I had to dissect it to hold on to the strings of it to keep going. When I met new people, I didn’t even know how to introduce myself because I no longer knew myself.
I’d look at myself and the face in the mirror wasn’t even the one I recognized. Even with constant documentation, with instagram and Facebook, it’s such an edited spontaneity, I’d see the photo and think “that’s me” and look in the mirror and say “who is this?”
Luckily I don’t have a huge capacity for sadness. I can hold a little in my heart, and nurse it like some tiny suckling animal, but I need room to nurture the happiness in me too. I think they are twin emotions, both exist despite each other. Somewhere in between feeling glassy eyed and confused (everyone says thats what turning 26 does, I tell you it has more to do with feeling tired of who you are) I stopped feeling so… out of control.
I needed to take stock of the wonderful aspects of my life and stop pointing fingers where I had faltered. It’s easy to go through life forgiving yourself where you fall short, after all, you never went to college, maybe you’re parents divorced and where you should have witnessed an example of love and strength you saw bickering and pettiness (My parents did not divorce, this is an example.) Maybe your early boyfriend or girlfriend cheated on you and now you can’t possibly trust other people, and this is why the world is hard.
If you build it, they will tear it down.
My favorite, most long lasting excuse, was that I grew up with so much movement, starting and stopping school, in and out of activities before even getting rooted, that I was nearly incapable of following through with goals and plans, because in my life I never had. I had decided that my nomadic life had instilled in me an entitled sense of restlessness and when that started to get embarrassing I had a friend tattoo the words “Keep Going” on the side of my palms. Having the solutions to your short comings tattooed on your hands kind of helps when you feel like falling back into old habits. Yet even with achievements and persistence, I still found myself doing this thing where I’d furrow my browns and scowl and point an accusatory nail at my childhood.
I had an epic, strange, marvelous childhood. It was also difficult, harrowing and frustrating. Guess what? So is everyone’s. Lately instead of being comfortable in blame, I’ve chosen to solve. Instead of feeling incapable because I didn’t learn as a child, I pat that little memory on it’s pigtailed head and move the fuck on. It was never anger, it’s just easier to say “I can’t”. It’s easier to focus on unresolved issues from decades ago rather than close that book and move on. Not everything in life needs a tidy ending. Closure.
Closure is a luxury. Sometimes you have to move on despite unresolved feelings. Relationships end and sometimes you can’t mutually agree on why. Why stoke those fires instead of focusing on yourself and moving on?
Recently I’ve realized that I’m feeling so much better… now if only I could get back to writing and painting more faithfully…