Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Shifting the Sails

Do you ever go through those periods where you don't know whether to shit or go crazy?

Yeah. Me, basically.

And by that I mean it's a REAL fine line every day between "do I get my shit together" or "should I just go check myself into a mental institution for a little 90 day vacation"?

Of course I have to pick the first thing, because who else is going to sign off on the children's homework?

Also, Idaho is SIGNIFICANTLY lacking in mental health beds, and I would feel selfish taking one from someone who really needs it. Really. No joking there even a little. I'm looking at YOU, little Bitch Otter and the rest of the Idasshole Legislature...

No, I'm talking about that thing everybody [I hope] goes through where your skin starts to crawl a little and you want to cry a little and hug everyone a little but also kill them a little too and maybe rearrange the couch or start doing yoga or Pilates, but you're just not sure which.

Luckily, I had my very first chai latte and it magically calmed me right the fuck down. How come nobody ever told me about that before? You guys are all assholes.

I know there is Zen here somewhere, but all I'm getting is a Blair Witch vibe.
photo: Margie Savage

Now that hockey is OVAH and I have had a second to breathe (without inhaling any locker room stench into my lungs), I am regrouping. And I feel like I might be getting it together. And I am NOT really blaming this on hockey, though the timing is suspect....

I got back to the doctor. The one who doesn't treat her patients like cattle, but encourages me to eat a lot of cattle. And to only look at the wheat field across the street but to not ever eat any of the wheat. Because thanks to some messed up genetic gifts, I am screwed. I love wheat and all its carby-deliciousness. And it makes me so tired. And my ass as big as a truck.

I cleaned out my office. My actual work office where I go to do work for American dollars. I purged. In the chronological, legal, we-must-retain-this-for-xx-years way as well as in the how-many-of-these-dried-up-markers-do-I-need way. I slowly lifted cardboard lids to smell the perfume (or lotion, she always swore she didn't wear perfume) of my long-retired coworker. I missed her. Just like I miss her every damn day. I found this, misfiled. It went in the "keep" pile:

I got back to writing more. Differently. This one is tricky to explain but has had the biggest impact on my insides. Strike that, because it may be a solid tie with fish oil, TBH. I heard directly and indirectly about a few people who had either been following me or wanted to follow me but couldn't find me. I had never experienced stalking in a positive way before. I keep a mugshot of my negative stalker in my office just to keep the ever-rotating HR and building staff up to date so I am a professional card-carrying stalker-haver. There are now six people reading this.

I found a new platform - actually revisiting an old app I'd deleted from my phone in a rousing game of "you are out of storage space" brought on by Facebook's dumb functionality where every damn article you read lives on your phone forever so you can access it faster if you ever want to read it again. Unfortunately, I have a handful of incredibly intelligent friends who share some fantastic links and between them and NPR, I either have to clean out periodically or delete other apps. This one got cut at one point and I only recently added it back.

And I suddenly realized how much I needed it. It was like having come up from underwater and breathing air again. It is Pinterest, for readers. Or writers. And I am in love with it. I have written a few pieces under another stretch my legs and exercise writing muscles I knew I had but wasn't quite sure about. And it has been amazing. Mostly I have read and read and read some more. And I have told a couple people that I know are like minded that they have to go to there immediately so that they can breathe, too.

I got very gun shy here in 2012 and walked away completely after realizing how a few people can completely shit on what you have written. How "you're heartless", "this disgusts me", "you are so insecure", and "that was horrible" can hurt you worse than that which you wrote about to begin with. And I gave up. And then I came back.

I think this is the real reason people are nice to me now.

I read a piece that spoke to writing as if you're already dead. As if you have no job to jeopardize, no relationships to dash, nothing to lose. That then you can be authentic in your writing voice. But really, come on. I have come a LONG WAY in not letting some of those things influence me. I do not have advertisers here so there's no corporate sway (or cash!). I realized that those whose loyalties fell solidly in a camp other than mine were never on my side from the start. That the loss loss.

Instead I chose another name. A coward's way out. Not even original, Ben Franklin had Silence Dogood and a whole slew of her friends at his disposal.

And now I have been invited, because someone noticed those writings, to join another publication. I have no idea what it will entail. I have no idea what I will write. That's the rub. I am not an assignment writer, which is why writing will never make a mortgage payment for me. So help me if someone held a gun to my head and told me to crank out a poem, a short story, another blog post tomorrow...I couldn't do it. Hats off to those who can. For now, I'm just rolling up my sleeves and recognizing that it's okay that I don't just have one "style". That ToddlerBandit has his breakdowns, that DayLee Fix has her ramblings, and maybe there's just more styles. Maybe I don't have a brand. Maybe I have multiple personalities and I really do need that 90 day vacation.

I may still rearrange the couch. Which The Hubs will absolutely hate. But what he doesn't hate is that I put off his overdue haircut until my rage was contained and I found a bit of zen again. To those who encourage others to write, thank you. Please know that sometimes it is only your push that gets us back to it, even if you never see our words.

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