The world still turns, even when it’s in lockdown, and there’s been much to say.
If only writing came as easily as it used to. The bulk of my entries have been a compulsion, a way to sort out thoughts and feelings when I had no one to talk to.
Then I started dating Heather — my first time cohabitating with a romantic partner — and suddenly had an outlet that was both accessible and validating. It became easier to turn to her than find the words for a screen that never spoke back.
My time in therapy has also given me better emotional moderation; a skill to deal with the distress that comes from depression and trauma. Instead of spiraling into panic or rage, I’ve learned to embrace difficult feelings and let them pass through me. Scary thoughts and painful memories don’t control me the way they used to. A healthy trade for the loss of inspiration.
In that sense, I hold an evolving style and subject matter to be positive developments. After all, I began this blog almost 20 years ago. If I was filling the space with the same things as I was back then it would be an embarrassing sign I hadn’t grown at all. I imagine I’ll always have more things to say as long as I continue learning, even if the impetus is lacking.
It makes me wonder why others stopped blogging (or why they started in the first place). Checking my RSS feed is still a habit, but nowadays I’m left invariably disappointed and feeling more disconnected than ever. Social media has become too shallow for my tastes. Medium too impersonal. YouTube too obnoxious and ostentatious and increasingly commercial, with Twitch being even worse on all those counts.
And yet there’s relief to be found in the fact that no one knows I’m writing anymore. This space is no longer sacred when I feel obliged to or inhibited by an audience. Self-imposed exile became an important step towards reclaiming the sense of control I’d lost. My story isn’t finished, and perhaps enough time away has given me the distance I need to be comfortable sharing myself again.
Fall has fallen, and I was ready. I was waiting. I was trapped for months on end, when my body wouldn’t cooperate or anxiety got the better of me. Even hearing Townes Van Zandt sing to me about snow in Raton was enough to make me miss winter again. I’d live vicariously in any form of visual media I could find, just to remember what it was like to feel the tingle of sun on my skin.
Now I can go out, but on my own terms and for the sake of it, not just therapy or a doctor’s appointment. It’s given Heather and I a chance to date — to dress up for each other, to trade secret glances about people who might be the other’s type, to hold hands and show each other off — instead of all the coping we were left doing after falling into the relationship so suddenly.
Rachel Weisz has nothing on dem brows.
Ever since she began her career, I found it difficult to deal with how little we saw each other. It felt like we were barely connecting or having meaningful experiences when we had such limited time. Now that she has a better shift and a carpool, we have an extra hour and a half together on weekdays. Combined with Jesse committing to hangouts twice a month to play games or jam, it’s made a huge difference in the way I approach my goals and plan my time.
They’re small steps, but after so much regression, I tend to be happy with any movement in the right direction. Still, I wonder if I’ll ever find a balance that won’t leave me frantic, one that’s conducive to getting my introvert needs met while letting me feel secure in my relationships.
Continue reading “keeping the rage tender”…
It’s taken me a generous distance, as well as a healthy break from the pain, to realize I don’t understand what my mom thought of me. In my earliest years, I believed she loved me, cause none of her demands were unreasonable. After all, children are often helpless and don’t even know what’s best for themselves. Then I grew up, and developed an identity of my own. That meant I had distinctive needs separate from hers, and she would deny every one of them unless they were in line with what she wanted. It was impossible for me to believe there was any love at all when she was the cause of so much of my pain. I’ve since come to realize that relationships are full of nuances, and that it’s possible to love someone wholeheartedly and be terrible for them at the same time.
Continue reading “backstory”…
It’s in these stories, these moments, these connections, these words, these images, these harmonies, these delightful chilly breezes that foretell the coming of winter where I find a part myself lost for so long.
A general sense of numbness filled my life, but I’m starting to feel again, something I’ve been needing for a while now. It was as if I’d lost a sense of purpose, and I couldn’t figure out how to fix that cause I couldn’t tell what was wrong.
Maybe the fact that I started tapering off my dose of Cipralex (a few months ahead of schedule) is adding to the effect. It’s hard to tell with everything all mixed up, and so much happening at once.
I can’t imagine what things will be like in a few weeks, let alone a year. There’s never been so much uncertainty in my life, but that doesn’t scare me anymore. There’s always a way out. Ironic that I had to lose everything to learn that.
I didn’t know I needed a weekend like this to feel again. To dance in those little moments between brushing your teeth and getting into bed. To pass on the right and speed away to a chorus that grows louder with every shadow cast by every street lamp.
I can’t say it’s been due to any one thing. There’s just so much that seems to be happening lately. The days pass faster than ever, and I’m left wondering where life will take me next, cause I’m always surprised by every new friend and unexpected experience.
Wild boar pizza at Tennessy Willems, one of the few wood-burning pizzerias in Ottawa. A combination of boar sausage, caramelized apple, sage, roasted garlic, and sharp cheddar. The sweetness of the apple and the savoury character of the sausage make for an interesting mélange, but the use of cheddar is what really gives this pizza a unique taste.
When I’m drowning in emotion, it feels like I’m perpetually coming out of the water, emptying my stale lungs before taking in as much air as I can again.
This is when every breath is beautiful. A rush of life coming at me.