catch me if i fall

i feel as if i am a woman of polar opposites. i am fiercely strong, yet unendingly weak. i am a woman at peace,a woman at war. i am a person of introversion, a person of strength an inner depth…but i am so dependent.

i need others. i need someone to catch me when i fall. i depend so heavily on family and friends. i can’t feel alone. i go crazy if i feel alone.

obviously, i enjoy solitude. i like being physically alone. i mean mentally. i need to know i have a safety net, a web of friends. i need people who support me by kicking me with their heels to get me into a run. i need people who comfort me and life my hands in theirs and patter me with kisses and hold me like a cracked ornament.

i need people, i do. truly. does that make me a bad introvert? 🙂

i couldn’t survive alone. i dump my problems on those around me. without my friends, without this blog, without you, my problems would not get dumped, and they would sit in my head like a steaming pile of garbage, stinking and rotting and driving me out with their stench.

i am selfish.

i try to support. i try to hold others up, but my arms aren’t as strong as i want them to be, as they need them to be. i feel useless to others.

My joints are stiff with baseless anxiety.

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July

When I’m writing this, it is just past midnight on July 1.

Holy shit. July.

When I was seven, I wrote a poem–my first, ever–and titled it July. When I was twelve, I set my first novel entirely in July. And now, in 2018, I head into my busiest July ever. Busier than all those Camp Nanos I can’t even entertain the possibility of this year. Busier than any job or camp or anything.

I start July with a day of packing and frantic emails, then a week in Ireland, then three weeks straight of teaching summer school English, then Newport Folk Festival.

Then finally, in August, I get a breath.

I’ve been trying to attune myself to reiki, to feel the chi universe energy in my fingers, to make myself relax, but my jaw clenches up anyway and my stomach knots itself up and my forehead is perpetually cinched. My mouth is ablaze with canker sores, my face a minefield of acne. My body handles stress nearly as bad as my mind does.

I feel silly. All I’ve wanted for months and months and months was a job, and now that I have one I feel stage fright. That’s my best way of putting it. I’m scared.

July was always such a magical time as a kid, a month I spent all year dreaming about and writing about and waiting for with all my simple heart. Now…

stagnant

I’ve said a thousand times that I only get back into blogging when my mental health begins to falter…well, my mental health seems rather delicate, if this is to be true.

Right now, however, I’m feeling rather stagnant. Treading water.

It was a full moon last night–not the night before this is published, but the night before I wrote this. I’m writing this on June 27. There was a more eloquent way to combine those two thoughts but I’m too burnt out to play with words at the moment.

I like full moons. I like how bright everything seems. How still everything feels. It is like you can hear everything from your heart to the mountains.

I can pack my entire life into a suitcase and a half. I know, I’ve tried. Everything I need, every sentimental token, all into a suitcase and a half.

I’m sorry. I know I’ve been writing poorly, and I know I’ve been being negative. I just feel bad burdening my loved ones with my nonsense. It’s easier to pile it up here, where at least if you’re reading it you’re reading it voluntarily.

i have overwhelmed myself again

and so i prep for a job i am under qualified for, using not enough time to do something too far out of reach.

i edit the novel months away from completion, i read the book a hundred pages from the end, i lounge to the sound of birds and coyotes, dozing to dreams of unfinished stories half watched or half imagined.

i listen to music halfheartedly, the hour-long compilations set to a mood, the pleading piano and weeping violin, my face wet and swollen, my hands clammy and too big for their weak wrists.

i am out of my wits.

i feel again as if i am walking down the plank, hot summer air whipping my clothes with the force of icy sea mist. i am voluntary. i am sacrifice. i am martyr for the cause of myself.

the greater good.

i leave things lowercase here. i leave my ring finger blank. it’s easier to think in grammerless terms when my mind, too, is riddled with run-on sentences. nothing in my head is in capital letters except my own voice.

i build a fortress out of phone books. i cry ink onto pages made of skin. i sit alone in a room painted green and feel locked in. i smell chlorine. it reminds me not of summer pools but of formaldehyde.

freckles and wrinkles

They hate their imperfections, those which I have always wanted. i wanted my normal brown hair, a bushy sheet like untamed wool, to curl, to frizz, to turn burnt orange or a pithy black.

i wanted my face to look like spilled paprika. i wanted my shoulders to pucker and pink in the sun. i wanted my eyes to be twinkling peridots, ringed with lines like cracked mud, crinkling up like a shriveling leaf with every laugh.

i like that smiles, too, scar you. i’ve always liked scars. i’ve always liked asking where they came from. oh, these cracks by my eyes? i smiled too hard, too long, too often.

i want my face to look lived in. i am tired of looking young, which may be naive to say, but it is how i feel. i wish to look old. i wish to look like an adult. i want people to see how much i smile but looking at my temples. i want to be scarred by joy, a monument of laughter.

blackheads pepper my nose where my freckles should be. wrinkles choose to appear between my eyebrows and across my forehead instead of at the corners of my eyes. i become a memorial of sadness.

reading what i’ve written

blogging is funny

this blog always gets so meta

i can’t go back in time

i can’t go back and read what i wrote here

not a year ago, not a day ago

it reeks of naiveté

it reeks of my former selves

lined up like dominoes in a cute light blue bow

talking about travel and stress and friends and whatever else

here i am early morning because i can’t sleep

and that’s nothing new, but maybe one day it will be old

like how the posts on this blog are all laughable to me, now

all so silly and ingenuous

i feel like a chemist

passing mercury and blood between test tubes

mouth open, eyes shielded

testing one thing and another

trying to make happiness pour out in a stream of flaxen yellow

maybe a teaspoon of this, maybe a pinch of that

maybe now it will work, and i will be happy

i’ve only found temporary cures, over the years

you have seen

metaphorical you

and metaphorical me

and plain old me

i still have those peace-sign earrings my oldest friends tease me about

from middle school

they matched my pants, and my bag. i was obsessed with peace

and still am, i suppose, but while back then it was a childish philosophy–

why can’t we all be kind to one another?

now it’s a plea for survival

an act of desperation

cutting off my arm to escape the boulder

peace, i beg

of course peace is not something that can be hunted down

it does not lurk behind tree trunks for one to capture

it hides in the leaves of a garden for you to find, suddenly, curled around your fingers

it hides between the covers of old, tattered books

it hides in the wells of my stomach and can only be drawn out by tea and meditation

and flower petals and kisses

and silence and music

and writing, and writing, and writing.

so no i can’t look back at this blog

it hurts to see when i was happy

it hurts to see when i was sad

i can’t look back. i must only go forward

and search for peace not in the past, but where i know it can be found

 

things i never told you

Basically, here’s a little tip about blogging–we don’t do it every day.

Haha, right?

I used to, back in the golden days, but now I write ten blog posts at once and schedule them a month in advance. I’m writing this on June 22 and it goes up July 15.

I don’t know why I’m breaking the glass for you like this. I have learned that sometimes it is best not to see the man behind the curtain. Sometimes it is best to not research clouds and flowers. Some things are better left a mystery.

Whatever.

By the time you read this, I have come home from Ireland, a trip I haven’t written about here at all, and have started teaching summer school, something else I haven’t written about. I’m a summer school teacher now. I’m home from Ireland, now.

What will things be like when this gets published, in 23 days? My life, once again, will have completely changed. It does that a lot, nowadays. Perhaps, though, I am due for some consistency. I have been offered a job: to long-term substitute an English class while a teacher is on maternity leave.

I’m so excited. I’m so terrified.

Before I have time to be scared of that, though, I have to be scared of teaching summer school…but, by the time you read this, I will have already taught half a week, so. Maybe it’s not so bad after all. I mean, I’ve already done it.

 

I want Ireland to change me like Norway did. Norway healed me in ways I didn’t know I could be healed. I want Ireland to not just help me heal, but help me thrive. I want to be able to fill my lungs with Irish air and fill my stomach with Irish beer and feel a sense of comfort and adventure and peace.

Why is it when I most want peace, I throw myself into a maelstrom?