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

 

Calming down is nerve wracking

I’m meant to be meditating, keeping mindful, breathing deep whenever I start to feel overwhelmed or nervous. But meditating only makes it worse.

When I start trying to relax my body, I hit a point where I feel adrenaline start pumping and soon I’m breathing too quickly and then it’s all ruined.

I think it’s because I don’t like feeling vulnerable, and that’s a big part of relaxing to that extent. And yes, I do usually have a bit of tension–I’m always sore in my shoulders, my jaw, my lower back.

Stress is hard to will away. It’s hard to get rid of that thought, “I could be doing something more productive.” And everything seems more productive than listening to wave sounds for ten minutes.

Sometimes it works out. I’m okay at some of the ones that remind me of dance classes, stretching your muscles and all, but when it gets up to relaxing my chest and head it get uncomfortable and I start jittering around.

________________________________________________

All that written above I wrote about 2 years ago. It was sitting in my “drafts” all this time.

I still have trouble meditating alone, with nothing, but I’ve found a few solutions. Music helps, or other white noise. It helps to have something to look at, like burning incense or candles or plants or something else pretty. It also helps to hold something. A crystal, if you’re like me and half insane. A baby blanket, whatever. It helps to imagine it giving you strength by soaking your worries away, like a sponge.

It helps with visualization to have something real.

Just my two cents.

deeper

suck me down deeper, i want to be enveloped

i want to drown in blankets and pillows and dark

i want to be buried in oceans and sandbars

i want to go deaf from music too pretty

i want to go blind from bright solar light

i want to lose myself to magic delusion

i want to love others until it’s all that i am

 

i never feared poison or men with sharp daggers

i never feared darkness or what’s in the night

i only feared long days with nothing to fill them

i only feared waking to hating my life

 

an optimistic love

Last December my friend R broke up with her boyfriend of 8-or-so years for about three weeks, and they’ve been happy ever since. There have been almost a high school level of drama recently, when it comes to relationships. Not with mine, thankfully, but my friends are all having trouble. New loves, old loves, trying to have multiple loves. At least my love life is in order.

My boyfriend’s sister is getting married, and it’s lovely. Who knows where my life will be by the time September rolls around?

I think, if I ever get engaged, we’ll keep it secret for about a week or so. Live a private honeymoon before people start giving us orders and demands and money that comes with directions. Our wedding, like everything else, will probably be a disaster, but who cares? It’s the marriage that counts, and our marriage will be wonderful. I just know it will. Maybe that’s the only bit of optimism I have in my heart. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe not.

self portrait

I feel like the sort of person who would have gotten much help out of this blog, in the old days. It was so cheery and positive. So helpful. Conversation Starters and Short-Fic Fridays. I’ll let them stay published. I can’t say the same for this 2018 drivel.

I wonder how long I’ll be in this rut. I feel as if I am watching my life from behind stained glass. I can sense things, but vaguely, distant. I hear things as if from a dream. I see things as if through a cloud. I feel things as if under a heavy winter coat. Pressure, no sensation.

I’m exaggerating. I’ve said before, I think, that this blog has become nothing but the glorified diary of a depressed person trying to accept the fact that 22 is a harder year than was promised. I’m exaggerating. I have bad moments and good moments. Both come on like nausea, sudden and unavoidable.

Sometimes I feel bright and rosy. I like watching the teenage lovebirds in class, drawing on each other’s arms in permanent marker, making each other laugh with silly noises and light bops on the nose. I love how they look at each other. At least I still have love.

That’s the thing. My love life is in order, it has been for years. It’s my everything else that’s gone awry. My career and my future, my emotions, my novel, my living situation. Living at home again is like willfully locking myself back in a prison. And then leaving, and then locking myself back up at night. I have freedom, but it’s a privilege, it’s temporary, and the prison hangs over my head, the way Monday taints Sunday night.

I really got to erase all of my name off this blog. It becomes more and more of a diary every day.

treehouses

Looking for Alaska used to be my favorite book, then it was Cat’s Cradle, and now I think it’s The Bell Jar. I really did like The Bell Jar. I really like most books I read. Nutshell was pretty good too, by Ian McEwan. Ian McEwan? I think that’s right. He also wrote Atonement, so, whoever wrote Atonement also wrote Nutshell. It was a story based on Hamlet, told from the point of view of an unborn fetus. It was pretty good.

Anyway. I like books about sadness and death I guess. Depression. I like things that remind me of myself. Things that make you think.

BUT. I’ve also been enjoying Little Women, which is so bright and positive and cheery and simple. I just love it. It’s so innocent and nostalgic. I wish I lived it.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just ‘cause it’s well written.

I want a treehouse. I’ve always wanted a treehouse. It was one of those things my parents promised me but never got. I would read in it, until the bees found it. Then I would have left it to rot, and my parents probably knew that. But I still want one.

drivel

Is anyone I know reading this drivel? I sort of am afraid someone is. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone I know finds it, calls the suicide hotline for me. I’m not going to kill myself. I just know I’m not, however easy it would be, however nice it would be to have a doorway past which there is zero chance of suffering.

I’m here, as long as I can be, thinking too much and writing too little. I should write a bit a day. I really should. I don’t. Sometimes I do. Not really, though.

What do you think of it? I used to get lots of stars, lots of comments. I have 800 followers. I did so much work just to abandon this blog, then return years later to spit out unreadable drivel. Drivel! Can you even make sense of it? I can’t. I probably sound insane. Maybe I am, whatever.

Sometimes I talk myself in circles. Sometimes I talk so much I get confused and my own thoughts don’t make any sense, and I have to retreat and go to my plants and candles and sit in silence and meditate and chill and try to be happy alone.

I’ve been swirling around a sink drain, clawing out not because I’m afraid of the U bend but because I want to be okay. I want to get out of the sink and onto the counter, bury myself in the bowl of fruit and breathe in sugar.

Is this poetry? Is this anything?

I just need to go home. I’ve been in this chair for hours. I would never survive in an office, I’d go incredibly mad, even worse than I am now.

I wish I had curly hair, wavy hair. My hair is bland and flat.

I’m fine, but that’s hard to gauge. What is it like to be fine? Am I fine? How depressed am I? I know I should go back to my therapist, but compared to my old self—the only thing I have to compare to, truly—I am much better. My bad days aren’t as bad, my good days are far better.

I keep saying “I.”

This blog probably comes off as a bit scary.

What would an “Introvert Playground” even look like? A library, probably. A quiet room with a big fireplace. Playground, hell. I used to love playgrounds. They always became pirate ships. I would hold onto one of those poles, up top by that big castle roof, let the wind blow around my hair and the sweatshirt I wrapped around my waist, look off to the forest and see nothing but a wall of seawater. I would smell in the woodchips brine and wet wood. I would see the new world in the cracked pavement of the parking lot.

healing?

You know what’s like, incredibly ironic?

I think I heal from overwork by…doing work.

Is that absolutely insane?

The only thing that seems to cure my stress is getting rid of my stressors. Maybe this is healthy, maybe not. I should really go back to therapy.

I’ve realized I get more stressed when I don’t do things than when I do. So I’ve been keeping busy, but not biting off more than I can chew. Doing tasks I can finish after starting.

Avoiding my unfinished novel…gah, see? Even this isn’t without guilt, without stress. I’m always not doing something.

I think it’s from growing up in such a stressful environment, pertaining to grades and expectations. Maybe it’s just because I have high expectations for myself. I don’t know. Maybe I’m a realist in an optimist world. Maybe I’m a real downer most of the time.

 

 

sunk cost fallacy and control

I painted my nails this awful color that’s normally purple but shines green in the light. It’s mainly a sickly grey, like raw chicken or old beef, but it took ages to put on so I’m leaving it, resigned to my fate.

Sunk cost fallacy.

That’s what’s locking my friend into a relationship he’ll certainly be leaving in a month or so. It’s what locked me into college when I grew to hate it by first spring. It’s what draws me to buy thing after thing after I buy the first damn thing.

You needn’t worry about me, you metaphorical “you.” I am fine. Writing like this makes me feel better. It’s good practice, too. It’s fun to write again, not just edit in tedium. It’s so annoying to edit. I love it. I hate it. C’est la vie.

This classroom is ringed in colored curtains, shielding the class from the new building going up next door. I am bathed in pink and blue. Jackhammers buzz out the window, men shout, hammers drive. Again I wonder what the school thinks, if it could. How it would sigh if it could breathe, how it would gaze longingly at the new brick, the fresh paint. I imagine buildings as trees, often enough. The way trees likely enjoy a fresh rain and endure, dutifully, a harsh winter, so does this school, standing for three quarters of a century in the spot of its birth, sinking ever lower in the swamps of this state, housing generation after generation of accent-laced townies. How many coffees have been drunk up by this stained carpet, colored like burgundy television static? Pixelated, undistracting, unstaining.

Tonight I am hosting Dungeons and Dragons, structured play-pretend. The more things change, they say, the more they stay the same. I play several different characters while my friends play one. I am in charge. I pull the strings. It is wonderful to have control over something, even if it is just pretend. I think that’s why I liked writing so much as a child. A blank page, on which I can do whatever I want. Sullen dolls who can look as I like, say what I want, do what I command. Letters that form at my will like a magician might control cards or string. Control.

Control and power, one in the same, no? I’ve always shrunken from it, but I suppose I’ve always hungered for it.

Substitute teaching is like spying. None of the students pay me any mind, but I can’t help but overhear them. Now they are talking about first kisses, joking over one boy who hasn’t kissed anyone at sixteen. Who cares? I would have, at that age.

“At that age.” Eight years ago. Oh, how adult I like to think myself to be.