Writing lends a vulnerability, and for several weeks I haven’t been strong enough to let my words fight against my fears. I’ve been suppressed by the weight of my expressions, even the meaningless drivel that sticks to the page like an old, dried up stamp.
I built a calendar today on a bulletin board. I made it so you can see an entire six-week grading period at once and then rip a layer off of each day to reveal the next six weeks. The calendar is color-coded by week using the same color paper I use each week in class. Week one = pink, and so on. Though the calendar is new, the color-coding system isn’t. The system is brilliant.
As I was pinning up the big colored squares, predated three layers deep (that took nearly more brain power than I had at the time), I thought about time and how I was arranging it, looking at it while literally holding it in my hands. And I thought about how, aside from their colors and the numbers written on them, all of those squares were the same. I thought about squares gone by and how every day of my life I expected the following days to lead up to something grand. In a lot of ways they have, but mostly the days have been the same. The sun goes up and moves across the sky and goes back down the other side. The sun has been doing that for probably billions of years. I say probably because I hadn’t been there to witness essentially any of it. I say probably because I know almost nothing about geology and trust that almost everything I was taught in school is true. A dangerous choice.
And I thought about how I make goals for myself, goals to be realized in the future, something that never gets here.
I’ve thought about the statics and dynamics of time before, a bunch of times, but I’ve never kept the thought alive for too long. I get caught up in the days and before I realize it, a thousand Fridays have passed by and all the time between those Fridays is a blur. Like making a really, really slow thumb print.
But I put a dent in time today: I reached a goal. I finally made that calendar. The idea of my living timepiece has been swirling in my head for several weeks, and today the future became the now and the idea is hanging on a wall instead of in my head. I sort of made the future tangible. Gave my eyes a glimpse of it at least. I made square placeholders for the real thing. I created visible potential from an abstract idea.
This here is a visible construct of the past. Not tangible, really, but not abstract, either. It’s a calendar in reverse. An echo.
I read the introductions to books for insight, for which the introductions are intended.
I’ve wanted to read The Handmaid’s Tale for a while. I don’t know much about it except that it’s a dystopian novel based on the future of women’s rights. I’m not a feminist, nor is the book intended to be grounded in feminism. But as a woman, I am particularly drawn to this novel. As a lover of dystopian novels, I am doubly drawn to it.
Regarding the idea of a book stewing in the back of my mind, I feel I not only should write something to explore my fascination with humanity but that I should do so out of obligation to the humans I write about.
To you and me both.
My thoughts aren’t at all linear this evening, and I am as easily drawn in by things as I am distracted by others. I started this paragraph several times, but I couldn’t reach the end of the first sentence before my mind went on to something else. So I quit thinking and let my fingers find their way along the keys on their own. A better outcome is almost always guaranteed when I leave my head out of what I write. It wasn’t that I came here with a purpose other than that I just felt like it, anyway.
I don’t use my computer much at home because I’d get better signal on Bouvet Island. I looked up “the most remote place on earth” to help me sufficiently complete the previous sentence, and I learned that Bouvet Island (the most remote place) is a tiny uninhabited island in the South Atlantic—Norwegian, so the source (Google) says, which means probably Vikings stopped off there at some point. Maybe the same Vikings that took over that nice coastal chunk of France that the Germans tried to take from them. But despite this inconvenient (but fixable…I think) predicament of splotchy service, I decided to track down my computer and use it. While searching for my capless clunker, I walked into a room that had painting supplies out and was suddenly and greatly inspired to paint, so much so that I took off the one sock I was wearing in preparation to do some serious art stuff to express these brutal emotions rumbling in me. About three seconds later, I became overwhelmed like the volume in my hollow chest cavity was turned up. So I left the room, carrying the sock with me until I found my computer.
I’m equally sick of my desire to discuss my mood-fucked brain cells as anyone in the world would be of hearing me talk about them and the havoc they wreak on my being, but I need an outlet. The pain lately is a really dark. More like a deep blue. Sorta like this canvas that leans against the wall in that other room. Now that I think about it, my eyes plunged twenty feet deep into that canvas when the pain hit. Or vice versa. Whichever. This is it…the color of my depression tonight.
But, okay, I’ll talk about it. The doctor is trying something new, which I swore I was done trying, I started a new antidepressant. So far I have experienced no significant side effects, which is the only thing I’ll be able to discern for at least a week or two until any improvement will or won’t be noticed. I was going to try the no sugar no caffeine get lots of exercise and meditation route, but this moment right here, me sitting here at these keys, is a rare moment of opportunity. Life is kicking the shit out of me, and I don’t have time to think about what or what not to eat, least of all exercise. And when I lie in the dark at night and clear my head, I wake up in the morning and realize that the sudden onset of sleep denied my moment of meditation.
But this morning I woke up to an unusual amount of snow piled up on my lawn and windshield. Unusual amount being any amount at all. Snow. Hm. Weird. And nice. Surreal even. My favorite.
I feel better now than I did when I started this post. I should quit while I’m ahead. I’m a little more awake than I normally am at this time of night, so I don’t expect clearing my head in the dark to result in the sudden onset of morning sunshine.
Happy Friday evening and other celebrations.
Ticktoc gets faster, does it not?
It’s 3:20am, and I’m awake. I haven’t woken up in the middle of the night for a long time, and I don’t know what jarred me awake tonight.
Yesterday was difficult, but the end of the school day came and I had survived losing my mind. Then multiple students entered my room to stay for various reasons, a teacher too, all bombarding me with needs, and a meltdown could have easily happened. But I calmly triaged, and by 4:30 the students and teacher were gone. I never once gave in to my anxiety.
This time last year I battled depression. I gave some thought to this consistent timing of severe emotional distress, and it occurred to me that every major terrible thing in my life happened in the fall. That, coupled with the stress of the holidays—a five-week run of near hell—, is an ample and fitting reason for my current state.
Did I mention that a teacher got reassigned and I’ve taken over half of his precalulus classes? He taught only two, but the hyperbole is appropriate.
The doctor doubled my anxiety medication last week, or maybe it was the week before, and I got a lecture about substance addiction. The dose is still too low, but considering his deep concern over a possible dependency, I might not get another increase. Which means, golly, I don’t know.
I feel like writing that book on humanity. The timing feels right to start an outline at least. Start it with some history, and progress in real time with the meltdown of the world while referring back to more in-depth historical meltdowns. I can’t write it in story form as a parallel stream of events, as much as I’d like to. I don’t have the talent for fiction. I’ve never been comfortable with writing dialogue.
Wow, it’s 4:11. How did time pass so quickly?
My nerves are buzzing. Do I take another pill?
No. I’ll journal instead. I’ve been journaling, and I use all my colorful pens to do it with. The color helps.
Also, we have many expenses but it’s Christmas and I might insist on a treat to a 14,000-foot freefall. Soon.
It’s Friday, by the way.
My dad once told me that the one thing that all mankind wants more than anything, what it would and has vehemently died for since the beginning of time, is freedom.
I live in my head to imagine myself into freedom. I don’t feel confined necessarily. Well, yeah, I do, but only in that I don’t have the time or means to do all the things I want to do. If I were single and completely alone, I would do weird shit, like fill my living room ceiling with helium balloons of every color of the rainbow.
There are things I can do now, like drive to a remote area and sit and be. I’ve always wanted to sit in my car in a massive empty parking lot on a sunny day. That goes back to my need to be surrounded by excessive emptiness. The salt flats are on my bucket list.
Is that the minimalist in me?
It’s more about freedom. About not being weighed down by stuff. All the while in search of stuff to make a comfortable space. To make life easier. It’s not a selfish act in the end because those around me benefit from the calming spaces I create. I’m supremely organized by nature, but with so many things happening at once, so many things in my life to juggle, everything is half-assed and in disarray. I am on a journey to fix that. It’s going to take me a while. Maybe from this you can see the root of my anxiety. The things that make my life easier are impeded by the things that need to be made easier.
Hence, medication. I can’t function without it, but I expect someday when I get my shit together I won’t need it. All that moving around from house to house and city to city every one to three years put me on hold. But life kept going. Things and people needed me, this incomplete and broken woman. I have my chance now to fix that mess.
Enough of that. I’m thrift shopping today by myself and thinking of finding a big empty parking lot.
Joni Mitchell was wrong about that one part.
When I get depressed, I feel as though I exist to suit everyone else’s needs. What I mean is, I feel as though the only reason my existence is necessary is to be present, which during the holidays is what suits everyone else’s needs. I am merely a prop that must smile and be sociable so that everyone else can feel free to enjoy themselves. I’ve tried ducking out before. I’ve feigned illness. I have. It’s a dirty little secret that I’m willing to bet other people harbor. But this act of defiance, regardless of its level of truth, brings stress on others because without me the fucking world would crumble (this is not my thinking, this is the thinking of others). So illness is out, and depression doesn’t count at all. Nobody gives a shit about depression because everyone’s got something important going on and they’re there.
Though mono is going around. Maybe I oughta be safe and keep my carrier germs away from all the old people and little babies. And everyone else too, to be super safe.