Camping was beautiful. I’m going to do that a lot more in my life. I’m also, come hell or high water, going to learn to rock climb.
I climbed these.
I also have been having one too many panic attacks in a short period of time. And having trouble stopping them once they start, which is no good at all.
I’m working on it, but I’m slipping a bit.
I got stuck once, up on those rocks. F. was above me a few feet and I couldn’t get my leg up on a boulder. (He’s 6’2”; his legspan is hilarious and makes climbing look way too easy.) So I turned around and looked for another way up, (it’s beautiful, creative problem-solving, with sweat and the good type of pain mixed in… I’m in love with the act) and I wedged myself on this little shelf and realized I couldn’t move in any direction. I was gripping on by my fingertips and couldn’t turn around, couldn’t go back, couldn’t go forward. My feet were dangling over the edge.
My mind did what it does when I’m really drunk, which is to be perfectly conscious — almost observationally so — but unable to match up thought with action. I remember thinking, “Huh.” This didn’t at all match how I was feeling, which was panicked. I called to F., who I couldn’t see, (he had strapped a whistle to my wrist earlier in the day out of kindness — not patronization) and he yelled, “stay there!” and told me to keep talking. He ripped through boulders to find me stuck on the ledge, and together we figured out how to get down. He was out of breath when he got to me, which was sweet in an odd way.
Anyway. That was a calm, belly-panic. It’s the real type of panic that’s healthy, and okay, and natural; it’s what our bodies do. But the other type of panic is keeping me up at night, making me hyperventilate in my car. Tearing my brain up.
This Is Me In A Tree.
First panic attack in a while; I’m trying to come down from it at the moment, so don’t mind me.
I’m going camping for the first time in my life tomorrow. Well, second, if you cout my required geology field trip in college (really, a college field trip) where I got piss-drunk and THEN drank vodka out of the (plastic) bottle for the first time (the altitude and situation had me in a manic superman tizzy) — not one, not two, but three valiant swigs (long tugs, really) — and then the night disolved into endless stars, smoking my professor’s pipe, and being face-down in gravel and bravely telling said (blasted off his ass) professor that I would only get up off the ground if he moved back the date of the final by a week. I don’t remember the rest (after the rabid applause and cheers from my faceless peers), but I do remember that THAT was the only time I’ve slept (been unconscious) in a tent.
So I’m doing that tomorrow. Without the mess, I’d guess. I’m going with F., and we’ve been planning this trip for a month now. Though “planning” is us saying, “We’re going camping that weekend still, right? Right.” He bought a new tent. He also bought a motorcycle today, but that’s irrelevant. He likes things like motorcycles, tents — things he can tinker with. In my head I call him the Terrible Tinkerer, but don’t tell him that. It’s one hell of a No-Good Nickname.
So the Tinkerer and I are disappearing into the desert for two days (after 25 years of living, I still second-guess the spelling of “desert” versus “dessert”), which is good, I guess, because there aren’t bears in the deSert. There might be snakes, but I would take a good poisoning over a right-out mauling any day. (Poor venomous fool! Be angry, and dispatch.)
I might have mentioned my fear of bears in here before. I’m afraid of them in my goddamn marrow. You can’t call it a phobia, because phobias are irrational. There’s no phobia, or at least, no proper, recognized phobia / “the fear of bears,” because you should be goddamn afraid of bears. (And don’t you forget it.) My bear-fear (oh, English; those words should rhyme; you are ornery, mother-tongue) is valid, and therefore I am not crazy. (And don’t you forget it.)
I have nothing packed but two foldable chairs in the backseat of my car. (I forgot to say hello to my roommate when I came home tonight. Instead, I said, “Are these blue things chairs? Can I borrow them? And are you storing hydrogen bombs on our balcony?”) (She said “Yes,” & “No, they’re wine kegs.”)
(Wine kegs! In any other circumstance, this wouldn’t be disappointing.)
Camping is probably less minimal than most people would have you believe. You always need shit, don’t you? We always fucking need shit. I can spend a night at someone’s house and if I don’t have my fucking contact solution, I’m done for.
But right now I only have chairs. Two chairs, and I’m washing my sports bra because I only have one because my other three seem to have vanished in The Divorce. So many items seem to have vanished in the divorce.
One of the last emails E.R. sent me was an attempt at humor and reconciliation. ”I found your yoga pants and you can have them back because they look terrible on me.” I don’t remember if I responded, but I remember it because I can hear him saying it. And I remember a slight pang of disgust, not wanting them back at all. In part because I had poured coffee grounds on the clothes of his I still had before they went angrily into the dumpster, in part because I didn’t want to be trading bits and pieces of myself, himself, ourselves until the end of time. Sure, I can take my yoga pants back. But you’re going to have to take back this sense of humor you’ve instilled in me. I could fish your sweater out of the trash, but I’ve got these turns of phrase you need to take off my hands. I wake up in the morning, saying, “up anddd ahhh dummm.” You still look at your dog and hear me say, “he looks like a dumb coyote sometimes.” We could try for take-backsies for eternity, but I think I’m probably still stuck with all of your junk. For fucks sake.
So I lost my sports bras. That, plus the combination of losing 20 pounds and not having many things (read: bras) that fit, I’ve been wearing the same one for every workout, every yoga class, every jog. I’ve been doing all three of those things. I started yoga up again after a far-too-long interlude. I lost my mind on all the endorphins the first time back.
I am stronger and fitter and more flexible and have better stamina than I ever have in my entire life. I’m thinner (though some days, the scale feels like a damn lie), and doing yoga — particularly — makes me feel like a fucking beast.
I need new sports bras. I’m washing mine (I said this) for my camping trip tomorrow.
I’m not panicking about any of this. But then again, I never really know why I’m panicking.
My relationship with stress isn’t the same as most people I know. I have many friends with crippling anxiety, and I have friends who use stress as a catalyst for good things — productivity and self-improvement.
My ability to read stress in my own body is next to zero. When I started seeing Hippocrates years ago (almost three now), it was because I realized I was having panic attacks. The problem was, I would realize it just before I was about to pass out. There was no build-up, no warning that was identifiable to me. In retrospect, of course there was a build-up (sometimes, days long). Of course there were signs. But my relationship to anxiety is one that doesn’t let me identify it until I physically shut off — I can’t breathe, or I pass out, or my legs give out.
Once, I told a friend — who has terrible anxiety — that I didn’t understand stress. That I didn’t know what anxiety felt like. He could have slapped me in the face, but I wasn’t lying. If you asked me, I’m still convinced I’m not an anxiety-ridden individual. Because I can’t feel it 99 percent of the time.
This is all to say I’ve become much better at identifying these moments — thanks a lot to Hippocrates.
So I have an inkling about the panic attack I’m coming down from tonight.
The past few days I’ve been… I guess, I’ve been thinking a lot about E.R. Maybe it’s just nostalgia. Whatever it is, it’s not important. (Or rather, I don’t have answers right now, so I’m not going to try.) But I’ve been thinking about him too much. In a way that’s unhealthy.
I am absolutely nowhere near “over” my last relationship, and that wasn’t something I was expecting to feel at this point. It’s been six months. It should be done, right? Especially since last month, I felt like I was making progress. I didn’t expect this to be something with backward-stepping.
Like I’ve said in the past, don’t confuse this with wanting to be back in my old relationship. I don’t know what it is I’m feeling.
But there’s been a lot of unhealthy, intense thoughts on the matter, and they’ve been spiraling me somewhere I don’t want to be. I’m not sure how to fix this.
BUT. My job does give me killer health insurance. Maybe it’s time to see Hippocrates again. Ask him what he thinks. How to move forward again. ‘Cause I ain’t doing a great job at the moment.
Ohh, there’s a lot more. There’s so much more. But I’m at a point where I can probably sleep now. (My heart stopped racing, and my skin isn’t itching anymore, and — if you haven’t noticed, my parentheses and dashes have severely diminished through the progress of this writing.) (Besides these last ones, which I now realize negates my claim.)
Goddamn, friends. There’s a whole lot. You know?
Just made this. (Photo’s not mine.) Tofu is essentially my lifeline, but I’m getting a bit bored with the few ways I know how to make it. This used a new technique and only required things I already had at home. Delicious, spicy, satisfying.
Here’s the recipe.
Saving for later research. These are gorgeous.
It’s funny. I eat really healthy (when I’m not at work where there are snacks), but I don’t think I do it totally by choice.
Sautéed vegetables are 1.) the only things that don’t give me heartburn, and 2.) the only things I know how to cook. I eat so. many. vegetables. I really should investigate the other food groups.
Tonight: the above + lentils (my other staple). All of these veggies were free / leftovers from a work event. Cookin’ that shit UP.
You truly are, and will always be, one of my favorite writers.
Please, please never stop.
Open Letters to Random Followers, #1
Dear Dani, you’re the only person I know to have made it out of the Midwest alive, and one day you’re going to have to tell me how you did it, preferably in a bar somewhere out west, or east even—anywhere, really, with some kind of coast. It’s a sort of homesickness, I think, but grandfathered, a genetic memory reminding us that nobody should be this far from the water. And yet when it rains all day and the river is rising I can still see myself growing up here, and instead of dreaming of midnight cities and silvery highways curling like cigarette smoke I’d be content with the feel of old land, a bay’s spine rolling beneath me as I ride the perimeter of a retired lumber magnate’s property, checking the tension of the fences. But we can leave the shiny bits of ourselves anywhere, and after having traveled so far and long I’ve spread myself out to the threshold of the insubstantial, with nothing left but the days of my life to leave behind; when you’ve rendered yourself so vulnerable, you can fall in love with a sudden wind, broken sticks indicating the recent passage of deer.
Say hello to Koreatown for me, to the stage and the poetry battles, to your actor friends working in the restaurants and shit bars selling obscenely expensive alcoholic disgraces to the natives. Find a religion that can take credit for the mild winters, fall to your knees. Never has a winter come so close to killing me. In Michigan my car broke down in the middle of a tunnel with snowdrifts three- or four-feet high blocking both ends; in Bariloche a storm sent a telephone pole crashing through the window of my hostel room; it was only ever here where I looked at the sky trembling over the dead trees and sincerely believed that the gray days—within and without—would never end, and the only way out was with a last viewing of Bogart and Bacall in The Big Sleep and a heart full of Lorazepam and grace.
Then it’s spring and the dogwoods are budding all along the mountain roads, and I’m driving through violet country slow as possible, willing everything to last last lastlastlast. Last, the wormwood. Last, the bend of the river through the fields. But exiled though I am in ways where even the desert failed, I can’t help but feel like my anxieties have finally spilled over and infected the rest of the country. Watch for it, Dani: The Brothers Tsarnaev will be the most remembered of America’s novels, a magnum opus of the modern Prometheus regarded as enigmatic apocrypha in some future place where the sedative of time has muddied the water, blurred the line between content and context. The news comes on during my drive home, some new school shooting, some other bombing, and it feels like we’re determined to fulfill the prophecies ourselves, having grown so tired of waiting on the one that finally carries everything away, and I want to say fuck the scenery and just haul ass, make it home in record time to hold tight the ones I love and tell them that everything is going to be all right. But spread out as you all are, that’s a drive that would take me around the world, and none of you have ever wanted or needed me half as much as I wanted or needed or wanted to be needed in return.
I’m rambling. Sorry. You asked me once what it is I’m after and I had no good answer for you then, but in this endlessly unfolding now I suppose I’m searching for a validation of that fear, a reason to be frightened all the time, for something to lose.
When the center no longer holds and the conflicts of the world slip out of the dark corners where we’ve placed and forgotten them, when the war finally reaches our shores—not isolated events of seemingly senseless violence but a final vengeful accounting of our imperialism for which there is no Nuremberg defense, no tenable defaulting to Arendt’s banality of evil—it’s the tired Minuteman thinking of his children and his long-haired lover who will be our bravest, ablest defender. And however his motives are judged by whatever civilization and its attendant morals that survive us, the morals and lessons of our age tell me that, when there is nothing greater than yourself on the line, bravery is little more than a smooth-faced boy with a bomb or a gun, innocent and indiscriminate in his deadly glory.
“I want to hurry home to you / Put on a slow, dumb show for you / And crack you up / So you can put a blue ribbon on my brain / God I’m very, very frightening / I’ll overdo it.”
That says most of it, I guess. And I’ll take that over a noble war any day, an old house that on summer evenings is filled, subtly, with the scent of perfume; a bathroom in disarray with dime-store pregnancy kits poking out of the trash and wet stockings hanging from a rail on the shower door; a small life, inconsequential to all other witnesses, needing only books and clear water and waking up to find her still there in the morning to nourish it, and when the death urges come as they always will I can bleed them out onto the page where
Brave you now these odd rooms, with ill-lit fire
Stolen from outmoded heavens; I wot
All too well, these things what linger’d action bought:
A serpent, my heel, the gardener’s ire.
Wander on, you cobbler, you Jew, and tire-
lessly stand, deliver! this fight un-fought
To the lotus-eaters in whose realms I sought
The water for sleep in this half empire.
I don’t really believe in the practice of writing letters that you’re never going to send. I used to do it as a kid, and they’d always have the same effect: at the end of the letter, I no longer felt the same way. I no longer cared. I don’t like that. It means that a lot of our communication is selfish. I say things that need to be said, for me. And when you’re writing someone an important letter, you’re effectively saying, “This is so important that I have to extract it from my brain fog and put it into words that you’re required to read and absorb.” So if I write a fake letter to someone, and no longer feel as strongly as I did before writing, I’m admitting that my proclaimed importance was bullshit. And that’s a horrible feeling.
So, uh, with that preface in mind… I think I need to give this a try.
It’s been a strange week. I had been doing well, without you soaking up as much brain space as you used to. Not in the “I’m forgetting you” sense, but in the “there isn’t a sharp ache that reminds me of the source of my pain each second” sense. Just an occasional dull ache that would trigger something. Sometimes not even a full thought of you, just a moment of something missing. It’s like turning around to stare at the room you just exited, knowing you left something behind. Is it on the desk? Did I drop it on the floor? Did I leave it in the bed?
But then last week hit. Everything hit. Boston and Texas. Kinds of events that produce the kinds of images, and the sort of fear, that make you sit still for a second. Make you focus. And everything else fades away except a different type of dull ache — one of sad love, of wanting to not be alone — one that turns your subconscious into a tunnel that pops up where you wouldn’t expect it. And in this case, watching the news, seeing the pictures, I resurfaced with my mind on you. And my heart with you.
God, I resent these stupid words even as I write them. I never spoke like this with you. There was a block there. Even if you had my heart, you rarely had the experience of me expressing it with words. I don’t particularly enjoy myself at my most cliche, which is often what love does to us, and so maybe that’s all it was. Or maybe I always thought, at the end of the day, you didn’t take my words as something larger than they were. They always were, and you never seemed to appreciate it. I rarely saw the weight of my feelings affect you. And it felt like something was wrong with me because of it.
Feelings, feelings feelings. Look at me! I’m ridiculous sometimes. I know. But this isn’t what I wanted to say.
What I wanted to say was that last week, you crawled into my head again, by way of my chest. I watched Boston and I did what all humans do, which was to empathize, but to also ask, “and if it was me…?” because we’re if-it-was-me-centered. And when I did that, I thought, “Well, I’d want to be with him.” I didn’t think of my parents, I didn’t think of my friends, I thought of you. I don’t know if that’s a reflex. I don’t know what that is. I think you’re still on my medical forms as my emergency contact. If there was a terrible earthquake, I’d check on you. If the world was ending, I know I’d find myself driving to your front door. When I’m in traffic and have a close-call with a car, my mind wanders to you. Would you come to the hospital? Would you love me as much? These are selfish thoughts. But I’d want to see you in the moment between arriving at the hospital and slipping into the coma. Yours is the face I’d want to see last.
And I wonder: Is this a “still” or an “always”?
I had a great day at work the other day, wanted to tell you.
My parents are in town. The last time they were, we were together. My family feels incomplete.
I can’t get your laugh out of my head. Your belly-laugh. The one that you know makes you look charming, but also is uncontrollable. I hear it when I’m driving. I hear it when terrible images pop into my head, when my brain turns shadows into monsters. I hear it when I think about you with other women. I think about the squint of your eyes, and the face you make in the mirror. My throat closes up. It’s doing that now.
Hi. Are you still reading?
Can it really be over?
When I finish this letter, will I feel less than I do right now? Will I be lessened? Will my apocalyptic thoughts, (the ones where I have to run and hide, and I do so with you by my side) be replaced with daydreams of self-reliance? Will that partnership fall on friends?
And could I ever, in a million years, love someone with the type of intensity and respect that I had for you? Would I even want to?
I’m remembering another element to these letters, which is that they’re embarrassing and predictably simple. I’m lacking depth when I think about you. You turned my thoughts simple. You did from Day 1. It was you, and it was us. Complexity wasn’t needed. It was us, and I could have lived on that alone for… years? Or ever? I don’t know.
You turned me simple and I was thrilled by that.
This is too much. Look, you. I wanted to let you know that you’ve been on my mind more this week than you have been. I wanted to let you know that, even if I’m no longer where your mind goes in tragedies like Boston… apparently, you’re still owning my animal brain. Residual anger doesn’t want me to give you the satisfaction of knowing this, but the rest of me is needing that bullshit letter writing process, to say, “Here it is, out loud. It is important. Look at me, being important.”
For what it’s worth, I’m sorry. For every second I might have hurt you, for all my own insecurities and problems. For my lack of soul-giving. (Not a word I use, ever, but it’s what I mean to say in this case.) For not giving you a final chance after the final chance. Yes, I’m sorry for this, too. I’m sorry I didn’t say, “let’s try again” when you came to your senses, when you finally came up for air.
I’m sorry for whatever I was lacking. I’m sorry for this letter, if you ever happen to find it. You never read this journal, so I doubt it’ll ever end up in front of your face. But if it does, I’m sorry for that, too.
And this is where I’m supposed to feel less, and want to delete all of it.
This is where I’m supposed to sign and sleep peacefully.
This is where I’ve ended up. Letter-writing. Up-ended.
When I think about the year so far — which I find myself doing often — I picture a cartoon caterpillar. The sinusoidal wave of up and down that’s, effectively, pulling me along. There have been no natural stopping points, just continuous hills and valleys and moments of sludging forward, then using that momentum to pull myself upright. Potential to kinetic energy, and no control over either. First consenting, then action non-consensual.
I went to San Diego with friends and pet rhinos and giraffes. I didn’t know it before I went, but it was definitely on my doing-list of things before death. Happily checked off.
I’ve become close with a new friend. I’ve strengthened relationships I’ve already had. I rarely say no to social goings-on this year. It’s been a helpful distraction and a rewarding effort.
I went to San Francisco for work. Spent time doing things I’d never voluntarily spend time doing. Saw my cousin. Saw an old friend I haven’t seen in years. (Adored the time we shared.) Saw a fist fight between three homeless women an hour off the plane. San Francisco isn’t my city. The prevalence of mental illness, people living on the street, is so vast that it’s overlooked. It makes me hurt. It’s watching the hardest parts of humanity exist between the pockets of people calling it “culture.” I couldn’t live there without needing to help, every day. I found myself angry at circumstances years before me that caused a subset of broken people to end up starving hysterical naked. The results of starving hysterical naked don’t match the allure of its present instantaneous.
Theo got engaged. Theo, my little Theo. Our thirteen-year-old selves would talk about punk music for hours. I say it all the time, but he got me through puberty. I would be a drastically different person if he hadn’t opened my eyes really early. Now he’s getting married and becoming a doctor. He’s one of the few ways I know that time has passed. And certainly one of the few pieces of my life I don’t compartmentalize.
My mother asked me on the phone today if I’d had a bad day at work yet. I was shocked to realize that the answer was no. It is so good.
I’m also ghostwriting on a weekly basis. Besides the extra cash, it’s pushing me and keeping me engaged. Obviously, my writing in here has been lacking. Things have happened that have made me turn away from committing myself to paper. (I don’t think I’ll regret the lapses in my journal when I’m older. They often indicate turbulence, and I can normally account for them and acknowledge them silently.)
My job has got me itching to dive into theatre again, though. I want to do scene study work. I want to write and direct. And I suppose there’s no god damn reason I can’t.
In the next month, I’m receiving a lot of visitors and welcoming people back. My parents included, who are moving out here. A friend returns from overseas and with him the promise of e-cigs and much more poetry. (And, perhaps, a bit more of the madness that I’m itching for.) An old friend moves to my part of the world — a friend that goes back further than Theo. And mes amours, mes amis, Olivier et Bethsy a decide me visiter. Vraiment. Apres presque trois ans. Mes amours.
So there hasn’t been a shortage of people. Good people.
Emotionally, I’m an ice cube. That’s to be expected, right? I lost my best friend — first on his terms, then on mine, and then through unnecessary extra pain and disconnection. I have a bitter taste in my mouth some days from the whole thing. Others, I want to drop it all and say, “those were the best days, no days could be better, let’s do it again.” Other days I realize how much more comfortable I am in my own skin. How I feel less judged and more supported by my own legs. How friends don’t put ultimatums up against my flaws, and would never dream of doing so. I feel like I’m allowed to fail, and that’s brilliant.
I miss how his ears moved when he thought of something and was about to smile. I miss the moments he needed me and was thankful that I was there. He actually looked at me in those moments. I miss our friendship and when we were in sync. The thought of him smiling with anyone else turns my stomach. But these are confessions of feelings, not indications of regret. I’m the caterpillar. Caterpillars don’t regret anything, and they definitely don’t rush for anybody. They’ve got shit to do, but on their own goddamn terms.
I need sleep and scheduled times for quiet. I haven’t had time for consistent yoga, just the gym. That needs to change, but things need to die down first.
In 2013, I’m open. I say things that are on my mind. I’m present in medias res. I value my opinions and they haven’t been usurped by the viewpoints of others. They’re equally strong, valid. And they take up my fair share of airtime.
(In 2013, I’m also hurting like crazy. But that’s an offering of honesty, not an S.O.S.)
Just when I thought my day was just shot to hell.
Thank you, sweet sweet jesus.
It’s a Sunday, and I have downtime.
I’m realizing that I need to be prepared for downtime now, with a plan or, at the very least, a list of things to do. Because I was stoked to get out of the house and head to my favorite coffee shop across town. I was stoked to sit down with a yogurt for breakfast and an iced coffee. And then…
Well, I’m sort of just sitting here. I thought I’d have some work stuff to catch up on, but I realize I’m in pretty good shape with that. I thought I’d have some week-planning to do, but that’s more or less done.
This is a large leap of a segue, but I think I’m in a period of mania. I’ve been go-go-go, dream-the-impossible-dream, take-no-prisoners for a few weeks now. This is the longest a manic period in my life has lasted; I normally crash after a week or so. I don’t know how I feel about it. It’s incredible and I feel high from it. But I’m well aware of the low that’s coming, and dropping from this altitude is going to… well, it might tear me apart.
Last weekend I forced my presence upon a group of friends whom I barely knew, and insisted that we have an insane night out. 4:30 in the morning, the night was winding down in a diner in West Hollywood, and I was still going. By the time we were home, at around 5:30, I got another burst of energy and danced until all the guys scattered to their various bedrooms and passed out. And there I was, ready to keep dancing. And while my friend said no one minded the next morning, I worry that this type of never-ending mania might be damaging to potential friendships, which is something I’m focusing on at the moment. I’ve been the crazy girl at various points in my life. I’m not sure I’d like to drift back to that.
All of this is just to say that I have downtime at the moment, and I’m juggling kinetic energy that feels like it’s never going to go away. I feel like I own every fucking particle of it. I’m unstoppable and unbeatable. But when I have nothing to do… I start to taste a familiar metallic letdown. ..
I don’t want to think about it. Maybe this feeling will last for the rest of my life. Maybe I’ll be/see/do/find/own everything and everyone. Maybe this is the best. Maybe it’s for the best.
My life is going… god, I don’t want to jinx it, I really don’t.
I’m terrified I’m going to get hit by a car or something. Things are going… WHY AM I SO AFRAID OF JINXES? They are not realllllllllll. Or are they?
No, look. December was one of the worst months of my life. Breaking up with E.R. was atrocious, and it still eats away at me sometimes. I don’t really want to talk about that. Just know that it hasn’t left my mind, in preface to what I’m about to say.
Other than the shittiness of that, and a pretty equally shitty family thing that occurred last month…
Things have just gone berserk. Like, out-of-this-world well.
I’m seeing friends more than I have in a long time. I’m making time to go out, and still making time for myself.
I’m in a mindset that is both creative and productive.
I love my job. I love it. I know I’m only two weeks into it, really, but so far… I leave every day smiling. It’s like someone took all my skillsets and wrapped them up into one job. And the people are terrific. And I get to think about theatre all day, even if it’s indirectly.
I love my other job. I love that I’m ghostwriting these articles, some of them for well-known people. I love that I’m a freelancer and I get a check twice a month for my writing. For content that I’ve produced, and someone has deemed good enough to pretend is theirs. What a splendid thing.
I have a new friend who will go to poetry readings with me. Who, when I call him at odd hours and say, “I just need to have a real conversation with a person right now,” he hops in a car and picks me up, and we actually do have a real conversation.
I’ve been finding myself again. And in the process, I’m finding the person I’m not. The person I don’t like. Which is equally as fascinating, and beneficial. Because my circumstances have all changed, I’m seeing elements of my personality that I want to embrace, and other elements I hope to chisel away. Both of which I haven’t seen, or had to face, in a long time.
I’m starting to build stories again. I’ve got all these great memories of the last two years, but I don’t have that many stories. Which isn’t to say my relationship put a damper on my life in any way, but it is to say that I was so wrapped up in loving another person that I managed to ignore the love I have for everything that existed outside of us.
I’m exhausted, but happy with it. I lost a lot of weight, and had a shit couple weeks of eating and drinking, but I’m confident I can stay on track this year. Keep the weight off.
I’m more flexible than I ever, EVER thought possible, and put both hands on the floor in front of me when I grab milk out of the fridge. I love yoga. I love yoga.
I’ve been more confident in my own body. I can put my hair back in a tight bun and headband and not feel naked and off balance. I can put on a pair of jeans that don’t look incredible on me and still feel incredible in them.
I’m learning what makes me feel beautiful. Certain shapes on my body, how I take care of my skin. Any makeup I wear, how soft I keep my lips.
And on top of this, the web series I’ve been working on was just picked up for distribution. We’re in the early stages of working it all out, but I really think it’s found the perfect home. It’s also something I never thought I would do, or could do, or that would happen to me.
Today feels like a culmination. And, like I said, I’ve been living in fear that I’m going to get struck by lightning, or eaten by a bear. And I’m certain there’s going to be a down-point soon, a dip in this bell curve. But right now I’m just enjoying the high, and taking in everything that’s new. Nothing has been this new for a long, long time.
All right, that’s it. I’ve temped fate. I’m probably going to die in my sleep. Goodnight.
Tomorrow (or rather, today… but I’ll get to that in a second) I start a new job. I’ve been waiting to say anything about it for a few reasons. First, because I wanted it to actually happen before I jinxed myself somehow. Second, because I wanted to find the words to express everything I’m feeling about it.
But it’s 4am, and I’ve been trying to sleep for four hours now. Just my luck that I wouldn’t be able to sleep the night before my first day of work. Honestly, though, I think it has less to do with my typical insomnia and more to do with stress at the moment.
This is the first non-freelancing job that I’ve sought out and gone after entirely on my own. I saw the job posting and knew it would be perfect for me. Basically, I’d get to work in digital publishing AND the theatre world. Can it really get better than that? I’m not sure it can.
So I submitted an application, had two interviews, and I got the job. I trained on Saturday and I start tomorrow.
And part of me is absolutely terrified.
I feel like a fraud. Like, who on earth would give me a job? Who would possibly value my opinion and skillset enough to put faith in me? To want me on their team?
I’m also utterly freaked-out by the promise of a 9-5. The last 9-5 I had tore my heart out of my chest… and while I’m 99 percent certain it was due to the fact it was in reality television, there’s 1 percent of me that’s terrified I just don’t have the energy, and stamina, for a schedule that doesn’t allow me to wander out the door to go for a walk if I want to. So scared.
I was excited because I thought the office would be in a part of LA I could take the metro to. That way I could utilize my travel time by reading or writing. But it seems the office will be in the farthest point in the city from my apartment — a place the metro doesn’t travel to — so now I’m panicking and realizing that it might take me an hour to get to work every day. Two hours of precious time, wasted. And waking up absurdly early just to drive with everyone else in the city. So of course, I’m sleepless and looking up new apartments on the other side of the city. I’d hate to leave my fantastic apartment, but what choice do I have?
My parents are, most likely, moving to California within the next six months. I’m already planning wrangling my mom into apartment hunting with me.
I really need to sleep. I’m dying and wide awake and, obviously, stressed to hell. That won’t help my nerves tomorrow.
On a positive note, today was the most productive day I’ve had in a long time. I finished everything on my to-do list, including two freelance articles, the gym, making food for tomorrow, twenty emails, and four loads of laundry. So there’s that.
Jesus god, just let me be good at this job.
Just spent too much time in the OED looking up the etymology of “bling.” I could have sworn it was a verb (meaning: to shine, sparkle) before it morphed into “bling-bling” around 1999/2000, but apparently, I’m just crazy.
Just crazy, that’s all. That’s all, folks.