Sometimes I miss who I used to be.
But occasionally, in an old photo, I’ll see a glimpse of a girl I’d forgotten I’d been, who hadn’t gone through quite so many traumas and challenges, and who probably wasn’t really as bad as I sometimes like to condemn her as. And I rue the day I lost her.
Not that there was a day.
More of a grinding succession of days of me going against my true nature in pursuit of things I didn’t truly want.
I can see how the contrast of all that bleakness and despair, against the joy and love I always knew was possible, informed the blueprint of the person I am now. And I really, really like who I am now. If that was the only way to get to here, I’m fine with that.
But was it?
That is the useless, unanswerable question that I should just tell to fuck off because it’s just trying to fuck with me.
Lying in bed one night the other week, an idea for a blog post hit me in a most inconvenient way. The kind of way that made it difficult not to get up and write it right then. But it was already about midnight and I didn’t want to fuck up my sleeping pattern even more, so I just stayed in bed, trying to keep my eyes closed. Every so often they’d spring open rebelliously, when another reason it was such a necessary post for me to write exploded through my synapses.
I didn’t write it then, and I haven’t written it since. It’s going to be a long one, it’s going to take some time, and it’s going to demand I pay attention to it and give myself to it fully. I have a couple of asignments already taking up that allotment of time and energy, so I’ve just been holding it ever since.
Is it a coincidence that my blog has become non-daily since that night?
Yes, I’ve been busy. And more than I’ve been busy I’ve been anxious about how much more busy I should be, which is a poor quality headspace to be in. But I think my decision to hold onto that idea until such a time as I can ‘do it justice‘ has made anything I write in between seem optional.
This is the first major blog hurdle of this iteration. I’m interested to see if I recover.
Lost momentum is hard to regain.
At this point, I’m really just aware that in the not so distant past, I had a nice amount of momentum. I remember kind of what that felt like, and certainly that it was good. But I can’t really connect with it anymore.
I’m pretty sure that for a while during lockdown I had my shit together, but part of me is beginning to wonder if it was really as good as my nostalgia would have me believe.
Lately I’ve been sort of floating around in a chilled out bubble. I flouted my dietary requirements a few times, which put me in brain fog mode quite regularly but, even in between, I was preferring to just bob along happily with my little toddler-oriented life.
Then I decided to commit to some actual work. But, after a blaze of inspired productivity that lasted, like, a day and a half, I found myself climbing back into the comfort of my floaty bubble with an indulgent smile on my face.
I’ve had to begin the process of coaxing myself out. But I am a sneaky motherfucker. Every time I turn my back, bam, back in the bubble, naughty-kid side-eyed grin on my face. Come on, Yve, just five minutes.
I ate something with soy in at the weekend. Soy is my own personal doomfruit. I know it’s not a fruit, but I feel like if a foodstuff is going to be prefixed with ‘doom’, it’s going to have to be a fruit. Although, okay, I will grant you, there’s something quite charming about a doom-legume.
Between six and forty-eight hours post-doomfruit-consumption, I begin to notice the onset of a pervasive dread descending. The physical telltales normally show up sooner, but I prefer to write them off under other explanations if possible. The doom-dread, though, is definitive.
I have built an arsenal of many coping strategies by this point, so the doom-dread comes in waves, and sometimes I fool myself into thinking I’m managing it fine and maybe soy doesn’t have the same effect on me as it used to, or maybe I was wrong all along and, despite the very substantial body of evidence to the contrary, eating soy is actually something I can start doing more regularly.
And then I realise I’m lowkey panicking that I’m never gonna have any money and my life will continue to be nothing but a long-drawn-out trudge across a field of desolation and lack. And I think, hold on, that’s a bit extreme, things aren’t that hopeless. And then I remember that I have two grand in my current account right now, and all of my bills have been paid, and all of my needs are met, and I’m totally comfortable, and my savings and investments are growing, and there’s no reason whatsoever not to be sitting here with a shit eating grin on my face. And then I think, fucking doomfruit!
Sometimes I look around my room at night, after I’ve put my son to bed, and partially ticked off my to-do list, and I assess the things I haven’t bothered to put away because they’ll just be out again tomorrow and I’d rather do something else. And I wonder: does anybody else live like this?
And, well, yes, surely, they do. And they live countless other ways too.
I have an ancient script running that tells me I’m the only imperfect one, and I have to keep correcting it. It’s taking a surprising amount of time to overwrite.
If I don’t leave the house for multiple days: does anybody else live like this?
If I only eat vegetables when I’m cooking them for my son: does anybody else live like this?
If I just kept piling up the laundry and now I’ve run out of trousers: does anybody else live like this?
If I forget to put the bin out for five weeks in a row: does anybody else live like this?
Yes, thank you, they do. And they live countless other ways too.
It’s not that it’s wrong to question whether what I’m doing is healthy, or optimal, or something to be improved upon. It’s the comparison that’s bullshit. It’s funny though, the script used to ask the question rhetorically, and shame me into a corner. Now I’ve started answering it, it’s actually kind of refreshing.
People live like this. And countless other ways.