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.
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.
Sometimes I wonder what it must be like to not see complexity in everything.
Some people have a clear-cut way of seeing, and it leads them to conclusions they are fully capable of grasping.
I have a meandering way of seeing, and it leads me down various rabbit holes, where I find murky and paradoxical possibilities that thrill and terrify me in their impossible vastness.
While I like to think that allows me to see the world closer to its true form than if I just picked a reality and stuck to it, I’m not sure of its utility in the end.
Sometimes I get concerned by how much I type ‘I’ on this blog.
But I very deliberately opted to focus on my own experience primarily, because I didn’t want this to become some accidental attempt at a life coaching blog, which, given my preoccupation with self-development, it easily could. I wanted to try talking about me in a way that might offer you something.
So I will have to sit with the discomfort that, in making that choice, I have centred myself very firmly and ostentatiously.
I entered this endeavour in a kind of suspension. My mind, and life, a nebula. Stuff had blown up, not particularly recently, the dust had settled, gravity was starting to pull, but nothing had yet taken form. From that space, I didn’t want to be professing much of anything. I wanted to be observing. Documenting. Exploring.
I had nothing, in particular, to say.
I am still in that nebula, though shapes are forming. And I am still making the choice to keep talking, mostly, about myself.
More and more, I am realising; it’s really the only thing that I know anything about.