Positive regard

Seems silly to kill a streak for no good reason.

Dave Hause sent me down a little winding path of nostalgia today.

I haven’t spent much time looking back this past year. I mean, I have in an unwitting, flashbacky sort of way, when my pain has overridden my reason and demanded I gallop through past landscapes while it takes gritty snapshots to justify its existence.

But I haven’t reminisced all that much.

The past is a chequered palace I haven’t really felt safe walking the halls of.

But last night, I listened to Dave Hause and, far from being drenched in quiet misery, I was stirred to something resembling, well, resolve. I had forgotten something about Dave Hause and his music. I’d forgotten about the huge Heart in it. The Hope in it. I’d wondered whether it might draw me back to a version of myself I had left behind, but instead it simply nodded to that version, and I laughed about it, and felt fortified as this new version of myself, so many iterations later.

This evening, I found myself looking through photos from one of the most difficult and painful times of my life – from when my son was barely one and I was destroying myself trying to save a relationship with his father that couldn’t be saved. And there was no sting of betrayal, loss, regret or victimhood. Merely an oozy, burning feeling of consolidation, as I integrated different aspects of my life and my self.

At some point, so long as we don’t hold onto it, the pain and shame of the past dissipates and leaves us with memories skewed toward the positive. While I was looking the other way, it seems I have been blessed by that phenomenon of late.

The threat of unwholesome torment

I was probably a little unfair to myself in my last post. There are some uncomfortable things that I was more than happy to continue enduring long after my untimely demise. The wrong things.

It’s probably only been in the last few months that the don’t be a sucker, it’s not worth it advice has actually started kicking in in all the right places. It’s like I had to languish about in the stagnant puddle for about five years, all soggy and shrivelled, before I finally managed to extinguish the pathetic little birthday candles on my back I was after all along. And maybe, if we’re being candid, they actually just ran out of wax.

But anyway, they’re out. I think. More or less. But the fear that I can’t tell what is and is not worth my toil is probably more the problem than anything else. Because I know when I get into it I can toil like a motherfucker. I’ll eat your shit off the table if I think it will save us and I’ll keep up that Kundalini kriya ’til my arms are non-functional if that’s what you tell me to do.

How do we know which is worth it?

Do we listen to what others have to say? Or do we listen to ourselves? Which of us is the most trustworthy?

Lost to the grind

Sometimes I miss who I used to be.

Mostly not.

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.

Textual constipation

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.

Living like this

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.