Current Events

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In my middle school social studies class, we would spend the first few minutes of class doing "current events." We would read the day's local newspaper and choose a topic to talk about. For some reason I took that experience and applied it to my daily diary habit- ever the geek, I would often head a day's entry with "let's check in with our old friend, Mr. Current Events." At least one day each year even through high school I would try to describe the day in full, excruciating detail, from when I woke up, what I ate for breakfast, the order of the day's classes, who I talked to and what about, etc. Remembering was a very important thing for me, as if forgetting those minute details would somehow set me adrift in my life, and with no anchor, no tether, to who I had been, I would be utterly lost. I don't know why I carried that fear with me even at a young age, but I appreciate it because I have piles of diaries filled with thoughts, events, and people I know that I never would recall as vividly had I not been writing them down, cementing them in my memory. 

My first few years of college I moved from standard diaries to notebooks to which I would confess long, rambling streams of consciousness in between classes. Without the structure of year-long classes and more chances for peer interaction, I was lonely and often had only myself to talk to. So I people-watched, made observations, tried to entertain myself by making up stories about them. Then when I met G the first few years of that relationship entailed notebooks full of my thoughts about us, our struggles, our connection, my fears and insecurities and obsessions, of which I had plenty. Then as the veil of mystery lifted and we became more unified and authentic, I felt the urge to write in diaries less, perhaps because I then I had someone to remember with me, a fellow memory-keeper and traveler, someone who could fill in the gaps for me, and I for him. In theory this works and is something I try to never take for granted, but in practice, I admit I've felt a void. 

There are things I can't remember. Seasons and years that pass in a blur, so much faster than they used to, it seems, and I can't sense the growth, the evolution of myself, as keenly as I once did. It happened as I feared, I'm adrift. Perhaps because at heart I am a writer, and it is in writing that I maintain the link with who I truly am, not simply the person going through the motions of her life, the person in survival mode. G is sometimes frustrated with my seemingly stalwart, slavish dedication to my responsibilities and asks me what my dreams are. It's an overwhelming question, the universe rolled into a ball and dropped with a deafening thud at my feet. I can't answer, because it's been a long time since I've known. Since I've had time to really sit back and think it over, and be brave enough to chart a new path. There are too many unknowns that terrify me, too many practicalities to consider, that stop my dreams in their trembling tracks. I feel that if everyone worried about every possible variable or complication the way I do, the world would probably screech to a  paralyzed, grinding halt.

 There's a part of me that knows that I'm not made for these times. I can put on a good enough show to seem like I have it mostly together even if I've shirked the more "normal" societal expectations- marriage, children, the diverse financial portfolio, the white picket fence. But I'm a poorly patched together straw-person, and when things go wrong and I start to feel like I'm losing control in my life, all my stuffing threatens to come out. A silly analogy perhaps, but that's what it feels like. Like I can barely function well enough in my simple, relatively unhindered  life as it is that the idea of adding any more of those responsibilities would just be more than I could handle. How much is me truly not wanting those things, and how much is the fear that I couldn't hack them, and therefore don't deserve them? Cracks in the facade begin to show, and I don't have to energy to really face what's behind. So I patch it up as best I can and trudge forward, plodding along with no clear destination in mind, trying to erase the fear that there's nothing here worth writing about, anyway.

I didn't mean to stay away for so long, this was an unplanned hiatus. But I've been tired, and stressed, and that hasn't been conducive to positive, entertaining writing for you, dear reader. It's been a long, cold, dark winter. Money has been tight for a while, and it feels like most of my mental energy has been focused on saving as much of it as I can through couponing and such. Which is a good thing, and has helped immensely and in a lot of ways is something I enjoy on a good day, but the necessity behind it has worn me down. The stress and frustration has affected my relationship, and the stress from frequent clashing hasn't helped either. It's been a vicious cycle. Admitting that I'm worn down and needed a break is something I don't do easily. Admitting that it's not all sunshine and rainbows is hard, and makes me feel like a failure. Admitting my faults and weaknesses is not something I share very freely, because I've been rejected a lot in my life, and old habits die hard. 

So those are today's current events. The unfiltered truth, the same thing I would tell my diary if I still had one. I can guarantee my finger will hover for minutes on end over the "publish" button before I actually do it. I'll go back and forth-no, things aren't that bad, you're fine, don't bother putting this out there, what will people think? Yes, you need to present yourself as a whole, complex person and not sharing it would be lying by omission. And so on. But if you can read this, that means I'm a little stronger than I thought. So...things aren't awesome for me right now, but I'm trying really hard to get better. Going to put in a concerted effort to get my mojo back for blogging, for life, for everything. Taking a much-needed week off work at the end of April, so it's good to have something to look forward to. I'm going to get myself in a more positive place and share some good things that have made me happy. Someday I'll be able to look back here and remember how I felt right now, and hopefully I will be looking back from a healthier, more secure, more fulfilled place. And over time I'll be able to mend the tether that somehow along the way was broken, and move on secure in the knowledge of who I am,  who I am becoming, and also, who I was.


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2 comments :

  1. Hey LV :)

    I wish I would have seen this when you posted it. I feel so dumbfounded because I relate with this so very much. I often have been wondering how the majority of people are able to just live their lives- work, pay the bills, clean the house, cook meals, etc. Basic shit like that doesn't even come easy to me, and I'm always feeling guilty for it. But I tend to attempt to escape, marathoning tv shows on Netflix or just doing whatever I can to not think about me and my responsibilities racked up from just existing. I think everything has gotten too complicated. People have to kill themselves at work just to meet their basic needs- food, water, and shelter. Everyone is hustling and bustling and living their busy lives to succeed in a basic way. I wish it was okay to exist without the burden of something on my back. I've been on a hiatus all year not because I don't like blogging, but because it's hard for me to just deal with basic responsibilities. And I truly hope this post doesn't seem selfish and I hope I didn't misinterpret anything you're explaining. I read your newest posts too; and my heart breaks that you've been dealing with that bus stop creeper. It is not ok that you had to change bus stops just to feel safe. I hope you continue to be safe and I hope he leaves you alone.

    As a major subject change, I think that's really amazing that you documented your daily life in middle and high school. Beautiful, actually.

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    1. Oh dear, I'm so happy to see you back around the interwebs, and thank you for taking the time to comment on such an old post! You have it exactly right- so many people are living merely to survive, that they never have the chance to thrive and really achieve their potential. It's a very insidious form of oppression-keep people down, focused on just keeping a roof over their heads and food in the pantry, and they will be too distracted and too tired to do anything about the real injustices in the world.

      I am doing better, finances are still precarious but I am almost finished paying off our car so that will ease some of the burden. Summer has helped my outlook too, I think. This past winter was brutal.

      I do pretty well with routine, but as soon as things get chaotic or unpredictable or tenuous, I get really panicky very quickly. For instance, I made a cake for our annual family reunion on Sunday. Unfortunately half of the cake stuck to the pan, and even though I patched it together as best I could -it looked horrendous. I didn't have time to make a new one. I freaked out crying and told G I didn't want to go anymore, that it was embarrassing and I couldn't present that as my work (I'm sort of known as a decent baker, so that reputation is important to me.) He pretty much forced me to go and told me no one would care, but I was just absurdly overwrought and dramatic about it. And guess what? I put the covered cake pan on the potluck table, and people cut into it and destroyed it so quickly that I don't think anyone really noticed how ugly it was. It was totally not worth the meltdown I had, and I didn't have to let one little failure define me. And that's a big part of my problem in life: I get so afraid of failure that I don't even try. I just have to keep taking little baby steps out of my comfort zone, even if that means presenting myself as a person who *gasp* makes mistakes.

      I hope you come back to blogging whenever you feel up to it, I do miss your posts and wonderful comments! Oh, and bus stop creeper has not bothered me since that last day. I have seen him, but he hasn't approached me. I still take the other bus route though which is actually generally more pleasant, so it's not a big sacrifice. Anyway- hope to see you around more and I hope everything is going well for you!

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