One of my favorite writer friends, Cindy Reed, posted something that really resonated with me last week. Called "I have lost my words", it's an effort made by a writer to explain how it feels when that delicious ability, the almost effortless way some of us can spill our feelings and thoughts into a group of words that make a story...just goes away. Imagine something you can do easily. Something you've always been able to do, and do well. Can you knit? Draw? Ice skate? Now, try to fathom what it would feel like to wake up one day and know damn well that you CAN still do that thing, but for some awful, mysterious reason, you CANNOT do it.
Cindy struggles with things that I do not. But we are both struggling. As I read her post, I felt that warm feeling one gets when you realize that you're not alone. That what you are wrestling with may indeed be your own special kind of demon, but there's someone else, not too far away, who is trying desperately to get their demon into a full nelson, too.
I miss being here. I miss sitting in my bed with my crappy laptop heating up the tops of my legs while I blissfully clickety-clack away, oblivious to the minutes sprinting by or the dawn creeping up outside my windows.
I miss connecting with people, miss writing things that kinda make me feel insane but I know just make sense. I miss this. The sound of the keyboard, my dog snoring next to me, the taste of my way-too-strong-coffee fresh in my mouth. The television show I have on for company sounds far away and distant and although it's something I'd love to just sit and watch, it's taken a back seat to what's happening right here, right now.
So what's the deal, Jenny? I've asked myself that question every single day for the past several months. Many times a day. After I read something inspiring. After I read something insipid and roll my eyes. After I read something that's just kind of meh, I think, "I could have done that better." And then that part of me I can't stand, that bitch Inner Critic, says, "Could have and did are two different things, loser."
I'm struggling lately. My life is actually going pretty well, on the surface. The money stress is not as bad as it's been in the past. The emotional distress of raising teens is in a semi-reposed place right now. I love my job and going to work is not something I do with any dread or disdain. And yet, I'm struggling.
Fat shame on me, my weight is, well...weighing on me as of late. If you've been here a while you know self acceptance is not one of my strengths. Apparently, eating everything in the world and not exercising is. But if you are cut from the same cloth, you know. You know that sometimes hating yourself is much more convenient than doing anything about it. Excuses flow from me like lava. "I'm tired!" "It's so dark out!" "I don't have time to work out and shower before I have to be back at work!" "None of my exercise bras fit." Blah blah blah. This particular struggle seems to have overshadowed everything right now, and frankly, it's becoming tiresome.
My son Henry has this super annoying habit of taking pictures of me. All.The.Time. While I'm driving, when we're standing in the kitchen, as we sit on the couch. Takes them and then shares them on whatever site all the kids are on these days. Snapchat maybe. Or is that so last year? #clueless All I know is that I hate it. Sometimes I feel like one of those ancient peoples who believe that the camera will steal my soul. Except my fear is that the camera will expose mine.
So the other night, he snapped one of me while I sat there and played Words With Friends on my phone. My face was tilted downward and he took it from an upwards angle. CHIN CITY, folks. Plus, I was wearing my massive black and white heathered sweater-burka that keeps me warm but also makes me look like a killer whale with a pigment disorder. I demanded that he show me the picture and when he complied I wanted to die.
"God, Henry...you have to stop doing that. I am so ugly!" I said this with conviction and not in the way one does when fishing for encouragement or compliments. I topped it off with "I am disgusting and fat and I hate myself right now."
Henry looked at me and said this: "I think you look great, Mom." And then, because he's one of those wise kids, he said, "If you think you're fat, you should do something about it."
Uh huh. So there's that. I guess it's just a matter of the loathing defeating the lazing. Which, fingers crossed, happens soon. I miss wearing jeans and also I'm getting tired of pulling my stunned stomach muscles when I bend over to put my boots on.
Another struggle I've been having is something of a similarly personal nature, but with a more intimate twist. I've been involved with someone, off and on, for a long time. (no, it's not John McCain, but this one overlapped and intertwined with that whole debacle-relationship) I've never written about it, and aside from divulging to a few close friends, never discussed it with others. To call it a "relationship" would be like calling leggings "pants": probably true by definition but certainly a misappropriation of the word.
It's nothing serious, and yet it reeks of solemnity. I walk away from it feeling bad, and even my fractured self knows that means it's not something worthwhile. It makes me feel wanted, at least for a little bit, but at the same time makes me feel despicable and lowly and so bottom-feederish. It's only future is that there isn't one, and for some reason that very aspect of it gives me comfort. Knowing that it's nothing more than pure and unfettered physicality, with no strings, no annoying conventional relationship complications attached, makes it easy. Easy to continue despite the very obvious fact that it's holding me back from finding someone who has strings and complications that I might find attractive. Fun, even.
For someone who likes to discuss the size and grandeur of my balls, they are nowhere in sight when it comes to this quandary. And that, like my current dissatisfaction with my weight, is bugging me.
Phew. I feel like I just spent some quality time in a confessional. And I haven't even gotten to the part about blogging, and how I'm more and more apt to disassociate myself from that word. Let's just say, I started out as a "blogger" but now find it almost embarrassing to be called that. I think it really struck home when an Allstate commercial came out that shows a tired mommy having an off day and yet still strives to be the best damn mommy ever. She proclaims, "I should totally start a blog." and then crashes her SUV into a pole. I'm a mom, I have a blog...does that make me a mommy blogger? These are the thoughts that haunt me, people. I'm a lot like Thoreau in that way.
But this is already way too long and rambly. Just so I don't forget, I'll remind myself here that a good title for the next post would be "Mid-Blog-Life Crisis". Let's just hope it doesn't take me six months to get to it.
Thanks, as always, for reading. And for being here.