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It’s been pointed out to me that I’ve been quieter, online, than usual this month. Few blog posts here, fewer tweets and FB updates, and that’s true. It wasn’t intentional but a symptom of the calendar and the other things going on in my life.
December is full of holidays, breaks from school and work, social occasions and general merriment-related stress. January comes on the scene with lists of things to do and goals to be met, along with the promise of potential. “This is the year it all changes!” January shouts, and we want to believe.
March sloshes into April and the process of churning forward into Summer begins. March is when things start to happen out in the world, the calendar begins to fill up again, and we’re expected to start shucking the winter layers in preparation for May revels. I like a good revel as much as the next girl, so I abide by this yearly cycle just like the rest of the world. But what about February?
Short, cold, dark, February. It’s not a bad month, nor a sad one, but I always find it to be a quiet one. The streets are quiet. The nights are quiet. My head, more so than it’s been in a long time, is quiet. I’ve cleaned and redecorated my apartment, nested in for the long haul through winter, and am warm and cozy… which leads to comfortable silences and not noticing when the hours slip past. With fewer social engagements I get to have much-appreciated time alone, and then spend my extra time on the people who matter most. Problems and “drama” that ended 2012 have faded away, leaving only the good moments behind.
Work has been moving along and gaining momentum, so much so that there have been days I’ve answered email and tweeted and blogged as Dagan Books and have completely forgotten to do those things as me. I’m okay with that.
I’ve been reading more novels and less short stories. I think that’s a winter habit, too.
February is coming to an end and with it the end of the quietest time of the year. I’ve done the work I needed to do, change the things I needed to change. Like a bear coming out of hibernation leaner and hungry for what’s next. Okay, more like a squirrel than a bear, but you get my point. (Do capybaras hibernate?)
There’s more, a lot more, that I am almost tempted to say but not quite. Personal things, internal things. Happy, hopeful, lovely things. But I think for now I’ll keep that to myself, and enjoy the quiet for a bit longer.
February isn’t over yet.
I have a problem with control. I can look back and say it’s because I grew up with awful, unexpected things happening to me, that made me perpetually afraid of the next terrible thing that was going to take me by surprise. It might be that I’ve lost people I cared about suddenly, people who died or left without another word, people I never got back and couldn’t have gotten back. It’s probably all of those things and more.
We grab for control of our lives because we’re desperately afraid of what would happen if we didn’t. It doesn’t really matter how it starts.
The last few months of my life, the last year of my life, has been dramatic. The more I thought I didn’t have any control, the more I freaked out and tried to put my foot down, decide I deserved more, or better. Not getting what I needed felt like a value judgement, like I wasn’t important enough or loved enough or wanted enough … because after all, when people love us, they put us first right? They give us what we need regardless of what they need, or they don’t really love us. That’s the myth, anyway. But then you’re looking for a sign, a concrete answer, some kind of proof that you’re loved. That you’re worthy. You’re looking for someone to say, “I don’t want to do this thing but I will because you’re so important.”
I never wanted to be that kind of person. I don’t want to have to ask for proof. I don’t want what I can get by putting my foot down, I want what someone else wants to give me because that’s what they want. That’s real. Nothing else is.
Lately I’ve been trying to get my life back on track. To get back what I need to be happy. I’ve tried waiting, being impatient, making plans, marking dates on the calendar (if X happens by this date, it’ll be okay), crying. Pleading. Being terrified. That’s the thing about losing control, for me, specifically about losing someone suddenly, completely. I get panic attacks. My heart beats so fast it feels like a bird trying to beat itself to death against the inside of my chest. I’m drowning in myself and I’ll do anything to make it stop.
The sad part is that trying to hold on tightly, out of fear, is almost always exactly the wrong way to make things better.
It snowed tonight, our first big snow of the winter. I sat outside for a while and watched it fall. It was so lovely, silent and still. No one else was outside but me. I had been pushing against not getting what I what I wanted for so long, I was exhausted. I was ready to give up. That’s it, I’m not worth it, I’m never going to get what I need to be happy again.
I’m tired of being scared. I live in a beautiful place, I have a wonderful child, and I love someone amazing. I have so much potential to make my life better. The person holding me back all this time has been me. The person who thought I wasn’t good enough was me. So I gave up tonight, not on myself, but on trying to make something happen. I’ve said everything I can, I’ve done everything I can. If I’m loved, then I’ll be loved. If I have to wait, I’ll wait.
Anything could happen tomorrow. And I feel good about that.
Note: this post is very long, very personal, and has nothing to do with writing or comic books or cooking – the things most people read me for. It’s okay if you want to skip it and come back again tomorrow.
I made a comment online about having been a bit depressed lately and someone messaged me to say they’d never have guessed I was. I have actually been trying to get a handle on it the last couple of days, which for me involves mentioning how I’ve been feeling. Why? Because otherwise no one knows, no one is expecting me to get better, and I can continue to sleep three hours a night and watch four seasons of Supernatural in a week.
Because I don’t tell anyone else enough about myself for them to realize when something’s wrong.
I don’t mean to hide, not really. I don’t think anyone really wants to know. It’s a fact of my life, that doesn’t hurt or upset me; it’s just there, and I work around it, like I work around the weather or my son’s school schedule. I don’t know if that’s from being an introvert, or – I’ve been thinking lately – because I was broken a long time ago and haven’t healed yet. I’d hate for that to be true but it’s possible.
Outside, the night falls, the kind of chill-tinged early dark that tells you Winter is nearly here. My apartment is warm, and clean, and my bed is soft. (Flannel sheets go a long way toward suggesting that snuggling under the blankets all day is a viable option.) I like it here, which I haven’t been able to say for a long time. And yet -
I want to get into my car and drive away. Find a twisty country road, put a blanket on the child, and drive until I stop feeling the pressure in my chest telling me to keep going.
No one else on the road.
Sometimes I do it. I pick an excuse – a trip to a store farther away than I need to go for something I don’t need to buy, as long as the 20 miles each way still has curves I can feel the tires gripping to. I want to keep driving, into the mountains, across the plains, to a city, an ocean, anywhere but here. I wish I had someone to go with me, a partner in crime, someone who wanted to stay up all night talking, in the dark.
Well. Most people have day jobs, so it doesn’t work out.
I drove, when I came out to the East Coast from California. I drive everywhere I can, because I hate flying, and because I love giving in to the desire to just go. It’s not running away, it’s moving forward, and sometimes it’s driving in circles but it’s still motion.
Too much energy, I suppose.
I don’t run away from home any more, not like I used to. I enjoy the trip but more and more I find myself liking the return as much as the leaving. I’m starting to think I may have a reason to stay.
And if not, there’s another midnight tomorrow.
A lot’s gone on the last few days, and is still going on, so forgive me if this attempt to catch up is a bit disjointed.
I was sick, as some of you know. Quite sick. An allergic reaction to a medication that people are rarely allergic to (my doctor actually thought it was a worse-than-normal case of the normal possible side effects, for about two months) – which I don’t want to name because I don’t blame the thing that works very well for millions of other people. Just not me.
I’m comfortable with saying “I was sick” here or on Twitter or whatever, because in my head, that’s letting people know that I’ll be unavailable or working slower than usual. But once people start to react with concern or worry, I get uncomfortable. I know that it’s good that people care, of course, but I feel a bit put on the spot. Not sure of what to say next, since I wasn’t looking for attention in the first place.
Introvert thing, I guess.
I took a temp job for a few days, cleaning an apartment for my landlord. A neighbor moved out suddenly and left his
junk stuff behind. Turns out, the guy probably didn’t clean for the last year, every item and surface in the place is filthy. A day of work turned into three days. I might be done tomorrow.
Bad timing because I’m trying to recover from being sick, but I can’t turn it down either. Being poor takes away a lot of choices.
I’m doing a Kickstarter for Dagan Books that’s chugging along at a nice pace. As of today we were at 73 backers and up over $2000, leaving us with less than $500 to go before we meet our first goal. If you’d like to learn more about what we’re offering, and pledge a donation yourself (you won’t be charged until the end of the month) please go here:
People have asked why I’m working as a house cleaner when I have a publishing company. Partly because I don’t (and haven’t ever) drawn a paycheck for Dagan Books – you can’t simultaneously grow a business and take from it, not at the beginning. And partly because if I’m going to ask people to donate to a Kickstarter, I’d better really need it, and be doing everything I can to make money on my own, don’t you think?
I am looking forward to the weekend, though.