Monday, November 30, 2009

a funk. a rut. a terrible head fog.

These types of things don’t just go away. They really don’t. They must be worked on, and worked on, and worked on some more, and then really worked on (as in, you really have to try, you can’t just half-ass it), and then honed, and then probably worked on about 593014 times harder. And it absolutely sucks.

It’s easy to get out of. It’s so easy to not work on it, and to let it fester, and then let it take over. It’s so easy to be miserable, isn’t it? You don’t see people running to therapy and just gobbling up advice and bolting back to their daily lives and applying all they’ve been taught and then moving on with complete success and a smile on their face. It takes a lot of work (see above paragraph) and if you’re already pretty miserable, “a lot of work” might not even cut it.

The teensiest little break from real life, from reality, is welcomed now. My mind can zone out faster than I realize, maybe in some kind of self-preservation effort. Walking into the post office for six minutes is like entering another realm. Leaving it, and walking back through the rain and fog, back into my ever-familiar car, is like an unpleasant slap on the face with a dirty dish towel. Reading a book or a blog is as if my world dissolves around me as I crumble into pieces and land together in another person’s more-upbeat world. I have my crocheting, where I watch the hook dive in and out of the yarn loops, mesmerized at something creative and imaginative occurring outside my body. But usually, my head’s just in a fog, and walking into the post office or getting into crocheting does nothing more than stir up my brain cells a little, unresponsive.

Unfortunately, my brain responds better to misery. Is it a curse, or am I to work on it, and fix it? Maybe I don’t respond well to other people’s misery. Studying in South Africa was nothing but confusion for me. My brain could not physically piece together the data it was receiving, I think. Mansions, bordering slums? Extravagant shopping malls on the wharf, bombarded with the homeless? Internally, it was nothing but anxiety. My body was literally rejecting what I was sending it. And it still does. I have to remind myself to unclench my stomach while I’m at work, suffering through a lock-in drill (a drill, unaware to us). As Maggie of Flux Capacitor puts it: “I can feel the weight of mortality and suffering from around the globe pressing me down into the dirt like a horrible gravity.” Isn’t that the truth? The anxieties from South Africa and crime and poverty in the city give way to petty anxieties from endless triggers, like being late to an appointment or hurrying to bed with the fear of not getting eight hours of sleep every night.

So I drive in to work, acting the typical white suburban girl, making sure all my doors are locked at stoplights and practically running out to my car after work and fumbling with my keys as images of muggings and heads at gunpoint dance through my mind. Before long, stomachaches set in at the tiniest tinges of worry, and soothing tea and antacids are regular supplements. This isn’t right.

Anxiety is a hard thing to work on. Sure, tactics and methods to stop anxiety before it sets in are fabulous ideas, but only for those who can employ them. For those that have a nice stable environment in which to practice them. If you can’t work on yourself, and you can’t comprehend the skills, and you can’t get your head out of the fog, you can’t fix things. You probably can’t. Unless something huge gives way, and a little glimpse of sunlight peeps through, and it inches your heels forward just enough to push you to do something about it. Because these types of things don’t just go away.

i almost didn't post this, but then clicked PublishPost before i could think otherwise. so if you've struggled through this, i apologize. comments are welcomed openly.

A Dapple Of My Weekend

No words, Just pictures.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

the thanksgiving that wasn't.

Okay, that's a lie. Thanksgiving happened. But really, I just wanted to skip right to Christmas and forget about turkey and stuffing altogether. I was so un-into it on Thanksgiving Day that I hardly even took any pictures. I may have even listened to Christmas music before Thanksgiving.

I did start a new tradition though: yoga on Thanksgiving morning. It was "Will Teach Yoga For Food" at 9am, so while everyone else in my family hyped up for the Manchester Road Race or began preparing food, I filled a grocery bag with nonperishable foods and headed up to the yoga studio. It was great fun. Having a super-perky, all-smiles yoga teacher welcome you on a sunny Thanksgiving morning was just what I needed.

***Note: this is not to say I did not enjoy spending time with relatives all afternoon Thursday. I did, really. But my head was just kind of strewn with lights and garlands and ornaments, instead of turkeys and pilgrims and parade floats.


We celebrated Black Friday (maybe more than Thanksgiving . . . . sshhhhhh).

Yay for Christmas season!

making sense.

I've been in such a funk lately. Actually, more than lately. For awhile.

I know, I know--all blog posts around the web for the past week have been lists of what everyone is thankful for. I'll get to that, sometime. I really will.

And I should be thankful. I mean, I am thankful. Especially with all that I see everyday at work.

Like the woman who came into our office the very day she was going to be evicted, unaware that we provided resources, and moved into a crowded shelter that night.

Or the kids who come to school every day wearing the same uniform they've been wearing all week, with stains and dirt and tears in them. And then again, on Monday, unwashed.

Or the parents who came to pick up turkeys and carrots and onions and potatoes last week, for a Thanksgiving dinner they could give to their families.

Or the families who come in every day asking for clothing for their babies who have nothing but one or two outfits, and no winter coats. Or for sheets and blankets for the beds in their home they just moved into from Puerto Rico. Or for mittens for their kids. Never anything for themselves, just for their kids.

Or the kids who tell me about their lives so matter-of-factly, as if having emotionally abusive, alcoholic fathers and police who come to their house every weekend is a completely normal thing to live with.

Or the parents who teach their kids to fight back, to "never stay hit," to punch back. Because that's what they need to walk down their street alone.

It's so hard to legitimatize the world. I can't justify it in my head. Life's not fair, is it?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

back again.

Oops. I haven't blogged in four days. My bad. Sometimes I need a blogging break. Four days did it just fine.

So, I thought I'd come back with some photos. Photos of a walk I took today through the woods. A long, much-needed walk. Whoever thought living at home after college would be a good idea? I think people suggest it, but don't really consider the repercussions. Sure, living for free with the people you've lived with for the past twenty-two years anyways while saving pennies and working sounds all nice and fine, but have you tried it? It's not so swell.

I'll be back soon with Thanksgiving updates, since I've been so absent. Promise.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

a tea party.

Sunday afternoon + little sister + tea in a teapot + mismatched dishes =

a perfect tea party.

Monday, November 23, 2009

a dapple of my weekend.

Lots and lots of babysitting.

Reading Nickel and Dimed.

Raking leaves.

Making guacamole.

Drinking coffee and writing applications.

Going to the movies.

Sleeping in.

It's Monday.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

a proposal.

This weekend, two of my very good friends got engaged. Mike proposed to Lauren in the barn behind her house, where she keeps her two horses and where she spends more of her time than in her actual house. He lit it with white lights, had music playing, and gave her red roses. He even got her mother in on it so it was a complete surprise.

Isn't that sweet?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

(right now.)

(Right now)

(I'm in a coffee shop)

(pretending like I'm getting my grad school apps done)

(but really, I'm checking up on all the blogs I missed yesterday)

(and reveling in gingerbread latte.)

(I gave myself this afternoon to be all mine,)

(simply doing what I'd like to do)

(and reading what I'd like to be reading)

(and thinking about what I'd like to be thinking about.)

(This day of mine has also included a long hot shower and homemade guacamole for lunch.)

(But I feel a teensy bit guilty,)

(so don't tell.)

Friday, November 20, 2009

rockin hairstyle.

I totally rocked this exact hairstyle today. And loved it. I think it's my new favorite.

(Found via A Cup of Jo, via Copenhagen Street Style)

a tidbit.

Heard while listening to "Peter," a resident at our organization's home for those living with HIV/AIDS:

"I can read now, too, ya know? I'm almost finished with this book here, see? Just a few pages left. I've already read two whole books! Now, when I knock on my mother's door, she trusts me and lets me in and gives me a big hug."

. . . . . Maybe my life isn't so bad after all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

if only . . . . .

. . . . . I could take a train from my small town into the city for work every morning.
Forty-five minutes of my life wouldn't be wasted sitting idly in a car, avoiding neurotic highway drivers and listening to bad radio and racing to beat the clock.
I could work on my crocheting and get some reading in and maybe even take a little nap.
If only . . . . .

(Photo via OsvaldoZoom)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

a dapple of my weekend.

My weekend had lots of highs, but also lots of lows

which probably contributed to my delay in posting these photos.

(I guess it's only Tuesday, but . . .)

Regardless, it was nice to finally be home for a weekend,

and not driving miles upon miles.

My weekend included:

:: scrapbooking with MH,

:: happy hour-ing (yes, I just made that a word),

:: making headbands,

:: finding the kind of beer I drank when I was in Haiti,

:: making good use of my new umbrella,

:: and a trip to Northampton for thrifting, eating, walking, and perusing.

Now to tackle another work week . . . . .