Sunday, January 17, 2016

Ride it out.

Yesterday, I was reading through some of those horrifying things I wrote between the ages of 18 and 20. You know. Those letters you write to boys that you save as Word documents because you have no intention of actually saying those things out loud? Those lists of things you want to do when you someday have a boyfriend?

I got to one that was a list of traits I wanted in a future husband. Right there amidst the laundry list of normal things a girl includes, it said

8. Doesn't watch The Office.

I almost laughed out loud because it was so absurd. One month ago, I started watching The Office for the first time and have binge watched 6 seasons of it. I'm just slowing down now so I don't get sick of it. But it's still all I can talk about.

Yes, I remember not liking The Office in high school (Michael Scott made me nervous), but I don't remember vilifying it. 

It's funny that that person could have been me, but the me now that loves The Office is still me, even thou they are such different people.

And all the letters to all the boys I thought I would someday marry? It feels embarrassing now. And strange that something that once meant so much to me now doesn't mean anything to me at all.

That's a question that I've always had. How can we trust our feelings when our feelings change? Why do our feelings feel like everything to us in the moment--enough so that we base our choices on them?

It seems like we should just ride it out and wait until the next feeling comes.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The sun came up with no conclusions.

It's been two months since I started listening to this cd on repeat in my car, the same ten songs in an endless loop.

"I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning" is a throwback to high school, which I luckily didn't get rid of when I was 18 and pious.

The melodies aren't that interesting, and he has that strange voice, but Emmylou Harris sings those haunting harmonies. And it's perfect for when you're sad, when you're overwhelmed, when you're tired, when you feel like you might be in love, when you're excited. It's everything.

There's nothing like singing out "I'm a single cell on a serpant's tongue"

and "No one ever plans to sleep out in the gutter. Sometimes that's just the most comfortable place"

or "I'm glad I didn't die before I met you"

and "You'll be free, child, once you have died, from the shackles of language and measurable time"

and "In the caverns of tomorrow, with just our flashlights and our love, we must plunge, we must plunge, we must plunge."

Sunday, January 3, 2016

I refuse to jump.

When I was little, I had a hard time starting sentences with the words "I feel." I don't know if I could have explained why that was, but it hurt somewhere inside my own body to say those words.

Then I went to college. There was a summer that I changed. It was 2011. I remember how freeing it felt to realize that I could talk about my feelings. I became an advocate of doing so, especially for women.

The pendulum has swung back slowly, and here I am at the other end again. Feelings seem too risky. Hipsters don't care about anything because caring isn't cool. Because caring hurts.

Caring hurts. It's as simple as when someone doesn't like your favorite restaurant. A lot of my friends think Panda Express is gross, and that makes me sad. I'm watching The Office for the first time (yes, ever), and there were people on IMDB saying that Jim and Pam are bullies. That hurt me. Caring hurts.

You're supposed to power through the fact that caring hurts and not let it stop you. Brene Brown says that you have to show up and be seen, no matter the outcome. Get up when you fall. Keep jumping off the cliff into the lake every time, because that's the only way to live.

I've done that. It's the only way to live.

But then once, I walked to the edge of the cliff and stopped. I'm still there, and I refuse to jump. It feels like every light switch to my heart has been turned off, one by one. It feels hard to say "I feel."

This is not an "I was having a hard time, but now I'm better" story. I'm tired of hearing those, because they make everything seem too easy. It ain't over till it's over.

This is an "I'm having a hard time" story. And that's where it ends. As if in the middle of a sentence.