That I’ve spent the last ten minutes staring into space wondering whether to title this post ‘So…this is progress’ or ‘Woefully inadequate’ should give you some idea of my frame of mind. That I’ve spent the last 20 minutes wondering aloud whether to write (because I want to) or go to bed (because it’s late, and I should), might emphasise the sense that in many ways, my modus has ceased to operandi, and I’m feeling more than a little bit stuck.
I probably should go to bed. Giving up seems so tempting, in more than just this particular arena.
That said, sleep is good and healing (I have the perpetual beginnings of a cold, it seems, which makes me sneeze and ache and feel deathly, yet never takes off – I’m treating it with vitamin C, intermittent epic naps, and the hope that somehow treating the symptoms will be enough to mitigate my underlying failure to self-care) and perchance things will look rosier in the morning, or the evening, anyway.
I will have another solid day’s work under my belt. I may or may not have gone to the gym by then. I will most certainly have had a therapy appointment. And I will be a day further away from the grey fuzz which has descended on my brain this evening, like ice – reaching in to cover everything with an impenetrable and frustrating case of disillusionment.
Everything seems to break when I think about the future, certainly in terms of functionally achieving the dream. I read a piece which stated the most important question we can ask ourselves is not “What do I want?” but “What pain am I willing to endure?” for those dreams are exacting in the minutiae of their achievement, and whilst it would be lovely to have everything just magically fall into place, that’s rarely the way of the world.
And yet for all that, things ARE falling into place for me, and I’m still struggling.
I wonder if I’m destined to be one of those people who permanently needs their hand held, and spoon-feeding. I sure as hell don’t seem to have ever stood firmly and independently on my feet, rather constantly clinging to the edges, grabbing for the coat-sleeves of grown-ups, and turning a snot-bubbled, lip-pouted, tear-stained face to each new
endeavour failure attempt at getting my life under control, already mentally beaten down by the stacked history of unsucceeding.
One of those at a time.
With help, and yes – with hand-holding and spoon-feeding and lots of encouragement from those more capable, because…I’m just not. Never mind wings and flying – at the moment I seem to need support even to do the next important thing…or determine what it is.
Dreams will have to wait, while I have all of this NOW to manage.
On the surface of it, my NOW might even look positive: I have a full-time job, which I enjoy and at which I’m capable. I am packing and moving out of the flat (albeit painfully slowly). I’m writing new pieces (even if I’ve not submitted anything anywhere for the longest time, and my idea of ‘writing my way back’ has fallen somewhat by the wayside). I’m even (glacially slowly) putting together the bits and pieces of information and documentation I need to achieve the rest of the year’s plans.
They look something like this:
January: Finish moving out of the flat
February: Visit America, establish some work roots and make business plans, learn to drive a ‘Murican car, visit the college where I hope to study and get answers to a bunch of important questions. Change my name and all documentation associated with it*, call the courts about this veryveryslow divorce, if nothing has transpired by then.
March – ?: Keep slogging away at the paperwork, finalise plans as information becomes available and possibilities become solid pathways forwards (or not)
September? January 2017?: Up sticks and move to the other side of the world to see if I can’t make that dream come true.
But that NOW…that ghastly NOW, which is comfortable, surrounded by loving friends-and-relations, with such manageable broken-down next steps to achieving…seems like a wall of encoded reality my brain just can’t comprehend. I am under constant bombardment by thoughts which cloud my vision, like hailstones descending in sheets from darkened skies – I don’t know if the employment visa will work out; Can I begin on one visa and switch to another if it’s better; I don’t have a clue how the US tax system operates; I don’t know if I can make a car work; I don’t want to wait another year; I’m so impatient and it’s not going to help me; It might all be for nothing anyway; Even if I train I might not get a job; Why do I constantly self-sabotage; What’s wrong with me; Why do I have so much STUFF – I’m not going to be able to bring it all – I should just get rid of it now; I shouldn’t throw my life away yet in case I need to come running back when it all goes wrong; AM I just throwing my life away; It’s not like I’ve ever earned enough for a pension; Wonder what happens when you’re old and penniless, like the for reals penniless; How many second-tries does one person need before they figure out they just need to knuckle down and do what works and accept a life where dreams stay dreams; Wonder how many second tries I’m going to want to go for; Wish I could be less self-involved and less of a crappy fair-weather friend; So many people I need to catch up with; I’m going to lose my friends if I don’t interact with them; I owe so many letters; I wonder why there never seem to be enough hours in the day; I wonder how other people do it; Why am I so quick to ignore the things I have achieved; Why am I still here, typing, instead of going to bed like I know is good for me; Why do I publish articles at stupid hours of the night and then wonder why they do so badly; why, why, why…and omg HOW?!
The hailstones build in the corners of my vision, unite their freezing, incapacitating thoughts together into a chilly mental straitjacket. Before I know it I’m frozen, wishing I knew a way forward but finding distractions instead. Wishing I would sleep but choosing to write instead (so continuing the cycle of self-sabotage and lack of self-care). Wishing I had willpower and expending not an ounce of effort to achieve my goals.
Wishing and dreaming in sunbeams and glitter, whilst wasting time staring at a screen as the despondency thickens, and I wonder at how quickly my grandiose Words of ‘adventure’ and ‘resilience’ shattered upon contact with reality and all the frustrating groundwork required to achieve them. I turn a resigned face to the chilly insistence of what seems like just another failure…like marriage; like all the training I’ve done previously; like most of my life so far – all amounting to…well, whichever measure of success you apply it doesn’t seem to meet criteria, and certainly not with regard to workability.
Knowing that I have such, SUCH good people around me, and feeling as though somehow I’m managing to let them all down, simultaneously.
So here I sit, frozen, wondering…if the cold never bothered me anyway (beyond whining about it), then it at least explains why I’m so quick to feel I’m incapable of getting anything done.
Frozen…and feeling as though my ‘Becoming‘ has fallen into stasis.
And still sat here…wishing for the thaw.
*Christine, keep watching this space – I haven’t forgotten.