Thursday, November 19, 2009

Every Silver Lining has a Cloud: On Mourning and Other Kinds of Despair


Sent to you by moya via Google Reader:


via my best friend gayle by summer of sam on 11/19/09

Clearly, I am not the most positive thinker.  But I do try to have an even outlook, and not let the bad stuff bother me too much.  I figure if Monday is really sucky, then the rest of the week will be fantastic, comparatively.  That's how I've tried to look at this year.  In February, my great-grandmother, who we all call(ed) Nannie, passed away.  When my mother first moved back to Weezy, she lived with Nannie and Papa (who went on to be with the Lord in '93), and she and my father were still living with them when I was born.  When my parents finally did move out, they literally moved across the street.  I didn't go to daycare; I stayed with Nannie and Papa.  I went there before and after school.  My younger, less socially awkward sister did go to daycare with other kids, and though I came along with her, I was much older and by then preferred to deal with old people.  I saw Nannie everyday for the first 14 years of my life.  So yeah, we were close.

Though she was super old and we all knew she had to go sometime, her death still really fucks with me.  I'm surprised by how warm my face is getting as I type this sketch, a brief narrative I'm telling just to make a larger point.  I didn't talk about it on my blog back in February--I saved my public mourning for the death of Michael Jackson--and I only mention it here to say that I thought February was my Monday.  Life takes a peculiarly sick pleasure in proving me wrong.

Since then, I've had nine of the shittiest months of my relatively brief life, and today (and it ain't even 8:00) doesn't look to change my streak.  It's a really long story, and since I'm an introvert no one really knows the details of everything that's transpired from February until this morning.  It's an entertaining story, maybe even a cautionary tale.  Don't know how much longer I can hold it in.  I might just burst and make a mess everywhere.  Part of me wants to tell anyone who will listen.  Another part of me waits for a particular listener, which probably does nothing but up the shitty factor of these last several months.

Though 2009 has compelled me to deal with a lot of emotional junk I'd prefer not to, and heretofore had avoided (to say that I have felt things this year would be a drastic understatement, even for me), I'm not nearly the mess I'd thought I'd be.  A lot of that has to do with the fact that a friend of mine, who's really into astrology told me that bullshit was coming into my life (yes, I paraphrase) but that I'd be ok.  In the worst moments, I've played her saying "You'll be fine," over and over in my head.  Though the first few months were hella painful for me, a couple of months ago I had a break(through) and just got mad zen about life.  Until very recently I was in that place.  I really tried to focus on the present.  So much so that I'd mentally tell myself what I was doing as I was doing it.  Yes, I'd literally be telling myself, "You are folding socks.  You are folding socks.  You are making the bed..."  Moya says that's meditative.  I don't really get into all that, but I guess so. 

For the most part it's worked.  Then Sunday I thought I was going to lose my shit--and I kinda did.  Though I was tested this morning, I'm working hard not to lose it again.  (Hence, this blog.)  Then I remembered what I realized last night: yesterday I had a meeting with one of may advisers about a dissertation chapter I'd turned in a few weeks ago, and she didn't seem disappointed in what I'd given her.  She said nice things to me, said the writing was really good.  You know what?  I actually believed her.  Maybe I need to believe her.  But whatever.  I'll take it.  Comparatively, that's a small thing, but last night because of it, I decided I was awesome.  For the last nine months, I've been meandering through the muck of madness, and not only was I able to write a dissertation chapter, but I actually turned it in, and my dissertation adviser had some nice things to say about it.

You know what?  I wasn't so riddled with anxiety before, during, or after the meeting.  I actually went home and read through her comments.  I stuck a Post-It on the first page.  It reads: I can do this.  I am awesome.  Love, Me.  It's hardly eloquent.  It's corny, but it's what I need.  Right now, it's enough just to get me by.

I'll be fine.


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