The Struggle is Real
I am very conscious of the fact that you haven’t heard from me in a while. I haven’t been away on business or traveling for pleasure. I haven’t been sick in the hospital or tending to anyone else who might be ailing. I didn’t take up with the circus (I wish!), nor did I have a baby (good god, no.) No, the deafening silence has been due to me just trying to ‘do life’ (read: just cope), during which time I’ve been trying really hard to write, I swear. My noggin is churning with so many words and thoughts and emotions that need to come out, but which have been plugged up in a kind of creative constipation.
As a result, this article is waaay late, but as I have to write something, and they say ‘write what you know’, here’s what I know: holy crap guys, I’m in a funk and have been now for the last six weeks. Other than get myself to my day job and (so far) not kill anyone, I’ve been pretty unproductive; I’d say conservatively, I’m operating at level 1 existence right now. Ok, maybe level 2, as, for the most part, I’m still showering on the weekends. I’ve been irritable (move over jammies, make room for the grumpy-pants!), unmotivated, uninspired and unfocused; qualities which do not a productive writer make. Did I mention I also decided to do ‘Dry November’? (oh god, whyyy). So in an effort to take back my life (in between Netflix marathons) and kick the blues, I decided to take a long hard look at the contributing factors leading to this (hopefully) temporary life grossness. Because I have a sneaking suspicion that they’re all ubiquitous themes (spoiler alert: they are).
Change: How Much is Too Much? (Um, This Much)
Oy vey, change has been the poster-child for 2015 and has been experienced on a grand scale by everyone integral in my life, myself included (hello broken relationship, broken heart, a big move from the west side to the east side, involving housemates for the first time in 16 years). Change pulls us out of our comfort zone and pushes us into unknowns – places most people try to avoid because we’re creatures of habit. I pretty much ate the same thing for 3 years when I lived across from Whole Foods because, convenient. Also, it’s comforting to know how a third of your salary is being blown each month.
Not all change is bad; in fact, change (for me, in moderation) is good. Pushing yourself to try new things or to get out of a rut, out of a bad situation – these are all positive things. Too drastic a change, or too much of it though, and you can be left feeling…overwhelmed. Well, I am overwhelmed and have come to realize that we can teeter in that place of holding ‘it’ and ourselves together for as long as we need to, because we need to, but that as soon as we no longer need to – wow, can we ever come undone quickly. But you know what? It’s ok. I think we’ve all gone through this at some point in our lives. You fake it for as long as you need to and then you implement the adult onesie as your wardrobe staple for an entire month and make the executive decision that until further notice, potato chips will count as a daily serving of vegetables. No judgement from me here, guys. Wallowing takes time.
Newsflash: Time Isn’t Actually on Our Side
Ah time; it’s the thing against which all other things in life are measured: days, experiences, relationships. It’s inescapable. We take it, make it, kill it, pass it. We look for the quality version of it and then we inevitably waste it because we fail to grasp just how quickly it’s running out. But ultimately, we want the amount we do have to mean something. Did I mention I’m also going through a nicely timed existential crisis? Perfect.
Time is like a river. You cannot touch the same water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of your life.
Admittedly, I have been doing a piss poor job at managing mine these days and I certainly can’t say I’ve been savouring every moment, two things which have only further added to my anxiety and funk. But I try to remind myself that life is a series of tests and challenges strung together connected by time, and the fact is, some tests we ace, others we fail miserably. Who cares that I’m like, 0 and 5 right now, there’s still a few weeks left in the season.
‘Tis the Season – to Ignore Your Family…and Hibernate
Good grief, it’s back: ‘The season’. The days are shorter and darker and you wonder why you even have to do mornings right now because who can live in these conditions?! The dismal weather lends itself to dismal moods. Hello winter blues! A lot of us suffer from depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder in the colder months (hey, they don’t call it S.A.D. for nothing) and unfortunately, it’s not something you can just ‘snap out of’ with a blast of sunshine on a frigid walk to JJ Bean in the morning. And now, with the holiday/Christmas season upon us, a time that typically brings with it much stress and complicated family stuff, it’s yet another reason to hunker down in the blanket fort you’ve assembled on your couch.
This Too Shall Pass…Right?
The human condition, the human experience – it’s universal. I’m not divulging anything new here nor am I re-inventing the wheel. Life can be really challenging and sucky sometimes, but it’s also pretty amazing and can be all the clichéd stuff that’s said about it. I know why I’ve been fumblin' with the blues lately and it makes sense: sometimes life is just too overwhelming to deal with and laying on the sofa stuffing your face with crunchy salty foods and bingeing on Mad Men is all we can muster. And that’s okay. Because we just have to trust that this too shall pass.