I'm in a bit of an emotional crisis, Internet. This blog entry is the fifth entry I've started--the other four were all deleted because they were whiny and dumb. One of them, I got all the way to the end (1,000 words) and actually wrote: I'm going to delete this whiny, dumb crap. And then I did. I should probably just have taken a break from all social media for the weekend, but I can't stay off Twitter now--it's become an unhealthy habit...like smoking, but worse. And I feel obligated to post something here every weekend now, because I started the trend of posting SOMETHING at least once per weekend, and I can't just stop. So I think I'm just going to type and spew and if you're interested keep reading and if not you should go find something better to do.
Basically, my emotional crisis is that I am in flux. And basically, I am in flux because I sense I'm doing it wrong. For example: I know writers are supposed to write every single day, and that if you don't write every single day, you're doing it wrong. I do not write every single day. Some days, I can barely manage to get dressed. I suspect I am doing that wrong, too, by the way. (You probably should get dressed every single day--change PJs, at the very least; make some type of effort.)
But please also know this is all fairly typical for me, this time of year, so I'm just trying to just work through it per usual. Have a I mentioned that I think I have that SAD thing? Seasonal Affective Disorder? This time of year is simply not my favorite--the time change always effs with me. While grateful for the extra hour, is it too much to ask for the daylight to stay as well? The short daylight thing doesn't work for me. It makes me want to go to bed early with Netflix and watch a lot of indie films (tonight I watched Beach Pillows, which was a very sweet film that I thought was about taking control of your life and figuring out why you're here...I like it when I am in a flux and the Universe sends some kind of Art to me, with exactly the kind of message I need at just that moment). Thank you, Sean Hartofilis for writing/directing/producing such a good story (when did you sleep and eat while doing all of those jobs?).
In addition to good movies, I also read an article somewhere online this weekend about a man named Viktor Frankl and the important message he tried to give humanity. Viktor Frankl was a neurologist, psychiatrist, and a survivor of the Holocaust. Viktor lost everyone most dear to him in the concentration camps, including his pregnant wife. He somehow managed to survive and make it out, and after he did, he wrote a book about why some people survive horrific events and some do not. He spent the rest of his time here on Earth trying to help other people learn what he'd figured out: that you're not here to be happy; you are here to find purpose. He proposed that people who overcome terrible things or just generally hard, sucky life moments are able to because they have a reason to; that they feel their life has a meaning, or there is some purpose either intrinsic or extrinsic for them to survive and go on. And so Viktor's theory was that when people say: "I just want to be happy," what they actually mean is: "I want my life to have meaning."
I bet I know what your brain is thinking right now: Amy, are you saying your tiny emotional crisis is that your life has no meaning?!
No. No, I am not saying my life has no meaning--the biggest meaning in my life is asleep next to me as I write this, and it's my sole duty in life to keep updating my Kindle's parental control password so she won't bankrupt the crap out of me.
What I'm saying is: I'm just in a flux, at work and at home, and I don't know what to do about it. I am actively searching for my purpose, in both places, and it is causing a flux. This flux is making me drag right now, and Daylight Savings Time and the knowledge a low winter sun (which was also an excellent show on AMC, by the way, that got canceled because nobody has any taste any more) is coming is NOT helping, not helping this at all. I do much better in the summer when I am not stuck to a constant, soul-sucking schedule and the sun is out from about 6:30 AM all the way to 9:00 at night.
I also read another article tonight titled "Why My Child will be Your Child's Boss." It was about how Americans are crippling our children right now--the Swiss send their kids into the forest with saws and pocket knives and expect their children to walk to school with friends, and they do this as young as 5 years old, and Swiss children are far more adept at facing Life's challenges and changes with bravery and skill than American children are.
Which, on the one hand, I get what they're saying and agree--we are becoming a nation of entitled wusses and I work every day with children who are being taught how to deflect responsibility for choices and weasel out of personal consequences. I am also witnessing what's coming: people who don't respect or appreciate the wisdom of mentors; those who've learned and have knowledge to pass on. On the other hand, I was a kid who walked to and from school by herself as a 1st and 2nd grader, and this one time we had a school assembly about stranger danger and I remember walking home that afternoon utterly, absolutely terrified some stranger was going to nab me and stick his dirty fingers all over me. I remember walking with my umbrella out (it wasn't raining), held in front of me like sword because I planned to use it to beat a grown man senseless if he even tried anything. I am sure Swiss children go through this as well, in 2014. This is probably why everybody trusts them with their money and they get to be neutral about everything and not partake in international conflict.
Where can I go, what can I do, where I will not have to drag myself out of bed at quarter six Monday through Friday, stand numbly under the shower, and mindlessly blow dry my hair so I can walk into a place that asks me to do things I no longer agree with, that I don't feel is good for the people I am asked to do them to? Where can I go, what can I do, where I can work with people who actually want to be there themselves, who are also not just dragging themselves out of bed mindlessly so they can hang out somewhere to be asked to do things they don't agree with or want to do (and, here, please note I am not speaking of the adults)? And where can I go, what can I do, where I will be working collaboratively with people who are creative thinkers who want to make connections and not just let someone else tell them what to think and do everything for them and then complain and threaten when the results aren't what they'd been hoping for? (This is my work crisis.)
My home life crisis isn't something I can really write about in full detail right now, partly because it's mostly in a holding pattern but mostly because it wouldn't be respectful to write about it. Let me just say regarding this: I don't handle change particularly well; my resistance to change and my inability to let go (Let it go! Let it GO!) would frustrate laughing Buddha. Because what typically happens in these cases is that I fight tooth and claw to hang on, and eventually someone (usually the Universe) makes the decision for me and then I'm cast out into the ethos all willy-nilly wild which means I have to spend a lot of time curled up in fetal position hugging a half-drunk bottle of wine, struggling to see through the veil of tears.
Essentially, I am the poster child for this picture:
(I get dragged, a lot. Is what I'm telling you.)
I am also struggling with a lot of shoulds. Remember when I told you about the church of hippie love I went to, and they told me not to should all over myself? Yeah, no. I still do that every single second of the day: I should be writing right now, I should empty the dishwasher, I should learn how to do French braids and do them every day so my child can look perfect, I should eat more vegetables, I should put down this gelato and go for a run, I should fold that laundry, I should read more, I should send those stories somewhere to be published, I should tidy my car every single day so it's not an Ebola breeding ground, I should find a way to love my chosen career path, I should shut up and stop complaining, I should just accept things for what they are, I should stop being so hormonal, I should grade that 50 foot stack of papers and enter them in my gradebook but jesus god that feels soul crushing to even contemplate.
I should all over myself, possibly every second, like shedding skin cells (did you know you shed 8 pounds of skin every year, and then every 9 years your body renews itself?). At any rate, this shoulding shit is a real drag, and I know all about getting dragged around, I promise.
So. I'm in a flux, in all areas of my life. Which means I go from really optimistic and "I just KNOW the Universe has my back! I know this is going to be OK, and I'm going to land exactly where I need to be!" to treading water (my current state of being) and "I'm going to lay this extremely important Thing To Do aside and go watch some indie films or read this book, because I need to escape to someone else's world for a bit" to really having to fight hard not to get into my car and just start driving and not look back. (Which I would NOT actually do--I just think about doing it a lot. But I would not actually do this, because somebody needs to monitor the parental control password to the technology so our credit scores don't nose dive.)
Flux. Parental control passwords. Letting go. Low winter suns. It's where I'm at right now, and it's sort of effing up my writing flow with that Nanowrimo thing but also flow in general. And God bless you if you stuck this whole lament out, because you know how I'm going to end it? By basically going: and then I woke up, the end. Because I'm going to tell you I think the main source of my problem is that I'm not getting enough sleep every night. (Insomnia: a constant battle...though I've addicted M to episodes of Mr. Rogers, and I'm finding that in addition to YouTube hypnotherapists, Mr. Rogers' soothing, calm voice and personality are also helpful sleep tools. Go to YouTube when you can't sleep and let me know if I'm on to something.)
Oh, Mr. Rogers, I really really miss you.