photography + oil pastels + scribbles
It’s amazingly helpful to read things you’ve written in the past. Even a year ago, my voice was totally different with completely different concerns from myself today. Sometimes I cringe at the melodrama of excess adverbs. Just like I cringe at my truncated sentences phase. But even when it’s god-awful writing, reading my past voices gives me enough distance to realize we’re so much more than our identity at any given point in time.
Yes, I was heartbroken. Yes, I was confused, annoying, thoughtful, smart, depressed, and so on. But none of those things equal me because I’ve moved through each one of them and come out the other side still a person separate. I’ll probably move through each of these identities again plus more, but there’s a “me” to do the travelling. A “me” who only sticks temporarily to one fixation after the other like a moth flying from one light to the next until one zaps me dead. Don’t get the moth and the light confused; a fixation isn’t an identity even if it’s convenient to think that way.
be careful what you change
I haven’t had a good cry in a while. I mean a real deep, redemptive sob. The kind that you need to sit in the shower to enjoy the echo.
When I had a lot of hormones buzzing around my body and every year brought a new garbage bag of changes to my life, I cried at least once a month. At least. Breakups initiated long performance piece cries that trailed up and down for weeks.
Now at the not so solid age of 25, I’ve got nada. The well has dried up, and the sensitivity I used to treat with shame feels like a ring you wore for so long when you realize it’s not on your hand anymore you still feel the pressure of it like a ghost ring on your finger. You remember how it felt, but it’s no longer visible. And then, eventually, even that feeling wears off.
What did I do to lose my cries? Have I brought so much peace into my life that I’ve made it stale? Am I not taking enough risks so that I’m missing out on the bruises and benefits?
I would have paid you before to teach me how not to cry. Now I’m ready to throw myself in front of some heartbreak to get it back.
One sniff of chill air and everyone’s huffing Pumpkin spiced lattes.
writing when you’re depressed
Last night I read an interview with Julie Fast who wrote Get It Done When You’re Depressed.
The title alone was enough to stir my inert brain.
I tend to baby myself when I don’t feel “well” physically or mentally. It’s a habit that’s been encouraged by plenty of people like my doctors, my mom, my therapist, and most of my yoga instructors.
I do believe there’s something to listening to what you’re body is saying and heeding it’s request to slow down. But that’s because most people are constantly on full speed and out of touch. I’m hyper-aware to the point of constant collapse.
My body always wants to slow down. I have an autoimmune disorder (RA) and, I’m pretty sure, depression. If my body had its way, there would be 14 hour bed times with naps in between.
Sometimes I think this is reasonable, but often I think that’s the depression talking (what’s out there to accomplish anyway? what’s so important about your life, everybody’s just doing the same shit?)
Julie Fast noticed that her writing was just as good whether she was depressed or not, it just didn’t feel as good to write.
But she did it anyway. And she keeps doing it, because on her “well” days she’s glad that she can move through the bad days, months, or years.
I’m a product of an instant gratification culture where the idea that there might not ever be a payoff for my actions doesn’t sit well. Since I don’t get paid to write, I should at least require myself to enjoy the process right?
Most of the time writing feels like digging myself out of a hole. It’s a lot of work and not that entertaining since it’s just me and the hole. And then when it’s over, there’s not that many people who will praise you ‘cause who really cares that you climbed out of a hole?
The payoff is being on level ground again which can feel exhilarating for a while (that is, until I sink into my next hole).
I’d like to start adopting this attitude of writing when I don’t feel like it, since most of the time that’s how I feel.
Spent a large portion of today Instagramming, cause that’s what adults do on the weekend I don’t care what your mamma told you.