So this is happening. Being a first post I should probably explain the name of my blog and what I am about – but that seems like “a whole thing”. It would probably take a long time and honestly, I just don’t feel like it right now. Instead, I am going to ramble. It might get entertaining so feel free to read along.
I have been looking for a blog template I liked for awhile now – and what I mean by that is I have randomly skimmed potential free blog sites a few times in the past month or so. I’m not great with deep investigations because I get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options and what they each entail. My brain goes into overdrive and I feel the need to compare every detail of each site to be certain I am picking the most user-friendly, attractive, accessible template. As the multitudinous details rush down the chute of my information system, they clog the wiring. Almost instantly I get an “error” message internally and something inside me says “Shut it DOWN” in a Liz Lemon voice. Up to almost this very moment, each dive into blog options has lasted about five minutes and then I would come rocketing up for air like a terrified five-year-old who just got thrown into the deep end of a pool.
Yesterday, my college-age stepson posted a new blog/creative writing website on Facebook. It grabbed my attention in it’s fist immediately. It wasn’t his post that grabbed me – even though that may make me a terrible stepmother. It was the domain name tag that really made me wet. Oh my god that sounds disgusting. Nevermind. Let’s substitute “hot and bothered” and pretend I didn’t just type that other sentence in the same paragraph as mentioning a stepchild. My stepmother status just dramatically decreased.
Any ways… the main point here is that I noticed the name of the site on which he made his blog and it really inspired me. I love the name “WordPress” as a part of a domain name for a blog site. Plus, the template I am using is called “pen scratch” which I find to be an adorable description. It makes me think about using a favorite quill to write poetry in sloppy script in a romantic, leather bound journal with hand-made paper. (Oh my god, I might be a hipster.) Even though “pen scratch” is an arbitrary name that a stranger dubbed this template, it sparks something in me and made me want to drink coffee and wax philosophic and metaphoric. I need to want to write, right? Having a cozy online nook that is inviting will have me wandering here more often to snuggle up and explore and expose my thoughts and feelings. It’s so daring and slightly exhibitionistic to unclothe emotionally so publicly! I feel kind of dirty about it. And I like it :).
Both the domain name and the template name looked like me. They sound and look booky. It’s important to me to put my words someplace that resonates with both my inner and outer eclectic aesthetic.Wow. That sounds incredibly douchey. Whatever. I stand by it. How things look to me matters to me – not because I care about how others will respond to what they see in me or on me but because I want what the world to see and what I want to see is what is authentically me. What people think about me isn’t as important as what I think about me. And so starts the use of italics.
I am intentional about how I express myself everywhere including how I express myself to myself. Example: I watch my own thoughts. I am prone to depression and anxiety. This means I am also prone to therapy sessions both formal and informal. I am constantly monitoring how I interpret everything to make sure that what I am reacting to is in reasonable perspective. This. Is. Exhausting. And also why sometimes I just need a goddamn drink so I can relax for a minute. Although mindful living is also making its way into my life. When that takes too long or seems unlikely to make me feel as better as I would like I will resort to a drink or a smoke. Dammit! I got off track. The point I actually want to make here is I am mindful of my self-expression in every area of my life. I do it for health, for the joy of creating, and as a search for truth and peace. I wear who I am on my sleeve, around my waist, in my ears and in my hair, around my neck and on my feet. I wear who I am on my tongue, in my home, in conversation and in hidden thought.
I also LOVE LOVE LOVE vintage clothing and decor. One of a kind pieces give me thrills all the way down to my lady parts friends. I am one of a kind and I want to show you what kind of weirdness is living inside of me! I do this by wearing and decorating using strange and lovely things in combinations that sing strange harmonies in textiles and wood and metals.
Sometimes people look at me like I am strange. It’s okay. I am. And I love it. I wish more people would wear their weirdness more openly and without apology so I could celebrate it with them. How I choose to adorn myself is partly how I celebrate my own existence.
I am communicating to the world that I am a faiery princess from a Tim Burton film with a Jane Austin soul and a pragmatic heart that sometimes entertains the longings of Virginia Wolf when my Cancer moon pulls too strong a tide. I’m a motherfucking poet athlete. I’m a procrastinating photog thrasher, (that last part was an autocorrect for”photographer” but I absolutely had to leave it). I’m a sparkly, charming land mermaid and a vintage fashion queen. I’m a sometimes estranged daughter, a pacifistic stepmother, a softened sister, and a confused wife. I’m an often introvert and an analytical analyst from the town of Analytica. I over analyze ALOT. But it’s only because I’m trying so desperately hard to make sense of what the fuck is happening in my life and in the world in general.
I’m 35 years old this year. Thirty fucking five. I have no idea what happened between the years of 22 and now. I’m serious. It’s like that thirteen years (THIRTEEN YEARS?!) evaporated. I had no plans beyond college and I never liked one single job I had after I earned my degree. All lab jobs (I was a bio major) bored the shit out of me. I got a teaching license and it literally made me suicidal to lead a classroom for a living. I liked the kids and I liked my subject matter but an introvert can not be emotionally available to and interact with 120 people for 40 hours a week and then create lesson plans/grade/collaborate/interact with parents for another 20 hours and survive for very long. At least I couldn’t. I taught in three different schools for about one year per attempt. The result was always the same. Deep depression and I hated being alive. I started writing songs that had a refrain like this:
when I awake
to be conscious.
when I awake
consciousness burns my soul.”
Yes. Consciousness burns my soul… It sounds melodramatic but that’s how I felt. The song got blacker from that point on. I remember singing it to myself in the tiny shower of my second floor studio apartment at the end of a work day and cradling myself beneath the soothing warmth of running water against an existence that was excruciating for me.
Unbelievably, I taught another year after that at a different school before I was able to admit to myself that I could not teach any longer and be okay. Letting to of teaching I felt entirely uninspired, disenfranchised with being an adult and utterly adrift. By the time I quit teaching, I had been married and divorced, moved 5 hours away from my family and hometown, and settled in a tiny town in a state I sort of loathed. I also had married again in spite of my general terror of being shackled to and obligated to another person.
So here I am. I work part time with people I really like and that part is awesome – but this job has an expiration date when the grant money runs out. I feel like I am still looking for some kind of calling, a seductive pull towards something that means something to me. I want to “Let my soul be silently drawn by the strange pull of what I really love”. Who doesn’t love a good Rumi quote, right? There are moments where I feel like my soul is starving, my heart has dried up, and I’m watering it with what I can squeeze from what’s left of arid dreams. Jesus that sounds depressing. Maybe it’s not quite that bad – my therapist would have a heyday with all of the hyperbole going on here.
But for reals, where the fuck am I headed? WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE? A plan of some sort with goals and things would be amazing. Please. Christ in heaven I’m just kind of floating around in the river of my existence like a one-legged, myopic (blind) duck, swimming in circles. I need either a prosthetic leg, a guide fish, or a push towards a shore where I can build a nice duck nest. With vintage sticks. Where I can be paid for quacking my poetry. Is that too much to ask of the universe? Probably. For now I will just tippity type away here. It feels good and booky and satisfying for now. I leave these complicated questions about my existence and identity swirling darkly in the warm undercurrents of my unconscious. I’m not looking too closely at them. I’m swimming just below the skin of understanding – the sensation is like searching for a word you can almost remember but not quite say. So I’m being as present and as kind as I can be with myself and this process. All the while my brain is whirring away, collecting data, churning, computing, sorting through thousands of minute iterations in order to find the answers about who I am and what I want out of life that are still forming, unspoken, and almost on the tip of my tongue.