Wednesday, November 24, 2010

keeping my head up

It’s officially been almost a month since I wrote anything. It’s odd, because I remember last year and how in love I was with the feeling of writing something that felt good to write, but lately even when I do get something out—usually in my journal, as you can tell by the gap here—it feels mostly perfunctory. The joy of creation is almost completely absent. I think that lack, among other things, is why I’ve been so quiet.

But! But. I think a corner may have been turned, although it’s hard to say for certain. All I know for sure is that I feel better this week than I have for some time, and the pervasive feeling I’ve been laboring under, the feeling that everything is heading in the wrong direction—Murphy’s Law writ large across these past few months—is fading. I’m not saying shit won’t still happen. To think that would be foolish and surely lead to no good end. My best hope is simply that there will be a more even balance between the shit and the good stuff, the stuff that perks me up and reminds me that everything, positive and negative alike, has its place.

I have a friend who keeps this as her motto: Everything Incredible, All The Time. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, about the different meanings that could have. For instance: incredible things will happen and are happening. Or: each individual thing is incredible, even if it is also shitty. Or even this: Life is miraculous.

My birthday is coming up, and Thanksgiving is mere days away. Last year I spent that holiday with my extended queer family, and my future was in limbo. This year my family is spread over an entire country, and the future I wanted is here, and I’m wondering about the future after that. Life is funny that way: whatever you anticipate is not the last thing, generally speaking.

Lately my life has felt fractured, split into all of these difficult-to-reconcile pieces instead of something resembling a whole. I want my life to feel like a growing thing, something bulgy and uneven but all connected, all growing from the same cells and heading outward to new places while still retaining a sort of cohesion. Feeling fragmented like this, more than almost anything, more than it makes me depressed or anxious or sad, makes me cranky, ill-tempered, and surly. And it sounds silly, but I absolutely hate feeling like that. Happy and sad, to generalize greatly, can both be beautiful, can both be emotions that I appreciate for their merits and nuances, but grumpy? Grumpy has few redeeming qualities. Depression sucks, don’t get me wrong, but some days I feel like discontented is, in some ways, worse. It poisons everything. (The combination is deadly in terms of productivity, it turns out. Sigh.)

In an effort to escape, to move back towards the me that is optimistic and able to roll with the punches, I’ve been working on remembering the potential miraculousness of every single thing, to appreciate things even when they are shitty. If you want to be happy and unhappy or irritating or inconvenient things keep happening, what other option is there? Seriously. So I’m working on looking forward to the next thing.

There’s this man I keep seeing in my neighborhood. Every time I pass him he calls across the street or from down the sidewalk or wherever, “Lift your head up! A pretty girl like you should look up, not down at the ground!” Pretty girl comment aside, he’s right. The ground is interesting and not to be overlooked, but there is so much more all around me. I’ve been trying to walk with my head up, to remind myself to look at the trees and the sky and the squirrels and birds and dogs in windows. Everything is incredible, yes? All of the time. Yes.