I have been lagging so badly. I think all I do is lag. Why so much lag!!!??? I don’t know. I think I just feel overwhelmed with life and time is a concept that doesn’t make sense. Years of content go by in my head and nothing gets written. And you all wonder why there are crickets chirping on this side of the internet. Because I am overwhelmed with lag!!! I’m still here. I’m just stuck on a lag! I can’t seem to get over it.
I have several blog posts to write. They are all swirling in my head. My publisher has tasked me to write a link-heavy post about all the books I have written. I need to ask for reviews for them to beat the amazon algorithm. (I hate algorithms except when they work for me and then I love them.) She asked me to write it weeks ago and here I am sitting on it while I stress about not being able to pay my bills. I am shooting myself in the foot. So that’s coming. Where my reviewers at?!
I also need to write an epic post about my new relationship and how it’s spanned 30 years. Thirty years!!! It’s a doozy. I don’t even think I can do it justice. I could write a book about this love story. Maybe I should. Maybe I will someday.
I also need to write a post about CC coming to visit and all the fun we had visiting our old haunts. I love having family around. I miss having a big family. There’s more to that than meets the eye.
I also need to write about the job I didn’t get and the huge crush to my ego that job hunting at fifty is… I think I just need to check in. I need to throw myself on the screen and see what comes out.
I think this post will be about rallying. It’s been a theme lately.
You know when you are low and you realize it’s not getting you anywhere? You cry and there’s snot and you blow your nose and notice that your breath is bad because all the acid in your stomach is trying to escape…and while you are noticing all these things in the present, you realize you have two options: crawl into bed, and continue this luxury of sadness and pretend not to exist while still feeling all the feelings OR find something distracting to throw yourself into and trick your brain into thinking life is still worth living.
Wow, that sounds like depression.
I recently finished listening to “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” by Lori Gottlieb. It’s sooooo good. I think I might even need to read it again because invariably I was walking and listening at the same time and sometimes I zoned out in my own thoughts or got distracted by the sunrise or a squirrel or something and I probably missed a jewel of truth. There are so many jewels in this book! Every single chapter held so much helpful thought. I can’t rave about it enough. Go read it now.
Maybe rallying is a distraction, the act of covering up something deeper and darker that we are not ready to deal with. That’s fair. It’s a coping mechanism that has a side benefit of action. So many times I’ve been in a really low place and I’ve pulled out some strength from somewhere deep inside myself that I didn’t even know I had and moved my brain two inches to the right to a better place against its own will. I found my mojo there. I faked it until I made it. I found the courage to wipe away my tears and see a brighter side. It’s just keeping on keeping. Dress up, show up. All the cliches! Life is sucky. This world is sucky but it would be a shame not to hang in there for the brilliant times, the fun times, the best of times… it’s not time to give up.
Feeling the feelings is important too. Finishing the cycle of a feeling lets you move on to the next one. So let’s feel the feels and rally. All the feels, all the rallies. Kumbaya. La la la.
I should note that while I’ve had some big sad feelings lately, I’ve also had some really big happy feelings. That’s life, right? I hope you are feeling all the big feelings too.
This morning I pulled out my old plastic bin of journals from our shed in the backyard. I’m beginning the daunting task of sorting them with the intention to write about the epic trip we took across the country in the summer of 1988. That trip. It almost needs no other title. It was the trip from hell but for me as a very young and naive sixteen-year-old with no expectations and only a sense of adventure, I don’t look at that trip with bad memories at all. It was an adventure of a lifetime. It was a coming-of-age story. I took it all in with wide open fearful eyes and it formed me to be who I am today.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to ever really truly capture what it was for me. Unfortunately, my memories of the important details are hazy and only the spikes of drama really come into clear crisp view and those stories I can’t always tell because I need to protect my loved ones who are involved. I can’t share their stories for them and I probably don’t even remember them properly if I could. I just remember what I remember. My memory is not like a movie. It’s like a collection of pictures and feelings and glimpses. It’s a mess.
Later in my twenties I interviewed a poet once when I was working as a student writer for the Alumni Association Newsletter at Cal State Hayward. Quick tangent: What a funny job that was. It was work/study but I think it was pretty much a charity job—meaning I was desperately poor and the school figured out a way to help me. Anyway, I hated interviewing people (I was a painfully shy introvert) and I was the worst when I had no deadline. I’d sit at my old clunker of a computer (green letters on a black screen, typing in word perfect) and bang out an article maybe once a month. They pretty much paid me to sit on my butt, answer phones and occasionally file things.
Anyway I interviewed a retired professor who had published a book of poems. That’s mostly what I did, I wrote feature puff pieces on interesting alumni. He was from the Philippines and I remember he had a thick accent. He said to me, “When you write, you don’t have to start at the beginning and go to the end in order. Think of writing as if you were hanging up pieces of scenery on a clothes line. You describe something you remember and hang it up. Then move onto the next memory and hang that one up. Then when you have a bunch of memories you can move those pieces of paper around until it makes a story.”
What great advice that was. So that is what I’m going to do. I’m going to hang up pieces of this trip and not worry too much about the order they are in. I’ll sort that later. The important thing is writing.