It feels really indulgent to me to sit down and write a post that just talks about what I've been doing lately, but that's what I'm going to do. The past few weeks have been strange for me in a lot of ways, mostly because I've been feeling increasingly unsteady in my head but still maintaining some semblance of a steady-on-my feet illusion. The fact that my life now mimics the life I lived as an adolescent in some really strange ways is throwing me off quite a bit, but instead of my mom pushing me to get it together, the adult version of me is screaming at the tender teenager inside me OH FOR CHRISSAKES knock it the hell off. I've had dreams about former friends and exes, I've had to face social situations that erupt an immobilizing degree of anxiety within me, and I've had to focus on things that I have previously ignored. Never did I expect that I would chastise myself using words like potential and expectation, but I do and I am and it sucks.
When I graduated high school, I went to college for a year and lost whatever ability I had to cope. My roommates and friends were all much more wise and well-versed in "the world" than I was and at every moment I was confronted with the choice between learning what they knew and with what I knew I needed to know. So going to class took the backstage to "living" and I went home with my tail between my legs as the Spring semester came to a close. I have half-heartedly tried to return to school since then but it was never right, no matter when I tried. Professors have adored me, marveled at the fact that I was in a 100-level class or lauded me when I asked for more complex assignments because I was bored. The whole prospect of graduating college still seems like one of those facets of my life where I will fail to launch no matter what I do.
My 30 year-old self has confirmed that there is, in fact, no real need for me to understand chemistry or statistics. No doubt I would be a formidable Trivial Pursuit partner, but otherwise, I am not interested in spending a year/six hours a week in a classroom learning stuff that my brain cannot absorb. So I am resentful and stuck, and there are moments when I feel like a complete failure when it comes to my educational career and where I'm at in my work career. I could've gone to art school, I could've been a teacher, I could've done something really phenomenal with my life. But I do something not at all related to what I'm good at, and I long to be a housewife. I think my mom even groans a little in her own hardworking head when she hears me suggest things like that. And I groan too, because I wasn't raised to want that and I feel like it would mean that I was wasting myself. But the only thing I can commit to is the idea of being a charming housewife, with volunteer opportunities, sunshiny walks with the dog and cooking fantastic and delicious meals. I've been working since I was 16; maybe I'm just tired.
Then there's the fact that I'm just tired, and I've been tired for months now. I have a predisposition to thyroid issues because my mother, her sisters and other family members have had issues with hypothyroidism too. So I finally asked my doctor to test me for it in the hopes that whatever this "general malaise" nonsense that's sort of taken over my head and body can be alleviated by a lifetime of taking a simple pill or two. Five years ago, if you had told me my life could be bettered by a prescription, I would've laughed in your face (and probably taken a shot of Jack Daniels or something, but let's not get into that). Now, I am desperate for some version of normal so I can do things like take long walks and stay up past 10pm. I joke sometimes that I'm an old lady, but no shit: I FEEL LIKE AN OLD LADY. On top of that, I have virtually no ability to contain my emotions anymore. When the airplanes flew into the twin towers on 9/11, I wrestled with guilt because I didn't cry. Now, I sob watching Sober House with Dr. Drew. Haiti? My friend's cancer? My dog's diagnosis of hip dysplasia? Well, you should've just punched me in the face. I can't keep it together.
There's a lot to be happy about, though, and I'm really trying to dangle those things in front of myself like a gleaming fresh carrot. Spring, daylight, farmer's markets, swimming, flowers, strawberries. On Saturday, I went out to dinner with old and new friends and had delicious Argentine food while drinking delicious Argentine Malbec and laughing until I had to sneak away and use my inhaler. I'm contemplating the idea of taking an aerobic Latin dance class with friends at a local gym, just because I can. I'm going to teach myself canning this year and hopefully produce some tasty jams and sauces to share with loved ones. And I'm going to keep pushing forward with the fiercegrrl fund because, despite the sadness and anger I have for cancer and what it has done to people I love, it feels so good to help. And Em and I are dreaming and scheming about things that make me feel like I'm growing up and chasing dreams I didn't even know I had.
I know I'm not broken because I think about these things and they make me feel GOOD. So I hope we can plow through the dreary wet weather, the kind that makes your bones and sinuses ache, and get to the good stuff. And in the meantime, here's hoping that find my self-esteem in the gray rubble that is my brain, that the thyroid test results reflect a moderately easy fix, and the clouds part so I can soak up a hefty dose of sunshine.