IN TODAY’S NEWS: Girl stuck in pressure cooker of own creation, can’t get out.
More and more these days, I’ll start making a checklist in my head of the things I have to do and then abruptly stop myself because ho-ly shit once that list starts, it never ends.
But my refusal to acknowledge what has to be done does not somehow make it any easier to push the work aside. So, I opened up the “New post” page on WordPress, and now I’m attempting to make sense of the melancholy that weighted me this morning when I tried to shake my body awake.
I spoke to my mama today, and we both had dark rings around our eyes.
We had a decent conversation, but we didn’t say anything to each other. She kept waiting for me to share more about my life, but I was tired and nervous talking about my future so I kept rambling on about insignificant things like my fall semester classes and my plans for summer housing.
At one point, she asked me about the weather in Los Angeles. I told her it was okay, a little chilly perhaps. I wouldn’t have known–I’ve been inside all day.
When I read through these blog entries, I get a real sense of my personal frustrations and anxieties. Maybe it’s because I only feel compelled to write when my nerves fray, when my breath catches in my throat and I feel like pulling my insides out through the thin line of my mouth, but that’s not true. I write when I want to, but when I need to, I feel like I’m swimming against a rip tide, fighting for each stroke as if (or rather, because) my life depends on it.
But that kind of writing isn’t a way in which I cope with things… no, course correct. That kind of writing is not an expression of my fears so much as it is a manifestation of them. When I’m writing like this, with my fingers both poised and paralyzed above the keyboard, it doesn’t matter what I’m writing, because it’s the act itself that’s cathartic or right or whatever.
I don’t feel totally liberated, but with every word I spit out (if my hands had mouths like the Pale Man in “Pan’s Labyrinth,” but even that’s a stretch of a simile), I can feel my mental suffocation lift off just a little bit.
I’m listening to a playlist called “killing me softly” and it contains all the songs that make me sad. My roommates think it’s masochistic of me to do so, but it’s my prerogative whether or not I want to instigate sadness.
I suppose it’s because I treat such sadness the way I treat myself for all of my illnesses, real or imagined. Whenever I feel feverish, instead of taking medicine to dampen down my temperature, I’ll soak my sheets in sweat in an attempt to burn the fever out. I don’t know if that’s the smartest thing to do. It probably/definitely isn’t. I do it anyway, until someone calls me out on my bullshit and I wake up from my 17th century stupidity and let modernity take care of me.
What I do is, I let the sadness collect, pool up and overflow. I let it swell like the crest of a wave, and instead of bracing myself for the crash, I let it fall and flow over me with no resistance, and I drown for just that moment.
And then it’s over, and I can go on fretting and sighing over the little difficulties of life, instead of waiting in the shadow of a wave suspended in the cloudless gray of stagnant air.
(Image: Shock To Your System by Frida Dahlgren)