I still suffer from the belief that every post needs a picture – and I still don’t know where we packed the camera charger!
See, this blog was supposed to be a show-case of the things I manage to succeed in doing and an illustration of the realities that go on behind closed doors. Most of the time the rooms of my house are in disarray and I loath getting dinner on the table. I want to document the chaos and the processes I use to conquer each pile at a time. I want to document the bread pudding that turned out great, despite a couple of huge mistakes, that I then left out all night and had to throw away because my husband won’t risk food poisoning, especially since I’m pregnant.
But this blog should also be a reflection of my inner journey, and for that I don’t need photos.
So what have I been up to during my long silence? I’ve been settling in to the new town, SLOWLY unpacking, and doing some private writing.
Lately I’ve been reflecting on how much better this major life-transition has been, compared to the last one three years ago. At that time I had finished graduate school, gotten married, and moved from the Midwest to Denver. And I didn’t have a job line-up. It’s hard to be a participator in life when you’re caught up inside yourself, listening to yourself tell the same-old stories about your past, and your struggles, and why who are different from other people. And the stress of all those life changes happening at once, turned me into a wreck. My obsessive negative-thinking and social-anxiety were magnetized by 1000. I experienced culture shock and didn’t want to drive anywhere. I experienced agony each time we were supposed to go anywhere where we had to interact with our new peers.
I experienced an inside-myself feeling that brought me close to tears each time I was forced to interact with others. The, I am barely getting by each day alone in my house without having to put on appropriate attire and talk to strangers around a Bar-B-Que, feeling. First there is the intense feeling that my clothing, make-up, shoes, and jewelry are inadequate – because I just don’t know how to harness the power of that stuff. Then there is the inevitable “What do you do?” question. I’ve gotten better and better at all of that stuff, but when it’s all you can do to take a shower and force yourself to cook meals, how do you shine yourself up for a public appearance and be relaxed about it?
It’s a relief to have become happy, comfortable in my own skin. I can’t describe that shaky, swimming around inside myself feeling that was sometimes quite literal, when I wasn’t balancing my meds properly, and sometimes simply caused by my emotions. During that time, I was unable to concentrate on what people were saying fast enough to formulate responses. Then I’d be so busy obsessing over what I should have said, that I’d miss the rest of the party. There were times when I was fighting back tears every time I had to open my mouth to respond to another human being. Just terrified of people. It is such a horrible way to live. If you only knew what that was like, you’d want to stay safe in the cocoon of your home too. Never initiating social contact, and nearly falling apart every time you accepted a lunch invitation. I lived so many years of my life that way. But moving to Denver it was really emphasized because there were so many of us in the same shoes, arriving in this new city, needing to make new friends; socializing was necessary and expected.
Anyway, now here I am in the midst of another huge life transition, pregnancy and a big move to a new city (small-town – another culture-shock), and I’m doing great with it. I think this is a result of cleaning up my thinking. I’m comfortable with being uncomfortable. I know that it always passes. I don’t care so much if people don’t take to me right away, or if it seems that the rest of the world (AKA the women around me) are involved in some choreographed dance that I’m not a part of. I used to think that dance was what I was supposed to be doing and that there was, of course, as always, something wrong with me because I didn’t know and couldn’t seem pick up the steps. But I don’t believe that anymore. I now think that other people have baffling interests and needs that I’m pleased not to be bothered with. They get off on doing that. That’s great. I get off on reading, thinking, writing, and spending time with my husband. That doesn’t mean I don’t like them or want to hang out with them from time to time, or have girl time – I do, and I will. But, all this stuff that they do, that I don’t, I can let it go.
And I’m sure part of it is age. I’m relieved not to have to contend with the energy of those in their early- and even mid- twenties anymore. The boundless, work hard, play hard, exercise, party, socialize, ethic. Now people the people I meet are more settled and chill. If they do have boundless energy, they package it up into self-contained adventurous outdoor activities, such as mountain climbing, and rafting, that happen outside of my presence.
The bottom line is, although I’ve been blog-silent, I’m doing well. I’ve been proactive about my mental-health and it’s paid off. I’m still well in the midst of transition, and that will probably continue to interrupt my blogging for awhile. But in time, I’ll be back in full-swing.
If you’re curious to know how I managed to clean up my thinking and get over the extreme social-anxiety, that, my dears, will take another post.