So far this year has been one of re-invention, and accepting who I am in the moment I experience myself. Finding that means to a brighter end has its ups and downs.
Saturday morning, after a sleepless night, deep feelings of disappointment, futility and sadness veiled my soul. Throughout the morning, my surface enthusiasm smiled with the ease of social acceptability. I usually control superfluous relations, but underneath — behind my closed feelings, I concertedly work through the invisible sheath of despair. My efforts these past couple of months bore no deep holes that broke through to release the poisonous fumes at the base of my being. Although, my NEH Philosophy seminar this past month did allow me to make some concerted ground, I still woke this past Saturday feeling the weight of fear.
Our move back to the city, now 10 months ago, tried my expectations. My work throughout the spring became uninteresting, and I labored over completing too many tasks. I let go of old relationships, and started new ones. I made the choice to write as a new mode of expression, while struggling to find the time. My daydreams reminisced about the choices not taken, rather than staying ‘in the solution of’ today’s problems. Although feeling financially and professionally stuck, my self-determination stayed the course. I put one foot in front of the other — looking forward. When those self-deprecating moments seemed to elude progress, I worked hard to feel gratitude.
I’m healthier today than when times were flush — all diseases remain in stage 1. Most cannot truly wrap their thinking around what it means to be a celiac sprue patient. Although I still struggle with eating the wrong foods, or buying the wrong lotion, I persevere. Often people’s desires to put me at ease only frustrate me. Every day reminds me that my health defines who I am.
This week I set goals for myself — clean the house — sort the papers — write the recommendations for my student’s college letters. I accomplished nothing — no task seemed pressing. I walked through moments detached. Materialism began to preoccupy my thinking in cunning and insidious ways, as the city worked its wiles on me.
While walking the NYC streets on my way downtown, my gazes only registered what I didn’t have. I saw fancy cars, designer shoes, new clothes, and apartments for sale that were once within reach, but now an impossibility. I felt like my brain was not fast and nimble enough. I tore apart my teaching and parenting abilities, and castigated my lacking desire to achieve. Shallow consumerism glaringly overtook, and led me to anger and resentment of everything I had become. The delusions overwhelmed me.
The Powerball Lottery provided a momentary escape. While driving from here to there I fantasized about winning, and what I would do with the millions of dollars – I dreamed a life of money property and prestige, supported by my benevolence, prudence and compassion. This delusion obsessed that such a future was possible. It puffed me up – supported me to walk taller and feel special. I lifted myself so high in this dream that the fall back to reality was crushing. Today, the bill collector called. I could not get out of bed.
It is when I put these feelings to paper, and retreat to this page, that I find my way back. The gift of being human is our ability to reflect, and to make decisions. If I give fear a constructive platform outside of my head, the negatives dissipate. Through the editing process, I drank water; made sure I had plenty of sleep, and went for a 3 mile walk and aligned with right breathe.
Exposing resentments to the light of writing opens a door to new possibilities. The story becomes the means to an end.