I found Ricker’s Hard Cider, a delicious treat from Turner, Maine, during my grocery shopping today. It went nicely with the sweet and spicy baked chicken legs I created for dinner. Yes, created. Like from my mind parts. With no recipe. They are tasty! I would’ve taken a picture, but I was too busy getting all gross eating them. Normand assisted by licking my hands off right after. She’s good like that.
This week has been strange. Not bad, just strange. I have been excited about some things, sad about others and oscillating betwixt the two. My tendency is to barrel into everything I do, head first, like a freakish tornado of enthusiasm and idealism. Knowing this, I have been trying harder to stop myself. To be more thoughtful about my choices and about my reasons for doing things. It is harder than it sounds, and I do struggle with being self-aware during my more manic moments. This is easier to do at work since I have more restrictions and guidelines. On my own, though, it can sometimes be a free-for-all when I sink my teeth into an idea.
I have been trying to watch less TV and read/write more in that recovered time. It has been going well, but people do look at you oddly when you tell them you haven’t seen the latest episode of whatever. Although, in my case, they’re usually already looking at me oddly for a wide assortment of other reasons. In talking with some acquaintances, I keep coming back to the realization that I’m not on the same “path” as most of my cohort. Some of them are sure to remind me of that, as if it were something shameful or embarrassing. I don’t choose to think of it like that, which seems to infuriate some of them. Like I am a challenge, with a trophy given for when I can be brought back around to doing things “the way things should be done.”
Thinking about it, I am a relatively flawed individual. I oscillate between healthy living and bad habits according to my mood that minute. I latch onto emotionally unavailable people easily and prostrate myself until I forget who I am on my own. I self-isolate and make excuses for not connecting with people, and, in the same breath, get angry that I am not connected. I get impatient about the weirdest things, sometimes projecting my desires years into the future without acknowledging the reality that we really only have today. I am too easy on people when I should be hard and I’m hard on people when I should be softer. I am great at starting multiple projects and awesome at never finishing the loose ends. I judge people for their affluence or their elaborate emotional support systems when, really, I harbor some jealousy. How could they possibly ever appreciate anything? They’ve never had to struggle for anything! But that is not my place and it is not so simple. They struggle in other ways, ways I likely will never know or understand.
So, I could try sticking to something for longer than a week. Or only give my affection to those that give it first. Remember who I am and find new ways to connect to others. Stop projecting. Accepting. Learn how to better “speak softly but carry a big stick.” Finishing a project, even a small one (blogging for more than a month counts, right?). Minimize my judgments and allow the comments of others to flow over me. Water over river rocks. Not be afraid to be my own kind of strong and encourage others to be theirs. This is what I desire.
A few years ago, I went out with two friends after a really awful day. We got food and booze and took it back to our apartment. After a couple of drinks I decided that instead of venting about how awful our lives were (a common thing for us in grad school), we would go around and each give a good, long “rant” about something amazing in our lives or something really meaningful to us. After only a few rounds, we were in a delightful haze of good memories and hilarious stories. Even now, with a good job and much less stress, I relive that night with an even greater appreciation. With distance, I can see now how that one particular night changed me. I want to get back to that night, in spirit at least.
“This is never gonna go our way
If I’m gonna have to guess what’s on your mind
Say something, say something,
Something like you love me
That’s you wanna move away
From the noise of this place”
“Don’t let your mind get weary and confused
Your will be still, don’t try
Don’t let your heart get heavy child
Inside you there’s a strength that liesDon’t let your soul get lonely child
It’s only time, it will go by
Don’t look for love in faces, places
It’s in you, that’s where you’ll find kindnessBe here now, here now
Be here now, here now”
“I’ve made some friends, and I’ve lost some too
Crashed my car, I was 17
My mother in the seat riding next to me
The things I’ve learned from a broken mirror
How a face can change when a heart knows fear
Through all the things my eyes have seen
The best by far is you
If I could fly
Then I would know
What life looks like from up above and down below
I’d keep you safe
I’d keep you dry
Don’t be afraid Cecilia
I’m the satellite
And you’re the sky”