I'm home tonight, by choice. I spent the day focused, for me, cleaning, clearing out, doing laundry, putting some organizational thingamajigs in place.
The fall and winter were pretty much a wreck around here. I was home and then I was not, day to day, week to week, spinning whether I was here or away, and nothing got done. The infrastructure fell apart. And then I read an article in O magazine, of all places, last week about clutter, and how the external reflects the internal, and how there's a reason we let it pile up and don't tend to the structures of our lives, and I knew I was sick of myself and of this and that with all of what I've got going on and coming up that I had better decide to make getting my act together a priority. I also decided that just because I'd always been told I wasn't any good at organizing and cleaning didn't mean I couldn't learn and that this messy rubber had hit the road bigtime.
So I went to Target and bought these bins, many bins, in my favorite comforting shade of green, because Oprah's organizer told me to get them. I have no idea what I'm going to put in them exactly yet, except he did say that one shoe-boxed size one should be reserved for cords and chargers, all the electronic stuff that my life eats, so I have dutifully put those cords and chargers in there. I was supposed to buy four, though, and I have three left. I need to check the article and see what he said to put in the other three. because I kind of keep looking at them suspiciously and moving them around while I do all of my other stuff, and that's just not very healthy or productive.
Tonight, because it is Friday and damned if I do not know how to rock the shit out of a Friday night, I refused an offer to go to a St. Patrick's Day bar thing, and took myself instead to Bed, Bath and Beyond with coupons (twenty percent off one item AND five dollars off the whole shebang, BOOYAH.) And after I obsessed over the shoe racks and rejected them all, because yeah, I can do that for 20 minutes, I grabbed 48 green fake suede slimline hangers off the racks and decided that they were what I needed to get my closet in shape.
I am super excited about these hangers, y'all. They are SPIF-FY. So tomorrow is hang-up clothes day. (And everyone is jealous. Whatever.)
I'm likely seeking an organizational center because, as I've told a few people this week, I have no sense of a comfort zone right now. Sure, there is always my bathtub (I don't know how I am not a Pisces), but that's about it, and there are only so many hours I can spend in there before it just gets weird and cold and wrinkly. I think that bailing on my job was the last bastion of fragile structure I had, which is bizarre because it's not like I've felt any kind of comfort zone there for a long time.
And it's okay. It really is. I've been having some serious anxiety waves the past couple of weeks, yes. They are really hard to deal with, a combination of physically and emotionally challenging that leaves me feeling raw and strung out with nowhere to put myself and no sense of relief in sight until they pass. And whereas I'm trying to handle them with exercise and my own brand of therapy I can do for myself pretty well (which mostly amounts to yelling "Oh just fucking QUIT IT! Just CUT IT OUT RIGHT THE HELL NOW." at myself in my head,) mostly I'm just riding them out, because, well, I don't have a choice. I have got to learn to do this. So I'm learning to sit better with discomfort, to decide what it's rooted in and what I have to do about it.
Because I know that this decision was right, that everything that is happening now is correct and in the proper order. I do have many moments where I panic and think, quite specifically, "What am I going to do? Who was I to do this now? What will become of me?" But I know. I know every time I tell someone, because I've had to tell a lot of someones. I know that while this is a place of risk and what may appear to many from the outside as utter lunacy, that what I've been living is not life, that what I've got in front of me, as nebulous and weird and scary as it may seem, is where I will carve out what is. That whereas I've had good and wonderful times, amazing experiences, beautiful connections in my span of years, that this is the most open I've ever been to ambiguity, to change, to a sense of myself that fits, inside and out.
I was walking up to the town center to meet Lauren the other night, and I found to my true delight that this tree was in bloom again.
And it struck me that it had been a year, a whole year since I'd seen it this way before, and as I instagrammed it, all I kept thinking was what I wrote in the caption: "Time flies while your life happens."
And I knew I'd been through a foggy period and now, when things should rightly be more confusing, that they were actually, concurrently, more clear. Things were happening, finally, consciously.
(Knowledge of the rightness of the current situation does not mean I am not terrified. It just means that I know it's necessary, and that's at its core fairly comforting, no matter what.)
I'm also talking, a lot, in between long stretches of alone time. I'm talking to my friends and my family. I had this week off, and I've quite on purpose not done a whole lot beyond hang out here, make some stronger professional contacts, and make it a strong point to see my friends. I have had very much-needed dinners with people who get me and who care, spent a gorgeous sunny happy hour with my sister, spent some time on the phone in conversation that made things that needed to be better, better.
Connecting takes time. Sharing meals and life stories and huge and tiny things, hearts and plans and intentions, it all takes time. As alone as I feel these days, often, I know that that's more an existential state that really reflects my need for connection more than anything. In reality I am surrounded by people who care, close by and at a distance, and it's really up to me to foster those connections better. And it's all too easy when I'm caught up in the day to day not to take it, to trudge along, to be satisfied with texts and Facebook and whatever ephemera I fling out into the ether.
This week, it helped. I also slept, a lot. I spent a lot of indulgent morning time in my bed, way past when I ought to have gotten up and started working towards bettering the world or at least doing my dishes. The incessant improvements to my complex meant the guys with the sanders and drills were out there doing something new to the courtyard at ungodly hours every day, which meant falling in and out of restless sleep in the morning, but I would not get up. I let myself be.
Because I don't know when I'll be able to do this again, and I know I'm storing up for a period of time where I am going to need my energy and my wits and my everything else. I'm okay with it. I just gave myself this week.
I know this is boring. I know this isn't a creative piece, with a punchline or a thesis or a pithy conclusion that tells any great truth of life. But what it is and what I am is down in it, in a place of work and progress, in a place of reflection and building up, and sometimes when I write it down, that's the only time it seems real. I need that right now.