"To create hope you will find that it's necessary
to undertake tasks that seem hopeless."
From my journal. A 100% unedited look into my brain...
How would I like my life to be? Honestly? I almost never think of the pieces and whole of my life. I am always thinking about Lucian’s* life or comparing my life to the lives of others or else frozen in an existential paralysis that I will do anything to not feel. I don’t use the anxiety; I either run from it, hide from it, or succumb to it. What would my life be like if I used it? Worked with it? Allowed myself to feel into the deepest parts of my emotions and thoughts? What I have been doing hasn’t been working, that much is certain. Bits of it have worked. Much of what I’ve done has been to survive, to get by. But those things are not the tools of advancement. I created a square wheel because I needed to learn and create, but a square wheel isn’t going to get me anywhere. I can choose to cling to this symbol which represents monumental changes in thought, behavior, consciousness, effort, skill, growth, creativity, and pattern and stay squarely where I am, or I can thank this thing I created, part with it, grieve its loss in my life, and then move on to something which will better serve me now, something circular, something which moves. I have been lugging around this square wheel, putting all my effort and energy into dragging it with me into the present. What good has that served me these past two years? I want instead to take the lessons I learned in creating this thing and move into new ways of thinking, doing, acting, reacting, sensing…being. I’ve already gone a week without drinking. What happens if I carry on? What else could I do differently to make my life into something I want? What is it that I want? What do I want my life to look like? What does it look like now? When did I become such an anxious, flakey person? How did I come to nurture vices? When did I become so dispassionate and scattered? What can I do about these things? I love things about myself: my humor, absurdity, skill, craft, intelligence, and more. How do I feed and nurture these? I am beginning to again. I am easing into some sort of life I don’t actively hate or want to ignore. I am scared. I am overwhelmed. How do I build and shape and experience my life when everything is falling apart in such novel and disturbing ways? But then, when isn’t my life—and life in general—falling apart? Life is never certain. There is no guarantee of time. Why is it that chaos and crumbling make it seem more imminent? I want things that aren’t necessarily tangible or measurable or “normal”. I want to be dependable. I want to be honest. I want to be authentic. I want, I want, I want. How can I “be” and not want at the same time? How can I not want and pursue and grow at the same time?
Today is cold and wet and grey. Jaspers—drugged due to inclement weather necessitating walk cancellations because someone doesn’t enjoy walking in the rain—sleeps under the blankets in bed next to me. Every now and then he lifts his head to look back at me, his ears flapping open into large pointed bat-like ears, to ask for a scratch with a little plead for the outdoors in his eyes. I have a hangover today. Not from booze, but from food. Self-soothing to the point of self-harm. That’s the way I have done things. Not the way I need to continue to do things. My window is open a bit. I have my box fan (for white noise) turned backwards, but it’s still cold in here. I could close the window, but I will always take a chill over stale air. I need the freshness. I need the outdoors. I need to feel uncontained while in this container, this quarantine, this life. I need to breathe in newness and exhale staleness, complacency, trepidation. My tea is almost cold and gone. The bowl in my pipe empty. Should I kill myself today or have a cup of coffee? I find myself relieved knowing there is a bag of coffee on the counter.
*Lucian is a character in a story that I have been creating and living in my mind since I was about, oh, 10-years-old. She and I go way back.
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© Alessandra Ragusin 2016-2020