So. Things have been pretty heavy around here. So look!
It's me! Mildly inappropriately clad in a dress I mended poorly all by my damn self in my hotel room just minutes before Robin wrote profanity on me at a party! She is balls to the wall, y'all, so it's convenient that she tells you that up front. Or, as I captioned a photo of her the other day, "Honey Robin don't give a shit."
And I'm overtired of the honey badger business, too, but it just made sense.
Anyway, that should lighten it up a little. If it doesn't I don't know what to tell you. It's all I got.
Return from BlogHer 2-aught-11 has been difficult. Things were already feeling teetery before I left. Summer schedules are challenging and work is heavy. Major events happened early in the season, and I'd been spending a lot of time since then either on the yoga mat refocusing or screwing around at home, wondering what the next thing was going to be.
Then I went to California and was surrounded for four days by so many of the best people I've ever been lucky enough to know. It is just true. There were probably 50 people there who I could call (if I liked to call people) and talk to about just about anything related to my life and my work, and they would listen and provide some kind of feedback and it would likely be very useful. This is very cool and incredibly overwhelming for my brain and my heart all at once. And nothing that is overwhelming for these two components of me is entirely good. But there's nothing I can do about it. I can't not go. That doesn't work for me. And once I'm there I'm no good at filtering or managing my time with people versus time alone. I don't have any time alone, unless you count the random walking back and forth to places, and even then? Never happens. Rarely happens. So it's a lot, but it's too much good stuff, if that makes sense.
(I also worked very, very hard on a couple of projects during the conference this year, in addition to having bad words written on me and having some of the most fun times I've had with some people who are very important to me. I also made some good connections and got some great ideas. And also posed with Sarah and a toilet, and the worst slogan I have ever seen for any product ever. (Sorry dudes.))
(I don't know what is wrong with us, either. She doesn't know how grateful she should be that I posted none of the shots of her watching the, er, Kleenex-testing station, with the peculiar Pinocchio-ish Animatronic child blowing snot on a crappy tissue that splits right in half, and then the Best. Tissue. Ever! that wouldn't break if Voldemort snorted into it through his wand.
"I'm a real boy! Watch me fake blow my nose! I will make you throw up, right here in this expo hall!" It was not enjoyable in any way.)
Do you like how I'm flip-flopping here between bitching and sharing ridiculous things?
It's almost too much to go there, to have this kind of experience and feel like you're home when you're not and then come home and not feel at home. All the pieces are rearranged again and this year almost as soon as I walked in the door exhausted from the Metro I proceeded to embark on a series of poor life choices in response to this tailspin. I think I'm going to spend post-BlogHer week next year in a distant tropical location, where I give my iPhone and computer to a trusted caregiver and lie on a beach with bottomless beers and trashy books.
I hear people bitching on the internet about this or that thing related to the experience every year, and I can't even process it. I don't even care about it, because for me it is such an intensely personal thing. I am too personally immersed to criticize the nuts and bolts of any one part of it. And maybe that makes me weird, but I don't question where anyone else finds their place and their people. I don't. (I mean, I may wonder why they like that place or those people, but it's really none of my business.)
So yeah, I came home, and freaked out. Hard.
My car blew up. There were other things, life things, a few scary things that I wasn't sure what to do with yet. The huddled masses came streaming back from the beach with burnt noses and a million, time-consuming questions. It turns out that returning from a few days of zero humidity and the pure streaming sunlight and blue sky of heaven to a vat of sticky air and clouds gives me a five-day not-quite-migraine. I had been away from yoga for a week and I immediately twisted something in my neck that made standing a challenge, and also sitting, which made me extra pleasant in the place where I am required to go daily. (Don't turn 40. Do some Benjamin Button thing. Start the incantations now, is all I'm saying.) Worse, I felt all of the ideas I'd had and discussions I'd felt were productive slip away in 48 hours, and everything was swirling around in my brain so much that I couldn't capture it in an appropriate to-do list.
I didn't feel like doing this, not at all:
That's my boyfriend Bob Harper from the Biggest Loser, or perhaps @mytrainerbob to you. I dragged myself out of bed on BlogHer Saturday at 6:50 a.m., to go downstairs and watch him lead a terrace full of women through a punishing workout. I didn't meet him because I got a little bit shy and a little bit feeling like I needed to jam from his oatmeal breakfast before it was over because I had done an hour-long flow yoga class after his workout and a shower was a priority if I was going to meet any of my other myriad obligations that day.
So. Almost two weeks later (is it two weeks later? Lost track.) I still feel like I'm missing stuff. I missed everyone uncommonly when I came home this year -- actually reached out to talk to people on the phone when I got back, a level of missing that is strange for me. I just don't know what to do about it, this reorganization time, besides reach out more to people in my life. But I can't spend time with people every minute. I can't constantly be reattaching some virtual umbilical cord. This is the way my life is right now and I have to learn to rest in it to a point.
I don't think I'm doing a very good job. So what I am doing is isolating more, even when I know that that is really not a good idea. I just don't like what I have to tell people, the truth of things. I hear myself rambling and it just seems better not to talk. There are things I can't even deal with myself right now, so how can I explain them to anyone else?
I can just feel things changing, in the oddest, most unavoidable, way, some fundamental things about what I want to do and where and with whom I want to be. I'm in touch in a pretty clinical way with things I'm not happy with in myself, with the unhelpful ways I approach my daily routine, with ways I don't relate well to people and let them down (or at the very least am less to them than I could be), with goals I'm not achieving because I've not been so much lazy as I've been terrified.
Yes, I do some things right. Yes. I have skills and assets. I will still help you if I can.
But it's a necessary time to focus on the "needs work" list. Because I think I'm coming to understand that when we or our circumstances change, our desires and deepest understanding of what moves us (which also tend to starkly and uncomfortably illuminate what doesn't, and to what we can no longer cling without great cost) do too. It's either bend with that (I'm crazily thinking "enjoy the go," and just, no no no. Also, advertising is our societal drug. This is proof.) or you don't, and eventually -- if you are anything at all like me -- you end up cracking up a little past the usual benchmark, kicking the wrong asses and taking the entirely incorrect names.
It's like my internal house is on fire and I'm constantly cataloguing what and who I'm going to grab first, and what I'm going to let incinerate. It's a disturbing, totally involuntary feeling, and I can't say it's comfortable on any level. It just is.
(Please go and read that post when you're done with my droning here, if you're not offended by profanity like I am not. Her name is Noa. She read it at the Voices of the Year Community Keynote this year. It is perhaps the funniest goddamned thing I have ever read on the internet, second only perhaps to Hyperbole and a Half's "CLEAN ALL THE THINGS" post which has the added benefit of having added a slogan to my regular speech. Although I'm thinking "Fuck you, this is a pan," is going to go in there too.)
I've done this before. Although it's been different, I've been uncomfortable and I've struggled. I've tried to get help with it and I've tried to listen to the discomfort for the signals of what I ought to do next, because I believe that they are always there. I'm trying to be brave when I'm really the opposite, and I'm trying to be strong although somedays that's overrated. When I have to go through the motions, I do, and when I have to be a teacher, I am. It's just putting one foot in front of the other, sometimes.
And I also can't say that all of this changing and the burning house concept is bad, entirely, because I honestly don't know yet. There's very little I can do about it, but walk through it the best that I can. At least I feel somewhat motivated.
And I think that pretty much brings this up to date, which I feel compelled to do around here from time to time.