I hit a wall yesterday.
I laid my head against a wall in a hotel shower because I suddenly got tired like the tired of a million years, and I wasn't sure that I could move. I wish I were being dramatic about this, but that is how it felt, like I was going to live in conjoined twinness with that wall until I died or someone pried me off, which I'm glad no one had to do because in retrospect it wasn't pretty at all. Somehow, though, the water was at the perfect angle and that felt good, plus crying in the shower is so much more expedient, because, well, besides the energy release, it all goes down the drain.
I said to myself, look, self, this is not working out. You feel like crap and you look like crap. This whole running to stand still business is doing nothing but wearing out shoes and neurons. The groove is not grooving. This is a spiritual crisis of some sort happening here. It is a dicey situation and you have got to stop trying to fix it.
(Yes, that reads correctly. And if you don't talk to yourself you're probably assuming this is a summary of thoughts that ran through my head. That is very sweet of you.)
I don't know why it was so shocking to me, how bad I felt or the fact that I face-planted on tile. It's like I went to the store in May and bought all the high dollar crap that goes into the blue-ribbon-winner recipe for a breakdown, and ate it every day at the appointed time like a magical goddamned apple breakdown pie. And now I was looking around in adorable bewilderment in an uninspiring shower wondering what hit me.
I don't know what I think will happen every new time I kick my own ass in response to a life change, why I think it'll be any better this time than it was the past 87 times I did it. But when I changed my job and therefore my daily routine, instead of sitting even the littlest bit still with that choice and transition, and sitting on my couch for a few days and sorting my markers and eating snack foods, or going on a real vacation not at all tied to an event or a mission of any kind like I promised myself I would, I set myself up on a schedule of events that I thought would be in the service of my future. Because I'm figuring out now that inherently I still felt like I'd wrecked it up, based on old, outdated notions of that, of course, but still. I'm so programmed.
Here are the real things I had planned to do once my job ended:
I wanted another tattoo. (I did not say these were all high-level, well-thought-out plans.) I didn't get it.
I wanted to go sit by the ocean for a few days. I didn't do that either.
I wanted to start walking again, maybe go back to yoga. Nope.
I wanted to set up a fully functional organizational system in my house, so that I would work better and eat better and generally live better in my space for this next new big phase. Big no, there, unless you consider half-packed or unpacked suitcases and over-filled recycling bags essential to feng shui principles.
I was not entirely wrong about the schedule I had planned. There were things I knew that I needed to do now, based on timing of ideas and opportunities, and some great things have happened. It is not all angst and tiredness and bad road food and one more dumb plastic key that hopefully turns the door light green when my hands are full.
But when I say I'm tired, I think I just mean that my brain is on overload. I didn't give myself any chance to know what hit me, and the truth is that a lot has, even though it was my choice. And when I'm not really writing through it, it piles up in my head like...well, a bunch of junk piled up in my head. It's not pretty and I get cranky, I overreact and I panic and worry. My ability to cope with transitions is at toddler level. Until I get to the point that finally happened yesterday, where I feel like every word out of my mouth is wrong and awkward, that I can't complete any task successfully and surely this isn't the way things are supposed to get done by a competent person. All the things seem bad.
I do not focus on self-actualizing behavior, in other words.
I sometimes specialize in slapboxing with truth, really hard, no mat, for pointless rounds and rounds, until in its always ultimate wisdom it suddenly quits hitting me back and sits down hard on the ground in front of me, where I have to look at it. And because I really am a lover, not a fighter, I always wonder then why I got into duking it out in the first place, and I work my brain around it again.
Thursday night I wandered Philadelphia. I didn't think about who I had to interview or who was going to be anywhere, because I was by myself in a place that I like and I really needed to check out for a few hours. So I talked to a lady knitting in the night market about what yarn bombing was, which surprised me by fascinating me. I ate what I believe were poisonous tacos out of a food truck, walked around and took a bunch of pictures just for fun like I hardly ever do anymore, and then I went back to my room.
I have been here for three days that have felt like three weeks. I am going to go home tomorrow, and although I have a lot of work to do, I'm going to try not to work so hard at existing at the center of it, so the work itself becomes impossible, so the feelings feel so heavy I can't breathe, so I keep myself on the wrong track. My shower self needs a break, and what I think amounts to some kindness. That's the vague and ultimately unexciting outline of the only next thing I know.
(*I actually didn't go home, or remember to post this, so welcome to three days ago. I learned that I'd have no power for a few more days at least, because of the storms at home, so I came to the beach where a friend offered a place to stay. Of all of the lyrics I've ever internalized, John Lennon's "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" stick with me the most for the most consistent reasons.)