Follow the line through the dreams and disasters
Follow the line to the edge and the after
We will not slow down
I just want to feel alive
This last two weeks or so is probably best distinguished as the time that I fell in love with Owl City's newest album, The Midsummer Station. Every once and a while an album comes along that is just so perfectly apt at that moment in my life, and brilliant in it's own right besides, and you just can't imagine getting tired of it. Though you eventually do, after playing it about 42 times. Earlier this year, Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto fit the bill, and now it's something completely different. So peppered inside the accounts of my real life are the songs that accompany it.
Every voice in my head shouted yes and no
Every freight train of thought fought to stop and go
Keep the pace just in case all the magic dies
Cause this is driving me crazy
I've felt hollow and burnt out for almost a month now, enough so that I've been kind of worried that I won't be able to make it through the next few busy months to my long awaited vacation. Before I went to Cuba I felt like I was just right on the cusp of the new me, the person who had it back together, had life figured out just enough. I felt like I was finally coming to a place of comfort with the discomfort of living life in the middle, as we always do. A friend told me a couple of days ago that someone had been talking about how we live life in the middle, in medias res as it were - that's Latin for "in the middle of things." We don't see the time before us clearly, and we flat out can't see the time after us. We live in the moment and have no other choices - any time we are living in the past or the future we aren't really living fully at all. My middle is pretty all-encompassing right now. The past beyond the most recent past of about a month or so barely exists to me, and the future is veiled, a soft vision, dreams of financial and emotional stability, starting a family, living in a house, having a dog, and living in a way that feels less volatile and ready to explode.
Bad news I'm a fuse and I've met my match
So stand back, it's about to go off
A few things have happened in the past few months that I'm just not really talking to anyone about, save a person or two. I've been disappointed and hurt, I've been fighting off feelings that life is just plain out to get me, and I've been scared of so many things that I feel like I've regressed right back to the beginning of all my issues. My therapist used the example of what happens when a cup is full and you keep pouring things into it - things keep coming out. Anger and fear and cynicism are coming out these days, and despite my best efforts, I am physically and emotionally exhausted. I can sleep for extra hours, pump the tunes and the caffeine, take days off and sit in a park for hours just being, and I still feel like a shadow of that elusive self I've always known was real, the strong woman under the weight of it all. I am going to need some serious work, as a person. I am going to need to feel secure for a good long time. I'm going to need more than just sleep to recharge my batteries.
Big surprise I'm a ghost keeping out of sight
Rub your eyes, you're a star in the summer night
This is love, this is war, this is pure insanity
This is driving me crazy
Sometimes I'm as slow as molasses and sometimes I'm speeding so fast I can't stop, and sleep eludes me as I stare wide-eyed at the shadowy walls. I speak to close friends about what I am going through and I watch their eyes widen as I lay out the landscape of fear, pain, and overwhelming work that stands between me and being okay. As I write this, in these moments of blogging, I am okay. I am going over all of this with a clear mind - something rare these days, happens every 2-3 days or so. I just finished editing a wedding last week and shooting another and I was pleased to feel like I had accomplished something, but I am pretty certain that I can't do this every day. My body and mind are not really giving me much of a choice about these things. Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I honestly don't feel very thankful. I feel tired and burnt out, a bit angry, a bit bitter, a scoffer today and a zombie tomorrow, I can already tell. Not much of me to offer, not much I'm truly happy about since it all just feels like a weight.
I'm tired of waking up in tears
Cause I can't put to bed these phobias and fears
I'm new to this grief I can't explain
But I'm no stranger to the heartache and the pain
I am finding it a very strange transition from someone who used to tell everyone everything to someone who is living life in an almost entirely secretive way. Someone who feels afraid to tell anyone about anything, afraid of judgement or bursting bubbles and almost everything. I think it's mostly just the all-encompassing exhaustion making it so I can't fight my way out of this. There are days when I get up in the morning and getting out of bed feels like the heaviest thing, and making food or getting started at work feels like picking up the weight of the world. Friends and family have been commenting about how tired I look. I feel a little haunted all the time by things I try to forget. I look at myself in the mirror and I feel like I look a little empty, my eyes don't have that spark that is there when I am fully around. I'm not sure what I can do to get it back. I'm sure my therapist will have an earful for me on that score, but implementation is tougher than speaking words, to paraphrase an old saying.
In the awesome words of Paul earlier tonight as we spoke on the phone, "I am fully whelmed. No more whelming."
I'm sick of the past I can't erase
A jumble of footprints and hasty steps I can't retrace
The mountains of things that I still regret
Is a vile reminder that I would rather just forget
No matter where I go
I have been in Saskatoon last week and trying to get myself used to the idea of being back there for good. I confess I don't really feel the love for it that I once did. It seems like this is the past and Edmonton was the future to me, and coming back there makes me feel the past and my own mistakes more keenly. I feel a little nostalgia for a place or a moment connected to a place, but Saskatoon feels foreign to me, a place where other people live and work, something not quite connected to my life anymore. I'm sure it's only temporary and that I'll adapt to living there again, but right now it feels like moving to a strange place again, which is frustrating. Moving takes up so much mental space for me already, and feeling uncertain about everything isn't helping. Moving is just another mountain on my to do list full of mountains, a mountain range across a continent to cross before month's end.
A thousand miles feels like a million years
I feel like a postcard, I wish you were here
I know some things about this move. I know it's got to be the right decision. My Paul is in Saskatoon and he belongs here and I belong with him. Edmonton is lonely and represents that loneliness and the pain of two very tough years. I cling to the hope of finding my place here, maybe for the first time. Saskatoon was never a place I was terribly attached to, with the exception of all the people here that I am close to and all those I want to be close to. And for so long I felt nothing but fear in thinking of it, thinking that my business couldn't be a success here, thinking that the past would get the best of me. That I would revert to the worst version of myself. And maybe some of those fears are justified and maybe not, but really, how am I to know? For now I know that just being in the same place as Paul is going to make things a bit better, as long as we can conquer the fear that seems to hobble us so quickly. Paul's having a tough time adapting to work after being worked to death as a student, but I am certain that will pass with time. Mostly he's being pretty tough on himself and I have to keep reminding him he hasn't really been doing this very long at all, and the point of training is that you don't know how to do things perfectly yet, which is not an easy concept for my perfection-minded other half. Nor for myself, though I've been working on it. But in the end, we'd have been okay no matter where we lived.
Brighter than a shooting star
Shine no matter where you are
So as I started writing this, I thought to myself, I am going to try and get a lot done this week in Edmonton, as I drive out with my mother-in-law to tackle the first, or rather, second steps towards the packing process of a whole life of two years. I will throw out some junk, pack up everything I own and depart back to Saskatoon. I will edit while my hard-working new Mom packs things. I will… sit around feeling like a zombie. I seriously packed ONE BOX today. It was pathetic. I barely got any editing done either. And why am I blogging now? Just rendering some things. I'll be working as soon as I can, really. I feel so lost with my whole house in boxes everywhere that I didn't pack, though I approved of their being packed and I'm grateful for their being packed. I am so, so grateful for the selfless help from my mother-in-law, but I hate feeling almost like an invalid from being so completely worn out. And I am trying to get over the resistance I feel to all of this. The sense that I just keep having to give up most of the things that matter to me pervades my day to day so badly.
I'm a silhouette
Asking every now and then
Is it over yet
Today I went to someone's new place in Beaumont to pick up their moving boxes, a kind gesture that I was very happy about, as it meant less foraging around in the big box district's box recycling areas. Unfortunately, the address was on one of those fragmented streets where there's like six sections of the same street number all over town, and I got pretty badly lost - and worse, I'd been at the place before I finally landed there, but it was so badly signed that I was certain it wasn't the right location even though the street numbers were right. It was awful being lost for over an hour in the nasty grey, cold, snowy slushyness of today. Ugh.
Close your tired eyes, relax and then
Count from 1 to 10 and open them
All these heavy thoughts will try to weigh you down
But not this time
I'm really trying to resolve my way out of this funk tonight. I really hope it holds. I'll keep you all posted. If I can find the time.
The title of this blog post is dedicated to Drew, who taught me to use the word ennui properly.
And though the embers are new, whatever you do
Just don't let the fire die
Yeah I'm fanning the flames to climb so high
Because there's no other way we can stay alive