hello again. it’s been a while since i’ve done this. it’s been a while since lots of things. mornings spent in coffee shops. group chats with friends. sunsets that turn everything sepia, and then orange, deep red. aimless poetry. feeling like my journal is safe, that it’s pages can contain my feelings when i write them down and hold onto them, don’t let them escape. feeling like any space is safe for my feelings, for that matter.
the truth (and this is a truth that my therapist has known for 15 months and that i am only beginning to grasp) is that i have been wandering further and further away from the emily that i want to be. the emily that makes me feel good and glowing in my soul.
the other day she asked me who that person is. in my head, that emily is sitting in campos. obligatory soy mocha on the table. she’s writing in her journal, some pithy observations about her day, about how the trees outside her window are losing their leaves and this makes her feel sad, but at the same time it’s sort of poetic, right, because she’s changing along with the seasons and they grow and fall together. in my head, that emily is falling in love ten times a day and coming up with endless metaphors and symbols that connect all the seemingly disparate parts of her life into one, big, swaying spider’s web, glinting when the sunlight hits it just right. (spiders are one of these symbols). she tattoos this on her body.
in my head this emily is just infinitely feeling in a way and a with a capacity she’s never grasped before. like rilke’s protagonist
learning to see.
Why, I cannot say, but all things enter more deeply into me
… There is a place within me of which I knew nothing.
Now all things tend that way.
it’s been a while since things tended that way. and to drop the poetics, quite frankly, i fucking miss it. i miss feeling connected to myself and the world and the people around me. two years ago if you asked me how i felt i would’ve written you a 10 page poem. now i’ll just tell you that i’m tired. down to the marrow in my bones, to use an already exhausted metaphor (was that this year, or last? i can’t remember).
lately i’ve been crying in the shower often and having conversations in my head where i explain why i’m upset to people who have upset me. it sounds trivial, but i haven’t done either in a while. i am taking the increased crying as a sign that i am, i guess, beginning to let things enter more deeply into me. still in the shallows, but it’s movement nonetheless. i’m taking the internal dialogues as a sign that i’m processing hurt. that i am beginning to unravel layer upon layer upon messy layer of pain that i shoved into a dark closet to avoid. i am not sure how this will pan out. i am not sure whether i can do this in steps or whether shifting one layer unleashes an avalanche. i am not sure i could survive an avalanche. (have i ever been sure?)
last week my therapist drew an arrow on the board and told me that there are only two options, that i am either moving closer towards the person i want to be, or further away from her. and i said but what about stagnation. what if i’m not moving, what if i’m staying in the middle, covers pulled over my head in bed. and she said but this arrow is still moving, regardless of whether you are. and if you are in bed (she did not use this metaphor) you are letting the person you want to be get further away. the next morning i set an alarm for 7:21am.
maybe all this talk of the ‘person i want to be’ is confusing. sometimes i don’t know who i’m talking about. i don’t think i’ve ever truly been her, truthfully i don’t know if that’s possible. i know that i’ve been closer to her in the past than i am right now. i know that i feel a lot of shame about that (even though i know healing is not linear). i know some days this all feels completely and utterly out of reach, like i’ve blown up my only path to her and i’ll never be able to return. at the end of the day, all i want is to be living a life where i truly embody what i value. i know that i value emotion, and genuine connections with friends, and being in nature, and making art, and consuming art, and honesty, and good cups of coffee. i know that this life feels like reading a john ashbery poem (i know that i value john ashbery poems).
i do not know whether i am getting closer to this person. but i am trying (god i am trying) to wake up in the morning and go forward.