I did that thing again.
That huge arc of the pendulum swing.
One extreme to the other.
I have somehow figured out how to stay, to hover at the amplitude. Suspended there, building summer homes and camping out for months, sometimes years on end.
I must keep everything and hoard memories and words like a shut in with priceless antiques, stacked all willy-nilly but they make perfect sense to me. Tiny little corridors to maneuver, I have the map, so it’s not a death trap for me…but beware all ye who enter, you are likely to get crushed under the weight of it at one wrong move.
I thought I had the map, I must have set it down somewhere.
I remember, back at the beginning, I knew where everything was. I thought I knew where I was going. Honestly I just wanted a cup of coffee and a shower and to find that one dress, sit and sift through the mess. But I have been lost in the maze for quite some time and I lost sight what I was doing here. All the while collecting new things and memories and lessons and losing track of those too.
I was hiding out in the places that seemed familiar, had some wiggle room. Upon closer inspection, they were children’s forts lined with old security blankets tied together with g-strings and good intentions..
So, I fired up the wrecking ball and swung far and wide to the other side, called Nothing.
I don’t want any of it, tear it down, burn it. Smash it all and let me fly free and unencumbered.
But that scared me too. There are bits of me in there. Nice bits. Good bits. Smart and clever bits.
Also, I am naked and it’s cold up here. Never did find that dress.
I spoke to a woman yesterday. She could have just pulled pages from the phone book and read them to me, her voice has that lilt and cadence. I shouldn’t say I spoke, I mostly listened.
She said the same things I had heard on my birthday, just with the kindness of a woman.
I interrupted a few times, epiphany after epiphany. I tried not to.
What do they feel like?…depends on the epiphany. Sometimes they feel like gut rot after a 3 day bender, so sharp you worry for the structural integrity of your appendix and other organs. Sometimes it’s like a fog clearing, like rubbing your eyes after waking up, a slow adjustment to clarity. And sometimes it’s like flying. As though you have been training to run in the water and you finally get to feel what your legs can do on dry land, without resistance.
She said a human being under stress has 3 options. Flight, flight or freeze.
I had never heard the third.
I smiled into the phone when I realized that was exactly what I was doing.
I had fought so long to keep all of this things. Antiquities, pieces of who I used to be.
I woke up one morning a few weeks ago ready to run. I set about a great purge. Burn it all to the ground and disappear into a man. Thinking I was coming to him clean. And I would have. But I would have been naked, dependent and a slip of a girl prone to slipping into old habits to hide her nakedness and mess.
“He should want you as is.” Romantic theory sure, but I don’t even want me like this. I know I can do better, I just needed a push. I needed to see what I looked like with someone else’s eyes.
Unkempt, dirty…but I have potential.
There was a forced pause. I was suspended in limbo.
I am moving in 6 weeks. I had a moment of panic about it. Wondered if I could pull it together and be as happy there as I am here. I scrolled back to look at photos of past houses and realized, yes I can. I always do. I may have to shed a few things, replace things worn out with new, like my throw pillows. But I can do this. I have done it before. Methodically, logically and seeing the upheaval as an opportunity to build something even better.
What I cannot do is downsize from a 5 bedroom, fully furnished chalet out in the country thinking I can bring everything with me.
I didn’t physically do that. I purged like a pro. Kept what elicited joy and had function and purpose and disregarded the rest.
I have 17 mirrors in my house and I look in none of them.
I am heading back into therapy, much more intensive this time around. I have been coddled enough and will take the same approach with me. I have been carrying a lot of boxes around in my mind, and good god it’s heavy and messy. I will open everything up and try to find the why.
Build a nice home here, inside of me. Somewhere that I won’t be embarrassed to open the door and let the right people in. Somewhere I can be proud of. No more revolving doors. No more hoarding then running, then hoarding again.
I will hang a sign over the door that simply says Equilibrium.