I really hate being outdoors. Not the “Great Outdoors” outdoors with grass and Magnolia Warblers and shit, but “any expanse that puts me in direct contact with air that has not been recirculated and filtered” outdoors. If I have to sit on a restaurant patio because indoor seating is not available, I will just go home and eat white bread and uncooked lentils because, fuck no, I’m not paying money to be subjected to leaves falling on my head.
But for the past year, I have forced myself to sit on my bedroom balcony for five to ten minutes each day. My home is extremely quiet, and the sound I hear most is the noise inside my head. I stepped on the balcony to get away from myself (This totally seemed like a doable and reasonable goal at the time. I have no idea why.) and after ten minutes, I wasn’t dead or anything, so I went out again the next day.
I started snapping a picture of the same tree every day with my phone. Since I’m not a fan of looking at pictures of the outdoors either, I didn’t even bother to look at them again until recently. When I opened the album with my collection of trees, I couldn’t believe how varied and beautiful they were. Also, I was extremely impressed with myself, but this isn’t about my on-point photography skills right now.
I assumed that all the pictures would look pretty much the same, since this tree never even lost its leaves over the course of the year. But it wasn’t the tree that made each shot so stellar (still not tryna brag). In each, the sky changed. And it made the tree seem different and, at times, unrecognizable.
All of my hours seem to be running together these days. I used to think that my life was unstructured and spontaneous, but that’s not the truth. I get up at the same time each morning to get Cal ready for school. I eat the same breakfast most of the week. I travel the same path to pick her up from school each weekday. And I didn’t realize that my days had structure until they started to lose their form.
So far this new school year, I haven’t gotten out of bed in the morning unless I absolutely needed to do something like help Cal with her picture day hair. School pictures are, like, so expensive it’s kind of unreal, and once I get over my depression, item number one on my to-do list is staging a protest against these pricing shenanigans. ONE 5×7 for the special reorder price of $20? Y’all some fuckin’ robbers.
I can pull myself together for a few hours at a time. During these pockets, I tell myself to keepgoingkeepgoingkeepgoing as I brush my hair or change out of the drawstring pants I’ve been wearing for so many days in a row that the ass section has become baggy and droopy. I can smile and remind Cal not to forget her water bottle.
Maybe I still look the same on the outside. All year round, I try my best not to lose any of my leaves. But I feel so very broken. And I am different and unrecognizable to myself.
Upon finding out how broken I felt, my friend, Aaron, showed me this word:
I’ve spent a lot of time looking at pictures of once broken and now beautifully repaired bowls and cups and vases. The delicate gold veins add a note of beauty to each piece, but the original finish is still dominant and apparent.
My biggest fear is that once all of my pieces are pushed back together, I’ll just be all gold everything because I was too broken.
I thought that I could somehow will my way out of this trench, but I guess that’s not how depression works. I also thought that high fructose corn syrup would remedy my mental malaise, but that didn’t seem to be the right answer either. I haven’t stopped my extensive research on that one. I’ll get back to you. I thought about shutting down the blog, but for now, I’ve decided against it. All of these thoughts would have to go somewhere, and it would most likely be to Harv, and hasn’t that poor man suffered enough by being married to me? One day, I hope to wake up and feel like my old self again. But better. Cuz I’ll be all gold lacquered and shit.
P.S. If this post resonated with you in some way, please share it. If something helps you feel less blue, please share with us below. And if you are feeling blue, please know that you are not alone. We can be all gold everything together.
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Not only can I be a downer on this blog, but I’m pretty good at it on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page and on Instagram (username: flourishinprogress). Let’s get connected if you’re into that sort of thing.
P.P.P.S. Winner of last week’s giveaway: Lauriewrites. Please email me at flourishinprogress at gmail with your mailing address and which set of cards you would like.