I haven’t felt much like writing.
Sometimes this is the canary in the depressive coalmine but I’m not sure that’s the case right now. My goal this year was to write less but write better. Quality over quantity. Somehow that has led to writing almost nothing at all.
A couple of months ago I wrote an essay that I thought was decent. I submitted it to O Magazine, never expecting a response. The big glossies and major internet outlets rarely give replies. Two weeks later I sent a follow-up, just letting the editor know that I was going to start submitting it elsewhere. Within a few hours she emailed me back and said she saw a glint of something in it, that it had potential, but that she wanted me to show and not tell, to have more dialogue, and work to get the reader more immersed.
So I worked. Hard. I let other people read and edit, which is something I do almost never. I resubmitted it.
I followed up a couple of more times over the next few weeks. Finally she wrote back and said that while she thought my second draft was much improved, she couldn’t see it working for O.
This is why I hate trying and working hard. When I don’t put forth my best effort, I can keep up the “I’m not good enough, but maybe I could be” hopes. Something about this particular rejection stung more than others. If I work really hard on something that I knew had potential, and then it still doesn’t work… well, it’s not the first time I’ve been accused of not living up to my potential, I suppose.
I had unintentionally put so much on this one essay. I felt like this would be the thing that would finally make me confident in the idea that I’m a coughwritercough
This is what I’m always chasing about everything — proof. It wouldn’t have worked, I know that. I would have just felt that same now what feeling that I always feel when something good happens. But man, O Magazine is sort of the pinnacle. Everything else will feel like failure now.
I think I just have a severe case of what’s the point?
A few weeks ago I hurt my back, which has meant not being able to do a lot of the things I like doing. Like sitting for long periods of time.
But seriously, I can’t skate. Bending repetatively makes it flaire up. I desperately need a new computer, but I’ve spend hundreds of dollars on physical therapy (of course, if I wrote more for money…). The PT is a fucking sadist. Also she’s really nice. I’m pretty sure the word “therapy” is latin for “complicated relationship.” But after she is really mean to me she massages the muscles in my back that hurt. So it’s love/hate. My back is getting better, slowly.
Last week it was excruciating at times. My pain scale goes from 0 to the first time I stood up after my c-section. It was easily nearly c-section level. Even when sitting the ache was so bad that I could not get my mind off of it. I ended up taking an Ativan I was so panicky from the pain. This week it’s more of a nusance.
I had tried to find some motivation to make healthier choices for myself again. Less junk food, less beer, more exercise — you know, all the shit that people say you should do. My jacked up back has thrown a huge wrench in that plan. At least the exercise part. A little bit on the beer and junk food part because I’m feeling sorry for myself and eating my feelings. I think I’ve managed to double down over the last few days, so we’ll see if it sticks. I know I need to get better about exercising and diet before winter arrives with its asshole friend, seasonal affective disorder.
This week I’ve been taking out most of my frustrations on my therapist. Not my usual style. Sort of don’t want to go tomorrow, though we all know I will because ultimately I love therapy. She gave me some homework that I actually felt was fairly useful, so my brain’s answer to that is to try to screw things up and dredge up tons of hurt feelings and frustration that I was only barely aware existed. Of course, my brain’s definition of screwing things up is to send her a million emails, which is exactly what she’s been encouraging me to do all along. So, good job brain?
It’s not all bad
A friend and I have made some awesome girls night plans for next month. Making new friends as an adult is so much different than it was in college. This newish friendship feels more… collegy. But the good parts.
I have five concerts planned between now and the end of the year. Steven is going to come visit for three of them.
Lorelei has started ballet. I resist doing lots of extra activities because they screw up my desire to act on whims. She begged until she wore me down. So now she’s taking ballet and doing Girl Scouts. When she took ballet a few years ago she refused to cooporate, deciding to do her own thing instead. Basically, it looks like toddler pole dancing. This is a definite improvement.
She has also taken to busking on our front stoop with her ukelele singing loud songs about “I just want to play my guitar all day” over and over. She’s mad that nobody is giving her money. Personally, I’m ok with nobody walking through my yard to hand my kid money.
Rowan is talking a ton. He has this super inquisitive inflection when he learns new words that is so freaking adorable that I cannot stand it. He will try pretty much any word and is putting together longer sentences all that time. The other day Lorelei had a scrape on her knee and he came up and pointed and said, “Lor-lei Booboo? Ouch. I sowwy.”
We made it through a cold with only a moderate asthma flaire up. At no point did I think I was going to have to take him to the ER. Hopefully this means the new meds are working out ok. Using the inhaler instead of the nebulizer is so much easier and faster, though way more expensive.
Like most two year olds, sometimes he’s a bit of an asshole. When he gets tired of his cup of water he just… pours it on the floor.
Lorelei and Rowan are playing together more often, which is amazing to me. They can disappear into L’s room for minutes at a time without bothering me. Once our IKEA shipment gets here (that’s another whole saga) we can start inching towards having them share a room so that I can have my office back.
So yeah, I feel stuck somewhere in between. Not great. Not terrible. Not really moving one way or the other. Just hanging out here with my hands and arms inside the ride at all times.