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Sometimes Words Kind of Fail

Well, guys, so much for having a gentle, easy, peaceful year where I can savor and ever-so-thoughtfully and mindfully take in my experiences. I’ve drafted about five different entries to post in the past week and a half…and none of them quite work. They don’t speak to the truth of what’s going on in my life now, which is really just so much tumult. Work tumult, love tumult, health tumult: please, gods and spirits above, just keep my family out of it and I’ll be a grateful creature.

So I’ll just stick to minutiae now. I’ve taken to working at my kitchen table, so I can soak up the morning sunlight. The table is covered with books, a pot waiting to grow sunflowers, a lemon-and-mint candle. The shoe rack by my door is heaped with all the boots I own. I love my boots and coats, but I’ve been wearing them since November and I’m anxious to be wearing something new. I’m anxious for a new spring to start. In the mail I got a new American Apparel dress, and I have to admit, I’m excited to wear it in the spring and summer. It’s pretty hot.

There’s a college catalog within arm’s reach, and I have classes circled: a drawing class, a class on doing alterations, and a class on foraging in the wild for edible plants. I know I should be taking the classes on Javascript and other types of computer-y/Web-y things, but right now my heart wants things that feel concrete, that feel of paper and hands and honest labor. I want something new to learn, something where I’m a total beginner, unmoored yet excited by the open plain in front of me.

It looks really peaceful and quiet here, but the music is turned up super-loud. Music is kind of the subconscious of my life now, and I like anything with a super-heavy, slamming bottom end that makes the room rattle. Lots of old-school dub, still the Beyonce album (“Partition” on rotate, thanks), some crazy Juicy J song my sister sent me. I still got a riotous side to me. I guess it’s been pretty muted in the past few years, but I think it’s ready to come back out soon.

And writing. I’ve been pecking away at a novel since November, and it’s hitting that crucial last-quarter when the speed picks up and crashes towards the final resolution. I cheated on my novel and started a short story last weekend, and I’m about to finish it later tonight. In a way, I know there’s something right about everything happening, but it’s like some floodgate in me has been opened up and the imagination is gushing out.

You know, I do feel, strangely, that I’ve managed to hold onto my equanimity through everything happening — to find that still point in the turning world. Not to say that I don’t feel angry or sad or overwhelmed through it all, but underneath there’s a river of calm. A long time ago I realized what I loved most in my life, my purpose, and accepted within me the imperatives that I need in this lifetime to flourish and flower. Not much can unseat such things, which is why they are so worth discovering and accepting.

Like what you just read? Maybe you'll like my book as well

All Things Glorious and True: Love Letters to Pop Culture, New York, Fashion and Other Objects of Affection is a collection of essays exploring how my crushes on music, dive bars, books, outfits and so much else gave me a braver soul, more open heart and even love. All Things is like a great, stylish mixtape: surprising, kind of punky, fun and often heartfelt.


Tags: depression, equanimity, purpose, stress, tumult