Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Dear Internet,

I moved my easel to the storage room.  Putting a puja in its place.

Once upon a time ago I was an artist.  Went to art school.  Studied in Paris.  Drew in the Louvre.  Had a nose ring.  Purple hair.  Discussed Les Demoiselles d'Avignon as being a seminal work in the Modern Art movement.  It was who I was.  How I defined myself.  An artist.  Made it easier to be weird.

But then I grew up and life happened.  My sketchbook traded in for a paycheck.  My paints drying up as I slogged to work everyday.  But I kept my easel in a corner of my house.  Passing by it.  Watching as it collected dust.

It was like a crutch I depended on long after my leg healed.  A prop in the corner telling me who I was.  Explaining to people.  Oh that girl-she's a little odd because she's an artist.  It gave me an excuse.  Made things easier.

But as I've evolved.  Grown into an adult.  A graduate student.  A yogini.  A reader.  A writer.  A friend.  A daughter.  A mentor.  A therapist.  A cook.

I realized I didn't need it anymore.  It kept me stuck.  Limited me to this one slim definition of myself.  So I took it out.

And is it scary to get rid of something that for so many years defined me?  Yes.  But my god the space it opened up to become so much more.

What can you get rid of that is no longer serving you?  What spaces can you clean out so something better can come in?


Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Spoon Full of Sugar

Dear Internet,

Sundays have always been melancholy to me.  The ebb of the weekend being over but not quite the full on flow of a new week.  It's a quiet middle time I often spend alone.  Which leads to rumination and navel gazing at times.  Especially when I should be doing something else, like studying for the comprehensive examination I have tomorrow.  But why do that when I can sit and ponder the everyday struggle man must endure?

Which leads me to my own struggle-to take antidepressants or not to take antidepressants...

I come from a long line of depressed and anxious people.  Hippies too.  People who thought if it wasn't bleeding or you weren't dying then you suck it up and get over it (which is funny considering they were all medical professionals).  My mom once refused to take me to the ER when I broke my arm.  Stating that all they were going to do was wrap it and tell us to make an appointment with the orthopedic guy in the morning.  As there was no way he was coming in in the middle of the night just to set a fractured arm.  Plus, it was too swollen anyway.  So, she put an ace bandage around it, fed me four ibuprofen, and sent me to bed.

If a broken arm didn't merit immediate treatment how could my feelings?  Things that don't bleed.  That you can't definitively measure or see or quantify.  So, I suffered.  I dealt with my moods swings.  The crushing sadness.  The heightened anger.  The best ways I could.  Which wasn't good.  I hurt a lot of people (just ask most of my exboyfriends) including myself.

Because swimming in pancake syrup is hard.  You can't see where you're going.  You get no where fast.  And no one is ever strong enough to pluck you out.

Then one day I just gave up.  I'd had enough of the ace bandages and over the counter meds (i.e. alcohol and sex).  I decided that what I had was real and deserved some actual treatment.  So, I started swallowing pills.  And talking about my feelings.  Running.  Committing to my yoga practice.  And eating well.

And just like that it wasn't syrup anymore.  It was water.  Crystal clear water.

Sure it gets choppy sometimes.  And I lose my way.  But it feels a hell of a lot better than what I used to fight against.

Do I sometimes look at that pill and roll my eyes?  Do I want to be able to do this on my own?  Yes.  But I've tried that way and failed.  And isn't life about joy no matter how you find it?  Even if it is in something you have to swallow with a glassful of water everyday?

I promise to be more joyful tomorrow, lovelies.  But I just wanted you to know that it's ok.  Fuck Tom Cruise.  Do whatever it is you have to do in order to have the life you deserve.  And you deserve the best.

I love you all,

Friday, March 11, 2011

#36-Build a circle of dependable, creative, supportive friends, #102-Drink a bottle of Veuve Clicquot

Dear Internet,

I've never been the popular girl.  The one who tosses her perfect hair, and smiles with her perfect teeth, and has a laundry list of perfect friends so long she never gets to the bottom of it.  The one who has twelve bridesmaids at her wedding and was voted most likely to succeed by her sorority. 

No.  I've never been that girl.  I'm more the cool loner girl.  The girl with too many opinions.  Odd clothing.  Even odder music.  And a very small circle of friends.  Apparently because I'm intimating and unapproachable from what my bffs say.

Being that girl, the loner girl, is hard in the south where everyone has Greek letters and "sisters."  Even harder when you come from a long line of perfect women like I do.  Women who all are chairwomen of this and president of that.

That pressure, to be perfect and popular and fit in, is something I've always struggled with.  Wanting simultaneously to be that girl yet hating it and rebelling against it all at the same time.

But having a circle of dependable, creative, supportive friends is something I've wanted.  Longed for.  It's just been hard to find in a city full of people I have little in common with.  Because while I would like to be popular, I'd like to be popular with people I adore who adore me back.

And I finally did it.  It took me 28 years, but looking around the dinner table at my birthday party I realized I had become that girl.  My list might not be a mile long but my friends sure are perfect.

I couldn't help but crack open a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and toast to that.