Once again, the stuff around me became too much. Everything took up too much space. I couldn’t breathe or think or write or see. My stuff was a fire and the smoke was choking me, surrounding me, hemming me in.
All that for some clothes and overdue mail. I’m nothing if not melodramatic.
I don’t know why the clutter gets to me so much. And I also don’t know how it is that I spend hours getting rid of everything that I don’t absolutely need and yet find myself in the same buried place only months later. Do I just accumulate it all again, sneak it all in without myself noticing? Or do I just not go far enough the first time? Progress is in moving forward, not in leaping to the destination. Or maybe my tolerance keeps declining until one day it’ll just be me and my books and a knapsack.
This morning, as I lugged out yet more boxes of things I didn’t want, I thought this: consider complication. But then I realized that was too short-sighted. Complication isn’t a scale against which things are measured. It’s just one facet that gets added into the total weight, along with joy and delight and desire and frivolity and giving and happiness and pain.
And I realized, once again, the thing I have realized so many times but somehow forget: life is never what you expect. I started this journal to have online liner notes for a mix CD and to practice writing and somehow it turned into that small part of my brain that loses confidence. And I found I could write that lack of confidence, my fears, my insecurities, my lost hopes on the page and I wouldn’t have to carry them around with me quite so much.
When I started this journal, I had an apartment I wanted and a boyfriend I didn’t need. I had been dreaming of that apartment for years. But somehow, I lost my way. And more homes, more clutter, more relationships later, the lessons come around again, and like a snake shedding his skin I pushed through it all and remembered. We learn things little by little only by doing them over and over again and each time making not quite as many mistakes until one day we make few enough to move on to the next. I read back on years past, on my insecurities and angst and I remember how they felt, but I don’t feel them anymore (I have new neuroses now). But it’s comforting to know that eventually we stop repeating the same mistakes and start making new ones.
So, now, finally, the center holds (at least for now). I kept nonsensically taking away my fiercely fought identify from myself and I don’t think I’m going to do that anymore. I am doing more writing, although when getting rid of clutter today I came across a notebook with some handwritten notes about my still very unfinished novel. I did recently manage to finish the nonfiction book I was under contract for, so that’s a step in the right direction anyway. I still want to be perfect, but I think I’m getting better at not achieving it. Ha! Striving to be perfect at not being perfect.
I’m doing a lot better on courageousness. The more you fall, the more better you get, after all. I just keep trying stuff that scares me. I now have the house on the water and the assistant that I whined so much about needing and I no longer have that terrible car I hated and I now have a tattoo, although I’m already craving the next one, and I figure I can smoke when I want, and I’m doing better on my dream of being a stripper. I even have a closet full of dresses now after being so despondent and mopey about not having anything girly or pretty. I was at a party last night and a friend said something about me being ambitious. I’m not really ambitious. Just an overachiever.
I realize that I’ve been feeling trapped but no one has been keeping me in place but me. I’ve perhaps found that thread of hope. But fuck, I used to be funny. I’m going to go back to being funny.
This indulgent episode has been brought to you by the inability to see movement during the process of moving, and only on looking back to see how far away the horizon has gotten.