I won’t lie, the last months have been a real shocker for me. I’m not afraid to admit for at least the last month or two I would probably have been diagnosed as “clinically depressed”. Of course, I am completely qualified to diagnose myself so why would I waste the money or the time?
Guess what? This happens, and I think this happens to everyone. And I think we should talk about it a little more.
Irma was traumatic enough, fleeing and finding a whole new life, buying a house, meeting all new people, changing every single behavior on the dime has left me exhausted beyond measure. Different everything. Change ain’t ALWAYS good, ya know? I’m sick of hearing it. Bull shit “Change is Good”. Change is inevitable.
The only time you really love when a chapter of your life ends is when you get to write it, the ones that the universe abruptly ends for you, well, those aren’t so whimsical.
There are so many silver linings in these black clouds. Our daughter is thriving. J is thriving. We’ve met a handful of people that we love. Hell, if I would back up from my overflowing pity pot, I am thriving too, with my new company ready to launch when I hit the “go button”.
I’m a natural silver lining person, but sometimes it is hard to find the lining in the middle of the storm, distracted by the thunder and lightning called reality, and when we finally got settled into our actual new home, the wave rushed over me of what all has happened, and with a wave that big, I started to fight it and felt like I was drowning. You ever feel like that? Like no matter what you cannot find the air to breath?
Everyone says “go with the flow”, but what it the flow goes where you wish it wasn’t? Fuck the flow, I miss my life. I really miss “island people”.
Last week I got to hang out with a few of my island writer friends, we met in Miami for a boost of creativity. To say the least, for some of us, this last year has been a muthafucka. I used this weekend as a lighthouse in the mental storm I was fighting through, waves crashing, my hull shaking, but if I could just get to them, I think I will be okay.
I needed a little sliver of the life I chose, just a little something to get me through, everything I picked had washed away in Irma and I wanted to feel something, something other than lost. When I got there I knew I was right, it was like finding someone else on the deserted island, and no matter if the reality is that you are both lost, at least you are not alone.
Being lonely in America sucks, being lonely anywhere sucks. There are so many people here, living their own lives, disconnected and very happy doing so. But for me, disconnection to the world feels sad and empty. There is so much talk about weather, fears, and other shallow or unreal subjects, but so rarely someone serves up what drives them, what brings them joy, and why they are here. They don’t have the time or the energy for true connection, and they don’t want it even if they did.
Vulnerability is a commodity traded so infrequently that is almost feels like you are being scandalous, like you are bootlegging yourself, and asking someone to commit a crime with you.
It is the crime that you commit when you’re sick of being in your own prison.
But once you start being connected to your world, you always crave such connection, and only identify living as connection, there is no going back. Oh, how I miss the safety of my wave of bullshit, but I walk all alone these days, no facade, no fake smile.
We talked a lot about finding our places in this new world, and even more about feeling like we didn’t fit in, and even WORSE, our actual enjoyment of this new world. I mean, produce and convenience is a dirty little pleasure to islanders about the mainland. The strawberries!
We talked about how much we needed each other and others like us. We talked about how important it is to surround yourself with people who think you are lovely. It felt right because we were real together, uninhibited, supportive, without judgement. Only LOVE.
I left the weekend knowing that I had a lot of work to do. A lot. I had to build the vulnerable life that I wanted with more intensity. My job is not to fit into this land, my job is to be myself wherever I am, and allow, cultivate, and protect people who long for the same life. MY job was to talk about my sadness, talk about disconnection, and talk about loneliness. My job is to make the connection that I need, and tell the people who are drowning that I am down here too.
My job is to be who I want the world to be.
Open and imperfect. My job is to be myself.