Monday, December 21, 2015

On finite resources (and prolonged disappearances)

If my long-neglected blogging platform is accurate, I haven't made a peep around here in 8 months.  That unequivocally breaks my previous records, and wasn't even an intentional sabbatical.  There just wasn't enough of me to go around, and lots and lots of balls got dropped.

On the one hand, there is very real value in getting to know what one's limits really are.  There's value in finding out what you can live without, and what you really miss when you cannot make it fit in your life for a good long stretch of time.  I'm sure I'm wiser and a better person for all of it.  But it has not been pleasant.

2015 has been a lonely year of stretching.  In theory I was supposed to finish my thesis by June, but I just "finished" it 2-3 days ago (Dec. 18th).  The thesis thing has eaten up the front burners of my brain for an entire year at least.  (I technically started working on it in July of 2014, so it's pretty well been like gestating an elephant.) I am still in a psychological place of limbo, not sure what to do with my focus and worry and limited ability to create without the heavy thoughts of "thesis thesis thesis" breathing down my neck.  At some point I expect to feel like a burden has been lifted, but so far I just feel lost in a fog.

Also on the limited ability to create front, we are 33 weeks along in pregnancy #5.  I am definitely older than I was the first time I did this, and unfortunately more anemic too.  When I read this post last week suggesting that sometimes a woman's ability to create externally is limited when her body is creating so much internally, it really resonated with me.  This is the second pregnancy in a row where I haven't been able to write much at all, and certainly all of my limited capacity to write got thrown into the thesis basket, leaving other outlets to shrivel up and taste solid neglect.  I still feel that is my most profound symptom of some very real antepartum depression - I am a totally different, significantly less likable person when I am pregnant.  My mind goes lots of anxious, apathetic, cynical places it never visits when I'm not gestating. It's very hard to see it all as anything other than something to be endured and waited out.  It's never pleasant to think one is wishing their life, their todays, away.  But my pregnant todays are often oppressive little antagonists.  The only thing that makes them bearable is their impermanence.

Also contributing to my not-blogging has been the way all my hopes and dreams for home-ownership have slowed to an imperceptible crawl.  Buying one's first home in the middle of grad-school ( and then quickly getting mind-glowingly pregnant/incapacitated) is a surefire way to prevent any kind of purposeful settling in.  We've been here a year and almost 3 months, and everywhere I look I see things I was sure I'd have addressed or changed by now.  It's not doing much for morale, and considering that I'm already battling mental health demons (see antepartum depression above), I can get pretty caught up in cycles of hopelessness that are the polar opposite of socially-supportable shelter-blogging.

But tonight I'm out of excuses.  I need to start recording my life again, and not putting it out there for an audience (even if the only audience I have left are my stalwart grandparents) has unfortunately prevented me from doing any kind of record-keeping for this entire year.  I've taken only a smattering of photos, I've hardly edited any of the ones I've taken, and I haven't taken the time to process any of my experiences, insights, memories, let alone to keep a record of the crazy phenomenon that is my babies turning into full-blown people.

But tonight, less than a week before Christmas, I'm in the process of trying to bake as many sourdough boules as I can in 48 hours to give out to neighbors.  (I've made a pretty good go at neglecting my sourdough starter to death three times now, and it just keeps on recovering beautifully - and sourdough is my favorite of all the homemade superfoods I started making before I got pregnant and my life fell on its face - because it is easy and cheap and has basically 3 ingredients, but tastes like it is both difficult and expensive.)  While the bread bakes, I'm trying to make myself create words instead of just consuming them, mediocre and tangential as they may be.  The only way I'm going to get any better, or regain any kind of a groove, is to jump in and start somewhere.  I'm actually really excited to write in a space where my formatting doesn't have to be just-so, I can create footnotes all willy-nilly without consulting a style-guide, and I don't have to tie every paragraph back to a main thesis.  This is a much more accommodating platform for my very busy life, where most of the creating happens in little stolen bursts of alone time.

There are a million other, neglected, things I could say, but this post is already too long for most people who might read it.  I'm excited to come back, and give each of them their own few paragraphs of glory.  There is something heartily healthy about self-expression, and I have missed it like crazy.  Let's see if I can't get back into a groove of using this platform to not only express and record my self and my life, but to use it as a tool in the process of becoming who I'm going to be.  I've learned so may great things in the last year, and I'm anxious to put them to use.


Unknown said...

Welcome back! We have missed you. The Instagram pictures have sustained your audience while you have accomplished herculean things. Congratulations on finishing your thesis before Christmas and before your 5th miracle comes. You have so much to be proud of, and your readers welcome you back as you feel up to it. You have a lot to celebrate, and once your brain fog clears, I hope you fully dance and go crazy with your family.

Carolanne said...

It's good to read from you again. I've missed your net space, and I'm happy to see you surfacing again. No pressure, though. Life takes priority over writing about life, and we'll wait for you.

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