Tag: balance

What to do when you can’t do

Rando typewriter flow


You write about not being able to do.

I just spent the last hour trying to find a medium for this rabid, though undeveloped and unsettling outrage. First, I got out a pencil and paper. Then, I opened a Word doc and began a new poem. Frustrated and unable to write that way, I decided to look at one I’d written the other day. No dice. I moved to another folder entitled “Non-fiction,” and opened a few documents to edit.

The state of things (things that I haven’t gotten a chance to dive into all the way yet)—but when should I? Now at 3 A.M.?

These days, I haven’t figured out yet how to balance day-to-day living, productivity and sanity with the research and discussion needed to know to stay on top of politics.

This is why when there are moments of goodness, I grab onto them. Even if it’s just the crisp colors of sunset over the Mon. Even if it’s just my cat waking me up with his purr and whisker-tickle technique. I don’t know. I’m hanging on. Because, like it has felt all along since the beginning of this presidency, it isn’t about me. It’s bigger. How does one exist and not exist at the same time?

I don’t know how I know, but I know.

Lake Chautauqua Sunset

That was my response after answering a question—with confidence—that I couldn’t possibly know the answer to.

Knowing but not knowing, you know?

These days, I live by logic. Mostly. I still run the gamut of emotions, often frustrated and bubbling over, but now I make decisions. I wait. Younger Meghan? Oh, she donned a reckless impulsivity that could’ve easily ruined me. No, really. I was somewhere like a 7 or 8 on the Richter Scale, a Tazmanian Devil sort of swirling around in a self-made tornado of sadness, loneliness and self-deprecation. I took it to a new level. I wore black girl-sized Dickies and dyed my hair a shade to match. Raise your hand if you feel me.

Knowing without knowing isn’t a science. It’s not sensical. It’s not even like the lesson of maturity I learned (late) in adolescence: Will you ever learn to think before you open that mouth of yours… damnit, Meghan!

(That was my mother’s voice in case you didn’t recognize it. “Damnit Meghan” was more of a household name.) And no, I will learn, but it’s something I’ll wish I could unlearn. At least a little bit.

Knowing without knowing is more like intuition, a phantom kind of thing I’ve always had but couldn’t count on. I’m no mystic, no wizard. But these days I’m counting on it more. Is this a getting old thing? 30 going on 80, yep.

“You need to learn to trust yourself. Right now,” warned the tarot reader who sat across from me, taut-lipped with her hands folded across the table.

But that was in 2012. I’ve made a conscious effort, really, but trusting my guts is worrisome for all kinds of reasons. Just the other day, my guts decided it was ok to spend an hour online trying to locate a rare book of short stories. The day before that, my guts thought it fine to indulge in a plate of General Tso’s Chicken—breaded, fried, glistening with grease, married to a huge helping of oily fried rice. I mean, for someone who relies heavily on logic to keep her in line, intuition is about as grounded as a beach kite. I mean, I stop at Sheetz gas stations at like 11 p.m. for gummy bears so what do I know? I find, however, denying ones guts leads to another set of issues.

So ok, it’s balance I’m looking for in my 30’s. Oddly, where my teens were teary, flailing and faltering, my 20’s were for exercising control and maybe, sometimes, too much (see: picking lint off the floor, having meltdowns cleaning bathtubs…). It only makes sense that I come to this, convergence.

The struggle is the limitations of balance, what the old me might have seen as boring—stagnant and idle—I should now embrace? Kind of like a see-saw, but just because it’s level doesn’t mean there’s no one on it… right? Maybe there are just two forces of equal weight. Precise, shaky, going nowhere? I’ve always hated even numbers…

Man, I could go for a smoke.

Are we there yet?

I decided to splurge.

Chinese food, in particular the Chinese food buffet, is a horrible idea for someone like me. Not only do I have issues with indulging in tasty food until my stomach feels like it’s housing a village of overweight ninjas, but eating anything fried and delicious tends to kill me—no matter the amount.

But on Sunday, for the hell of it, I decided it was time to partake. The point of my story, leaving out the proceeding belly rumbles and loosening of my belt [and food coma], is that I received this fortune:

Thanks to Instagram!

You are almost there.

At any other point in my life, thus far, I might have tucked the greasy scrap into my wallet and called it a day (I collect fortunes), but I think maybe this Asian voodoo is onto something.

Last year, as I’ve spoken about before, was a helluva roller-coaster ride, mostly stemming from my lack of sleep and sustenance. Still. There are down days and broken moments—shit, I wish I could say I’ve completely “recovered.” But you know what? I think I need those days; we all do, maybe. It makes the sun brighter on the flip. I got it. Cliche or not.

I’ve been thinking a lot about balance and “getting there,” so it comes as no surprise that this fortune hit me. Almost. The punchline of my life lately: while most of my friends and coworkers consciously work on trying to be more organized, more on top of things, more responsible, less sleepy and less lazy… I’m trying to do the opposite. What do I mean?

  • I see a piece of lint or two on the floor. My gut reaction is to fall to my knees and begin a 10-minute journey across my bedroom floor, with an eye at floor-level, picking up fuzz and hair until I acquire a mass large enough to be a tumbleweed. And now? I try to ignore it. I pretend it isn’t there, reminding myself I can run the vacuum cleaner when I am not in a rush to get somewhere or do something. Take that, OCD!
  • My roommate asks me to watch a movie. While I typically decline or say “yes,” but gather up 900 things for me to do as the movie plays… I’ve been trying to do it. You know. Watch TV, just watch… not attempt to do 19 other things simultaneously. This is still in the works. I’ve noticed, though, that I have been actually attentive enough to understand the gist of movies lately. So there’s that. Suck it, Oppressing Need for Productivity!
  • It’s 10:00 p.m. and I’m yawning. No! This is, perhaps, my worst fear! Becoming one of those people who go to work, go home, eat dinner, watch TV and go to bed…at 9:00! The typical me might have brewed up some coffee began a late-night regime of caffeine and cigs, but instead, I’ve been trying to listen to my body; you know, get more than four hours of sleep per night. See, there are things I like to do in the eve, namely creative ventures. Now, I haven’t been closing my eyes at 10, but I have been settling in before midnight. This is a start! Go fly a kite, Self-Induced Insomnia!

So I’m almost there, huh? I like it. I really do. I feel like a freak for trying to relax, trying to be lazy sometimes… but. It’s nice (and necessary)!

Any resolutions/goals for you all coming to fruition in 2013? Tell me I’m not the only one who picks lint off of my carpeting!