I have worked overtime all week – extended hours, whatever it is called in this industry. I get comp time for it, but that will not come until tomorrow or Friday. Today is another long day and I am so tired. My eyes ache. I just want to go back to bed.
I fought getting out of my haven, my bed, this morning. Of course, I was awake before the alarm went off and got up, but after an hour an a half, I went back to bed for a short nap, before the neighbors began banging on my ceiling and I realized I could not keep reality at bay.
I do not know what I am doing here. I have no passion for this. I know I am here because I have appointments, meetings and an on-call shift to work, but imagining getting through the next 9 hours is killing me. I pushed too hard the last 2 days and my body is starting to push back.
What does that mean for my brain?
The “shoulds” begin to emerge:
- I should be exercising
- I shouldn’t smoke so much weed
- I should eat healthy, or basically, I should eat
- I should sleep 8 hours a night
- I should be taking the anti-depressant that I hate
- I should, I should, I should
The never ending list. And if I ignore the “shoulds” and keep on this pace, I know it will fuck with me, big time. But what can I do? I am in survival mode. I am just trying to get through so I can go home and put on my pajamas and watch Bravo until I fall asleep. I just want to ignore everyone in my work environment and just enjoy the silence of my office, or the sounds of the music that soothes me. But we are a service industry, and as much as I fought coming in today, I knew I had to, because for 4 hours today I am your beck and call girl. And I hate it.
My brain is not up to snuff today. It is cloudy. There is fog. I just pray that no one will have a question, that I will not have to use any of my precious grey matter today to help anyone. Because I do not know if what I will say will make sense, or if the words will come out all jumbled. That is how tired I am.
As if I have jet lag.
God, I wish this was jet lag. I wish that I was returning from some foreign land, or arriving in one, where I could be taken away from the drudgery of my daily life. At least then I would have an excuse for being so exhausted. But instead, I am just here, trying to look the part of perfection while inside it feels like my bones are crumbling and I can’t get my synapses to work.
I want to be an ex-patriot. I want to be like Hemingway, who lived in exotic countries during an amazing era. France, Cuba, Switzerland, Spain. The world was his oyster. I want it to be mine. But on my terms, not working for a company simply to have money to live and health insurance and doctors that, most days, keep me stable. I want to be a writer, like he was. I want to play with words, make them fit – as if they were a jigsaw puzzle – in the perfect arrangement and make them come alive on the page. I want to live in a place where the weather suits my clothes, where the ocean laps outside my windows and the sun warms my skin during the day, and at night I can lay and watch the stars come out, one at a time.
Is this too much to ask for? Is this too much to dream about?
It is a dream that I have held for 20 years. My late husband used to call my writing “the never ending story” because I never concluded my pieces. But I have concrete endings now – his death, my life since then, the insanity of being bipolar. How they all fit together and create a witch’s brew that is constantly stirred in the cauldron in my brain. After years, I am finally purging the toxins, the ghosts that have tortured my soul -and the more I can write, the more I can remember, the more I can put on the page.
A lot of it isn’t pretty. A lot of the initial blather is guilt and fear and grief. But if I can work through those and get back to what was once good in my life, I may be able to remember the magical parts, without emotions tearing at my seams. I might be able to tell of the beauty that my life once was, and perhaps even begin to see beauty in what it has become, or is becoming.
Because I sure as shit know that I don’t want to be sitting at this desk, in this office forever. I don’t want to be told what to do or where to go or how to act. I want to be able to sit in my pajamas on my back porch and lose time in the writing of the pages, until half the day is spent, and my eyes refocus on the present.
“I had learned already never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.”
-Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
© Sorrow & Kindness