It’s been a while hasn’t it? How are you- are you and your loved ones well?
While I’ve decided to stop apologizing here for anything I write (or in this case, don’t write), I do feel a need to explain where I’ve been these past few months.
Guys, winter was hard, like really hard. I don’t mean in a super serious, family-illness or major depression sort of way, but in a grinding, grueling, let’s-just-get-through-this, cold sort of way. Normally I can take winter in stride- drink lots of chai, snuggle into big sweaters, hibernate and dream- but this winter really threw me off my game. Between feeling a bit over extended at my (still new-ish) job*, and still trying to settle into our new house, all endeavors beyond functioning as a normal human in society fell by the wayside. With approximately 175 polar vortices barreling through Ohio every few days running (or even walking) outside became impossible, eliminating the last barrier that stood between me and Seasonal Affective Disorder.
So that’s where I’ve been- surviving. Working, living, struggling to maintain relationships with people outside my house whom I love, and feeling totally incapable of handling anything beyond that, especially creative pursuits. The last things made in my studio were Galentines. I’ve mentally written several posts, some funny, some not, some helpful some not- all of which seemed locked away in my brain, totally inaccessible to my fingers every time I sat at my desk. A mean little voice started to whisper ‘phony…” and “fail…”whenever I though about writing or making, and rather than squash it like a tick, I listened and worried. I don’t mean to alarm or melodramatize here- there were people who had WAY worse times of it this winter- there were good things that happened this winter, and I never felt truly lacking or upset. Even at my lowest I think I’d use words like “stressed” or ‘tired’ before I’d say I was depressed or even sad. But, it can be a bit unsettling to find an uninspired, listless and tired person who can handle nothing beyond the Netflix cue where once there was a bundle of energy, ideas and projects to tackle. And that feeling, the feeling of not knowing exactly who I was, was what really got to me.
All of which is do say, it’s getting better.** No, I haven’t suddenly reached Nirvana through all my hours of youtube-yoga, and no, my house isn’t any cleaner/more organized/even unpacked all the way. Even as I write this, I’m acutely aware of how slow and dear the words are coming – like an i.v. drip from my fingers. But they are coming. And even though I still feel a bit uninspired, and fragile in my assertion of myself as ARTIST (and more fragile still, as writer), I also know that this fragility is only as permanent as frost. I can’t really do anything to make it stop, but I can make some small changes and cultivate small joys in the other areas of my life and know that eventually This Too Shall Pass. There’s a cool mist where once there were frigid hellish gales. I’ve traded my heavy black winter coat for my favorite blue-green jacket. There are green things poking through the mud. My garden isn’t mine, yet, but I did manage to replace one of the raised beds and tuck in a few seedlings this weekend. And for the next hour, I’m going to be in my studio. Doing what? Hell, I have no idea- the ‘what’ will come later. For now, it’s just enough to be ‘doing”.
* which, by the way, is still wonderful- the overextension is temporary, not personal, and largely on me as I still struggle to find balance and define what’s ‘enough.’
**it almost always does. until it doesn’t, at which point it’s a good idea to ask for help.