Tap, tap, tap… is this thing still on? Right, well, whether it is or not, the magnanimous BroJo mentioned that he was keen to get back here. I prodded him, he prodded me back, and well, here we are.
It’s been nearly a year since I was active on WordPress. It was mostly a conscious choice. The last 12 months were not kind to me. I suffered a miscarriage, I lost my aunt. My grandma died; a woman who was much more important to me than I understood during her lifetime. Other relationships in my family changed for reasons that are too fresh and too big to talk about. Loss brings about a new order as everyone tries to fill the holes and let the earth settle.
Alas, I have small, active children, who were at school for a grand total of two hours a day. I had bees to keep, a garden to fuck up, camping to do, and friends who were in the middle of all manner of things good and bad. Life was too busy for me to spend any amount of time tamping down the earth.
I powered through all of this, natural born martyr that I am. By April, I was tired. By July, I was exhausted. By August, I was depressed. And in September I took to my sad bed. My kids at school full time, I gave myself until Christmas to let all this sort itself out in my mind. I needed rest, I needed to shut down. I could not talk, I could not listen. In the past, I would have scribbled all of this out as it was happening, or denied the shit out of it all, or come up with whatever comfortable narrative I could and run with it. But I couldn’t do that from my sad bed. I had to sit with my thoughts and let them grate against me rather than finding a way to smooth them, to soothe me.
Around October, the world started to creep back into my consciousness, and the sadness gave way to discontent.
The thing about discontentment is that you can’t get used to it. Sadness, hopelessness, despair, all those other states I have traveled through this year, can start to feel familiar. You can lay in bed and wallow in those things. You feel heavy, pressed under a brick, unable to move even if you wanted to. People recognize those feelings enough to either avoid you or offer you some sympathy. Medicine, alcohol, sleep; many things offer temporary escape. There is no momentum in sadness.
Discontentment is too uncomfortable. It keeps your brain racing and your eyes pinned open. It is standing on a ball; you might be able to balance for a moment, but you have to hope that the wind stays just right and the earth doesn’t shift beneath you. There’s no rest, and you’re uncertain which direction to head at first. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long to master, and from up there, you can see far in the direction you want to go. Everyone around you is jangled because discontentment precipitates change, but you’re traveling so fast you can’t especially sense it.
I am not content. I view this as the best possible place to be at thirty-eight. The world is in a state, there is much to do, and I am hitting my stride up atop my ball.