At this point in time I fully admit to avoiding some things.
My fitness, for one, not to mention my creativity, my mental health, and my peace of mind.
I feel like I’m floating on a little raft of seaweed just past where the waves swell and form. I can see the beach with my towel and my things, but my senses are consumed with salt, long, low pulses of waves crashing, and the tickle of the sea.
Peyton flew unaccompanied to San Francisco for a couple of days during my most recent custody period then went straight to my ex’s upon arriving back home. Today they all leave by car for a family vacation and won’t return until mid July.
My phone remains mostly quiet except for my frantic checking of world news. The list of heartbreaking things seems never-ending lately; it’s been a particularly brutal late spring for the entire world.
Knowledge is power, but it’s also paralyzing. I feel overwhelmed as a member of our global society and even in my own little life. Tributaries of thought and feeling merge into a raging river only to split off a few miles away. I have a clear idea of what I need to do, but then remain sedentary. Not taking care of my body is the main signifier.
I stain it with alcohol and lack of movement, my dietary choices aim to hurt, not nourish.
Yet meanwhile in the other parts of my life I am dedicated and driven.
My work continues to bring me significant pride and satisfaction and my Summer of No Men (or really, Summer of Very Few Men) has brought a sense of calm and balance I have never felt before.
He remains in my complex, but the sight of his car somehow bothers me less. My empty, boring nights are a result of my choices and I feel empowered even as The Good Wife and a bottle of Casillero del Diablo keep me company.
I chat with Ben on occasion and have a couple of other irons in the fire, but they’re on low heat and I like that just fine. My standards for a date seem impossibly high after London. I want someone to look at me and think, “Fucking shit I’m a lucky man!” Not, “She seems ok for now.” Effort means everything to me now.
My avoidance of my physical and creative health is the natural reaction to my career and dating health. I have yet to master all aspects of my life simultaneously and that has been a lifelong pattern.
If I’m working out regularly and my diet is on point, then I am making risky decisions with my heart. Slacking at work? Then I’m probably drinking less. It’s like squeezing a balloon that won’t pop: it just squirts out somewhere else; I can’t hide it. At least I haven’t had a cigarette since December and that seems unlikely to change any time soon.
The biggest question I’m trying to answer is why do I have this deeply driven need to balance smart, healthy decisions with their opposite? Why can I not allow myself to revel in all the sun? Why must I always be cast in shadows?
The immediate answer that comes to mind is I am not comfortable with that level of success and/or happiness and I’ll admit to that; it’s what I am working so hard to change. I want all the sun.
The second I hit Publish today I will feel better. It’s a very caring thing, writing, and I have been actively avoiding things I know will make me feel better. It seems I want shadow in addition to all that sun — perhaps I need it, I can’t tell the difference — but I’m trying to honor the pull nonetheless and not beat myself up about it.
I’m supposed to see Remington tonight, a reschedule from the weekend, but I’ve asked if we can move it to tomorrow. I’d like to see him in an old friend sort of way, but I’m content if it doesn’t happen. Not quite ambivalence, more like acceptance. That’s a sunny thing.
I’ve skipped lots of opportunities to work out this week, though. Shadowy.
I’ve focused on my work and goals. Sunny.
I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine every night. Shadowy.
I’ve been highly selective about the men I interact with. Sunny.
I haven’t written all the things I want to say: good v. bad sex, UDP (unsolicited dick pics), the strangely dangerous and beautiful world of IG. Shadowy.
My hope is that while my little one is away for so long I will get my sea legs and stop floating, overwhelmed by the current and unmotivated to move. I’d like to honor my quiet mornings and my need to write. The summer is short, though the heat is long, and I have to get my shit together.
The cicadas are chirping. It’s time to get started.