A quiet night at home

Lately I haven’t been feeling like myself. My writing has been put off for over a month now, other than the occasional notes that I feel compelled to put into my phone. Those cannot be helped, since they come upon me suddenly, in traffic, watching TV, at the store. For a few days now, I have struggled to sit down and even put a single word down. This bothers me as I sit and stare at the screen, once again sucked into the triangle of social media, flipping and scrolling: Facebook, Instagram, Email.

The days go by. The things that felt so important to write over a month ago feel like they are fading. The emotions that were driving that have become almost rote. At some point, I got to the point that the things that I have let go of a lot of the things that used to cause so much anguish in my heart. They no longer bother me. And that bothers me.

I have other battles to fight now, other storms to endure on dark choppy seas. I have decided to make a major decision in my life, and unfortunately the last court hearing has taken some wind out of my sails here. One of my posts was used as an exhibit in court. I feel almost violated by this tresspassing. It has caused me to censor what I say here because someone is always watching. You would think that would eventually fade, but it doesn’t. I don’t like being stalked. I don’t like having to suppress my voice because someone can go through a million words and cherry pick what they want and pull something out of context to use against me. My own words, things that I have chosen and put down for others in a writer/reader relationship…it just leaves me feeling dirty inside.

I’m moving. After 20 years (plus another four for college) in the same town, it is time.

So that has been on my mind lately, as are the expected reprecussions of my decision to do so. There is very little holding me here, and if you are somewhere you aren’t valued, then you need to go somewhere you are. So the expense, the ensuing calamity, the timing, and all the work to be done still are weighing heavy on my mind. Am I moving forward or failing? Right now it is hard to tell. In the meantime, I need to be Dad, I need to make money, I need to hold everything together as best I can. This year has been like stress BINGO. At this point I’ve almost got Blackout. Throw in Christmas and of course COV1D, and I’m feeling the weight of things.

Tonight I was visiting with a friend. She echoed my sentiments of how heavy everything was these days. The weight of having to always be strong. Not only for her kids, but for everyone else. It is exhausting and it never stops. We weigh ourselves down with how we are supposed to be to others on the outside that her idea of a perfect day could have been taken as selfish. Just a day to herself, isolated, relaxed.

As parents we are told by other parents how we can’t have a minute to ourselves. If we do, we are judged. Probably because other parents want so desperately to just be left the hell alone for a day or three. To not have to hear “Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!” or “Dad, can you drive me someplace?” or “Buy me that!”

As single parents, we get no help. We get no sympathy. Our kids get bored with us too because we are tapped out. We don’t want to play the board games, we don’t want to fix the toy. As awful as it sounds, sometimes we don’t have the energy for our friends either. The ones with the relationship problems (at least they have one that is driving them nuts), the others who are just bored and always know we are available to entertain them.

I could relate to her fantasy. Just a day for someone else to take care of her and then leave her alone. There is nothing wrong with that at all.

My fantasy was similar, but echoed one of my own experiences. I wanted a day and a night of just walking around a city I’ve never been to before. It is drizzly, like a Dashiel Hammett novel. I’m warm and dry in my wool coat. I just walk the city and observe. I feel the ideas soaking in. Filling my mental tanks again. I don’t think about moving, money, loss, the future, making meals for my son, uncertainty of the years ahead or the years long gone, sex, death or any of the things that occupy my thoughts these days. I am just taking everything in and being present in the moment. That is selfish too.

As parents, we are expected to be focused on being parents all the damn time. So many of us lose sight of who we are ourselves. I am more than Dad. She is more than Mom. Why then are we made to feel so guilty when we want something for ourselves? When will people learn that we show our children how to take care of themselves by letting them see us take care of ourselves?

When I went to London in 2019, there was a night I got on a double decker bus and just let it take me all over the city. It had been raining, and the raindrops were lit up on the glass with the blues and reds of the city at night. I got off the bus at Marylebone and walked and took the tube back home. I walked all over that city and had never felt more exhilerated, lonely, and even at peace until then. I was forced to think about only THIS moment. That night, the city was mine and everyone else around just dissolved into that damp night. I didn’t think about the relationship that had vexed me, or that I was alone in another country. Or that nobody else would ever want me again. I was nervous about venturing out, but as the night progressed, I felt comfortable in my own skin.

I miss that these days. I hate moving, but I need to. This is a move upwards, instead of just hunkering down and hoping the wrong people forget about me and finally leave me alone. Or that I am right where someone else left me so they can come calling if it suits their whim.

There is so much more to life, and I’m tired of living for other people. I’m tired of not taking chances for the same reason I didn’t for the last twenty years. I didn’t have “permission.”

It’s time to get on that bus and see where it takes us.

That walkin’ against the wind $#!T

Today, I wrote my ass off for two posts. I know there are going to be days like this. I have had good days where I wrote 15 posts about lift kits and grille guards and days where I have written two posts about motorbike accidents, but today was two posts that might win me $37. One was for an air conditioning company and the other was a Netflix documentary review about “Human Nature”. I had to watch an hour and a half long documentary and IF they buy it, they will pay $25. So that averages out to $12.50 per hour.

IF either of them buy it.

My brain is fried, but at least I know more about CRISPR than I did before. I guess one way to look at this is that I would have watched the documentary for free anyway. Now I’m doing it for money.

It will be like walking against the wind to write enough in the upcoming days, weeks, months, years to provide a base income for myself. That part really sucks. Especially since many of the clients I was writing crazy amounts of stuff for left due to a change in management with the agency I’m writing for. Right now I’m in the process of rebuilding a client base, which takes time.

Tonight I’m going to try to work on the novel. I’ve been sketching out so many scenes towards the end that now my inkblots are bleeding backward through the story and hopefully will meet somplace in the middle. Future edits will probably remove a lot of things and be integral to another book I have been thinking about in the life of this same character.

I dunno. Sometimes I wonder if I haven’t cooled off with this story and some days when I sit down to write I just can’t help but think I’m over it. Then there are days I get fired up again and wish that was all I had to do.

Today fell a little flat, and for some weird reason, I took an hour and a half nap this evening. I just closed my eyes and and couldn’t stay awake. Maybe a lot of the recent stress is finally releasing. Maybe I’m finally letting go of some things and now they are only memories instead of recent wounds. I feel like a house that has been packed up for a big move. It’s the same house, but the rooms are all empty, filled with only possibilities, but there is still a lot of work ahead to put everything back in them that is needed.

Every day brings new challenges, and life comes at you like a mime from hell. I just wish it wouldn’t do that walkin’ against the wind shit. I hate that.

Momentum

A month ago, I was writing so much on the book that it was hard to sleep at night, the ideas just kept flooding my brain and I was powerless to stop them. For a few weeks, I had to shift gears and work on other things, namely senseless and idiotic court documents which always are a waste of time.

The problem is that I forgot where I left off. I have lost momentum. I still jot down the occasional note for the book, but the momentum has been lost and I don’t have the direction I once did. Also, some of the things I was writing about have reached a certain level of closure which result in a collective “Meh” when I think about writing them down.

This is not good.

Tonight, I’m going to get some sleep. Maybe tomorrow will yield something better.