I can't sleep. You'll see that this is a common theme. So it's time for me to tell you about something:
I'm really proud of myself.
This is what happens when you go into a therapist's office and autopsy your entire life and belief system. I've been on the slab for a few years, cut wide open, removing each part, examining it, weighing it, taking notes of anything remarkable. And I've had to go through the proper burial.
But, I've also already been reincarnated into this newer, less anxious, more creative, still nervous person who I am now. Only, instead of having new skin, I am stapled and stitched back together. I can feel my guts rattling around sometimes, those ghosts coming to knock, but I'm alive and I'm really different.
I had to learn that it's ok to do things for myself. It's ok to change things that don't work for you anymore. It's ok to fail, and it's ok to try new things. It's ok to tell people no. It's ok to ask to be paid what you're worth. It's ok to not work for your friends for free. It's ok to have things that you love deep down into your guts and know everything about, even if those things are weird. It's ok to cut out toxic people. It's ok to admit that you fucked up some of your friendships. I had to learn that I'm not always the good guy in every story. I had to stop being so defensive and anxious. I had to stop putting such ridiculously high expectations on myself.
My relationship to food has also changed. Before we even get started, though, I want to say that this isn't a weight loss journey. That is for twentysomethings who want to be Instagram famous; I'm over 40 and have an Instagram full of beautiful empty buildings. But I do know that when my last job started going bad, I started eating more to cope, which made me feel even worse. And when I was finally let go from that job, I sank into a depression that found me strapped to the couch most days. I gained weight and it felt awful. So I went back to therapy, this time for what I now realize was my deepest dive into my own brain. And I've lost weight. Numbers don't matter, and I'll probably never discuss them.
I gained weight as a teenager after enduring years of various trauma. I was always made to feel weird and wrong about my own skin. Men were always the ones abusing me. I couldn't tell anyone. So I started eating. I ate to kept people away from me. I got fat so that I could be more invisible. I wanted to move through my life unnoticed. I saw my mom doing it, so I did it, too.
This is my reality in my body. My body is The House That Trauma Built.
Only problem is, I've always lived a pretty fun life (well, except for all that traumatic shit, but that's over and I'm coping like a BOSS now). My life is full of people who love to be noticed. And it's become insanely obvious to me that I'm also one of those people. I like to be where the party is, because I like the conversations. I am happy to have a discussion of my graduate thesis (should I ever write one--SPONSOR ME, SOME COLLEGE!) on how the Juggalo subculture is no different than, say, early hardcore kid culture. But I'll also probably get you high and spill wine on my shoes at least twice. And I'll disappear without saying goodbye, because I'm not good with goodbyes. I'll just see you fucking later.
But I'm still trapped in my old house. I want to spend more time living that life. I want to keep taking photos of things that make me feel nostalgic, or just inspire my curiosity enough to do a ton of research on them. I want to keep being invited to all of the good parties, even if they're hundreds of miles away. I want to see everything and go everywhere with my husband, my sister, or my best friends. I want to visit some of my internet friends, and sleep in their guest bedrooms. So I have to say goodbye to my old house. I don't need to live there anymore.
I'm with a man who I love and trust. I don't need to hide anymore. I learned how to self soothe by doing something creative instead. I'm editing photos. I'm watching Netflix. I'm checking in on friends to make sure they're ok. I'm singing terrible songs to my husband (ask him; I'm like a jukebox stuck on THE WORST STATION EVER). I'm organizing my office. I'm cleaning the house.
Photography has become a meditation for me. When I first started getting sick, I wrote a list of things I wanted to get better at, and photography was near the top. So I started taking at least one picture every single day. I think about composition, lines, lighting, architecture, everything that will make my photo exactly how I want it to be.
And somehow, I still struggle. I struggle with sharing this, because I honestly don't want to hear any of the well meaning advice from my internet friends. I don't want to hear about how I should just love the house I'm in and live there forever, because that's ok! I know it's ok. It's just not ok for me, and you know what? That's totally fine, too.
The internet makes it terrifying to be openly proud of yourself. I struggle with writing any of this, but to repeat the battle cry of early 2000's blogger Jessica, fuck that shit, it's my blog and I'll write about whatever I want to write about.
If this sounds nervous and disjointed, it totally is. But this is where I've wanted to be with my writing for so fucking long. Livejournal Jessica (pre-Trucker Ex era) is back. Only she's a bit more grown up now.