She used to be mine

Time continues to be nonsensical in my world. Words sometimes even more so. But here we are…

I made my first sale at the Gallery. Barely enough for a candy bar, but I’m proud of it nonetheless. Also, towards the end of my last shift, PW and I were talking and he let me know that I could move my art to another space in the gallery, that’s more in the main room instead of in the side room where I had been. I hauled ass to switch my stuff over, but I am pleased with the results. The space is just much nicer and doesn’t feel like I’m in an “overflow” area any more, so that’s nice. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to get my mat board out of the heap it is in on the floor so that there is one less stumbling block to matting things. Eesh….

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What else artistically…I finished another collage- the one from the Ingrid Michaelson show back in…February? My wall is getting full. I love it. And I ordered some magnets from some promotional thing on Shutterfly or Snapfish or somewhere. They turned out super nice. If only I had a place to display them, lol….

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I turned 40 years old yesterday. 37 felt stranger, but 40 still feels like a lot. I worked, of course. Kept busy most of the day. Enjoyed texts and FB messages from friends and family. Tried to stay upbeat…or at least not down in the dumps. And. I wasn’t necessarily down. But. Melancholy. (See what I did there? Mel…ancholy…oi…) I was grateful for every message, but somewhere in my heart, I kept hoping I’d get just one certain one more. Like I’ve gotten so many years past.

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I try, so very hard, to not let what I have be diminished by what has been lost. But, also lost this week was my Zelda. She was not old, or sick, or acting stranger than usual. I just walked past the spare room on my way to the bathroom this past Tuesday, and she was laying strangely still with her tail poofed up. On my way back to my bedroom, I realized she wasn’t breathing. Thankfully a friend was able to come over and take care of her for me…I can handle just about anything except the removal of my own pets, apparently. Today I took her to the funeral home place to have her cremated, thanks to some other friends who so graciously offered to pay for it, as the ground is still super frozen here but the temps are getting warmer…Still. It was all kind of deja-vu like. I have been watching Pye and Caraway so close, and Bella, because all are older and in various states of health. Zelda was so unexpected. Sudden. It takes my breath away, and honestly I don’t have that much air in me to begin with most of the time….

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People ask me how I am, as people will do. And I get tired of lying or trying to explain that I am not really sure how I am. That most days I am able to get up and go to work and be present with my clients. That I spend time, genuinely amazing and wonderful time with friends, and during that time I feel ok. But when I stop to answer the question of how I am, when I take a second to look deeper than the surface, the stupid truth is that generally, I am unwell. I am heart-broken. Grief-stricken. Overwhelmed. Unsettled. Untrusting. Faithless. Confused. Bereft. Angry. Aching. Anxious. But. Look at me. I look happy and ok and content and like I’m enjoying myself.

And maybe I am all of these things, mixed up in a beautiful pie. Who knows. I think too much, but not enough. Or not in the right way to come to any sort of useful conclusions.

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How am I? I am surviving. I’ve spent much of my life in survival mode, so it shouldn’t be a surprise or much different. But. It is. Current literature says, contrary to popular belief, grief has no timeline. It says you shouldn’t compare yourself to others or even to your own self at other times of going through grief. Ok. Fine. That brings me no…comfort. That is not helpful to me. We measure everything against everything else. There are milestones upon milestones that we are expected to meet. And sure, give me the “society doesn’t dictate who you are” lecture. No? Then why does anyone do any of the stupid, useless, unwanted shit that they have to do every single day? Because we are all products of society and live within the confines of it. Even if some of us buck the system, break the rules, live outside the box. There’s still a bigger box we’re all inside. My point is…if I don’t use others as a measuring tool, I would probably be way unhealthier than I am now. If I’d even be alive, honestly. Putting myself first, making myself a priority…is a double edged sword. It always has been, for as long as I can remember. If I’m putting myself first, it means I’m not doing as much as I could be for someone else. Which makes me feel sad and guilty and worthless. So perhaps my priorities are messed up, I’ll grant that. So. Focus on me, on what I want. Except. It’s no secret that for many decades, I wanted out. I wanted to be done. I wanted to cease to exist. So…if I were to stop putting other people first and focusing on what they wanted instead of what I wanted…I’d be gone. I wouldn’t have let the guilt of how my exit could’ve potentially affected others stop me from going. I would’ve said “F it. I can’t do this anymore. For once, I’m gonna make it ALL ABOUT ME and just go.”

And no. I don’t necessarily feel like that currently. But it’s not that far away. It never is. So what happens, when I start to make myself the priority, and then fall back down that black hole? Then what? Fear is an awesome motivator for procrastination.

These are not necessarily the words that I wanted or intended to write today. Or how I wanted to end this post. But there you have it. I have other things that need to be done and no more energy to put towards this train of thought right now….

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