I completed one really important task today. I woke up incredibly worried about how was going to do something and then I, gasp asked for help. I got the help (one of only two ways asking for help can go, I suppose, and lucky for me, it was this way) and accomplished something. It was like magic.
So, yeah, I registered for the NY Bar Exam.
(Now I’m being greedy and attempting to go for a SECOND thing today: putting things in place so I can spend the summer frolicking in Austin.)
I can’t remember the last time I had an panic attack. But today, for the first time in “x” days, or “x” months, I found myself lying face-down on the floor, face streaked with tears, attempting to will myself to calm down and just breathe.
It worked for a few moments - I’m no longer on the floor - but another attack surfaced, leading me to cook some of the frozen scallion pancakes I scored at Hong Kong Market over the weekend and sit in bed at 6:30pm, in pajamas and under the covers, and watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta, plan on going to bed shortly thereafter, but wake up tomorrow at 7 am and get all the shit I had planned on doing and getting done today done then. I realized, though, that the thought was a fucking farce - I had no intentions of getting up that early tomorrow considering how awful I felt - so I decided to try to knock out some medial pre-vacation tasks (i.e. shave my legs)…
And now I’m up and out from under the covers - look at me: a success story - but still freaking the fuck out.
Maybe it’s time to go lay on the floor again…
situations are only as weird as you make them. if you’re cool about shit on the outside, even if you’re super weirded out by it on the inside, other people are cool about shit. try it out. it works.
The world divides into two groups: one (men), who think you can fall at any moment, and when you’re down, you’re out, and you need help; the other (women), who pick themselves up and move on.
Judging by statistics, to say nothing of the glaring evidence around me, men do not have any problem remarrying. In fact, most men seem unable to live alone for longer than, say, at the outside … three months.
Most single women I know really love their lives.
Sometimes we suffer pangs of loneliness, sometimes we ache for the companionship of that mythic soul mate, but mostly we cherish our independence. We love doing whatever we want to do, when we want to do it.
Women alone eat breakfast at 11 if we feel like it, lunch at 3 and dinner never if that’s the way the day is winding down. Single women do not worry about cooking unless we want to. And we don’t want to unless we like to.
Single women love not having to get permission to spend our own money on a 10th pair of black boots or a painting or a wood stove.
We love not being judged, not being criticized, not being hemmed in. We love the give and take of making our own decisions. We love putting things down on a table knowing they will be there when we return. And eventually, we come to understand that there is no reason to curl up on “our” side of the bed while we sleep. We no longer have to take sides. We can sprawl across the expansive middle.
"Why Men Can’t Stand to Be Alone After a Breakup or a Divorce" | c/o nytimes.com
More on the topic of “life without being married is not to be feared”…
There are two things that I’ve learned, quite recently, can help get me out of “the dumps”:
and huzzah: dumps overcome.
[update (1/8/12): finally finished…three days later (i always underestimate how long it takes to knit things…]
why do we “celebrate” new year’s eve so hard that we end up spending the first day of the new year essentially incapacitated?
i’ve been in bed most of the day and have only left it to walk the ten or so feet to my kitchen to stuff my face with pasta and chocolate chips. i brushed my teeth, which was a small miracle, but never put on pants.
i’ve decided that tomorrow is officially the first day of the year.
Fifteen days into the month, I remembered Reverb10 and looked into starting Reverb11. In order to catch up, I’m going to do two prompts: the one for today as well as the one from the beginning of the month (today, that means prompts #15 and 1)
15. Fear. The easiest way to overcome fear is to confront it. Rather than brainstorming reasons to avoid your “fear,” shift your attention to the reasons for confronting your fear. What fear would you like to overcome in 2012?
I’ve actually been working on confronting this fear all year and I think that 2012 will be my year to smoke it for good.
I have a fear of growing old alone. More specifically, it’s a fear of not being in a life-long partnership. Whether or not that partnership ultimately leads to a marriage is irrelevant - the marriage I could live without - it’s just the lack of that relationship that haunts me.
And this year, after a difficult break-up, I realized that people let you down, people you may think will be around for a long time (and who promise they will be) often cut and run, or circumstances change and what once fit just doesn’t anymore. It can be devastating, and that’s all the more reason to not rely on it or to in any way base your happiness or validity as a person on it. You can’t build a house, or a life for that matter, on ground that’s prone to such significant shiftage.
So I made it my mission earlier this year to forget about putting a singular relationship (that of the romantic, life-long partner) above all others and to instead focus on creating a full and meaningful life by establishing and nurturing a variety of relationships with friends and family that can be the sturdy foundation of my life. For the first time in years I have spending money, so I try to visit friends who no longer live in New York. I’ve made making friends at school and accepting their invitations to do things a priority. I go dancing with my one girl friend who likes the whole club scene - and while it’s ridiculous (i want so much to deny that showing skin doesn’t garner preferential treatment, but it doooooooooooooes and sometimes it’s even fuuuuuuuuun) and she makes fun of me for looking pensive on the dance floor (it’s just my face) I get to do something I love, dance, with someone who understands just how awesome dancing can be.
In 2012, I want to continue to strengthen the relationships I have, put myself out there to form new ones that will help keep me grounded, and stop focusing so much on a single ideal of fulfillment so that even if I grow old alone, I won’t actually be.
Loreal: 1, Fear: 0.
i noticed days ago that the look he used to have in his eye and the way his face would light up when he saw me had gone away, but today, for the first time, i really saw it. i saw that the look he gave me when he walked into the room was simply one of polite recognition, the same look he gives everyone else.
and i finally understood: what never was is, nevertheless, very much over.
I found the following journal entry on my computer this morning. It dates from an incredibly difficult time earlier this year. I was sad, but I feel so completely removed from the person who wrote this 10 months ago. It’s quite amazing to see how far I’ve come…
February 16, 2011 2:37 pm
so i’m in corporations now. obviously not paying attention. i’m trying to figure out how i can get over my emotional shit and simply concentrate on getting my work done. i’ve never been particularly good at doing it in the past, and life’s just gotten harder and more complicated, and i’m super complicated, so now’s as good a time to try to learn to compartmentalize my life as any. i need to find solace in being good at something right now, rather than thinking about how big of a hole i feel when i go home or when i see him generally, or how inadequate i feel for being unable to make something, that for so long seemed so promising, work through periods of difficulty. i need to find comfort in being busy, in planning this panel, in getting people to say “yes” to me, in understanding corporations law, having the doctrine open up to me in a way that i don’t feel i can to him right now. i’m someone who’s always found validation, comfort, and happiness in my personal relationships (as few and far between as they’ve been), but people let you down, and they’re always going to let you down. * things*, though, can’t. there’ll always be another text that can explain fiduciary duties to you. there’s always a pair of shoes that makes your size 9 feet look smaller than that other pair does. people, though, aside from my parents, and maybe annie and amanda at this point in my life, don’t really have the interest in lifting you up and making you feel good. so why bother?