2016 was supposed to be my summer of fun. I was determined to get out of the house to do a fun activity at least once a week, to coincide with my future plans to take up the Artist’s Way again. I maintained my days off from work to plan accordingly. I’m not the kind of person to do things when I have obligations. I use days off like I’m supposed to. Of course, real life laughed heartily in my face and said, no! I procrastinated, got stressed out by both personal and professional events in my real life, and had to deal with it the best way I know how: by hiding.
Thankfully I have gotten back to an even keel, and with perfect timing.
My pal A and I made a pact to visit all the California missions. From a historical standpoint, they’ve been amazing, educational, and humbling. From a Catholic standpoint, I am torn. I am hyper conscious of what the Spaniards did to the indigenous people of California. The Spaniards did it to the Philippines too. That’s why my surname is Portuguese. And why the PI maintains a heavy Catholic influence. But I think as long as I am consciously aware of these facts, those thoughts and emotions will never die with me.
I eased myself down from that emotional spike. I knew there was light at the end of the tunnel but I couldn’t find it right away. I deployed my mindfulness techniques that I’ve learned within the last year and I got back to where I needed to be. It’s not perfectly perfect but it’s good enough for now. I made these grand plans to get out and enjoy this summer, but I’ve been super unmotivated. Coupled with drama from all sides, all I wanted to do was hide. But I think I’m in a better frame of mind now.
I wish there was something I could say to encapsulate my feelings about this past month, the sobering reminder of the senseless violence in the world, about the inertia of my life. But I cannot.
For the first time in my life I cannot find the words to exorcise my demons. On top of all the normal fears I carry on my spine, that scares me the most. It’s all in my head, churning like a broken record. Over and over again. In Hamlet, Shakespeare said that “the play’s the thing,” for me, it’s words. Words are the thing. There’s not a damn word in the dictionary that will ever take the pain away.
I used to be afraid of the future because I wasn’t sure who I was going to be, where life was going to take me.
What I really should’ve been afraid of was the present, of living in the moment, knowing that someone might be out there who may hate me enough to want to end my life. It’s the immediacy of right now, the visceral moment of today that has the potential of bludgeoning a spirit so ruthlessly.
Time and distance heals, sure, but I have no Tardis or Delorean to take me far enough in the future where I know I’ll be okay again.