Enforced Introspection

I was talking to someone the other day about how I’ve been struggling to write on this here blog, now that I’m writing in a more ‘public’ space, as myself. I feel exposed. His advice was this: “Just write honestly, about how you’re feeling, at that precise moment. Then press ‘Publish’. Immediately.” So here goes:

In these days of constantly being hammered (or hammering ourselves) by media, cell phones, Stalkbook etc.; of running from one thing to another – work, shops, social engagements, admin, blah-blah – how often do we actually just get to sit and think, without a screen flickering on our faces, a cell phone beeping in our ears, an appointment to get to? Me? Seldom.

But I was forced to last week. At least forced to stop the rushing around. The media was still there. That I (tried to) enforce my own ban on, albeit not hugely successfully. I did limit my time (wasted) on it.

I’m not going to lie, it’s been a rough year for me here in the City Beneath the Mountain. A lot has happened, things that left me momentarily breathless, cowering, shattered in a corner. Again and again. It was a whole barrage of things, coming from what felt like every aspect of my life. And those that I love’s lives.

Initially I just kept going, doing stuff, I ran away for a bit, I pushed everything back, behind, away, anywhere but here. Until last Tuesday. It was then that The Dreaded Lurgy tracked me down and sent me to bed, coughing and spluttering and producing inhuman amounts of snot. I was man down.

I love my bed. And my bedroom. It is purple. A colour I didn’t choose myself, it was that way when I bought The House in the Middle of the Street. It’s my safe place, the lighting is dim, the curtains are light. I was holed up for four days and I had to be still with my thoughts, with myself. And, admittedly, with a gazillion episodes of True Blood in between the introspection… Ugh, I want to slap that vacuous Sookie-in-her-cutesy-sundresses. Why. Can’t. I. Stop. Watching?

And it was good. Hard, but good. The introspection, not True Blood. Obviously.

I had the chance to get my breath back. To sleep, a lot. To eat healthy, home-cooked food. To gather my thoughts together and arrange them in a bunch that looked less tousled and tangled and fraught. To remember all the good stuff that has been intertwined with the crap stuff – the laughing, the loving, the crumpled sheets, The Delicious Nephew’s soap-smelling goodnight kisses, my friends, my family. To remind myself of me, of my plans, of my dreams and desires. Shit, I’m starting to sound like a self-help book, I’ll stop there.

I’m not going to lie and say my nerves aren’t still tingling raw, my emotions teetering, but I realised that’s just me. And that’s okay. That’s always been me. I’m learning, slowly but surely, to live with that, and find my happiness in it.

And now it’s Spring and the trees are blossoming, the bees are abuzz, the birds are singing, the sun is warm and the world seems full of promise. I am spring-cleaning away my Winter Glum. Brush, sweep, dust, and my soul feels a little bare. Maybe a bit of soul-exposure will do me good, too?

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