i read a blog post that asked you to think about what turns you on.
after my go to answer--men in suits--i sat for a while and wondered.
my playwriting professor suggested i read anne carson's glass, irony, and god. 'the first poem is about a breakup'. i left wondering if it was that clear that the breakup felt like it was still defining my days.
the other day i was home and i was reading something. i think i was reading this book, when breath becomes air, which is a beautiful book written by a young doctor who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. i finished the book in a day, getting lost in his allusions and truths.
anyway, i was reading that book, and there was a line--i don't know what line--that made me think of my ex. it made me realize that i will never hold his face in my hands when he is old and gray. i will never run my hands through his graying beard and look in his eyes and tell him that i love him.
and i started sobbing on my couch in my living room.
'You remember too much,/my mother said to me recently./Why hold onto all of that? And I said,/Where can I put it down?' Anne Carson asks.
that was a new revelation. i feel like my brain keeps fighting whatever calm and groundedness i create with new revelations. old memories seen in a different light. future moments i didn't realize i had dreamed about.
after the tears stopped falling, i wondered how long it takes to fall out of love with someone. like really fall out of love with someone. not sort of. not kind of. not just 'i can make it through the day'. like completely.
'What is love?/My questions were not original./Nor did I answer them,' Anne Carson writes.
i wiped the tears off my face and silently judged myself for being such a fucking cliche.
me: i am an 'INFJ.'
another: what does the 'j' stand for?
earlier in the day i said: i am silently judging all of you.
this is true.
when do you feel sexy?
my friend was asking me this after i told her how hard this past week had felt emotionally. and i thought about it and the first thought that came into my mind was i'm not. i don't.
sexy is not a word that feels comfortable for me. sexy brings up too many misses and not quites. sexy makes me think of tight skirts and short dresses that looked great in the dressing room, but rode up my hips when out in the real world. sexy is the high heels that hurt my feet. sexy is the lingerie i bought that feels foolish now. sexy brings up the ways in which my body, my sexual preferences, my sexual experience have been misinterpreted, ignored, degraded by strangers and lovers alike.
and again, i silently judged myself for it. i know i am supposed to redefine sexy for myself. i am supposed to not look at how men have responded to my body for my answer to the question. i wrote a whole one woman show which is about reclaiming sex and my body. hello women's studies masters? right now, it all just feels like words on a page.
but then i remembered how i love to look at the abs that are peaking through my skin. and i remembered the other day when i was at the gym and my arms looked strong. and i remember how much i love my collarbone and shoulders in a workout top. and that racing stripe thats cuts down my leg.
i feel sexy when i feel, look, strong, i told my friend.
the times i've been at peak fitness have also been times when emotionally some shit was going down. when depressed, i feel like there is a part of my brain, the part that is like oh shit, here we go, that convinces my body to get stronger. when i am emotionally weak, my body eventually steps in to pick up the slack. it becomes disciplined. diets change. workouts happen almost every day. endorphins become my drug of choice (and which i can crash from). my body morphs and i become fascinated with how my arms bulk up, and my thighs tone, and my calves become hard as rocks.
i physically prepare myself for a fight my emotions don't know how to win.
a playwriting professor told me the following: i think there is something you are not letting out. i think there is something you are repressing. anger, probably. you are nice and open and share a lot of yourself, but there are probably things you aren't sharing. things that you don't allow yourself to share. it is showing up in your work too. your characters feel like there is something beneath them that is struggling to come out, but for some reason you don't go there. what are the things you are afraid to share yourself? that is what you need to write about.
i nodded my head and wondered if she has been listening in on my therapy sessions.
'most writers i know nurse persistent fantasies about the horrible things--or the horrible thing--that will happen to them if and when they express themselves as they desire,' writes maggie nelson in the argonauts.
my mother says i didn't have many temper tantrums as a child. i was easygoing. as i've aged that easygoing-ness has continued. but as i've gotten older, anger has appeared underneath. when i've tried to express my anger to friends, family, strangers, it has been pushed away, denied, deemed irrational. i am whining or sulking or judging. my anger is not legitimate.
so, yes, i am probably repressing some anger. and yes, i am afraid to share it with you all. but mostly i am afraid that i don't have the words to express it because i've learned that all my words are insufficient.
how do i explain that the anger sometimes fills my lungs and feels like a mass in my chest and yet i don't know what i am mad about?
how do i explain that the anger sometimes feels like my heart breaking and that i didn't know that anger can be quiet and deep and dull and not as sharp and loud and explosive as we all know it to be?
how do i explain being so hurt that the anger i feel about it means nothing?
i am not sure what i am afraid to share.
i am not sure i've even allowed myself to share it...with myself.
but i do feel like there is a version of me fighting its way out.
she doesn't take any shit. which is exciting and terrifying because the part of me that doesn't take any shit also doesn't mince her words. she doesn't care if you read all of this and call her a drama queen like people did in middle school. she doesn't care if you roll your eyes or misunderstand or ignore or...
she doesn't give a shit.
i am afraid to share anything that will make you hate me, dislike me, see me as worthless, see me as a drama queen. i think i am afraid to share those things because i work daily to not feel those ways about myself.
this is why i constantly think of no longer writing blog posts and posting on instagram and twitter and facebook. i feel like every post gets me closer to the above happening.
'you're the only one who knows when you are losing things to protect yourself and keep your ego together and when you're opening and letting things fall apart, letting the world come as it is--working with it rather than struggling against it. you're the only one who knows.' from maggie nelson again.
so many books i've read, movies i've seen, show how when we focus on ourselves, when we work on ourselves and become stronger ourselves and learn more about ourselves, then people notice us--as friends, as family, as lovers, as strangers. they notice us living our lives and they are turned on (sexually and not) by it.
are you turned on by this path of discovery i am on?
are you turned on by me writing and traveling by myself and taking wine classes and meditation courses?
are you turned on by my running and raising money and taking care of my dog?
are you turned on by my tears and repressions and heartbreak and loneliness?
are you turned on by my mistakes and missteps, my overdramatic side?
are you turned on by me growing and changing and figuring myself out?