Thursday, November 16, 2017

Things you can't say out loud. Or google, apparently.

Fair warning: I don't have anything funny or clever or insightful to say. I just have rawness and honesty and clumsy attempts to articulate it. But maybe some people could use more of that. If you are one of those people, please come in. If not, no worries, shenanigans and silliness will resume at some point, please stay tuned.

I want to rest. No, that is a lie. I never want to rest. But I want to want to rest. I think it's the thing that will make all the other things better. Usually that thing is running. But not right now. Right now my body is just like "nope." So I listen. Begrudgingly, I listen. I do my short, slow, solo runs. It's not enough. Which is probably the lesson here. The stress and emotions and struggles have been piling on lately, so much that I can feel it in my bones and tendons and joints - a pain in my foot, familiar old aches in my hip and adductor, fatigue in my back. My body, in its infinite (and sometimes infuriating) wisdom is preventing me from running away. That's all well and good, except that I mostly run towards. A better version of myself. I don't feel like myself when I'm not running like 30+ miles a week (no matter what other workouts I do instead). I feel like only half of a person, half alive. I have only half as much patience, contentedness, joy. It's not enough. I am not willing to accept it as enough. But it is the reality of now. So it is enough for now.

The path back to running all the miles I want to run involves time and rest. This is somewhat problematic as I am a restless and impatient patient. I don't even know how to rest - real restorative, rejuvenating rest. What does it entail? How do people do this? How do they rest their brains and legs and hearts? I googled 'how to rest,' expecting to find instructions like
1) get a giant bear suit/sleeping bag
2) enter woods
3) join cuddly bears in hibernation
4) it is recommended to bring a hostess gift, like a cake or pot of honey.

Or maybe just
1) curl up on the couch and bask in the warm, sugary embrace of British and Australian baking competitions
2) wish  taste-a-vision was a thing that existed.

But the google did not say this. Instead it mistook me for someone religious and returned a bunch of results about Sabbathing and whatnot. I don't need a rest from technology. Technology and I are cool. Technology found me a maximum puff coat stuffed with synthetic warmth technology instead of animal parts. It reminds me of events I want to attend and shows me pictures of cute animals doing cute things. I need a rest from the expectations society puts on women to be small, quiet, agreeable, at the expense of our own needs, desires, health. I don't want to be smaller - physically, mentally or emotionally. I want to be everything that I am. I want to be infinite. I don't want to be quiet when I am screaming inside. I don't want to be agreeable to things with which I do not agree. I don't want to laugh at things I don't find funny. I don't want to pretend not to feel things just to avoid making other people uncomfortable. I don't want to hear people bragging about how much alcohol they drank and the "hilarious" things they did. I don't want to hear another person say "at least you had a good relationship with your dad." Yes, I had a good relationship with my dad. Not everyone gets that. I am one of the lucky ones. He was a great dad. He was a great man, tree fort builder, jokester, storyteller. He was human, with faults and demons, like everyone else. He loved us and he liked vodka. He lived a good life, though it was too short. And he died a bad death - sudden, alone, of liver disease and chronic alcoholism. It's not fair. Life isn't fair. Death isn't fair. Inside all of us there is lightness and darkness. You do the best you can to muddle through the darkness and turn it into lightness you can send outward into the world. 

Grief is an invisible weight. Life goes on and so do you, except now you're burdened by this heavy, cumbersome sadness that makes everything more difficult. It cannot be fixed or outrun, it can only be endured. It doesn't ever go away, you just get stronger with every heavy thing life asks you to carry. No one else can see this invisible burden. It's different for everyone. Some people won't understand. They think you should just choose to be happy to do what they do. Some people will understand, so much so that it will bring you to tears. The good kind of tears, those you cry when you feel seen and loved for your whole messy, complicated self. You  may not have the words to ask for what you need. You may not even know what you need, but they will, somehow they will know and they will show up and give it to you. They will bring your Mozzie to the funeral home and say "my friends thought this was weird but I knew that you would love it." They will come to your house on your birthday and say "I know this is a sad day" and hug you and cry with you. And you will be eternally grateful to know these people and promise yourself that you will get your shit together and strive to be one of those people as many times as you can for as many people as you can. You don't exactly know how to do this, but you will watch and learn. And you will rest. Because even an unstoppable force cannot go full-speed ahead at all times. Sometimes the best way forward is to rest, to refill yourself with energy and patience and understanding so that you have more of it to give to others.

Lyric of the moment: "Just say something perfect, something I can steal. Say look at me baby, we'll be fine, all we gotta do is be brave and be kind..." ~The National "Baby, We'll Be Fine" (Google will not tell you this, but I will: A thing you can do when you have all the feels is listen to The National during your showers and planks. And also sing at the top of your lungs to Kesha's "Praying" every time it plays on the radio in your car. You can also cry while doing those things. It's ok.)