No, This One’s Finally Really Good, I Promise


None of these are good, haven’t you figured that out yet, Ghost? It’s all just more of the same drivel.

I mean, things are looking up. My dog was sick after a dose of anesthetic for a dental procedure, which resulted in “stress colitis”, which required a round of antibiotics. It was a literal shitshow for a couple of weeks. Fortunately she now sleeps through the night and only shits the nest while she’s totally dead asleep. So, while I’m still waking up to a bit of a shitstorm, it’s getting better overall. I hope. I mean, it’s not getting any worse. I think. I feel for my poor girl, I want her to be healthy again.

What a week it was. On Wednesday I was thrown a curve ball when my old job in Albuquerque popped up in USAJobs, the federal job search engine that sends me daily e-mails with vacancies from all the agencies. It was a bit of a shock. The whole day I thought very seriously about chucking it all and going back…home?

No, not home. There is no home for me there anymore. I’d be going back to the known, but not home.

Not having a home reawakened the feeling of being untethered, battered by the winds of change, with no solid footing. It’s a feeling that leaves me bereft and frightened every time it rears its ugly head. I’m suddenly afraid of everything, my city, my work, new people. My mortality is at its most evident during times like this. I’m afraid I might get sick. I’m afraid I might die, not necessarily by my own hand, just that I will be so sad and lonely that my soul will just give up on my body and exit stage left.

I start the infinite loop of worries again, in which I bemoan my lack of BMX track and snowboarding mountain, both of which would be accessible if I only had a car, but I can’t buy a car because I can’t afford the car and the insurance AND the hefty $250/month to park in my building’s garage. Into the loop jumps my job that I hate and am therefore terrible at, and I convince myself that I might be happy if I only moved again to somewhere that I could work remotely and keep a car for free in a garage in a little house, or on the street in a place where cars don’t get stolen and vandalized.

So I did what any crazy person would do to try to break the loop, I reached out to my network. I set up an appointment with my therapist. I texted my friend Deb and asked for a call with her on the weekend. I texted my friend Steve and asked for his input on the situation. Steve was the first person I talked to on Friday morning. As usual, he made me laugh a bunch, then I heard splashing and realized he was in the bath, which was even funnier. I was already feeling a little better by the time we got around to talking about my dilemma. Ever practical, Steve suggested simply to make a list of pros and cons. If I had been thinking clearly at all for the past two days instead of stuck in my loop, I would maybe have thought of that solution for myself, but I needed to hear it from someone else. He was right, and I made the list.

The “cons” of moving back to ABQ far outweighed the “pros”.

Later that day I had my therapist appointment, and I got some valuable insights there too, less to do with my Albuquerque question, and more to do with my infinite loop. I ranted and raved to my therapist about how I can’t do the things I want to do, and I reiterated my thought loops out loud, to which he said: “I hear a lot of ‘stuck-ness’. I hear a lot of ‘I can’t’s’. That’s the voice of someone else. That’s the collective voices of the people who have told you your entire life that you can’t. That you shouldn’t.” To which I replied: “Maybe my father’s voice has become louder in my head since I cut ties with him.”

He said: “I think that is probably true, and the reason I think that is because you just said it out loud.”

I consider myself, and have also been told by others that I am, a positive person. I tend to be solution-oriented. Among the people who make me the most angry are those who lament a situation, and then find a hundred reasons to reject every solution you offer. THAT is my father. I’m incredibly frustrated with myself that I’m being that person right now. I need to think about how to find solutions to my issues, not go over them again and again.

The job, for now, I can do very little to rectify. It is the beast that it is. The solution here is to come up with ways to streamline my work processes so I’m not perpetually behind the ball. I can definitely be more proactive and ensure that I have the mechanisms in place to allow me to succeed, or at least do better. I am working on those mechanisms.

The car situation is a little different. My therapist pointed out options. I have a friend who has offered to loan me her car. Maybe I can get to BMX practice once or twice a month. I can do sprints on the river trails. I can get to Gateway Green to practice on the pump track a couple of times a month. I was already debating stopping racing. Maybe what I need to do is get out of the racing mindspace and into the freestyle mindset. I follow a lot of freestyle riders on instagram, and all of the racing posts leave me unhappy. I just want to jump my bike and ride it around corners. Maybe my focus has been all wrong?

My real problem is that I’ve lost my identity. Or maybe I never had one to begin with. My identity has sort of been at the whim of someone else, because I’ve always been a chronic people-pleaser. I don’t know who to be. I’m a non-entity. I’m a conundrum to myself. I’m a human who doesn’t matter to anyone. I’m negative space. I’m invisible.

I love the light. I love the dark.

I’m denying both to embrace obliteration.

Where is the runner? Where is the BMX racer? Where is the girl who likes to take moderate risks? Where is the girl who loves sex, especially with men her parents and peers would find inappropriate? Where is the girl who loves being in the wild? How about moderately risky sex in the wild with inappropriate BMX-racing men? I mean, as long as we’re wishing for things that aren’t happening right now, we might as well go there.

Let’s get some things back, but let’s not take a step back. Let’s find the girl again, but let’s also be reasonable and rational. Let’s let the girl evolve, and not be so judgmental of her whims. Outside of work, let’s do what feels good, and nothing else. Let’s run and bike and jump and scream and fuck and listen and hear and feel and touch and smell and taste and enjoy. Enjoy. Joy.

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