One of the consequences of keeping a journal for 15+ years is that I tend to get headaches when I don’t write for extended periods of time. Memories pile on top of each other until my head feels as if it’s about to burst; often, I’ll write just to quiet the many sentences and paragraphs that rush, almost screaming, through my thoughts.
I haven’t really written anything of substance in months. My journal collects dust; almost all of its most recent entries open with an apology about my extended absences of writing. I’ve just been so busy, so depressed, so anxious, so tired. I have been everywhere and felt everything, enjoying only very few occasions of perfect, refreshing solitude where I can collect myself, my thoughts my feelings my internal and external pressures, and process them all. Since this is one of those rare moments of quiet solitude, I thought I’d take the time to write about some of the shit going on in my life.
Work has been crazy. It weighs on me heavily, all hours of the day, waking or otherwise. I’m not complaining, so much as I am continually bewildered by the state of my “career” (an already odd enough thing for me to say). It’s been almost 4 years since I graduated from college, and I often think about how I could have never predicted the trajectory of my life since graduation. I always envisioned myself starving, writing, barely making ends meet, pursuing the vaguest shapes of dreams. I’m caught off guard by the stability of my life. I question if I deserve it, or worse, if I’ll someday lose it.
And then there’s Chris, who I, for the most part, try to avoid talking about too much in any real or personal terms. But I’m making an exception tonight.
Anyone who knows me or who has followed my writing knows that Chris’ and my relationship tends to go through chapters of evolution. We’ve traversed “breaks” and “break-ups” and being in an open relationship and being in a monogamous relationship; we’ve explored mountains and valleys of emotions together. If my recent posts are any indication, Chris and I have been going through one such chapter of evolution recently.
I sometimes think I give off the impression that my love is effortless, that it flows out of me with ease, that it knows no jealousy. In reality, my love is fucking crazy. It seeks to possess and to control and to manipulate, and it’s a constant effort for me to manage my love, to reign it in, to teach it to be rational.
I once wrote that it’s easy to become defined by a long-term relationship. But I’ve since then discovered that when you’re in an long-distance relationship, it’s surprisingly easy to redefine yourself outside of it. It’s an uncomfortable push and pull, to reflect on the people you were at the beginning of the relationship, to the people you’ve become outside of the relationship, and then to determine how these new versions of yourselves will continue to fit into the other’s life. It’s an odd experience, to have to rediscover a foundation for something that you feel has been growing for so long and shouldn’t need rebuilding.
All in all, I’ve had a challenging past few months, with the next few gearing up to be just as challenging, if not more. Amidst all this, I remain hopeful, bracing myself in anticipation of easier days.