Since the end of February, I’ve been meaning to publish a post in the vein of my Life Lately series on the blog, where after a period of time (usually a month when I’m consistent with posting or whenever I make a glorious return to my tiny corner of the internet) I go ahead and gab about the recent going-ons in my cringe comedy life. The only problem is that I couldn’t decide what to say or how to say it. This post has taken a number of variations, the titles of which certainly reveal my emotional state at the time I was writing them.
At first I was going to call it “Dark Night of the Soul.” At the time, I was going through some familial drama and a depressive episode as the cherry on top. But I could never get more than a couple of words written. For one thing, I hate talking about my depression. I always feel the need to explain how the affliction began (or at least when I started to recognize it) and that invariably leads me to think the things I’m writing are too personal, and that’s when my good old buddy anxiety kicks in. And that, little boys and girls, is the story of how Angasa never gets any shit done.
I digress. We were talking about this long awaited post and my emotional states. Or something. Right.
Sensing the dour tone of my post, I shifted gears when college started up again. The title became The Same Lessons (I swear to all that is good and holy in this world that I only just realized the pun and I thoroughly hate myself for it.) In it, I wrote about how by my birthday, it will have been ten years since my failed suicide attempt. I don’t remember the actual date and years of going over that night again and again, in my head, have turned the memory into mushy gibberish. But it was winter when I tried to die and my birthday is in the summer, and that’s how I know ten years have passed. I wrote about how in those ten years, much has remained the same and many of the demons I fought then have not been slain.
And then I was enveloped in darkness. For a second there during my time away from this blog, things got really bad for me. It felt like things kept closing in on me and I couldn’t run from it. But then something totally weird and amazing happened. I got better. I’m not really sure what sprung about the change. But I was and still am thankful.
With this spring in my step, my writing took to offbeat humour. The post became “My Shit-Show Early Twenties” and I wrote about how wildly off course my life has veered from the one I fancied for myself. Through those musings, I realized that my central gripe (when depression was not involved) was that I felt like a failure in everything from blogging and writing to my personal life.
To cut a fat tale slim (which is a phrase I am officially coining to mean the same as long story short // also, holy shit, I’m a genius), my early twenties have a been a series of clusterfucks in school, life, love and work; which I think is a feeling shared by a lot of people currently experiencing or have conquered this traumatic period in one’s life.
I’m not too sure how that post would have concluded. In any case, the pressures of school made my lack of posting more defensible but alas, I am on semester break and the only thing that has been hindering my posts is good old fashioned laziness.
Until the other day when I was crying over recent tender misfortunes. Letting myself wallow in self pity for a while, I thought, “What the fuck?” And this sparked a train of thought that led me back to a book I read a couple of years ago called Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed – a collection of essays compiled from Strayed’s “Dear Sugar” advice column. In one letter, someone asks her “WTF, WTF, WTF” as it applies to everything, every day. As part of her response (which is altogether breathtaking and available here), she tells this sweat pea to ask better questions. “The Fuck is your life,” she says, “Answer it.”
When I first read that piece of advise I was a 20 year old with a lot of anxiety about going to live with her estranged father after an adolescence spent elsewhere, to pursue an academic path not of her choosing, in a place with only herself as an ally. But I got on with it. And if I do say so myself, I did start off pretty well. But life, eh? She gets to you. And so the spark I began with fizzled out and my soul was lost in a dark night.
In a matter of days, I will be a 24 year old who has been let down by her life and and many of the people in it, including and most of all, herself.
What the fuck?
So I guess I have two choices now: Keep marveling at the unbelievable strangeness of life and screaming “What the fuck?” or realize, as I did four years ago, that the fuck is my life and I have to do something beautiful with what’s available to me instead of wasting any more time mourning what should have been.
I think I owe it to myself to try to give my life some semblance of whatever life I feel slipped out from under me and remember that there’s still time to try for something new. No longer need I ponder, “WTF, WTF, WTF?”
The fuck is my life and I’m going to answer it; Once More, With Feeling.