It’s so hot the bugs have come crawling indoors in search of water. They are dying outside, baking under the urgent sun.
I am not made for these temperatures. I’m a delicate flower, a high maintenance, finicky thing who begins withering as soon as the sun says hello.
I need a lot of watering and a lot of attention.
Over the weekend I started looking at pictures of San Francisco, feeling my heart swell with each swirl and puff of fog, sighing as it enveloped trendy humans in their trendy sweaters.
Fog is so delicious, it’s the tastiest of all the weathers if you ask me.
I want my weather tasty.
I want my weather dramatic.
I’ve started going through my old notes on my phone. It’s part of some attempt to life-changing magic myself into a calmer existence.
There are so many things I’m finding, notes that kind of break my heart. My 2010 goals are on there. That year I wanted to get my LCSW license and find a job in London.
I accomplished those goals.
Here I am.
I’ve been so stressed the last two weeks, it’s starting to affect me physically. That’s when you know, I think. When your body starts doing weird things. When you’re on forums late at night looking up the latest symptom of the thing your body shouldn’t be doing.
That’s when you need to slow down.
I’m trying so.damn.hard.
That’s a blog post right there, if I ever get around to it. I am trying so damn hard.
I am writing and producing new things. I am working on bigger projects and long- term goals. Those notes I went through! Oh the notes. I’ve spent years and years day in and day out writing notes on writing projects.
I am trying so damn hard.
It’s not cool to say that. It’s cool to sit back and act like things just come at you, that you don’t have to do much.
I am doing a lot.
I am trying so damn hard.
It seems to always be the end of Act 2. Maybe it’s the stress of the last two weeks speaking, but there have been a lot of end of Act 2s.
The end of Act 2 is the all is lost moment. Kathleen Kelly shuts down the bookstore and breaks up with Frank and is alone and sad.
The end of Act 2 is when you’re sure it’s all over.
And then the heroine inside emerges from the ashes and Kathleen finds a new career and develops a friendship with Joe and eventually meets Brinckley in Washintgon Square Park.
Eventually it works out.
I keep wondering when life will change for me. Life has changed from 2010. Rather drastically. I read somewhere recently that the human body regenerates its cells completely every seven years. Every seven years we are literally new people.
I don’t know if it’s true, but it is comforting.
It seems to take me seven years to get over things, to really, in my bones change.
Maybe that’s normal.
This is a phase, I know. This feeling.
This pocket in time is a phase. Maybe it’s a two-week phase, maybe it’s longer. I feel better today than yesterday.
I’m trying so damn hard.
My 2010 goals were as follows:
- Achieve and maintain goal weight
- Stop all bad habits
- Become an LCSW
- Save x/month
- Publish first book
- Get a job in London
- Stop being so messy
I laughed when I read them. What else do you do when you see the 22-year-old version of yourself casually throwing out that you would publish a book that year.
That’s the funniest goal, obviously. It’s the funniest because I had no idea what it took to publish a book. It’s also my favorite goal because it’s a reminder. I’ve always, always wanted to do what I’m doing.
It took me a long time to get here. I’m not ready to give up now.
This year has been a weird one professionally. I’ve made decisions and done things and at the end I wonder, did I do that right? It’s hard not to second-guess myself. I look at 2010 and at that point my career came very easily to me.
I got my LCSW on time. I found a job in London, two jobs in London, actually, without much of a fuss. I saved that money every month and then blew it all in London.
Career was a breeze in 2010.
My personal life was not.
That’s the lesson, right?
This year my professional life has been very start and stop, but personal goals are coming along quite nicely.
I thought that today.
I can’t dwell on my professional goals/failures right now because it puts me in a state. I can think on my personal ones.
This year, for instance, was the first year of my life I really tackled my messy trait. Tackled it, conquered it, or at least got close. Am close.
I budgeted. I am budgeting.
I threw out the “goal weight” idea entirely. It is gone. Gone from my vocabulary. Gone from my lists.
That’s a win.
I am seeing how my qualities, sometimes my best qualities, are also things I have to work on.
Hilary told me once that I buy things and go places and love people! I do.
And yet buying things and going places and loving people usually mean money. And I care so little about money and so much about buying and going and loving that I am the world’s most spastic budgeter.
And so this year I am learning to budget.
It’s against my nature.
It’s good for me.
Gratitude. It comes back to this, right?
I read an article that I’ve vowed to read every morning until it soaks in. Until I don’t have to remind myself what it is to be grateful.
My favorite part was this section:
You already have the life you want.
I know what you’re thinking: no, I clearly don’t! I don’t have love, I don’t have money, I don’t have any of the things that I desire. And if that’s was your first reaction, that’s why you don’t have the things that you desire. You’ve gotten relationships in the past. You’ve had more money, and less. You were only happier in retrospect, not in the moment. This is because the life you want will not come through getting the things you don’t have, but in shifting your perception of the things you already do. Until you understand this, you will be on a rat wheel of consumption, never reaching an end goal. The day your life changes is the day you see what you have, not what you don’t. That’s also the day you realize that wanting something else to change how you feel about your life was a deflection from having to change how you think.
I look at this time as the end of Act 2 so often. But that’s just how I look at it.
It doesn’t mean it’s true.