My body has been been doing this thing where every once in a while, five minutes or whatever, I get this feeling like my heart skipped a beat, or I stuck an extra beat in. As if I've gone over a hill very quickly, and parts of my chest are actually back behind me somewhere. Or like I forgot to breathe and my body is forcefully reminding me to fucking do it already. It doesn't hurt, but wow is it weird. I have no idea what this sensation is.
I told Ann about it, and she asked if I've been feeling stressed out lately. And I said no, because whatever stress I'm feeling right now doesn't even come close to the stress I was feeling in 2009, or in 2013 when everyone fucking died. Subjectively, I'm in the sweet spot of knowing where my next meal is coming from, knowing where I'm going to sleep tonight (or tomorrow, or the day after that), and feeling supported and loved.
But then my heart skips a beat, or whatever the fuck that thing is, and I wonder if I'm telling myself the truth.
I do worry that we're all getting old, and our relationships are getting old, and pretty soon we're all going to be little piles of dust and memories and maybe someone will see the value in that when we get there. But the idea of that is just some defensive bullshit. It's so easy for me to be a nihilist sometimes. Just slip into the groove and let it sweep me along on the track. Boring. Boring and dumb.
I spent a good chunk of my life being boring and dumb, and I'd rather not do that anymore. And usually I don't. Usually I'm out there in community, talking to people and sharing stories and really making deep, significant connections with people. I'm really reached a point in my life where I am good at being me, and being the most genuine person I can be. Even with my family now. Even with strangers.
It took a ton of work, but I think I can really see myself now. I am kind of funny and really introspective and sometimes I miss the logical line of things. I'm empathetic and I don't have a lot of filters, and I will run toward intimacy with people even when it isn't the greatest idea. I'm emotionally intense, sometimes more intense than I really want to be, but it turns out that's a good filter for finding out who my people are. I'm pretty smart, and I can do some really amazing things when I'm engaged and putting my energy into it. I'm supportive as hell for those that are my friends. I've got some anxiety issues that prevent me from reaching out to people sometimes, and that's something I've got to work on. I see value in here, and I see flaws in here, and it's all me and here I am.
That's really scary. Because now when I'm boring and dumb and being bullshit I can totally see it. I can see what I'm doing and totally call myself out on it in real time. I'm me in here all the time now, and there's nowhere that light doesn't shine.
So for the last few days, when it's felt like my heart is jumping around in my chest, I kind of get where it's coming from.
I had the house to myself tonight, and it eventually devolved into crocheting and looking at the picture slideshow screensaver on the computer once it finally timed out. Sudden flashbacks flip by for an hour, and I call them out as if I'm working to remind myself of my past. Hawaii in 2005. The house in Pacific City in 2009. My brother's kids as babies. An abandoned house in Glen Elder in 2008. The 416 porch in 1998. Me in front of the Hodag in 2012. Dead lovers. Montreal in 2010. My thirtieth birthday party. The last school photo of my sister in 1976. The Bennington Monument. A wedding in 2003. Dover Castle in 2001. The end of the Mississippi River from last May. My grandfather in 1996.
It might not be the healthiest thing I could do. People watch movies or listen to podcasts or something. Instead engaging myself in something new, I'm crawling further into my own head, with the assistance of 21st century technology.
But there was something in there that I really needed tonight. I needed to be grounded in myself for just a moment, because it doesn't feel like there's a lot of stable ground right now. Like things might tumble over if I'm not careful, if I'm not smarter, if I'm not more on top of my shit. At least I know where I've been. Even when it was shitty and weird, I know what that was and I know where I was, and there is comfort in the remembering.
Things might creak and shudder. But at least I know I can hide in the basement.
Yeah, maybe this is stress. Maybe I need to keep an eye on that.