Yeah, I Don’t Know Either

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

This is your one and only warning! You can’t say it didn’t happen. It was literally the first sentence I typed. 

Prepare yourself for copious amounts of mental vomit. An expulsion of— Well, I don’t know either, but I can tell you that I’m having a moment of petulance. I’m staring at this blank page in front of me, and I know I should put words down, but I don’t wanna. 

FYI, when you read those last three words, my voice is high pitched and whiny. It’s a cross between a grumpy toddler and a prepubescent with a chip on their shoulder. What kind of chip? Doritos Nacho Cheese, of course. Huh, I’m peckish and piqued.

Feel free to reread that sentence using the applicable …Uh…Um…Arg, I can’t even think of the right word! What is wrong with me? Everything, and nothing. I’m fine, really. Seriously, I’m not having a breakdown or anything. Well, no more than my norm, but I’ll be okay.

Except, I have to write this thing, and words are hard. I think I put them somewhere safe so they’d be out of the way for the weekend. Do you do this? You put something away in a safe place and then forget where that place is.

I just spent thirty minutes looking for my glasses because last night I put them somewhere safe. I was trying to be proactive and prepare myself for this morning. Wake up, make a cup of tea, put on my glasses and write a bunch of words. If I’d tossed them on top of a random pile of junk, I would’ve found them faster. If I’d found them faster then maybe I wouldn’t be in this mood.

Inflection! 

Sorry, for the jump, but it hit me so hard. My subconscious was at work while I was babbling about my glasses. All of a sudden, bam, there it was, and it startled me but in a good way. Like when a friend jumps out and scares you, but then you both giggle. Yep, it’s like that. A moment of tension followed my intense relief.

It’s the best feeling! Finally, grabbing the elusive word that’s sitting on the tip of your cerebrum. It’s there but just out of reach. You can locate it, but you can’t touch it. If you draw a straight line from the tip of your nose to your hairline? That’s where the irritation sits. It pokes, tickles, and annoys until a resolution is found. And when it’s located? It’s a release, an exhale, and I can’t think of anything more satisfying.

You have a list of things far more satisfying? Great, but keep it clean. We never know when sensitive eyes might wonder over the things we say.

Or write, which reminds me, I’m supposed to write something meaningful. Is that what I do? Finding meaning in the meaningless moments of life. Or do I just ask too many questions? That might be it. I’m curious by nature, and my inquisitiveness won’t let me rest until I’ve found an answer or something that closely resembles it. 

I need to make sense of life and find the meaning, purpose in all of this madness. That’s my quest, the reason I write, but today I don’t want to ask questions, write words, or be reasonable. I want to…Again, I don’t know.

Someday’s those words seem to magically manifest themselves onto the page. I read it back and shake my head. Did I write that, or do I have a ghost in my computer? Are those my real thoughts, or am I just BS’ing? Huh, I never knew I had so many opinions or ideas. Maybe I need to listen to myself think more often.

Which is why I love writing so much! I stop what I’m doing and listen to my own opinions and feelings. Instead of the noise coming at me from the outside world, I find a moment of silence. I can process everything, ask questions, and hopefully find an answer that scratches that itch.

It’s cheaper than therapy, and I discover new things about myself all the time. I uncover thoughts I’ve buried, and I dig through ideas that test my views or biases. It’s also one of the few forms of communication I can engage in with some degree of successful articulation.

Usually, I stutter and stumble over my words because the connection between my mind and mouth is full of potholes. I can’t always express myself clearly, and often the message I’m trying to convey gets lost or stuck in one of the holes. I try to dig them out, but frustration quickly takes over, and the thoughts vanish.

I try to say something right, but it comes out wrong. I didn’t mean for it to sound like that! It’s not what I wanted to say. Give me a minute! I’ll find the words and rearrange them more cohesively. But, before I have a chance to correct myself, the conversation is off and running. 

I try to interject, but that never goes over well. If you didn’t mean it, why did you say it? Why don’t you say what you mean? Obviously, on some level, you were thinking about it, and that’s why it came out. Right? Right? Answer me!

Trying to explain that it didn’t come out right, sounds lame and it’s rarely accepted at face value. We’re so quick to yell and so slow to listen. Give someone a chance to explain? Perish the thought. We always seem to assume the worst even when the intent is innocent. Is it possible that some of us just don’t verbally articulate ourselves very well?

Ha, no, never…Silly woman.

My brain doesn’t formulate a response fast enough for the modern conversation style. Words are spoken, and in return, there’s an expectation of a snappy reciprocation. You say something. I say something. Together we converse on a wide array of topics. Connections are formed or broken, and the same goes for bonds of friendship.

The damage of one misspoken sentence can be catastrophic! I had a friend who wouldn’t speak to me for six months because they thought I said one thing when I said another. Instead of asking for clarification, they let the assumption ride and anger built. I had no idea until finally we talked it out and resolved our differences. The friendship, though, was never the same.

This fast-paced style leads to a lot of assumptions, and it leaves little room for those of us who operate in the slow lane. If we take our time formulating a response, then we have, by default, joined the opposing side. Heaven forbid we take a breath and wait for all the information to come in before reaching a semi-educated conclusion. Point out that there are almost always two sides to a story? That doesn’t go well.

That’s why I love writing so much. I get the opportunity to slow down, think before I speak, and then speak at a pace that’s comfortable for me. Spoken words trip me up, and I’m often left out because I’m not up to speed. It’s frustrating, but at least I have this platform, this blank page, and these words.

These words, the sharing of stories and ideas, is so vitally important to our survival as an imperfect species. Not just my words! That would be incredibly egotistical, and wow, no, that’s not what I want to say. But see! I can clarify my point, and that’s so refreshing. 

Our words are so vitally important. Our ability to share, connect, and communicate is so essential to living a full, enriched life. That’s especially true right now. So many of us are on lockdown, and we’re separated from loved ones and our communities. Finding a way to connect, share our lives is the only way we can stave off boredom and loneliness.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve really been struggling with those feelings a lot, and maybe that’s why I’m feeling so petulant right now? I thought it was getting in the way, a barrier in communication but, I think it’s an expression of overwhelming emotions.

 I am so lonely right now, and I miss my people. I miss conversations at coffee shops and dinner with family. I miss the stories we share, and I miss the connection to the outside world.

Wow, I’m feeling a rush of emotions. Am I going to cry? I rarely do that, but I’m feeling the feels right now. I didn’t realize how lonely I felt until I wrote the words. I didn’t realize how much I miss my people until I read that sentence back.

Maybe that’s why I don’t wanna use my words? I want to drink my tea, pretend to read something nifty and stare out of my window. Dolly Daydreamer, that’s my new name. In my daydreams, these pesky emotions don’t overwhelm me, and words aren’t hard. I can have a conversation without stalling out or spitting out exhaust fumes. Talking to someone wouldn’t increase my carbon footprint. Inside of my head, the grass is greener, and the sun is a pinkish-orange glow. We can have a picnic, talk, hang out, and be together. 

Instead, I’m sitting in my apartment, resisting the urge to stamp my feet like a sullen loner. Which is what I am right now. Cranky, lonely, and a little bit chilly. I should turn the heat on and make some tea. Tea makes everything better, except for the words coming out of my mouth or flowing out of my fingers.

Why are the words coming out in a jumbled mess? I can’t seem to stop them. I have nothing of substance to offer. These words aren’t saying anything. I’m just making noise. Why? Why can’t I stop putting words on this page? 

Because I’m lonely, overwhelmed, and tired of this virus that’s screwing up our year. Is anyone else feeling this way? I just want to say f**k it and walk out my door like nothing’s going on. I want to pretend that everything’s okay. I want to but, I won’t because I know, from personal experience, how horrible this virus is.

This is so uplifting!

I know I try to post something more positive on Monday, but I’m just not feeling it. I’m sad, and that’s okay. I’m overwhelmed, and that’s okay. I’m feeling petulant, grumpy, and I still feel chilly, but that’s okay. 

I don’t subscribe to the good vibes only way of thinking. Sometimes, things just suck and, so do these emotions. But feeling things is normal and, it’s a natural response to stressors. It won’t last forever and, maybe tomorrow I’ll feel ready to find something happy. 

Today, I’m just feeling all of the feelings and, apparently, when that happens, I vomit words onto a page. However, it is Monday, and you might be looking for some motivation to start your weeks. So, here goes? 

If nothing else, take a little bit of comfort knowing that you’re not the only one overwhelmed by emotions. You’re not the only one struggling to function and be productive. It feels like you’re alone right now, but I’m right there with you. Feeling it all and holding on. Just hold on, okay?

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