Fractured (and a Little Bit Lost)

I’m not going to pretend I’m writing my second blog post in as many days because I have anything particularly interesting to say. The truth of the matter is that I have nothing to do at work, and I am kind of grumpy, and I am angry at myself for doing something last night that I told myself I wasn’t going to do anymore. Plus, in typical Amy fashion, I am wallowing in existential angst and wondering what the hell I am supposed to be doing with this life of mine, that seems to be casually passing me by.

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Right now I feel about as fragile as a piece of glass, and the smallest amount of pressure is going to be enough to fracture me into a billion tiny pieces. My emotions feel like a raw, exposed wound and I am struggling to keep it all together, even though all I really want to do is explode out of my skin.

I am so, so very sick of feeling this way. I feel like I post about it periodically, which I’m sure you’re all tired of reading about. But no matter what I do, I can’t seem to shake this feeling. I’ve been thinking a lot about where I am, and how I think who I am is being shaped by my circumstance, and my location. I said to a friend of mine on the weekend that I feel like I can’t really become the person I am meant to be until I get out of this state.

I don’t think it’s an uncommon thing, particularly amongst people in their 20’s, to feel like they’re still becoming. I think as a general rule, we have this notion that we’re not who we’re supposed to be yet, and that we have to spend the next however many years figuring that out. That’s certainly how I’ve been feeling lately. I feel like I’m not able to be authentically me yet, because I don’t have the freedom to reinvent myself into who I want to become. I feel as though I am living in this shell of myself, and that I need something explosive to break it open and reveal the real Amy underneath. Logically, I know that moving away isn’t going to change who I am. I know this, because I’ve moved away a few times, and I’ve always come back to my home town more or less the same person. But it doesn’t stop me from dreaming of the day I can finally have my own house. And when I think about that house, I think of it as being as far away from my home town as I can get without moving to another country.

What I think I need, is to move so far away that it isn’t easy to just come back home. I need something completely new and fresh, and different. Yes, wherever I go there will still be people who annoy me (thanks, customer service) and I know that wherever I go, my mental health is going to come along for the ride. I know that I will still have doubts, and states of depression, and fears and probably a lot of sleepless nights. I am not naive enough to think that moving away is going to change my life so drastically that I’ll wonder why I never did it sooner. But at the same time, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to believe that a fresh start can be cathartic, therapeutic even. At any rate, I have to believe that there is something better for me than what I have now.

I wrote this post today, because I needed to create something. I am stuck at work until 5:30 and every particle of my being is screaming out to make art, in one form or another. I feel trapped here, stuck in this godforsaken shopping centre, and this small square shop, and I am battling my very emotions, as well as my very irresponsible desire to just leave and never come back. But, as yesterday’s post will attest, I have a stupid adult obligation to stay where I am, at least until I have enough of a financial buffer behind to allow for the kind of freedom I so desperately crave.

Life is hard, and I’m angry and I kind of just want someone to bring me their dog so I can cuddle it.

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Lonely and Alone

When you’re single, you do a lot of things by yourself. For example, I go to see movies alone, I take road trips by myself, I go to bed at night without someone else. You get so used to doing things by yourself, that you sometimes forget that not everyone else does. I’m a perpetual third wheel whenever I hang out with friends, and I’m forever getting the “when are you going to get out there and meet someone” questions. I’ve learned to deflect and ignore those questions when they come up, but last week was a bad time. On top of being a hormonal mess (thanks, period), by brain decided to send my emotions into hyper drive. I spent a lot of last week crying, and suddenly my being alone felt like a really horrible thing.

When I picture my future, I see it alone. I have a four year plan (because it’s going to take me that long to save any significant amount of money), and when I see myself buying a house, I’ve never considered the notion that I will have to share that space with someone else. I look at houses online that I will never be able to afford, but I sit there and think “yes, that could be my sewing room, and that will be my guest room, and that will be where I hold elegant dinner parties for all my friends.” Ok, so maybe not that last one, but I do think about the life I want to have, and it never includes another person.

But last week, my emotional state of mind meant that I was sitting there, crying over one thing or another, because everything seemed to set me off (seriously, it was a very wet week). Amidst all the tears and negative thoughts that brought them on, I wondered for the first time in a long time, if perhaps I should try and meet someone. Because maybe coming home to someone, and cooking with someone, and getting into bed next to someone at night, isn’t the worst thing in the entire world. I didn’t go so far as to sign up to Tinder, but I did spend a fair bit of time wondering about the appropriateness of wearing a sign declaring my single status, and the phrase “girlfriend wanted, enquire within”.

My emotional state has calmed down significantly in the last few days. I was able to clear my head, and brush away the last of the negative thoughts that plagued me last week. Much like the way you sweep the floor during a spring clean, I purged all of the malicious, insidious thoughts from my mind and now I’m back to my normal, contentedly single, people hating self. But the thing I need to remember going forward, is that even the most content single people feel lonely sometimes too. There’s nothing wrong with me for occasionally craving human connection. Actually, I think most people would agree that it is actually perfectly normal. Ah well, so I’m the weird one, what else is new?

On (Apparently) Unhealthy Emotional Responses, and Feelings of Failure

When the face you put forward to the world is tough, and hard, and nonchalant, it comes as a great shock to everyone – not least yourself – when you have a burst of uncontrolled emotion that, despite your best efforts, spills to the surface in a messy flow of tears and embarrassment.

I am not the most forthcoming person when it comes to what I feel. I’m more of a bottler; I keep my misery and rage to myself, because I’ve never been particularly comfortable revealing vulnerable parts of myself to other people. I’m not a hugger, I almost never cry in front of others, and I takes insults a lot better than compliments. Some people have told me it’s a flawed and unhealthy way to deal with things, but it’s the way I roll.

Today was a difficult and emotional day. My job is very rewarding, and very hard, and due to some unlucky circumstance beyond my control, I was told for the second time today that I am not competent to take calls without a mentor. They have given me one more week, during which time I have to hope that I get the right calls in order to be assessed. So my fate (and continued employment) is literally entirely out of my own hands. Which doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t like not being in control of my future, and I like even less the possibility that I might get dealt more of the same unlucky hand, and have to suffer as a result. So, following a combination of frustration, disappointment, and a crushing sense of failure, today I cried at work. First in the bathroom alone (how cliche) and then again when my friends said nice and comforting things to me. Like I said; I’m not so good at having people be nice to me.

I’m not very good at not being good at things. It makes me feel stupid, and angry. Especially when I try really hard, and it doesn’t seem to help. It’s kind of like being repeatedly punched in the left eyeball. Or the right eyeball. Maybe the whole face, who knows. Having a positive attitude doesn’t help. The constant feeling of failure is mentally and emotionally exhausting, and I’ve had more than a few moments where I’ve considered just quitting and making everyone’s lives easier. But alas, part of that so called flawed nature of mine is a deep seated stubbornness. So I’ll do this next week, and I’ll try my fucking hardest and I’ll just hope, desperately hope that it will finally be enough. Because now I’ve cried in public twice this year, and I can’t have that. I mean, I have a reputation to uphold, dontcha know.

Awkward Affection

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Look, I’ll be honest. I’m not very good at consoling people, or being a shoulder to cry on. When people cry, I just kinda of flap my hands helplessly and ramble senselessly, or pat them on the back awkwardly whilst keeping as far away from them as possible. I won’t even try to explain my own bewilderment when I cry. Trying to pat yourself on the back is an exercise in futility. Suffice to say, I suck at emotions and affection.

My friend sent me a message yesterday, to ask if I wanted to hang because the guy she likes kind of pulled the plug on their budding relationship for personal reasons. Now, my friend is very good at pretending to be ok when she isn’t, so when she openly told me she was upset, I knew she was feeling pretty shit. Of course, I didn’t hesitate to tell her I’d be over. I hung up my sewing for the day, had a shower and brushed my teeth and off I went.

I arrived at her house with chocolate, beer, and a creepy stuffed toy that I knew she would love because I hated it. (our relationship is based almost exclusively on opposites) I pretty much just crawled into her blanket fort – because yes, it is perfectly acceptable to make, and hang out in, a blanket fort at the age of 23 – gave her the pink gift bag and sat awkwardly while she cried quietly and told me she felt like an idiot. I did my best to console her but it was less words of comfort and encouragement, and more acting the fool to get her to laugh while we continued our Harry Potter marathon from the previous week. I think it worked, for a while anyway.

The thing is, I’ve never really been comfortable with affection. I have a tendency to apologise after I say nice things to be best friend because I always feel like I’ve made it too saccharine, and get subsequently embarrassed. My other best pal and I deal almost entirely in insults, just so neither one of us has to be nice! I just…find it difficult to express affection verbally. I am much more comfortable giving someone flowers, or chocolate, or some obscure gift to make them feel better. Yes, I would rather spend money on various useless or edible items than say ‘I love you’ or ‘are you ok?’. And when I do, I rush through it to get it over with quickly.

It’s not that I don’t feel it, I just get uncomfortable saying it. Maybe there’s classes that I can go to, teach me how to be nice. Then again, my approach works in all circumstances. Boyfriend just broke up with you? Here’s some alcohol to drown your sorrows. Just got a promotion? Have some flowers! A loved one has just passed? Have an awkward hug and botched attempts at consolation. Ok, so maybe not appropriate for all things but you can’t win them all. As Tony Soprano would say, whaddya gonna do?