I have been feeling very directionless lately, which is difficult for me because I am all about direction. My main coping mechanism is to work hard and I’m struggling to find good balance between my desire to put aside all concerns in order to simply work and recognizing that I need to take it easy on myself during what is probably one of the most difficult situations of my life.
I can’t actually say that this is the most difficult situation in my life because I’ve been in situations where fearing severe injury or potential death every day for years was just what I did. Even not having control over whether any of that stuff happens to me is much more familiar than I’d like. I’ve had experience with isolation; difficult living situations; and a potentially lethal power being a normal, everyday part of my life, so dealing with this isn’t entirely outside of my wheelhouse.
Dealing with it in a healthy manner, though, is an entirely new experience.
I’m not sure how much inactivity I should be embracing and how long I should go before pushing myself to work on something. If I went with what feels right, I’d be constantly pushing myself to work and thereby ignoring all the emotional issues that this pandemic is bringing up, not to mention ignoring all the emotional issues I’ve had rumbling around for the last few months/year or whatever. Even without forcing myself to work, I’m still sort of ignoring them because I’m still defaulting to not spending time with myself.
Without pushing myself to work, I wind up waiting for the writing itch to strike and, as you’ve seen from the sparse updates to this blog, that isn’t very frequent right now. I’ve got a lot going on that is demanding attention and a good deal of Dungeons and Dragons work to spend my creative energy on, so it’s easy to find other ways to fill my time without writing. Which is why it feels weird that I feel so directionless all the time.
I could write a list of everything I have that I could be doing right now, that I’d find interesting and engaging or at least amusing enough to kill some time and it would probably be another 600 words. Instead, I’m sitting at my computer, flipping through Twitter and Facebook while attempting to write a blog post about my lack of direction.
As whiny and meander-y as this blog post feels to me as I’m writing it, I recognize how important it is to sit with what I’m feeling and take the time to feel it. I need to give the feeling–and, by extension, myself–the space it needs to run its course or else it will still be here months from now, hidden behind an impossible to-do list and a million new projects that will never be completed because I don’t want to do them so much as I just want to avoid this feeling.
I know that this feeling is a complicated one resulting from challenging my own identity as I work through the trauma of my formative years. I know that it is okay to feel lost and rudderless as I work to figure out who I am when I’m not trying to be the person I needed to be in order to survive said trauma. I know that it is okay to feel unsure and constantly exhausted during a pandemic that many don’t seem to take seriously since the response to it from governmental bodies has been so haphazard, incomplete, and inconsistent due to a large portion of said governmental bodies actively trying to make things worse in return for higher stock prices (which is super short-sighted and I’m not even sure how denying the pandemic is going to do anything but prolong it and get more people killed).
Knowing all that doesn’t really help me deal with a Saturday or Sunday afternoon where I just sit in my chair in the library, staring out the window because I can’t get myself to leave the chair and do something else. Or when I bounce from game to game because I can’t find something that actually engages me enough to keep playing it for more than fifteen minutes. Or when I sit on the couch to watch Adventure Time all the way through for the 10th time because it’s got good music, interesting visuals, eight seasons, and all the right emotional notes to make a binge watch eventually cathartic no matter how you’re feeling.
I’ve been doing that last one a lot. Make it through almost 20 hours of the show in the last few days, as I sit down to watch an episode or two while I eat and then finally rise from the couch two or three hours later. I just wish it felt more productive rather than being a way for me to ignore the difficult task of figuring out who I am and what I want out of life/each day. At the same time, I’m willing to cut myself some slack on that front since we are in the middle of a pandemic where everything changes every week or two. I mean, we had some major protests in my state’s capitol a week and a half ago, so I’m expecting a new spike to begin developing this week and next as all those maskless morons finally get sick and the people they infected after returning to their homes throughout the state (and some of the neighboring states, apparently) start showing symptoms as well.
Anyway, this scattered blog post is going nowhere and I’m out of stuff to write about that I’m willing to put on a public blog, so I’m gonna go pop some popcorn, warm up some leftover pizza, and settle in for another few hours of Adventure Time.