A few weeks ago, Lindsey posted about Life’s polarities. I’ve often thought of this before, but haven’t written or talked much about it. This could be one of my biggest roadblocks to becoming a good, authentic author. Many times, I don’t understand that I think or feel certain ways until I hear other people expressing it. But sometimes, like this time, I am scared to admit it. Scared to put it out there. Scared of being grouped with the "flip floppers". Scared of being called out on my ambiguities. Scared that people will think I am nuts and throw me in a psych unit. Because that’s how I would phrase it too.
I started this post with the admission that I am schizophrenic. And I didn’t like it. Using real frightening words in the wrong context or with humor scares me too much now. Much as Attention Deficit Disorder or Plantar Fasciitis or Dyslexia used to do. I didn’t want to use that word because I don’t want the universe to teach me a lesson about what that word really means.
My grandmother, the feisty one, loved music. She appreciated music, and appreciated those who appreciate music, more than anyone I have ever known. She said there would be far less good music in the world if there weren’t those around to appreciate it. I use this as a preface to say that I am often so frustrated that I can’t express what I am feeling as well as others can. Why can Lindsey come up with this:
I’m particularly aware right now of the intensely opposed polarities that exist, both uneasily and audaciously, in every single minute of my life. It is by turns exhausting and reassuring to hold these contradictions in my hand.
and I come up with this:
For the last couple of months I have only been writing emails and making love with my calendar, but whenever I can shift into my other personality, I will be back to writing some great stuff.
Honestly, I meant what she said. I just can’t get my exporter to work like that. Instead of throwing in the towel when looking my mediocrity in the face, I will appreciate her words and insights. I will be thankful that she can express it where it makes so much sense to me, even if it doesn’t look all that neat and packaged in my life.
Anyway, my polarity of the moment. The past couple of months, not only has this blog for the five of you seen little writing, my books have seen less. And my photography. I am beginning to miss them, the beauty, the ambiguity, the no right answers.
I have been busy, not too busy, but the perfect amount of busy keeping my life in order. I have been working on a school project and I am ON TOP OF ALL OF THOSE EMAILS. I respond to 80 percent of emails that need it, and even to some of those that require no response. I have missed some appointments, but not because I was spacey or over scheduled. Apples little conundrum introducing icloud erased my calendars and I simply didn’t have everything in my head. Our calendar has been perfectly balanced for the most part. I put much thought into every single item I type into our calendars. It takes more time, up front, to think through the implications. I have not been overwhelmed. I still don’t think you would mistake me for a Type A person, but maybe. Just maybe. (Who am I kidding?)
I like this person. I like being the one who knows where things are, gets to places early, responds right away, knows that the projects are all running along smoothly, all papers filed, all documents written and edited, budget all set, checkbook balanced to the penny. She doesn’t play a lot, and is always “doing” something. She is on top of all the paperwork for the kids at school, but may not know if they had a good day or what they learned or if their feelings were hurt by a friend. This me makes sure all the kids homework is done and ready to be turned in the following day.
My other self has ideas swirling all the time, sort of like the Pigpen character in Peanuts, except the dirt is ideas. Seriously, one day my husband asked me what I wanted to do that day. I explained that I always have so many ideas that I don’t know where to start. He told me to write them down. In less than five minutes, I had 96 ideas on the paper. He just looked at the paper, then looked at me, then back at the paper. He wasn’t reading it. Then he looked back at me and said, “Is this stuff in your head like this all the time?” “Yep.” He shook his head, put the paper down, and walked away saying, “Wow.”
This person has 15,000 emails, and millions of pictures on three hard drives and one novel and one memoir started and hundreds of stories. But not much finished. This person walks in the woods with her kids and plays games with them and sings and laughs with them, but may forget to make dinner until we are all starving. She laughs and giggles and keeps the kids up late on nights their dad is gone and sometimes has sleepovers in her room on school nights -- but hates the mornings after and is short tempered when the kids are crabby from too little sleep. This Mom tells the kids it doesn’t matter if they do their homework if they are playing outside in the fresh air, because these days are numbered and in November in Minnesota we are living on borrowed time before the snow comes anyway.
My husband really likes the me I have been the last couple of months. As I said, I like it like that too. But I am missing the other me. The one who writes and takes pictures and has a little more fun. You know, the one with the really messy house and is unorganized and sometimes tells the kids to grab a dirty pair of jeans to wear to school because I didn’t wash any yet. She is begging to make an appearance.
Yes, this is my current, as well as steadfast, polarity. I have never been good at honoring both sides of me simultaneously. I swing from one to the other, simply unable to be both at one time.