Sunday, April 3, 2016

Back To Ashes

Some days, I just want to burn it all down.

I've never edited this blog. If I made a typo while writing, and I didn't catch it before posting. I've left it. I sometimes cringe when I read them, but there it is. Life is imperfect and messy and we make mistakes that we can't undo. Sometimes I think I deleting all the past entries, except for the craniosynostosis entires. People still come in startling amounts to read those, so those will always stay, but the rest? I think about taking out my magic wand and pulling it all back.

But I won't.

Some days, I put my hands on the walls of my house and I can feel them towering over me, pulling me, sucking me down, keeping me grounded here. There's a part of me--a part a hate, a part I've learned to control through years of tedious effort--that feels the need to run. Oh, my life as it was--defined by a sheer phobia of commitment--is over. Although I feel the panic sometime, and tension, I've got too many years of therapy under belt. I know that's my irrational side calling.

I won't do it.

And yet.

There are things I could burn. I could, if I was brave enough to take the steps. A good burn, a cleansing one, burning part of the forest of my life to ashes, letting what used to be, letting the new, the creative, the things hiding beneath that I know are still there, somewhere--oh yes, letting all those things loose. Let them rise, reborn from the ashes.

I want to. Oh, I want to so badly that my eyes sting. I want to burn all the work I've done. I want to set fire to my career and all the education it took me to get there. I want to stand there and watch the flames and feel them warm my face and hold my arms up to the stars and scream with joy and freedom.

The rational side of me--that would be the dominant side of me--checks me so hard, and yanks me back with that chain called panic. I've got a good job. It pays. It's worthwhile. I help people. I've gotten good at it. I can move up in it, I can advance. But, oh, I do not love it. It's soul crushing; it's weeks of tedium interspersed with days of hot sheer panic, sprinkled with hours of conflict. But it's a job that's flexible, and it gives me purpose, and the people are wonderful.

There is no joy.

I've felt, for years now, this strange burning and bubbling. I can feel the old me there, the one with all the ideas, the one that wrote and read from dusk until dawn and dawn until dusk. The one that churned out piece after piece because she could not stop. I can feel it all there, like a well that's suddenly found its source again; it's deep, it's ignored, but it's there.

This is just one of those days. I just want to burn it all down and start anew. I suppose I'm too much of a coward to ever do it, and so I creep on, seeing flames only in my dreams.


qH said...

My two cents: your brain is telling you it's had enough. Doing a certain type of legal work after having a child is not the same as doing a certain type of legal work before you have a child. I thought that as my kid got older, it would be easier. But having to deal with real world crazy has left me in a situation that even the most basic legal work of my own (I can still do contract work) causes me incredible, disproportionate amounts of stress. I don't know if I can ever go back to it. It terrifies me that the one thing I was really good at I'm incapable of doing now. So I'm left here in my early 40s freaking out about what reinventing myself means. How am I going to feed myself in my 70s? If I think about it took long, I'll have a panic attack.

Suffice it to say: I'm not terribly happy about living on one income, nor homeschooling, but I'm in the same situation in the sense I don't know what to do now.

For all that, when I quit to stay home at first, it was the biggest relief of my life. It was before the rest of life got too insane, but it made all the difference. I couldn't have borne the last five years if I were still working full-time in my field.

Grace said...

Sigh. Maybe. I don't hate it, but there's no joy or drive or passion left in it. I just numb myself and trudge through the day.

I just want to do the thing I love, and always have. But I don't know how to leap.