a quick note on being still (by force).
This morning, on the phone, a friend laughed at me proclaiming how badly I just want to feel human again. That I haven’t felt that way in a long time. How I’ve felt cursed ever since the day a mentor told me years ago that I would never read for pleasure again. It would all become something to study or take notes on to be applied later. I am feeling quite burnt out right now, having hit a wall in which my body has responded with complete melancholy and stillness.
Meaning: I don’t want to do shit and the idea of doing anything at all makes me feel trapped. I am always on deadline and always thinking about the next grant or opportunity or goal and I am wearing so may hats. I am grateful to be here. To be alive. To be an artist who has the chance to be paid for what I write but I am so tired. And that tiredness comes from knowing I won’t survive if I stop. There is no real backup plan. I have put all my eggs in one basket. I am doing all that my brain has capacity for and I can’t breathe.
For the past four days I have been sleeping most of the day, getting migraines, cancelling meetings, and trying to envision myself in some cabin somewhere situated next to a body of water. Imagining myself being loved for who I am and not what I do. Visualizing myself in clothes that fit my gender, my expansive body, and my personality. I have been living in my head. Being even though it doesn’t feel easeful. A thing my body is taking by force. I realize I can’t remember the last time I ate a meal without thinking about how it connects to a plotline or took a walk without networking.
I find myself fantasizing about spending several days back to back drinking enough water, cooking my food slowly, laying in grass, reading, talking and being held by a warm body that isn’t expecting labor from me. I picture myself being hugged for long periods of time and being told I love you. You smell good. Would you like something to eat?
My third YA novel is due at the end of the month and I haven’t touched it in days. The last thing I wrote was an 1,800 word essay about my mother. Maybe that took the wind out of me. Maybe the aftercare of that is me needing a moment to catch my breath. Maybe this writing thing is something bigger than being onto the next thing and the next and and and….
If this letter feels aimless or random that’s because it is. That is the point. No aim. No direction. Just vibes. I am allowed to do that.