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Posts Tagged ‘sensory overload’

i’ve put words to something over the last few days, the last few weeks, something i’ve known for a long time but just haven’t articulated:

everybody’s got my back.

i work with incredibly devoted, competent, well-intentioned, exceptionally brilliant people who care about the same things i do, whose priorities and motivations are completely above-board and entirely aligned.

i have a loving boyfriend who appreciates my vocabulary as much as (well, probably more than) he appreciates my pretty underwear, who is an equally good partner at cranium and beer pong (even though, frankly, i am way better at spelling backwards than i am at throwing a ping-pong ball into a solo cup of bud light), who accompanies me to the symphony and wipes applesauce off my chin when i’m anesthetized and can’t feed myself properly.

i have friends all over the country, all over the world, who would, at a moment’s notice, pull out all the stops for me if i needed it.

i have a slew of sisters who are all incredibly different and equally supportive in entirely unique ways, who love me and are rooting for me and in whose footsteps i’m proud to follow.

and i have wonderful parents who are surprised and amused, i think, by all my crazy adventures, and who are exceptionally generous, intelligent, kind people.

i am the luckiest girl in the world.

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yesterday i mulled over how volatile my emotions have been this week.  i was unnerved by my own ability to veer wildly from feeling to feeling.

in the last thirty hours, it has only gotten worse.  my mind is laying down successive strata of mid-grade anxiety — all for good reasons — and now they’re accruing into full-blown… something.  i feel trapped, smothered, panicked, as if these strata are layers of concrete and i am underneath them.  and panic brings with it a peculiar set of reactions.  i have been furious, disconsolate.  i’ve fallen into fits of laughter.  to tell the truth, i seem a bit mad.

what i think i need — any combination will do, but the last item is mandatory:

  • a mug of hot cider
  • a football game
  • knitting
  • help
  • grilled cheese
  • a trip to montague
  • lots of hugs
  • a break.

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there are buds beginning to ripen and burst all over my neighborhood.  from the forsythias on my block, to the peach tree that belongs to that sweet old man on warner street who offered me fruit from his harvest when i first moved here, there’s been a little more life around these parts over the last few days.

i’ve had a lot of life around me for the last week.  last wednesday some of the people i love best spent an evening with me over cocktails and/or steak fries in celebration of my birthday.  last saturday some more of the people i love best helped me fill my house with laughter and food and plenty of good cheer.  and on sunday i spent the day drawing with crayons and eating dinner mints with an almost-six year old who showed off his brand new tooth and proclaimed that if he were president, he’d help people avoid foreclosure.

after staying late at work for a few days in a row, i decided i was entitled to leave a mere half-hour late today.  i took the opportunity of arriving in my neighborhood while it was still 80 degrees and sunny to explore a bit.  tried on a marvelous peach dress that broke my heart when i found it was made for someone two inches shorter and fifteen pounds lighter.  sipped a thai iced tea at diesel cafe, the place that made me feel least like a transplant when i first moved here.  walked by signs heralding microbrews, the red sox, and a dozen types of homemade ravioli at the corner bar, and smiled to myself thinking about my plans for tomorrow: d. and c. make ravioli, la troisième fois (est la bonne?).  moseyed home in my flip-flops.  leftover gazpacho, day three — still just as good, this time with a dollop of sour cream on top, while i sat in my room and watched the daylight fade into a warm spring night.

this is my favorite time of year for a reason.

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things have been catching me off guard lately.  it’s not that i go about mindlessly, heedlessly, waiting to be surprised by the next everyday thing.  it’s just that some things are unexpected, and for some reason i am really not prepared for that at the moment.

last night, with a belly full of pasta and ice cream, i walked into dan’s living room prepared to settle into a corner of the couch with a fleece blanket and a food baby.  ‘gangs of new york’ was on the television, and i happened to enter just at the moment when daniel-day lewis dispatches a political foe with a meat cleaver.  now, leaving aside for a moment the fact that the last role i saw daniel day-lewis occupy was tortured, noble john proctor: a meat cleaver.  the next forty minutes were filled with shrapnel injuries and lynchings and the new york draft riots in all their bloody horror, and i was so horrified and fascinated and so close to tears that i nearly left the room.

my sensibilities were softened, i suppose, by dinner.

on the other hand…

i had a nightmare last week that woke me from my sleep, the sort where you can’t breathe right away and you certainly can’t close your eyes right away.  i think it was about snowboarding on wet snow.  there had to have been more than that.  i have had vivid, wake-up-gasping nightmares before, but generally they’re about being chased or raped or some other real horror.  not about snow that’s too damp for winter sports.  i wasn’t attuned to the emotional import of the dream.  the dream, as far as i can recollect, had no emotional import.

and there have been other similar instances lately: things that should not have made me laugh, things that should not have made me cry.  i’m out of tune entirely at the moment — not like a piano or a guitar, predictably flat and quickly remedied.  i just feel emotionally tone-deaf.

i’d like to hear the pitch again, please.

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last night i had a series of such strange dreams, so interconnected with each other and with real life than when i woke up, i had a hard time telling what was real and what was a dream.

it was sunny out, stunningly bright and beautiful.  i woke up warm and cool and happy in dan’s shirt from last night.  we spent an extravagant, luxurious amount of time waking up, and  my dreams interspersed the whole morning.  sometimes we were hosting an imagined boozy breakfast for a friend’s family, sometimes we were making imagined breakfast plans of our own, sometimes acquaintances intruded with interrogatories.  but throughout, it was still sunny and beautiful, and i was still wearing his white oxford.

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a dear friend of mine recently made a major life change, and while things aren’t turning out quite as she planned, and in some ways i think she finds herself a little disappointed, she mentioned that she finds it necessary to remind herself of the elements of her new life that make her happy.

i don’t feel disappointed, but i have found that things aren’t quite unfolding the way i expected them to.  in some ways that’s wonderful, and in other ways it’s a little worrisome — sometimes it’s a lot worrisome.

in the meantime, i’m just going to remember that the sunlight is beautiful when it comes in through our windows.  that i have a whole lot of loved ones within easy reach.  that buying a skein of yarn or a bunch of fresh basil fills me with utter joy.  that the kids on my little street seem so joyful when they’re riding up and down on their bikes.  that thanksgiving and christmas are right around the corner.  that i am so fortunate to be in relatively OK financial shape, for the time being.  that there’s nothing to compare to how a batch of cookies smells when it comes out of the oven.  that the throw pillows on our sofa are so comfy.

i’ve got a lot to be happy about.

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today i had a happy tryst with milo down by the pond.  this would more exciting if milo were not my ipod, but it was pretty exciting nevertheless.

i paid twenty-five cents to light a little white candle…

i sat and sang and dipped my feet and watched the ducks dive deep, watched dozens of almost grown bullfrogs skim the surface under tangles of branches at the water’s edge, looked on while a circle of girls shared a loaf of bread and a pint of strawberries and a bottle of rosé.  lived vicariously through a dear friend who shares the same longings and doubts that i do.

i am a writer, writer of fictions,
i am the heart that you call home…

milo sang about valerie plame and leslie anne levine and told cautionary tales of mothers and county linemen and crooked uncles gutshot running gin.  i must say, i had missed that.

on the old left bank, my baby in a charabanc
riding up the width and length of the champs-élysées…

i accrued enough vitamin d and ultraviolet light to last me for the next few weeks.  and i beg to differ, naysayers.  raccoon face is extraordinarily attractive.

come join the youth and beauty brigade…

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