Scientists and tortoises are, or maybe its were now, being held hostage in the Galapagos.
I have been struggling lately with something about this journal. I write about work, people on the bus, accidents I have, the occasional book, and I link to things like mad, but I rarely talk about my feelings. It is not that I am averse to talking about my feelings, but..... Oh, yeah, wait, I think I am averse to talking about my feelings. I never used to think I was. I used to think of myself as a very openly feeling person, but I am starting to rethink that. As soon as I start to write anything really personal here, I catch myself and quickly hit the backspace button until it disappears, or I save it in a file for future consideration and then never go back to consider it.
So, I started wondering to myself why that might be. There are good reasons for my hesitancy. One really good reason is that some friends of mine and at least one relative read this thing on a semi-regular basis. I am fairly comfortable with this, because this is one of the only ways I actually contact the people I know and love who live in different cities. But do I want to pour my heart out equally to all these different people? Would they want to innocently look up this blog, expecting to find the usual news and dribs and drabs of my life and mind, only to be confronted with some deep-seated neuroses? Maybe they do. Maybe they need the heart-stopping excitement of hearing about my depressions, fears of personal inadequacies, trauma from my childhood, food/weight/image issues, and on it would go. Does anyone need to know these things except me? (Enough with the questions already. I’ll quit that. Many apologies).
In a lot of ways, I would prefer to keep those things buried. I am not so worried about the personal privacy issue, because I am not too concerned about people being aware of those parts of me. It is more simply about just keeping them buried so I don’t have to look at them, here or anywhere else. One thing I realized when I was considering why I left so much of myself out of this journal is that I don’t really deal with much of my shit outside of this thing either. All these years that I was thinking of myself as a deeply thinking and feeling individual, I was deluding myself to a certain extent. What I took for depth in myself was the mouldering graveyard of issues I have dug into my innards. If something from my past really fucking hurts, I have simply dug a hole, stuck it in, thrown some sod over it, and tried to leave it be. This, of course, is not simple, and it does not work. It rolls around in there, never properly falling down and dying like I had hoped. These things I’ve buried, they don’t stay quiet, either, like I would want them to. Sometimes I feel positively harangued by them. They clamour for attention, kick up nasty fusses, try to reassert their rightful positions as important aspects of my past and who I am now. It can be exhausting.
This is why I fall asleep in front of the television almost every night. This is why I sit languorously in hot baths for hours on end. This is why I get high late in the evening when I should be sleeping. This is why I spend so much energy feeling stressed about work or family or money instead of concentrating my energies elsewhere. These things are diversions. They take my brain on excursions far away from things that matter, the real activity of being fully human.
The reason this not-sharing-of-myself-in-this-journal thing has been sticking around in my thoughts has become all too clear. I am not fully here when I keep who I am out of it. It follows, then, that I am not fully anywhere in my life when I try so hard to keep who I am out of it. I am not here. It is as though I have been trying to erase myself for years. This just occurred to me, and it’s a devastating thought.
It’s a devastating thought, but a good one. I suppose, if I want to be practical about this, that I am in pieces. I have compartmentalized everything, put it all away in untidy little boxes inside my brain, and so my job must be to unpack what’s there and actually look at it for once. That’s freaking terrifying in some ways, but comforting in others. Comforting, because I don’t even know what half the shit up there in my head is that I have been trying so desperately to ignore, and it might actually be a bit of a relief to find out what some of that is. Instead of random dodging, duck-and-cover tactics, running from the unknown, I could actually look squarely at some things. If there is something I have learned in life, it is that the anticipation of things is almost always worse than the event itself (except for dentist visits, but that’s for another entry).
So, I guess what I’m saying is: I am trying really hard to turn over a new leaf, or rather, I have begun to try really hard, or rather, I want to try really hard and I will do my best to follow through. I guess I’m also saying: you might want to practice your own version of duck-and-cover while reading this journal at times, because I can’t guarantee that you will always want to read ahead. Maybe I’ll warn you with lines like “Quick, Run, She’s Feeling Again!” or “Warning: She’s Gone Toxic!” Take me or leave me, I guess.
I must run. The Fiery One has notified me that I must meet him at the sushi joint and eat dead things raw. Mmm-mmm. Sushi is not a huge mental diversion. It is just good.