While I know I should probably be doing things differently, I don’t write these posts in advance. If I’m having feelings that I can organize, I’ll write, edit, pick out some pictures, and publish. That being said, I just wrote 700 words of a pity party for myself that I couldn’t turn into anything worth sharing. So, I had a snack (I don’t do hangry well) and picked a fresh album of music to listen to as I gave the blog post another go. The album I picked was one I was obsessed with in college– “Bad Blood” by Bastille.
Remember that song Pompeii with the “ay oh’s” that was super popular a few years back? That’s them. That song actually begins the album and while I was contemplating how I could make something of the wallowing mess I’d just written, I listened to the words. These are the lyrics that slapped me:
I was left to my own devices
Many days fell away with nothing to showAnd the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love
Grey clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from aboveBut if you close your eyes
Does it almost feel like
Nothing changed at all?
And if you close your eyes
Does it almost feel like
You’ve been here before?How am I going to be an optimist about this?
Nothing like writing rambles of garbage and then reading thirteen lines of prose someone else has written saying exactly what you failed to convey.
I’ve been left to my own devices and feeling suffocatingly lonely. My friends’ lives continue to evolve and prosper as I sit alone in the apartment I’ve now lived in for a year. The apartment I moved into with anticipation of a new life of accomplishments and joy I’d been missing from the years of abuse and suffering prior. I’ve grown tired of dating and these gosh darn “casual” relationships that are all that men seem to want from me. Timing is a pesky jerk who likes to laugh at me when I find a great guy who isn’t in a position to begin a relationship with me.
So, I tell myself I’ll put my desire for a relationship on the back burner because that’s probably what I should have been doing all along. I shift my priorities to time with my friends, but their lives are changing and they all have men in them… so I compare. Then I feel guilty for comparing and for the feelings of jealousy. I decide there’s nothing I can do but support and cheer for them. I adjust my priority once more to writing. I research and compare and learn how many components are necessary to take this blog somewhere meaningful; and, the effort of learning those skills intimidates me to hide from the work in my bed. I feel bad that I don’t have the drive to accomplish my goals, think that this must all be the product of mental instability, and then wallow about the depression that knocks me down despite my efforts to ride its waves. I tell myself I’ve not done any of the work or made any of the progress I thought I had. I decide I’m undeserving of the joys befalling my friends, consider all of the work I’ve yet to do and how strenuous it feels. Finally, I pick a new tv show to binge watch as I attempt to be unconscious throughout the brunt of these unpleasant feelings until they become easier to tolerate. It’s ridiculous.
So yes, Bastille, I do feel that nothing’s changed since I’ve been left to my own devices. Is this just life? Yeah, probably. Do I have any idea what I’m doing or how people keep on keeping on past their mid-twenties? Nope. How many times can I repeat “up and up” until I resent the phrase and the bitterness I feel? I know that all I can do is continue to put one foot in front of the other and I’ll keep doing it, but the feeling of blindly working to build a life I can only sense is wearing on me. I’m tired of this season of transition, but I also know that life in its entirety is a transition. Perhaps that’s what ages us.
Moral of this post? Adulting is hard. I have a feeling it’s hard for all of us but we’re too busy reveling in and sharing our successes to talk about the fact that none of us know what we’re doing. Comparison is a killer of joy, yet we live in a world fueled by it. So, “How am I going to be an optimist about this?” More patience with myself. More openness. More work.