The depression seems to be gone. Or at least it doesn’t seem to matter anymore. The weight, for lack of what to call it, doesn’t seem to be in the back of my head or on my sternum anymore. That, or I’m strong enough to carry it.
It’s been a long time. Long enough that I’m afraid to admit I may actually be happy. And if I took accounts of everything, I’m not in balanced books. But I’m happy.
For the first time, maybe ever, I’m investing. I’m actually on track to read the “proper amount” of books a year it “takes to be a good writer.” That’s seventy to eighty, if you’re unaware. I’m studying my craft–audiobook, novel, television series (still longform)–with a new abandon.
I’m over 70% through a dedicated, focused reading of the entire Bible. I attend church–and more importantly, I like it. I’m even going to a meeting tonight to maybe try and get more involved with people my age in it.
I’m journaling through my emotions every morning. I’m focusing on making sure I can find the words within me to describe the things that have left me at a loss for years.
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that those journal sessions have turned into prayers every morning. In depression, you always turn to something. Sleep. Drugs (I don’t mean the ones you’d get from a psychiatrist). Alcohol. Food. God. Sometimes in that very order. I hit 4/5.
I’m investing in my dream. I set aside time every day to write, and my word count goals and time goals are increasing weekly. A book is almost pouring out of me just because I have invested the time to show up.
Showing up has never been that easy for me when it comes to writing. My first book, both entirely different drafts of it, was never fun. It was never joy. It never felt like the dream.
I’m having fun with the written word again. Not sure why I typed again. I’m having fun with the written word for the first time ever. Which may surprise some of you because “writer” is my identity to so many. It’s an identity that felt more like a curse until this book.
And book number three is waiting in the wings. I’m actually doing some research listening for this book while writing the other one. Write and read about what you love. Give yourself that permission.
My arms and legs look amazing. My shoulders and butt–not sorry, I got squat goals–are nearly there. I remember being a nearly obese teenager wishing I just looked like those images and people on the cover of magazines. I remember being a nearly obese twenty-something cringing because I couldn’t bear to meet my own reflection in the eye.
I’ve spent more years hating myself and my genetics and my name than I’ve ever been proud of how far I’ve come. But I’m moving forward. I don’t know how far away the death of my man boobs are, or the obliteration of my back fat, or that stubborn fat right above my belt line that ruins every single day in the mirror. But I’m investing in their destruction.
Maybe one day I’ll be happy with how I look. I even look at the photo attached to this post from 2015 and cringe a little…and objectively, I look pretty good in it. But until then, that moment of mental breakthrough and grace, I’ve found someone who does amazing haircuts and that is half the damn battle. Now only if my clothes fit.
I’ve got amazing friends, and some amazing family, and even though they’re literally flung around the world, they’re mine. They’re there for me.
But all of this is a spiritual, metaphysical surplus. It does nothing for me in the physical realm. I am not monetarily in debt…until August 12th, anyway. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. Next week.
I don’t have a job. My books will (probably) never pay the bills. My first one has over fifty rejections as of Monday. Such is the journey. I want to travel the world and I’ll never be able to do that without money. Such is capitalism.
I daydream of finishing my morning writing sessions with a walk down an Italian village’s cobblestone streets to get coffee and a brioche. Following my afternoon writing sessions with a quick dip in the Mediterranean or a hike in the Alps.
A route from Portugal to Greece haunts most of my days, begging for summer 2018. The coasts of Thailand and the remote resorts of Bali call my name. The waterfalls of Argentina and the mountains of Chile and Peru.
I’ll always have fernweh. I’ll always have wanderlust. I have tasted more and know how glorious it is. But I am living in less and less. Such is the journey.
Most of my friends are too far away. I’ve spent too much time in loneliness because the people I’m invested with are too far away. And I can’t afford to go see them.
I can’t go see movies I’ve looked forward to for decades. I’m running out of books to read because I’m reading the ones I own and having to sell even more to pay bills. I can’t go to concerts.
God’s been providing the bare minimum. And, hey, I’m still happy or strong or maybe even both anyway. That’s enough. I don’t want it to be all, but it is enough. For now.
I’m very single. And it doesn’t bother me. Most days. But I’m tired of being offered young adult couples church groups and honeymoon destination emails. I think romance would be fun. I haven’t been on a date in ten years. A decade. I’m not the person the ones I have wanted have wanted in that time period. And that’s okay. But I am ready to feel wanted by someone I also want. That would be a new experience.
So in the balance of the world, I am incredibly indebted and behind. But in the balance of my soul, I am thriving and investing. It’s imbalanced and as much as we want to pretend the world doesn’t matter–you can’t thrive in the soul when the body is so lacking. Resources fail. But God doesn’t.
Oh God, I am ready for a change. Preferably one with a backpack, foreign languages, and a new compact laptop. But if that’s not the plan, that’s okay, too. Maybe the right desk job will get me there. I just don’t want my soul to die again like the last time. Not when I’ve finally felt what it feels like to be happy again.
Ironically, I had a panic attack yesterday. And the day before. And it–the depression–has gone and come back before. That’s the demand of the physical world. Anxiety and panic and frustration. They’ve been the constant of 2017. And peace has been the constant prayer.
May it come soon.