Thursday, April 06, 2017

Learning from vulnerability

I feel you, Charlie. I feel you.

Yesterday, I told some friends that I felt like a border collie without anything to herd.

It's an apt metaphor for feeling rootless and restless, yet pressured by unfocused energy.

I tend to get this way in the Spring. Yeah - I've always been a kind of outlier. A lot of folks are susceptible to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) in Winter, when the light recedes. Not me. I crave Winter's stark simplicity. It soothes something deep inside my soul. Spring, with its riot of unrestrained growth triggers a wildness in me that I don't know what to do with.

I pace. I move things in the house from one place to another. My weird melancholy is punctuated by bursts of frantic energy where I clean out closets and throw things away.

It's worse when I'm alone, and the 'perfect storm' for this is that my spouse does most of his business traveling in the Spring.

One of the blessings and curses of writing for a living is the lack of external structure. Along with the upending of my family schedule with my husband out of town, given the vagaries of my writing process, Spring seems to be the time where my latest manuscript is always out with the editor.

So, no inherent family structure. No inherent writing structure. The restlessness of Spring.

What I am feeling is vulnerability.

I am no where near as self-sufficient as I tell myself I am.

I realized this talking with a friend yesterday. This is what I told her when she asked me how I was:

I spend so much time and energy pretending to be a functional adult - and for the most part, I am - but when my normal routines and support structures aren't in place, I forget how vulnerable I can be.

I suspect this is true of most of us. The real horror of being an adult is how much we all feel utterly out of control.

Most people drown out that fear with background noise or substances. Some of us just feel it all much more acutely.

And the way society has us all split off from one another and calls needing support a weakness, well, there's your perfect storm right there.
So, I'm learning (again) how much we all "get by with a little help from our friends."

Fortunately, I have dear friends who will throw the virtual tennis ball for my inner Border Collie.


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  1. This friend is hanging out at Forward Motion chat again most days, as I have some health stuff going on that is bringing out my inner Pomeranian. So, if you need a little support, I'd love to see you there.

  2. Thank you for writting this

    1. Thank you for reading. I'm glad it resonated with you.