When solo dance parties & 70s soul music are the best painkillers

I am ready to call it a day, readers, but oh! I have so much

I wish to write. For the sake of my rest and your patience, (and also the fact that I probably am not far from drifting beyond lucidity) I will keep things brief.

When one consciously chooses gratitude, how the world does seem so better balanced. Two nights ago, I had my “heart” stomped on a little bit. I hate the way that sounds but it is simply the easiest way to say what I mean without meandering on for pages. A very dear friend and sort of partner, love interest, not-quite-ex but not quite not-ex… anyways: one of the most important people in my life essentially told me that I have been replaced, that they have already found someone as (if not more) important, beloved, and cherished, as/than I ever was to them. (Pardon my shitty syntax…) Ouch. It is a whole thing, between him and myself, readers, a whole big thing that is now a whole big messy thing, and I would that I could go into more detail but that is not really my goal here. The reason I say all of this is not to gather empathy or to cry about how my heart is in a million shattered pieces on the ground. No. My purpose for sharing this bit is to celebrate my response. I am hurting, I am upset. When I first was told this “news” on Saturday, I went quickly to a dark place. The temptation to self-harm grew wildly intense. The part of my mind that spews nasty comments at me got louder. And then, suddenly, there was a calm. “I’m incredible. I’m incredible. I’m incredible.” I started to hear this… I started to hear this from myself. What an act of self-love. Even if I did not believe it, I heard it clearly: “I’m incredible. I’m incredible. I’m incredible.” And then I heard my Bubby’s voice from a the other night, her saying to me “You’re blooming! You’ve been through so much, but you’re carrying through and you’re blooming.” I am blooming.

It is quite the trying task to bring harm to a being that is supposedly incredible, supposedly blooming.

This all coming to mind as I cried in my car, I flashed back through moments from the past week, through visions of the world beyond me. I saw my brilliant writing teachers sitting at their desks ,so patient and attentive and generous, as I worked with them during office hours. I saw my friends who are so imperfect yet so loving and ever adding to my faith in humanity. I saw the houses around me, the lawns, and through the windshield of my car, the wet dark of a neighborhood road & the wet dark of a world so alive.

I got out of my car. I went inside and made my way to my basement apartment. It was almost midnight. I set a dim light, let my tears dry right there on my cheeks, grabbed for my headphones. Earth, Wind & Fire’s “In The Stone” is a killer power anthem. I danced my butt off. I swiveled my hips, shook everything everywhere, strutted about. Then another song came on, and I just let one more play after one more after one more. And I danced.

In a way, it seems like I was dancing for the purpose of escapism. Turn on funky music, dance, get rush of endorphins, and pain and present suddenly disappear. But really that isn’t what was happening, or at least not for the large part. For some bloody reason, I had joy. Genuine joy. Joy for life, for the ability to dance alone in a basement at midnight, for the fact of existence in the fact of this world. Dancing only slightly took my mind off of my hurt, but it reinforced my understanding of my strength. It reinforced my desire to constantly choose gratitude and joy.

Dancing does not mean never crying. Choosing gratitude does not mean never hurting. Choosing joy does not mean never being upset.

It is going to take me a while to sort through all of the pain that this person has brought up for me. I see a therapist three times a week. We shall not have lack for topical material… And that is all well and good. C’est la vie. Sometimes, “c’est la vie” is a copout. And sometimes c’est la vie is simply c’est la vie.

And on that note, I bid you goodnight (and a promise of less fatigue-bloodied prose).

Until next time, Nina@middle

I would rather be writing with my typewriter

I would rather be writing with my typewriter, but one of the dials that controls the spacing of the lines in broken and I am too young and too impatient to figure out exactly how to fix it. A friend suggested YouTube videos. For all the videos there are in the wild world of YouTube, there must be one that shows me how to fix the dial thingy on my Olivetti Lettera. Writing with my computer is not terrible at the moment, I suppose, because it is the simplest (easiest) way to get my words onto my blog. Blog. Gross. Yes, I started a new blog. Gross. I cannot think or say or type that without throwing up a little bit inside. Anyway. Upward & onward. Maybe today will be the day, once I finish what I am typing here, that I will doctor the dial on my Olivetti. Not using that typewriter for so long is like not wearing underwear or not seeing the sun. It has been two months since I’ve really written with my Olivetti. Imagine two months without underwear & without the sun. Even those of you who (like myself) enjoy the occasional “commando” adventure, you would feel kind of inhuman (not to mention be way sore with chafing) by now.

I would rather be writing in a library or in a café or in a big lush auditorium or University corner. I am writing from a basement. From a basement stuffy, even with dehumidifier going full-blast, and lit only by luscious artificial bulbs. It is a short drive to the university from here, to the library and to the auditoriums, corners, spaces, halls. I have, however hardly the energy or the wherewithal to get myself to and from the bathroom. After just the first week of this Fall semester, my chronic illness symptoms have flared up and my immune system worn down. Today is a day best spent in stuffy basement. There are books here. I think I will survive.

So I am not writing with my typewriter, and I am not writing from preferred space. But I am writing. And sweet sweet victory that is!

I have been debating starting up a blog for quite a while now. A few years ago, I had a blog that was actually a reasonable success. I had a good following and I felt like I was part of a sweet, teeny tiny online community. That blog slowly drifted into abandonment. Here and now, I’ve decided to take blogging for a spin once more, on this squeaky clean & fresh site.

What is this blog about, you may ask? Well, time is really going to be the most reliable source for that question. But I can take a stab at it and say that this blog is about writing, everyday philosophy, and life with chronic physical illness and mental illness. Boom! You just learned a few facts about me. I am a writer and I do live with autoimmune disease, depression, and anxiety. I am a student (super-senior almost finished with undergrad), a musician, and one hell of a strong and persevering person.

I am also a perfectionist. This makes blogging a difficult task. This makes sharing any part of myself with the world a difficult task. But, again, here I am & here I go.

I am, alongside you, waiting with great curiosity to see what this blog will become.

Until next time—Nina@middle