Melancholy Reflection on Doing Things

I would like to preface this post by saying that it’s rather serious and personal.  If you’re having your morning coffee on a lovely Saturday and want something light and enjoyable to read please consider yourself warned.  🙂


Many years ago one of my ex boyfriends and I were conducting a post mortem on our relationship and I believe I asked him if there was anything about myself that he thought I really needed to work on.   “I think you need to just do things.  Just go do them.” he said.

And then there was a very wise lady who worked at the library where I did my work-study in college in Pennsylvania.  She was a good friend and sometimes she and her husband even let me stay at their home overnight.  It was a cozy, welcoming place…  One time we were talking about my lackluster performance in college (or something like that) and she told me that I just seemed to sort of, “float.”  I believe she meant that I never seemed grounded entirely…

It’s funny.  I often have felt like I was floating in my life, to be honest.  But it’s not because I’ve wanted to.  It was because going with the flow (albeit maybe too much), was a way to cope without becoming totally overwhelmed.

Let’s see…  Here’s a very abridged (but still long anyway-sorry) summary:

My father was not always a particularly nice man (despite his intellectually humane world-views) and my early childhood was not exactly pleasant because of it.  And then, I was bullied for many years (I’ve discussed that)…  Then, thankfully, I had a really, truly, amazingly compassionate teacher in the fifth grade who seemed to see something in me and she encouraged me to apply myself more in school…  I did and soon enough I loved school.  The years directly following then were probably the most tranquil of my entire life.

However, in high school, my family started totally collapsing in on itself…  I had a terrifying math teacher my freshman year.  I became quite depressed.  And by the last year of high school I no longer was the student I had been.  But I did manage to be admitted to at least one college of my choice.

However, since, at that time, my immediate family had no way to pay for it out of pocket (and my father didn’t want to co-sign a loan), I took a year off between college and high school to work.  It was awful to have to wait that year to go to college…   Then, I went to my father’s alma mater and took out loans myself…  I worked.  I was a part of the honors program at that school.  I liked it…  Yet, given the courage I felt from that year of independence, I decided to try to transfer to the better school I had originally planned on.

My father was not happy about that…   That summer my parents separated.  It was a hellish time.

Still, I managed, after much turmoil, to go to that original college…  in Pennsylvania.  And… for a while I was still ok.  But then I just got really, really, really tired…

My life had had a brief, fairly happy lull for a few years, but for most of it, it was a tense, anxiety producing journey.   By the time I got to that ideal school I was exhausted, and it was so gentle and nice there that I think I sort of fell apart a bit.   Both literally and metaphorically.  I was depressed, but more importantly I was developing a thyroid disorder that makes a person feel…  very sleepy.

So…  I slept a lot.  I floated.   And I didn’t do stuff

Well, that’s not really true.  I tried to and did do some things.  But they were for the most part, the fun things to do…   Things like joining the College Democrats and hanging out with my best friend…

I wasn’t exactly popular with many teachers.  Although, there were a few very kind, lovely ones who really tried their damnedest to help me…   Sadly though, at that time, I don’t think anyone really knew what was wrong.

So I slept and slept and…  then slept some more.   And sometimes I drank coffee.   A few times I had alcohol (although only about 4 times).  Drinking alcohol was against school rules though (they made you sign a promise) and on one of those occasions the party I was at was busted (and fyi this was not when I tried pot that once – that was years later with Mark).  I resigned from the College Democrats because of the bust and that was quite sad (I was the president of it at that time)…

Looking back at that time, I now realize that no matter how much I loved being at that school (although I wouldn’t choose that school again honestly – no offense to anyone) I really needed to take time off to rest.  But, I just kept trying (however poorly) and getting worse because I didn’t want to go home.

When the school finally forced me to go home because my grades were just too terrible, never having finished college (only a year or so away – and that’s honestly horrible considering…)  I was forced to live with my mom.  Gladly, my mom was never the problem really though…  I just hated being home, is all (too many bad memories).

I did manage at that time to be accepted at a school in Wales (another attempt at a few dreams).  But then I had trouble taking out the right kind of loan…   So I was stuck in Minnesota.

I worked at a coffee shop.  I met Mark… and the rest is history I’ve written about on this blog at least a bit already (not necessarily good but there it is)…

And I eventually, for absolutely lovely reasons, started writing again.  I started this blog.

I still float a bit I suppose, but I am working on not floating as much…  It hasn’t helped that my son has had a rough time health-wise, and my sleep has been off for years now because of it.  And there’s been plenty of other nonsense (as I’ve discussed).  But, I’m working on it…

It’s utterly humiliating, of course, to think about the plans I had and how few of them were briefly just starting to be realized.  Some of them I had just about entirely ruled out (law and to some degree politics)…  And as passionately as I felt about many issues, I think I should have been doing something that allowed me to be more creative.   I just can’t not create things (sorry – that’s not meant to sound pretentious).

In some ways though, I really don’t care (in a good way) as much what people think as I used to (hence my candid posts).  People are beautiful.  People are kind.  People can be scary.  Some people are vicious…  and in that case, I think often, in some way or another, they just don’t know any better.

I once had a counselor Mark and I tried to see wonder aloud in some sort of mood of frustration why I wasn’t more “messed-up.”  (not the most lovely counseling experience) Well…  my mind has stuck with me pretty well happily (even considering the occasional depression) but…  I wouldn’t exactly say I’ve been unscathed.  Nope…

So, this week, I kept thinking of ways to “float” less.  I do work on it…

Oh dear.  Handsome if you are so kind as to have read until this point (if you read this blog), this is a disclosure on my part.  I am far, far from perfect.  I am far from the person I hope or had hoped to be…   But, there you have it (or at least parts of it?).

And actually, for anyone reading this far…  thank you.  I hope my writing about myself does something good and useful for you all.   One reason I do it is because I find it’s helpful (or at least I think it is) as a someone trying to be a writer, but I hope it’s more than just a (possibly) self benefiting thing (and again, I hope that doesn’t sound pretentious).   At any rate… thank you all for reading anyway.

A review later…











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