thinking my feels and reminders
How do you process when things are so hectic? When life things feel so overwhelming, and you don’t even have a breath to yourself? There’s been so much going on that I’ve not been able to clear up my jumbled thoughts, and figure out what I wanted to write about. When you sit at your blank screen, and try to piece together snippets that don’t make sense nor have little tying them together but the anxiety rippling through it all: is this writer’s block?
I don’t really think it really is writer’s block, but I know I’m stalled and stuck. There’s that thin line between vulnerability and privacy that I want to maintain. Especially as it’s not necessarily a story solely for me to share. But, lately, it’s been all consuming. I feel myself withdrawing from the looser ties, and the ones not physically present in my life. I update those who I feel need to be in-the-know, or it slips out because it’s just been on my mind constantly. I want to both normalize these things, but I also don’t want any pity or judgement nor do I want the chance for people to form thoughts about me and my situation without understanding where I come from, or what I struggle with internally. It’s one of those “you don’t get it until you get it” moments, another kind of club we don’t want others to join or understand, but desperately wish there were others to commiserate with.
So, how do you process?
This year, I decided to attempt a regular morning pages practice à la Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I was consistent for a handful of weeks, then fell off last month into this month. The funny thing is that I absolutely know that had I continued through it all, the stream of conscious writing would’ve alleviated some of my daily brain anxiety. All the jumbled up thoughts, and the stress of everything sitting inside me. It wouldn’t have solved anything in particular, but in practice I know how much it helps to get everything out. For me, writing has been the best method to expunge and process my inner thoughts and stress.
I just don’t like crying. I know, I know. It’s not a bad thing to cry! There’s something cathartic about letting loose those salty tears. Don’t worry: I’ve been working on processing and digging into it. But for me, who finds it difficult to feel my feels, and tends to think my feels … crying gets in the way. It’s messy, and I can’t finish my thoughts, or writing, or whatever. Already, I know that even framing this whole letter today around “how do you process” is a funny way of exploring feeling my emotions. Because, ultimately, that’s what it’s all about lately.
How do you feel?
I absolutely know why I ignore, or avoid, or push away the emotions. I promise you, I’m so deeply aware. There are layers to this and they’re things that I’m peeling back and working through as best I can right now. It helps that I’ve been able to talk things out with folks, and even when I’m journaling and writing by myself, I’ve slowly been letting the tears fall while trying not to let them mess up the words written with fountain pen ink. I’ve joked with friends before but all the fiery and brainy sides to me make it easy to avoid the feelings, and just think that I’ve felt them when I’ve thought them through. Inject some more watery emotions into my life, please and thank you.
For a good chunk of last week, I was crashing at a friend’s place in the city. She was dog-sitting for a friend of hers, and asked if I wanted to stay in her lovely one-bedroom apartment. Yes, immediate yes. Being back downtown, with only a 15-minute walk to the shop, and just absolute quiet and time for myself was a reminder of how much I miss it. Walking home from work, and picking up some groceries to make a meal; stepping out to get coffee in the morning, without dealing with a long commute. Running into friends and seeing familiar faces on the stroll back, and having that sidewalk catch up in the sunshine. It felt all too familiar, and I loved every moment of it.
It’s funny: before, I would’ve filled my calendar immediately with social things, but I opted to stay in and read, and just chill by myself. I know it’s mostly because I’m always surrounded by people now. My quiet alone time is never fully alone, unless there’s no one at home (not often the case), and even then it’s only for small bursts of time that can be interrupted at any time. Being by myself made me realize how much I cherished my time to myself. I consider myself an extrovert, and I know this is true when I feel invigorated and energized after social events with people, and being amidst the hustle and bustle of a gathering. Yet, the freedom of being by myself and doing things for myself, and lazing about without an obligation looming? Yeah, that’s what I missed.
The one thing I didn’t take advantage of, though, was being closer to many of my friends. There’s definitely something so isolating being so far in the suburbs with less ability to just pop out after making impromptu plans. For me, everything needs a two hour buffer. I’ll do it! Happily! But, it takes time for me to get anywhere. I think there’s such value in being close to your family (if you’ve got the positive support system), but all the jokes and memes about moving all your friends to the same location so you’re close to them … wouldn’t that be grand? A community filled with my favourite people? Yes, please.
I did end up getting a morning coffee with my bestie on a Sunday morning, and it only took me 15 minutes to get there.
Thanks for reading Letters by Eunice! Subscribe for free to receive new letters.
Things I’m Into Lately
It’s really been a slow reading month, as I’ve only finished the previously mentioned The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannenjust in time for book club this past week. A full review to come sometime this week. If you have any novel recommendations, please send my way!
I’ve been rewatching The Good Place and am reminded how fun it was when it was on air! Knowing what I know now doesn’t detract from the first season, and I feel like it continues to make me laugh, and delight in Eleanor’s antics and journey to be a Good Person. For more sitcom delights: if you’ve not been watching How I Met Your Father this season, I don’t know why you’re not!? Okay, maybe we’re all wanting more smart shows but I just revel in the cute and easy-on-the-brain format of sitcoms, and this feels like a throwback to the old series with its own twist and take.
A friend shared this interview with songwriter Anna B Savage with me the other week (On learning to be gentle with yourself), and it was serendipitous share when I needed it a lot. Also, it introduced me to The Creative Independent, which I have been reading in doses.
The Atlantic published Live Closer to Your Friends by Adrienne Matei earlier in March, and Anne Helen Petersen’s newsletter this weekend discussed it further: You'd Be Happier Living Closer to Friends. Why Don't You? It’s funny how, as a collective, we think about these things on similar timelines.
I’ve been journaling a lot more this year, but something I’ve been working on slowly is a commonplace journal. I have to build more habits to be consistent with it, but it’s been nice to read back quotes and noteworthy words and remind myself of the beauty in words.