It’s been awhile. Life is hectic, and change takes up a lot of it. It was time for a change, and there’s been a lot of them. I want to think I’ve got control of everything all the time. I want to think I’m a perfect parent and partner and friend. Obviously, that can’t be true. I’ve spent very little time in introspection these days, but I don’t feel the need to think back on every life decision and re-analyse it. I don’t know what it is. I’m feeling good these days.
Last month, my son, my boyfriend and I moved to a new place, a small town twenty minutes north of where I grew up. It’s my boyfriend’s brother’s house, which he was kind enough to let us move into (if we pay rent and help supply groceries, of course). It’s a pretty little town, population 9000 or so. I can walk to the other side of town in half an hour, which I enjoy, especially in the summertime. We’ve done a lot on the house since moving in: vacummed and mopped the concrete basement, painted the walls, installed underlay and flooring, decorated. There was a lot to be done. There’s still quite a bit to be done. All the hard work will be worth it.
Recently I started driver’s education. Thanks to Covid, it was pushed back a few months, which admittedly did give me more time to practice and prepare myself. I practice driving twice a week for two hours, and I think I’m getting better. My dad’s got an old car he said he’d sell to me for five hundred dollars. I want to have my license and a vehicle by the end of summer. There’s still a month left. I think it’s possible. I had a fear, initially, of never learning to drive because of the crippling anxiety I feel every time I get behind the wheel. A friend gave me some non-drowsy anxiety pills to take before classes. They help. I feel good about where I’m at.
Things change, of course, when you move in with a significant other. I haven’t lived with a partner since my son’s father, at least five years ago. I’ve come a long way since then, both personally and romantically. I think, relationship-wise, I couldn’t have gotten more lucky. I’m in the most secure, accepting, healthy relationship I’ve ever been in, and I don’t know how I got here, but I did, somehow. Taylor likes to tease me about being a housewife (which honestly, I don’t mind). I’ve always wanted to cook for him at night and wake up to him in the morning. I think that’s part of the reason my mental health has been so good lately. I don’t ever worry about annoying him. I don’t worry I’m too clingy or too awkward or too much. That’s a lot, for me. We’ve never fought. Some people think that’s strange, but I don’t think so. We communicate well. He’s very patient, and very hard to make angry. He’s great with my son, and that’s important to me.
Despite all of this, there’s one thing I haven’t been able to fully understand, and that’s our differing love languages. I’m a lover of affirming words, and he isn’t very verbally affectionate. He’s a good communicator, and although I’m improving, I’m far from perfect. It’s been a little over a year and I haven’t heard him say “I love you”, though I know he does. People say things differently. A back massage, a good morning kiss, remembering small things someone’s mentioned – all of those mean way more than any words could, anyway. I’m a big believer in “actions speak louder than words”. I don’t want you to tell me you love me. I want you to show me. That’s much more convincing, I think. But it’s important to remember that not everyone will say things the same way you do, and you shouldn’t expect them to. I think it’s important to learn how different people say different things.
On another note – I’m publishing my first full-length novel. It’s nearly six hundred pages and a piece that took me five years to complete, and I’m very proud of it. Whiskey Cult will be released in September, the same month that my son starts kindergarten [[but guys, can you believe it’s almost already August]]?, in book stores and on e-readers. I’m looking forward to it, but I’m also a bit afraid, as I’m sure every other writer can understand. It’s scary to put your life out to people like that: all your vulnerabilities, insecurities, it’s like opening the deepest parts of yourself up for strangers to examine and judge. For something that’s so dear to me, that feels so personal, it’s scary to think that people might not like it. It’s quite paradoxical, really; I want everyone to read my work, but at the same time, I don’t want anyone to read it at all.
I’ve developed, since reaching my mid-twenties, a deep sense of doom towards my own mortality. It sounds a bit depressing, or dramatic, or maybe even pointless since we all know that death is inevitable. It isn’t as bad these days, the anxiety. I haven’t had nightmares about it, as I’ve done in the past. Sometimes it just feels like I’m wasting my life away – and I know that’s foolish, I’m only twenty five, but what have I really accomplished? I know life is not about accomplishments. I know it’s not a competition to see who can get the most done or who can get it done the fastest. We live at our own pace, and that’s something I’m only just now learning to accept. It isn’t even just the fear of becoming a nobody, though. It’s mostly the fear of death itself, which is of course just fear of the unknown. I’ve spent a lot of nights questioning the afterlife, and whether there is one. I’m still not completely sure. Taylor thinks when a person has unfinished business on earth after death, they stick around in their spirit form until they can find peace. Maybe that’s true. I like to think we don’t all just cease to exist altogether. I like to think we’re not just gone, and that’s that. I’m not religious, but I’m starting to become more spiritual. I meditate, sometimes, I’d like to do it more. This is a lot, I know. It’s late. I always get introspective when it’s late. I like to think. I think too much.
Two weeks ago I got my sixth tattoo. When I was a teenager, I swore I’d never get a tattoo, and now I don’t think I’ll ever stop. Though I’m no good at drawing or painting, I love the idea of expressing yourself through artwork. I love the idea that someone can look at the pictures on my body, and get to know me without saying a single word to me. I feel more free, now, than I have in a long time, maybe my whole life. If I had the money, I’d cover my entire body in tattoos.
Since moving, I got a cat. She’s a rescue, a Calico, one year old. It’s the first time in my life a landlord has allowed me to have a pet – except for a hamster, but that hardly counts. She doesn’t shed, which is nice. She puts up with her harness and walks on a leash nicely and impressively, for a cat. Sometimes she picks fights with my boyfriend’s cat, but cats do that sometimes. With two sassy, opinionated women under the same roof, that can happen. Ziggy’s my cat. She loves to play, and cuddle. I never really understood the importance of pets to people until I got her. I don’t think there will be another point in my life where I won’t have one.
I hope all of you are doing well. The pandemic was beginning to slow down, and then businesses started reopening, and it spiked again. A lot of people seem to act like everything is back to normal. At this point, I’m not sure it ever will be.