Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hitting. The. Wall.



I've achieved a new record for avoiding my writing; six months. This blog has been sitting abandoned, rejected and alone. I purposely neglected it and cast it off to a tiny corner of the Internet. Brand New Sour Milk became privatized and silent after my last post on September 1st, 2014.

That was back when my dad was still alive. I wrote in Marathon about how I knew we were hitting mile 20 in the endurance race that was my dad's life. Little did I know then that miles 20 to 26.2 would go by in a flash. I did not know that by October 7th, 2014, my dad would be gone.

If that last fragment of his life felt like the toughest leg of a marathon, then the months after felt like hitting the wall. Hitting the wall is when your muscles run out of glycogen and you lose the ability to function. You are no longer able to run. Or, if you are still running, it hurts like hell.

I haven't been able to write for two reasons:

  1. I am confused and embarrassed by my past
  2. I am protective and hopeful about my present and my future

I refuse to allow my writing to muddy things up for me. With six years of writing built up in millions of zeros and ones, there are thousands of things I've said that I cannot remember. I do not read my writing. It is like listening to your own voice on the answering machine. 

One of the disorienting things about my dad's funeral was that some people had read about him on my blog. Some people told me that they felt closer to him after reading his story. I never knew what to say about this. 

I felt grateful to have represented my dad in a positive light, but I also felt exposed and vulnerable, as though I was receiving compliments on the shape of my guts seen through my transparent torso.

I never expected to use my writing as an outlet to grieve what happened to my dad. I started this blog for entirely different reasons. But then, less than a year of silly musings about business travel and single life letdowns, I was given the chance to harvest nights, weeks, months, years of grief-stricken, ambiguous loss on the open stage of the Internet. "Why do you have to publish it?" my well-meaning mother would ask. "Can't you just write about it in your journal?" Well, no, actually, I can't.

You see, the thing is, the release comes in the reveal. Lifting the curtain to the public to expose imperfect Life is a rush. But, that exposure comes at a cost.

Once you go public it's pretty tough to go private. September through January was so bad for me, though, I couldn't fathom public writing, much less smiling at the doorman. I've written about depression before, but this was something worse. This was complete dissociation with everything I'd known up until then. It was like I lost my own instruction manual. So, who wants to write when you feel like that.

So, why am I writing now. I'm not entirely sure, to tell you the truth. In fact, it probably is a bad idea. I never plan when to write a post. It is more like the Universe tells me when by making me stumble across a certain feeling/thought/scene. That has not happened to me yet, really, but, I suspect my subtle urge to write has something to do with my dad.

He is more present for me now than he was when his body was still here. I feel a tiny bit guilty admitting that, and I am not even entirely sure what I mean by that, either. I guess, it just seems like he is here more now, in thoughts, in laughs, in music notes. I find myself saying, "Dad would love this" and not feeling too sad about it.

The hardest thing about losing my dad is that we needed him to get us through Losing Dad. I've had dreams where my dad has given me advice about him. It's like there is My Dad, then there is My Dad's Condition. So, the My Dad part is still here, hanging around me, I think. My mom and I have commented on this a few times; how it feels like "Dad would be proud that we ____________ (got me moved out of Chicago, bought a car, found a job, went for a run in Purgatory)."

So, maybe that is why I am writing again. Maybe I sort of kind of think (hope) that my dad reads this stuff and follows me along my journey. Maybe he is proud that I picked myself back up after hitting the wall. 

That is all we can do, really. Just keep running.





1 comment:

  1. Our Bunnies need a date soon Franklin.
    (ps. love you.)

    ReplyDelete