Part 1: Do-Over
I don't feel stressed. By that I mean, I am not worried about anything in particular, I am not frazzled, I do not feel as if I have too many things to do, or difficult things to do or anything like that. I do not think, how am I going to get through the day?
On the other hand, my back hasn't relaxed in days. Maybe a week. I mean, I take a hot bath nearly every day, and even after a long hot bath listening to old favorite going-to-sleep soundtracks, my back only manages to achieve "somewhat better" status. And I am in deep Dealing With Things mode, which means spending as much time as possible on the couch wearing flannel pj's, eating large amounts of food, and generally making a lot of "but I wanna" decisions.
And to go with the Dealing With Things mode, I find myself getting hit with things that shouldn't be problems. I was in full anxiety yesterday, because I sent a message on Facebook that might have been perceived in some indefinably negative way by the recipient. And before that, I wallowed for nearly half a day because of someone who was mean to me fifteen years ago. It's not that these things don't ever bother me, but they usually aren't so crippling. Now, they are taking over my entire day.
I look at all of this and think, well, it's obvious that I am stressed. These are all symptoms of stress.
And I look back at the last six months and think, I broke up with someone who has long been a good friend, my grandmother died, my brother jumped off a bridge and my friend was killed. In six months. I introduced myself to a guy while I was home for my grandmother's memorial and now he's a potential stalker.
I could really use a break. Or a do-over.
Part 2: Love, again.
We know the word we can't say. He said that he might stop trying to not say it. (Talk about compound negatives!)
And I'm not ready to say it, not yet. But I am ready to acknowledge that this is real, and this isn't going to just go away. This is the thing I've been running from, dreaming about, methodically hunting down, afraid of, envious of, aching for and hoping for, for so long. It's been four years. I could have gotten a bachelors' degree in being single. And after so much time it seems very strange and kind of anticlimactic to actually have a boyfriend. One that I'd like to keep.
And he's not who I was looking for and it's not convenient and yet.
I want this one.
And that feels like more than love. It feels bigger and scarier, because I love a lot of things, and I love a lot of people. I've had a lot of love in my life, but I've never had a functional romantic partnership. I think we could do that.
Part 3: Google
I googled my mother today. It's not hard, not when her business is Her Full Name, CPA. It's the first time I've seen her face in four years. I'd almost forgotten what it looked like. It looks very vulnerable, although I'm probably just projecting my own memories and cultural stereotypes. But, still, I find myself marveling at this face on the internet, thinking this is my mother.
Shortly after their last fight, my uncle Louie* and my mother mended their relationship. He says that he refused to acknowledge that she'd broken it. And I think, maybe I just didn't try hard enough. If he can do it, through perseverance, am I just too stubborn?
Because, god knows I'm stubborn. I can hold a grudge. I build polished wood floors over the memory of my enemies so that I and my righteousness can waltz over them. I know this about myself. I get it from my mother.
But I also know that Uncle Louie succeeds because she lets him. I know that she will never let me succeed, not for long. She is the glass mountain, and I live in Iowa now. Our hills are grassy and low.
*Not his real name, but the pseudonym fits. I may go through and make a pseudononymous family tree because "my mother told her brother who told their sister who told my aunt" is not very helpful for actually understanding events.