Sideways Scribbles

They say you don’t need to edit anything you rolled over at three o’clock in the morning to write. Looking at last night’s sideways scribbles, I don’t know about that.

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3:22am: I can’t do this and do my job and be alone in Oregon.

6:22am: You can do this. You are doing it. You have been doing it for twenty-five months and you will keep doing it — you know you will — until you absolutely, for sure, feel like it’s time to pack up and go. You aren’t there yet. You will want to make that decision when you’re feeling strong. Not when your eyes are red-rimmed and you’re surrounded by Kleenex and you look and feel like you’re about twelve years old. You won’t feel this defeated forever, I promise.

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3:25am: I will die if there is another week/weekend like this one.

6:25am: Hey now. Deep breath. We’re talking about a bad day (or month or second year), not a bad life. Getting good and fed up with the life you are currently [not] living is actually a positive sign. You’re realizing that when it comes to intimacy, when it comes to relationships, when it comes to the stuff that actually matters, you’ve been observing rather than participating. Expect some grief for the time you’ve lost. Expect some big, echo-y spaces. Expect some anger over what you’ve allowed [for what you continue to allow].

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3:27am: All I do is eat and cry.

6:27am: Untrue. Patently untrue. You are a boss lady to a team of twenty during the week. You are a wonderful daughter. Yesterday alone you: slept past six, went to the farmer’s market, made this chicken, cleaned your apartment, hung the laundry, changed a light bulb, walked ten miles, sat in the sun, called your mom, emailed two friends, took a bubble bath, listened to a podcast, made yourself dinner, read fifty-five pages of a non-garbage book, and paid the electric bill. Give yourself some credit. And remember that you could’ve lounged on the couch all day reading a romance novel and you still would’ve been someone worthy of love and affection and burrata cheese.

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3:29am: I am never going to meet anyone ever.

6:29am: Since you are only twenty-five years old, I’m going to go ahead and say it’s a lit-tle early to be making such a claim. I know everybody you know is getting married. I know they’re all rescuing puppies and buying homes and starting families. I know it all looks idyllic. I can assure you that parts of it aren’t. You’ve done such a good job of figuring out how to be OK on your own — something so many people never do. I wish you’d be proud of that. And I wish you wouldn’t worry about a lack of love in the world.

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3:31am: Online dating is really depressing.

6:31am: …Which is why you’re taking another break from it. But I wish you wouldn’t shut yourself off so completely from the idea of meeting someone now, when you aren’t *all* better. There are lots of people who are still learning how to love themselves, and they aren’t punishing themselves for not having it all figured out yet. They aren’t saying: I’m lonely and I’m struggling and I need to sit with this (myself), so I am going to hunker down in my apartment, flip my phone facedown, and go to bed the second the streetlights turn on. And that’s the other thing: you say you’re so lonely, but when somebody does give you an opening, you don’t take it. How much longer do you want to spend rejecting yourself before someone can reject you?

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3:33am: I’m failing at getting better — at doing this on my own. I restricted five out of seven days last week. (FIVE out of seven days. Let’s not do that math.) There was a time when I’d go months without restricting. Now I’m back to taking it one meal at a time. In truth, that’s been the standard order of operations ever since I got promoted for the first time a year ago. I don’t do well with high stakes. Or I do in that I perform, but not without incurring enormous personal costs. It’s like New York all over again, except this time the general climate of uncertainty/stress/WHAT AM I DOING HERE doesn’t have an end date. Also I think I just decided I don’t want to live in a city, where it’s so busy and loud and unlike where I grew up. I just want to take a massive pay cut and move to the sticks, where I’d have much less of a chance of disappointing anybody. (Or developing an ulcer.)

6:33am: “When you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.” Or, the best career advice you’ve received to date. Also: you’ve only been in your new role a month. A month! Give yourself a minute. And notice when one worry spirals into another.

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3:35am: What I’m doing isn’t good for my health.

6:35am: It really isn’t. Like your mom says: you need to eat, lovebug. However you can. Whether that’s with a friend or on your own, in your kitchen at home or at a cute spot nearby. Don’t worry about the money. Don’t worry about the clothes you’ll need to buy. Don’t worry about what you’ll look like in a photo six months from now. Don’t worry about work on Monday. Don’t worry about anything, except doing the very best you can to put a lid on the voice that says you should stop. You shouldn’t stop. You should go, go, go. [Keep going. You’ve got this.]

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“The best way to know life is to love many things.” -Vincent van Gogh

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{Old Town sign via @gourmandly, PNW trail via @andrewgolesch, new kitchen sign via @letterfolkco — all on Instagram.}

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4 thoughts on “Sideways Scribbles

  1. You do have this! You have inner strength – reach down deep
    -it’s there, you know it is. Strength that will silence that inner critic, strength that will diminish the power of that inner voice. You are an amazing person worthy of love!

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