Yesterday I said that I didnt think I had anything left to write about.
Today I drove to the city to visit my parents, deliver some soup to family sick with Covid, and pick up my son. Then I came back and had a breakdown.
So don’t think that my lack of writing means that I dont have shit to process. I guarentee that I will always have shit to process.
My meltdown was triggered by something seemingly superficial (my yard got torn up because we’re building a new fence). As I tried to stomp the mud and dirt back into place in the rain, I forced myself to unpack why something so trivial was affecting me so deeply.
I was frustrated by the destructive nature of the post hole digger. I was upset that no one had thought to try and fix the grass. I was mad that my family was all sitting inside while I was out stomping in the mud and not helping me. As I sat with my frustrations, I realized my big feelings were being misdirected.
I thought back over my busy day.
I remembered feeling overwhelmed in the city: the busy streets and strip malls and traffic. I remembered how I often have unprocessed stress from visiting with my parents and worrying for their health, especially as my dad is recovering from Covid. I remembered that I had been driving for almost 5 hours that day. I remembered the podcast I listened to in the car about ecology and caring for our more than human kin. I remembered that I hadn’t drank much water that day. I remembered my near constant feeling that this existence in late stage capitalism is just fucking bad and stressful and not how we should be living.
I realized that I was holding all this inside and the sight of my torn up lawn (I hate grass anyway so who the fuck cares about my lawn??) was enough to push me over the edge.
I sat out in the rain for a while and cried a bit for the first time in a long time, watching the birds and listening to the silence. I let all the weight and discomfort sit with me and then slowly fade away. I let it go as much as I could and went inside for something to eat.
This is not the way we are meant to live. I really truly believe that. But I don’t think there is any way out.
Sometimes those two truths drive me mad. I recognize that I am caught in a culture that is self perpetuating but is also inescapable. As I learn more about how people live and have lived in harmony and reciprocal relationships with nature, my heart longs for a chance to do the same, but I recognize that this is a chance I may never get.
Sometimes just being aware of the collapse is enough to trigger some tears in the rain after a long day. It’s not the torn up lawn or the screen time or the dishes that aren’t done or anything else that might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
I don’t particularly feel any better in establishing the root of my stress but at least I know not to misplace the blame. It’s not my kids’ fault or my partner’s or even mine! It doesn’t need to be anyone’s fault but that also doesn’t make it not real stress. It’s very much real and pretending it doesn’t exist is unhealthy.
The long winded moral: make room for the sadness and grief because ignoring it will just cause the stress to pop up at unexpected times in unexpected places.