August has been a blue, draggy, typhoon-filled month where even the occasional blips of fun and enjoyment haven’t managed to last longer than a five-minute shuttle ride home. I tried blaming it on the weather. Then I tried blaming it on my hormones. When that didn’t work, I tried to find the humor and laugh myself out of it but that just made me depressed. I found myself bored, restless, and feeling hopelessly lost in a never-ending cycle of rinse and repeat, left and right, start then delete, on and off. Everything became nothing and nothing became everything.
Half of me wanted to get up and DO something, anything, to get away from this crippling feeling of emptiness. The other half of me just felt like hibernating for the rest of the summer season (with AC obviously). I don’t know if my stars just weren’t aligned right or if I was going through some sort of psychological breakdown but this past weekend, I felt a renewed sense of clarity and snap. When I woke up this morning, I even felt a new spring in my step. Guess it’s official now. And it feels really good to be back.
Whatever the causes of this slump were, I think it was a sign from the universe. Sometimes we just need to fall down a bit and muck around in the dumps before we can get back up with a better and clearer sense of appreciation, purpose, and determination. I read a great post this morning by one of my favorite bloggers that talked about people’s desires and pressures to always be winners, always be at the top of our game, and to always be at our 100% best. But when it comes down to it, it’s just not possible. Though the post is mostly aimed at writers, I think it can also be applied to people in general. We’re human which means we aren’t perfect. No matter what, we’re always going to have our whiny and grimy moments. The best thing we can do is to acknowledge that, accept it for what it is, and to remain humble and positive.
As a natural-born perfectionist (trust me, it’s not something you’d want to be born as), it’s hard for me to NOT do anything when I feel like I’m not at my best. We perfectionists tend to try and exhaust every available resource possible if only to feel like we’re at least trying. If you tell us to just chill out and sit down, chances are it won’t go down well. I suppose we have some control issues but it’s hard to let things go when you’re keenly aware that you’re functioning at a 40% when you know full well that you’re capable of 110%. Even as I languished in a mindless lethargy, a small corner of my brain was always going, what are you doing? Get up and get out! Do something, don’t just sit there and stare at the ceiling! It’s not in my nature to be patient or to not do anything when I know I’m fully capable. But again, you can’t always be where you want to be at every moment so looking back, I guess it was a good lesson in learning to just take what comes and dealing with it by doing nothing.
I’ve suspected for some time now that I’m too introspective, too impatient, and too direct too much of the time. I want to get places using the least complicated route possible (that doesn’t mean I cut corners, I just want to be efficient), I have no time for people who block my path unsure of which way to go and throughout this whole process I think entirely too much, having second thoughts or else obsessing over every last detail to make sure nothing gets left out. It’s an odd combination that in the best of times, I appear to be totally in control with complete confidence in what I’m doing but in the worst of times, I end up somewhere between an anchor-less boat and the Titanic. After it hit the iceberg. Yeah, not pretty.
The point is (if I even dare to make a point with this tangential, mixed up post), we all fall down from time to time but it usually just ends up being in mud or some other icky, hard-to-wash substance as opposed to a black hole that we can’t climb out of. It sucks while we’re covered head to toe in mud (or your substance of choice…… not THAT kind of substance, we don’t talk drugs here), but then after wallowing in it for a bit you realize that with a bit of effort, you can still scrub it off and come out good as new. Or at least, less grimy than before. I’m sorry, I don’t really know what’s up with these weird metaphors today.
In any case, I’m back now and back with a vengeance. There’s a low, dark mass of clouds hanging over the sky as I type this and I expect the storm will really be hitting hard by the afternoon but I feel a lot better than I did the past few weeks when the sun had (mostly) been shining hot and bright. I think that in itself says a lot. If you’re finding yourself in a whole lot of mud, it’ll eventually wash off. You’ll have to put some elbow grease into it (along with some good soap) but it will. Unless you rolled yourself in some extra dark, extra sticky mud. That could be a whole other story, which I don’t want to get into.