Ever since I wrote the fantasy post on Monday, I’ve been in an oddly discontented mood; restless, distracted, disconnected, and completely disinterested in physical contact. While it seems to have finally passed, I had to wonder at why this mood reared up in the first place.
After my breakthroughs with the unfillable void, the unattainable person, and how the unattainable person cannot fill the unfillable void, I’ve felt an internal peace that I’ve never had before. All that energy and thought that I constantly put forth to try to attain the unattainable has been freed to think about and do other things. Of course, now I have to find other things to fill my time and this week I was mostly successful at that.
I spent time with friends all week long. Tuesday I met Rob for coffee and knitting. Wednesday, I went to the yarn shop for a trunk show and knitted for a while with Laura and Wendy. Thursday, I met Laura for coffee and knitting in the morning, then Cyndi for dinner and more knitting. Friday, I met up with Rob again for dinner. I missed spending time with my friends, as my major depressive episode kept me trapped in the house for months, so I’m happy to be back to “normal.” When I spend time with my knitting friends, I am inspired to knit myself. It soothes my anxiety and eases my depression. Being with them is a good thing.
So this pervasive feeling of disconnected discontent didn’t make any sense. My husband is as wonderful as always, my children are doing well, my pain level is under control since I’m swimming again; yet there it hung, a cloud of gray coloring even the best of times.
I believe that is exactly what’s wrong, though. My life is extremely level, no up and down roller coaster ride of emotional drama. My psyche just doesn’t know what to do with itself, so it’s attempting to manufacture drama where there is none. The difference is that now I am aware of it. I know there is nothing wrong, and I realize that this is purely a figment of my imagination.
Living a drama-free life is unfamiliar. Having boundaries is equally unfamiliar. Taking care of myself is awkward and takes a conscious effort. I’ve bought makeup for the first time in forever, I spend time thinking about my clothes, I attempt to look put together when I leave my house.
Being on this side of things makes me realize how and why poverty and trauma affect people’s ability to be successful. If I had all this free time and thought when I was in college, I likely would have done better, learned more, went further. I am frustrated at all the effort wasted on things and people that just don’t matter. I literally spent years pining for relationships that were never going to work; I look at my life now and know that I am so much better off without those people I thought I couldn’t live without.
I’ve also spent years longing to play the guitar. I played in high school and was decent, although never fantastic. I could accompany my singing and that was about it, but it satisfied my musically creative side. I can’t play the guitar anymore, though. My fibromyalgia severely affects my fingertips, making them ultra sensitive. Pressing down on a thin wire with the tip of my finger is impossibly painful.
Last night, I realized that Matt’s piano is just sitting in the playhouse, collecting dust. I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the piano. I mean, I do read music since I played the violin for nine years and was in choir for most of my primary and secondary education. Knitting has helped me learn to coordinate my left and right hand to do different things at the same time. Piano keys are smooth and a digital piano requires little pressure to make the keys go down. If I put forth even a fraction of the effort and time that I have been wasting on things that don’t matter, I could master the basics in a few months.
I fell asleep listening to music and dreaming of playing some of my favorite songs. On Monday I’m going to the local sheet music store to buy whatever “Piano for Dummies” type book they recommend. I am going to focus all this excess….emotion…into something tangible that matters to me. Something that will create rather than destroy, which is exactly what manufactured drama does. It destroys marriages, friendships, and can even affect employment. I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to build something that will last.
Today, the feeling of discontent appears to have lifted. I’ve got something to look forward to that will expand my mind and challenge me in a different way. I spent most of my adult life thinking I was too old to learn the piano, as everyone I knew who played had done so for decades. But in the back of my mind, I could always hear Cheryl Wheeler talk about Mrs. Pinocci picking up the guitar at age 57 and how she’d now been playing for twenty years.
Better late than never, I guess.