Do you know how to pick up the pieces and go home?

“I’ve learned as time passes, all the things that you’re afraid of will come and they will go, and you’ll be alright.” -Stevie Nicks

Two years ago, I was in the solid cold grip of grief. I won’t claim it’s done with me. It defeats the purpose of living to walk around thinking oneself is completely healed from something as terrible as depression. There are times I’ve felt like I’ve have my proverbial shit together and other times I haven’t, and if hindsight has taught me anything, it’d be that my feelings aren’t exactly a superior indicator of holistic truth. I wrote a few polemical, expressive, pieces of writing while I was sickly and overwrought with crippling emotion. Surprisingly, I mustered the courage to briefly publish them here for consumption. I took them all down, because I’m not exactly sure what I want this space to be about. I believe I used to think I should lay bare every ragged trauma, both physical and psychic, I’ve wrestled with over the past two years in hopes they tessellate into some stable and unbreakable epiphany to plant my feet and surf on for the rest of my life. It is however, completely suspect in my opinion, to listen to someone testify to being a miserable person and then to undergo some radical interior change over a brief period of time, even if they have ‘seen some things’.

No. Life for me, so far, has been comprised of an epic duel between unconsciously formed habit and consciously wielded willpower wherein at any given point, there is no objective way to know which of them holds sway over the very real action of living. I have experienced change, though. There was a time when I was much less functional than I am today. There may be another one in the future. I have been sick, and I have been not-sick, or less sick, and I am somehow still here puzzling it over. If I have learned anything about myself through this strange journey however, it’s that I’m prone to excessive questioning and that my own weltanschauung is made up of layered and often subtle personal values that are far more prismatic to be able to dissect in a handful of intimate essays. In that sense, it makes blogging and teasing out one’s individual insight in somewhat digestible portions appear quite an attractive, if not also terrifying endeavor.

There may be a time when I share that “old” work again: those things I’ve written the past couple of years when I dove right down in the deep past where I thought I was capable of going. There may be a time when I feel that exposing my wounded shadow self and delving into the past will feel ‘brave’ or even a helpful addition to the collective consciousness in some way. I’ve experienced pain in spades as of late though, and as it stands, I feel the bravest and most helpful thing for me to be doing is focus on some diaphanous sunlit mountaintop ahead without somehow forgetting and dismissing the deep, forest-filled valley I’ve wandered through in recent years, and without dragging it with me. I mean, assuming there is such a mountaintop. I’m not entirely sure. What I feel is important to my growth goals right now, is to refrain from second guessing myself and wishing for some cagey comfort of perceived invisibility. That curiously doesn’t seem like an option anymore.

I can imagine sometimes, writing buoyant, borderline superficial, posts here: recipes I’ve tediously developed and tested, places I’ve visited on joy-filled holidays, or some other happiness of personal achievements realized. In my quiet morning reveries over creamed coffee about this space, they are sometimes delivered in a congenial and witty “hey girl, hey!” fashion that one day cultivates an upbeat online community in which I feel supported and loved. Realistically, the past couple of years has most probably bled from me whatever nascent ability I had to filter myself in ways that places how I think others will perceive me at forefront of thought. Though, if I do ever adopt a more bubbly and joyful perspective (if even for a day) and I compose a piece in that mood, I’d to think I’ll publish it and feel I’m being as authentic as when I’ve used a less than euphonious tone.

The saying is: you can never go home again. While I believe that’s true, I also believe you can’t stay in a place and not have it change you, and so shucking the past is an actual impossibility. The future is imbued with it. Perhaps it’s been my own sentimentality that has romanticized a time when blogging was less about flashy copy, internal links, search engine optimization, and book contracts than it was about sensibility and fellowship and I suppose that’s what I’m looking for- the beautiful and human simplicity of sharing. That’s what writing here on “Folktale Life” may yet be for me.

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