If my recent few months were in chart form, it might look something like this.
The only constant theme in my life since last August has been constant change, not limited to but including:
- August – Move in with boyfriend. Return to school.
- September – Start my school year with what could realistically be two full time jobs. Get super stressed out.
- October – Stay stressed out. Cry a lot.
- November – Ditto.
- December – Changes in staffing who work closely with me. Boyfriend “loves me but is not in love with me.” Continue to live awkwardly with ex-boyfriend. More changes in staffing who work closely with me. Apply for job in United Arab Emirates.
- January – More changes in staffing who work closely with me. Ex-boyfriend leaves. It’s fun to go home again. Start dating new man.
- February – Fall for new man. Hard. After a month he “doesn’t feel anything.” More changes in staffing who work closely with me. Try not to cry in public. Much. Drink. Seek therapy. Realize that therapy is real expensive. Write.
- March – Continue to try not to cry in public. Much. Learn I did not get UAE job I’d been planning for since December. Be humbled. Start to formulate plan B. Drink. Write.
- April – Continue to formulate Plan B. Summon strength. Dub this my “year of tests.” Cross fingers and hope that said tests do indeed have some sort of expiration date and that this date is soon.
This is not a funny story.
This is a true story.
The first night that Mr. February Heart-Break spent the night with me was the first night that I realized that I might have mice.
An intense month-long mouse hunt began in which a mouse ate all of the food I had left out to lure it into snap traps – without touching the traps. Then it eventually ate the food, including licking the trap clean of peanut butter – without setting off either snap trap.
Then I bought poison. The poison went untouched.
Until the day that Mr. February Heart-Break dumped me. As soon as he walked out the door, I find this.
Dying on the floor.
Crawling a few inches every once and a while before giving up again.
I called him immediately to say something stupid like, “There is a mouse dying on my fucking floor.”
“Do you realize that this mouse hunt last the EXACT lifespan of this relationship?”
“If I had known it was our fucking spirit animal, I wouldn’t have tried so hard to kill it.”
I nicknamed our spirit animal Deadmaus.
My life continues to be a bizarre as shit series of uprootings and quakes, every dysfunction an all-too-apt exemplar for the way things always seem to fall apart when touched, every artery and ventricle in my heart rubbed raw, leaning towards, “Touch me and I’ll elbow you in the gut” rather than, “Love me – some reassembly required.”
It has become necessary to make myself mantras:
- You are stronger than you give yourself credit for.
- What doesn’t kill you makes you funnier.
- Be present.
The last one sucks the most.
The last one makes me grow the most.
Every painful thing I will experience in my life is born of privilege. Without privilege, I would have to worry about things that threaten more than my comfort or pride.
This is humbling. On a good day, I can be grateful.
Shit show or not, raw heart or not, I have a pretty good life.