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September Surrender: Day Sixteen

What I’m Letting Go

I miss being at the lake. I miss the silence that came with it. The stillness. It was all so peaceful and real. I still felt like a city girl in the mountains, but there was such a calmness that came over me as I pretended to be part of the enclave. The best was being out on the lake in my kayak. If I could, I’d sleep out there. I loved nothing more than being surrounded by nature, the thick forestry, the stillness of the water only punctuated by a fish leaping out to grab a snack. There were distant conversations from those in their lakeside cabins and a nearby roped off shoreline. But it was largely quiet. It’s like I could feel the vibration of having less noise in my ear. I don’t even think I heard one police car or ambulance, something New York City is no stranger to.

While I enjoy the silence, there are times I simply cannot cope with it. When I (used to) walk home, I’d put my headphones in and listen to these two guys who used to play video games together. I downloaded their YouTube videos and put them on my phone as audio-only files. I’ve watched them so many times over the years that I don’t need visuals. Just hearing them interact and be friends with one another is enough for me. Sometimes it gets so bad that when I get home, I take out my headphones and just play it through the speaker, so I don’t have to feel alone as I feed the cat. It’s like I need the comfort of someone else’s friendship to get me through the uncomfortable silence of being all by myself.

When I write though, I need silence. I can’t do it while listening to something else. I can be outside and hear all sorts of things happening around me, but I can’t be listening to something directly. It’s far too distracting. I listen to silly boys play video games at work, pausing it to write a script and unpausing it during mundane tasks like creating a graphic or copy-pasting a link. These are strange rituals I’ve set up for myself where I’m both comfortable and uncomfortable with the silence all at once, and it’s getting harder to discern when I need what.

Part of me just thinks I’ll never get a chance to live with the silence because I live in a city. Or that I’ll be too afraid of my own thoughts if I really sit without anything entering my ears. What I need to let go is twofold here: the notion that I’m stuck with the noise surrounding me, and the fear that the silence will end up hurting me. I feel like the more clarity I achieve, the easier it’ll be to figure out exactly what I want here. Will silence bring me what I’m looking for, or does filling the friendship void make it easier to cope? All I know is whatever I achieve in the silence while writing seems to be the better path. I love me my entertainment. But it doesn’t have to constantly ring in my ears.

What I’ve Discovered

I like complaining. A lot. The issue is no one around me cares to listen. Nor should they. No one is obligated to hear my neverending stream of nonsense. Besides, who would want to hear?

I complained to two of my coworkers today about the exact same thing that happened today. And it wasn’t even my fault. But I turn into this weirdo drama queen over absolutely everything, feeling like I need people to not only hear my side, but be on it as well. It occurred to me today that sometimes I have absolutely no clue when I should just shut the fuck up and keep things to myself. It’s not like anyone said anything to me, but why would they? Would anyone tell you to your face to stop complaining, unless they’re related to you?

It’s like sometimes I feel like I need to fill the silence, or that I need to say something in order to acknowledge those around me. I don’t want anyone to get the impression that I’m in a bad mood or that I don’t want to talk, as I’ve felt burned by that in the past. But why does my first instinct include something to complain about? Why is it important that that’s the thing people know about me? Really, I need to work on just shutting up from time to time. Maybe I’m in the right sometimes. Maybe not. But if I don’t like it when other people complain to me, why in the world would I think the reverse of that is true?

There’s certainly an art in finding the ways to express how you feel without coming off like you just ate a bunch of sour grapes. I haven’t found that yet. Maybe if I shut the fuck up a little more, I can hear myself think before I run my mouth.

What I Hope to Find

I struggled with this one today. I kept getting distracted, needing things to occupy my time so I didn’t have to do this. Not all the entries can be bangers, but at least they’re getting done.

Some people who begin the carnivore diet speak of the mental clarity they experience while on it. Some even say it happens right away. I haven’t gotten there yet. I’m still dealing with headaches, a heart cramp, and a menses change that caught me completely off guard while at work. I’ve seen some changes in my weight already and politely refused a cupcake at work today, so it appears things are going in the right direction, albeit slowly and painfully.

But my apartment is still messy. I haven’t worked out in God knows how long. I don’t get up and move, and I don’t have anywhere else to be. I want to see progress, but perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. I hope that soon I’ll really be able to hear myself and what’s been going on inside my mind, my body, and my heart for all these years. That takes a huge effort to slow things down and check in, keeping my eyes on the prize and not worrying about the excess noise behind me. And with how rapidly everything is cascading down upon us lately, I’m in for a very noisy final quarter of the year. Am I going to let it overwhelm me, or can I find some way to shut out everyone else’s complaining over issues I’ve seen blaring for some time now?

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