Monday, March 31, 2008

Girl with the Heart on her Sleeve

Roles that Anger fills in my repertoire of behavior:
Booster Rocket and/or Propeller (think Titanic sized.)
Loud Speaker.
Fatigue combatant.
and most recently discovered: Mask of the true emotion.

Although I learned this particular concept a while ago, I have only employed WISDOM concerning it over the last three days. So what I've been doing much more of?

Laughing and . . .


Both. Basically equally. Instead of propelling myself through the day with the adrenaline rush that accompanies anger, I employ my new friend: laughter. Muad'Dib thought I was crazy and or hopped up on some unknown chemical Sunday afternoon. I was simply trying not to be grumpy because I was so freaking tired. I felt I had only one other avenue. After about an hour of it, I felt better and caught that second wind I thought could only be achieved from an anger push.

And then there's the crying/all-out-sobbing. I stick by my previous statement of being "fundamentally happy." I am. My life rocks. I could go on. And I have crying emotions. I try to cover them up because I know how it looks: It looks like I'm not happy.

Well, to hell with how it looks. So I sob loudly into the couch every so often. So I start crying in the middle of a Sunday School lesson. So I can't make it through a Lysol commercial without tearing up. So what? Does it mean that I'm not loving my life? No.

I'm not sure what it means, but I know it's not that.

Really. I don't know what it means. For the past three days, whenever I feel the delicious rush of anger, I take half a breath and ask myself, "What am I really feeling?" If I can laugh it away, I do. If I have to release it, I cry.

So far, it's working out great. Except for the not being able to understand what's beneath the need to cry. It's as if I started and now I can't stop. Don't get me wrong: it feels good to let myself cry. Of course, then I'm left to wonder: "Did I really need to do that?" Perhaps in another few days I'll find different tool that works better. Today I only have the two: Laughter and tears. Though in the words of Olympia Dukakis: "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion!" So it isn't all bad.

In fact I remember one occasion not too long ago when I was playing Catch Phrase with my sister, my brother and a friend. It was my turn. The little white and blue beeping disc was passed into my hands. I think the word was "Luxor." While trying to get my siblings to guess, my brother said something. I began to laugh. I laughed so hard that the sobs elbowed their way out, until I was simply bawling into the couch while my friend and family looked on with no little amount of astonishment.

But hey: that's me. Girl with the Heart on her Sleeve.

I certainly don't want my readers to think of me as being a guest in my old melancholy mood. I'm emoting. Not brooding. I have no self hate. My self-analysis is done in wonder. Like a scientist searching the realms of possibility for the cure to some disease he doesn't entirely understand: I am looking within myself. I know the problem and the solution are found both inside and outside of me. They are both within my reach. Or it's like a child looking from a night sky to the firefly wondering what the difference is. I am energized by my learning

While at the same time I am tired. Not tired of myself, but tired of the limitations I have carefully placed on myself since I was born. Tired of pulling them off. I do love the freedom when they are gone, though.

I was going to ask if this made any sense. But it doesn't matter. If it mattered, I would have written my feelings first in a Word document, then saved it. Carefully edited it later, then saved it. And then three weeks from now, I would have opened it again, edited it again and thought about posting it, completely removed from the emotion. Feeling safe that it has lost all it's original impact behind my carefully crafted words. But: (and I choose to use "but" here for the very reason Wildman doesn't like it used) I don't care if it makes sense to anyone but me. It seems that my most special times as a writer are when I don't censor myself. Though this cannot be said of my comments on other's blogs, where it is best that I do not react with emotion.

But this is my playground. This here is my turf. Here I am the master of all thought. The dandelion fairy, if you will, as I once was on the playground in my very real, very past childhood. I give dandelions. If you don't find them as pretty as I do, then you will not accept my gift with joy. But for those who see the dandelion for it's beauty (and it must have some if it has it's very own fairy) our friendship is forged.

Stream of consciousness. That's what this is called. I did this once in High School, where I tried to write exactly what I was thinking as I was thinking it. It was harder then, as I was employing a pencil, whereas now I have only to think the thoughts. Did you know that I put myself to sleep by mentally typing out my thoughts? That's why I am able to type so quickly though I have never taken a class or anything.

I feel as though I am shaking inside. For once I cannot tell the difference between friend or foe in the feeling. Anxiety or Inspiration. Though, the soaring heart should tell me something. Feeling light and romantic. Feeling like me. Crying pries me loose from my binding. Though normally, even in dreams, I need at least a towel to fly. Like a magic carpet meant for one. Does that mean I will always need help?

If so: what a marvelous life that I have so many who are willing to do the helping! So many who are willing to do the holding while I have these bouts of seemingly senseless tears. So many to share with.

And now I look over the rolling ocean of my mind, and feel sleepy. I feel delightfully weary. Like I could finally wink out the lights of my brain and rest in my sanctuary. (note previous post. I'm not suicidal!) It's during these goodbye moments of thought that I send out a call for someone to hold me, to play with my hair or to make me feel safe. I have no great desire to omit that request simply because people may read it this time, where other cries have stayed mute and unobserved in my many volumes of journal. I can recognize that this is different. I am unashamed. And I have faith that if I meant it, I could count beyond my fingers and toes the number of people who would fill the need. And today, I'm happy to report: Knowing that is enough!

And now, I part with the silly words of Stephen Sondheim:
"I feel pretty. Oh so pretty. I feel pretty. And witty. And bright! And I pity any girl who isn't me tonight. I feel pretty. Oh! So pretty! The city should give me its key. And a committee should be organized to honour me. I feel dizzy. I feel sunny. I feel fizzy. And funny. And fine."

That quote is funnier if you don't hear the music to it in your head while reading. The words are also truer if you just say them out loud with the punctuation I inserted.

Hm. I sigh in silly contentedness. Is that a word? Apparently. I just did the spell check and it raised no red flags. So I guess I'm not so like Shakespeare after all.

Well, at least, not today.


Wildman said...

Though extremes in emotion are usually not normal, unmasking 28 years will be dramatic for a while. T's unmasking came in conjunction with her accident. Tears now flow often, though less dramatically, at the little things. (No thanks to our overstimulation due to media and expectations). Happy tears, sad tears, empathetic tears, grief, frustration, etc.

Lets call is validation. Finally validating the real emotions rather than covering them up to be comfortable or socially acceptable. How's the weight on your shoulders?

love ya...

Wildman said...

ps. Extreme emotions from angles during one commercial is not normal. Extreme emotions are often beneficial and raw-real-refreshing-...

Fedaykin said...

You're great, that was like a fluffy blanket.

Anger is the mind killer, I will allow it to pass over me and through me [without touching me]... there will be nothing, only I will remain.

That's what works for me.

"Lysol disinfectant wipes just make my house so, so...[sob] Clean!" Remindes me of Cordelia's commercial audition for stain-be-gone.

WildBound said...

So, I'm reading this book called Change Your Brain Change Your Life. You are already employing some of the exercises that literally change your brain chemistry, therefore your perceptions. Nice!

Desertbound said...

Hmmm. I'm thinking. Thank you.

Sayyadina said...

I was wrong. It was a clorox commercial. The one with the girl who is pretending to be a mermaid, but she's just in a bathtub with a bottle. It was so beautiful. I just had to cry!

CowboyBob said...

I love your writing when it flows like this. Your insights are remarkable. Some things that make me cry make no sense to anyone else. I love change and growth, but sometimes nostalgia for the place I am leaving behind makes me cry. Sometimes it is not nostalgia, but gratitude. Or both.