where wildly different is perfectly normal
Death by a thousand paper cuts
Death by a thousand paper cuts

Death by a thousand paper cuts

I’ve had so many random thoughts whipping in and out of my head lately that it’s like being inhabited by bees. Loud, active, not sharing where the honey is located but gonna scare you into thinking it’s a DEVIL WASP bees. I should be grateful that they’re so active, for when one does settle down long enough to land, the rumination begins and next thing I know I want to crawl into bed and stay there until forever.

Just your standard late-winter overwhelm, enhanced by THE BUSY SEASON and made even more 21st century fantastic by a potential pandemic. May you live in interesting times is starting to sound less like a blessing and more like a curse. I’d welcome an alien invasion at this point. The Yellowstone caldera going ka-boom would be a delightful change of pace. Interesting times always sound so…interesting…until you’re in them and suddenly you’re crying out, “NO, NOT LIKE THAT!” It’s exhausting, yes?

Fear is everywhere right now. It’s so prevalent it practically has its own edgy cologne, its Instagram is trending, and I’ve heard rumor of an AMA on reddit. Fear is the newest IT girl/boy/non-binary-gender identity. Fear has been aerosolized and rides the breeze of public commentary, waiting to rain panic down on the gullible and uninformed. You can’t see it, people are still outwardly calm-ish, but by gods you can sense it.

In the midst of all this, I’ve been mentally berating myself over being less on top of things than I’d like. I’ve said many times in presentations that overwhelm is the fastest way to bring me to my knees, and boy howdy I’m etching my kneecaps with gravel. All the random whozawhatses that are up in the air right now keep whizzing past my head. Things like plans I can’t make until other people make some decisions, or things that will affect me personally but are entirely out of my control and no finish line in sight, or things like the millions of random hurts and inconveniences brought on by modern life. I know they’ll eventually land, but in the meantime it’s death by a thousand paper cuts.

So the potent combination of late-winter overwhelm, THE BUSY SEASON, interesting times, and fear is the salt encrusted vat of lemon juice into which my paper cut aching soul is tossed. I may laugh to keep from screaming, but I’ll tell you there’s more than a little mental bellowing going on under the chuckle.

I know this will end. I know I’m not alone in this. And, believe it or not, I’m managing this well. I’m in far better shape than in previous years, and I credit that to the ongoing self-care I neglected in years past. My self-care can sure as hell be better, adding in exercise and doing fun things that buoy me, but my baseline level of caring for myself is the best it’s ever been. So while I’m mentally writhing from the salty lemon bath, I’m doggy paddling as fast as possible for the edge.

My friends, stay strong. We’ll get through this fog of fear, this pool of pain, and be stronger for it on the other side. Reach out to each other and construct a life raft of aching souls, holding each other up. I don’t think we’re anywhere near a finish line, or even a watering station, but we have each other.

And if life is bringing fear, citrus, and lime? We can bring the tequila and make the best of it.

One comment

  1. Darkest Yorkshire

    I’ve been wanting to watch the film Gifted since you reviewed it, and it’s finally been on tv. I agree with your take on it. The only thing that really bothered me was the whole plot hinges around The Oaks Academy for Gifted Education and whether it would be good for Mary to go there. It’s such a significant thing but the audience never even gets to see it and come up with any answers to that question.

    There was another thing I got from it despite it being in the opposite direction the film was going in. Despite the nefariousness going on in the foster parents’ guest house, quite a lot of that basic idea appealed to me. If they’d pitched the story differently and she’d really not been doing well in school and dealing with hostile authorities, that kind of undercover schooling could have been part of what liberation looked like. Plus I just like the idea of a gifted education with the same underground ambience as a back-room cannabis grow. 🙂

    Another recent film involving giftedness I enjoyed was Tomorrowland. If that had come out when I was a child I would have loved it so much. Watching it I felt neurons firing that I don’t think I’ve used since the 1980s. They were the ones I associate with the moment of recognition when you see someone like yourself on screen. While none of them were perfect, The Explorers, Space Camp, DARYL, and some episodes of Knight Rider come to mind. The one that came closest to perfection though was the cartoon Vicky the Viking, at least the early ones, before they changed the voices and ruined it. That was just an open, unselfconscious celebration of giftedness. I’m going to have to watch that again as it’s all on YouTube.

    Did you have any other films or tv series that sparked that moment of recognition?

Whaddya think?

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