Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A second post for today. I so often find myself hesitating to come here, editing my thoughts and emotions for fear of what they may communicate about me and what judgements may pass upon my being but also what judgements they may seem to imply to others who read here. I am feeling a little stuck artistically. My inner world has drawn the blinds somewhat and I feel as if much of what I write is the bare outline of the life I am living, reporting the surface factualities that anyone who knows me in my every day sense already knows. Yet it is in the reporting of the subheadings and subtitles and between-the-lines thoughts and emotions that seem to resonate the most with others. I seem to have a bit of spiritual or mental (or maybe artistic) exhibitionism and my inner flamboyant won't be silenced long-term no matter how hard I try. I am a sucker for praise and for feedback.

Increasingly I am changing, like a sculpture that is a work-in-progress mutation. Little chinks that clip off portions to expose some vein of color or line beneath the surface in the artist's eye. I can't see what he is doing but I can feel the oldness of those parts leaving and falling away, that which is underneath raw, fresh and unweathered. Vulnerable. Even painful. I grow increasingly impatient with a world quick to jump on buzz words based on information dispersed through half-reported truths. I am ready to let go of pains and friendships that were not what they seemed when the rubber met the road, one of whom recently resurfaced months after Joseph's death and whose absence was so dramatically hurtful to me during that time. I am in constant evaluation of my own problem solving skills and emotional reactions in my relationships, especially with Joe, which at times reveals me to be stuck in a third-grade mentality when dealing with conflict, and driven to improve myself. I think this shows great growth and acceptance. Of life. Of death. Of where and who I am right in this moment.

I am not enjoying Anatomy and Physiology. I am leaving class each night with a knot in my stomach and heaviness in my heart, the constant evaluation of how the human body works and what happens when it does not work correctly bringing back visions and feelings from watching my child die. It is a painful and acute side effect of this path that I had not counted on nor anticipated. It is heavy and I find myself dreading going to the class. I have recently found (and not without some harsh but needed encouragement) that I cannot cushion my goals for the future within reference to Joseph's death. I can't "do it for Joseph". Not if I expect to honestly move emotionally forward. I have been dragging him with me like a security blanket, and like most of those, it is a ratty, dirty, somewhat ugly thing I have made of it, yet I cling on. The real recovery and growth comes in learning to again do for me, for my life and the betterment of the lives of those still here to be affected by my actions and goals. And I am slowly, painfully learning that in trying to do everything here forward in Joseph's name (get in shape, eat right, become a nurse, etc) brings a degree of mourning with it and a sadness that actually can keep me from moving forward in emotional truth. Like changing the wallpaper on my computer. The computer the same, only the image upon it varying. This may be difficult to put into words. I want to do things with his memory in me always, but not necessarily because of what happened to him. I am beginning, given the degree of pain and sense of sliding backward and cultivating grief and negative images, anger, depression, guilt, that perhaps this entire avenue of becoming a nurse was born to avoid the direct pain of his passing. That I chose this in honor of him yes, but now find the need it fulfilled has passed. I do not know. I am not exactly known by those who are close to me as being a girl who stays in things for the long haul, and I truly do not want to stop attempting this simply because it is difficult. At the same time, if it has become something that holds me in the past and inside a lot of pain, I do not want to hold to it in zealous stubbornness simply because it seemed like a good idea at the time and make not just me but everyone around me miserable. Joe and I have plans to talk when life gives enough of a break for us to do so, and I look forward to that conversation. I am a little bit afraid. This has been a life preserver for me, keeping me going when I didn't know what else I wanted or what else life could provide. No matter what I could pursue nursing. And I still might. But I want to be in it for the right reasons and I want to not be suffering tremendously in the pursuit of it, but rather, chasing a dream. Right now, I am not as sure of the dream. There are other voices calling to me, literary and artistic voices.

I'll update more as things become more clear to me. I feel jumbled, confused, frightened inside. All I know is in the down time between semesters, I started to take better care of myself. I looked forward to my evenings at home and time with my kids. I started taking better care of the house. And I made some big changes that were long overdue. I felt good by the time those few weeks off were over and the new term started.

Even writing all of this down produces anxiety in me and makes me feel like I look like a flake. What do I want and how do I go about getting it?

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