Catching Up

It has been a few days since I last wrote a post. At first I wasn’t writing because life got uncharacteristically busy with social engagements, which was a nice change of pace, but which was quickly followed by an abrupt energy crash that I still haven’t quite recovered from.

So here is the highlight reel:

Friday evening was a meet and greet social event for work. It’s an annual gathering designed for the express purpose of letting all the folks who produce live tape events (such as awards shows) to see each other face to face at a social event that isn’t somebody’s funeral. That was how it started: everybody realized that the only time they ever saw each other face to face was when somebody died. So this was their solution.

For most of the attendees, this was a gathering of friends. For me, it was a gathering of strangers with free food and drinks. And after a day of fasting I was not about to quibble about whether or not the free food was attached to socializing. The bartender introduced me to a cocktail called a BLT (Bulleit bourbon, lemon, tonic) and by the time the Curmudgeonly Lion came to pick me up I was very chatty indeed.

“I have brought you CHEESE!” I insisted, getting into the car and thrusting a morsel of some kind of cheese with apricots in it towards his face.

“So you had fun then.” He said.

Less fun was dragging myself out of bed at the crack of dawn the next morning to go running, but I somehow managed it. I wasn’t hungover, just worn out. But I went for a run. Then I ran errands. Then I cleaned the whole house because we were having guests over for the evening.

“We should do this every month. Have guests over, I mean.” The Curmudgeonly Lion said late in the afternoon as I was dusting the living room.

“Why’s that?”

“So you can deep clean the house and feel better.” He said, alluding to the fact that a clean house does have a measurable effect on my mood, but perhaps overlooking the amount of sweat-inducing labor it was requiring.

“We should do this every month so we can have a cleaning lady deep clean the house so I can feel better.” I amended for him.

“Yeah, well…”

“Yeah, well…”

Well the house got clean.

Our friends came over for corned beef and cabbage and I was introduced to an Irish Old Fashioned (an old fashioned but made with Irish whiskey) and to Luxardo maraschino cherries, which are a GAME CHANGER. We had a fire in the fire pit and roasted marshmallows and discussed life, the universe, and everything and generally had fun.

Less fun was dragging myself out of bed the next morning to go running, but… Well, you know.

If Saturday was dedicated to house work then Sunday was preoccupied with yard work. Wondering why the tomato plants still looked so spindly I went to inspect them and discovered seven huge, muscular hornworm caterpillars methodically stripping the leaves off tower number one. There was a considerable amount of stomping and swearing.

In the afternoon I had a meeting with my writing partner, Captain Unicorn, and our new collaborator to discuss a rewrite of our script. We’re all very excited about the new direction the story is taking. I know I sound like I’m being a snot for calling my writing partner ‘Captain Unicorn’, but he truly does have a kind of magical leadership quality that makes it easy to believe that the future is bright, that collaboration is fruitful, and that success and fortune will only become bigger and better when shared around generously. So I’m learning to let go and trust that our new collaborator will make the script exponentially better than we could do ourselves.

After my writers meeting came a meeting with my weekly writer’s group which had been dark the week before. I didn’t have time to go home in between so I shoved a handful of peanuts in my mouth before walking in the door and hoped for the best. I probably shouldn’t have skipped lunch.

After writers’ group I headed back towards home when I saw a message from the Curmudgeonly Lion. A friend of ours, I’ll call her PowerMove, had invited us to join a discussion group that evening and the Curmudgeonly Lion was already there. I’d missed the introductions and the social hour, but I could still make it in time for the actual discussion, so I drove to the address he sent and walked in the door right as the official part of the discussin’ was getting underway.

The group was somewhere between a seminar and a support group: a gathering of people at similar places in their lives struggling to figure out the next steps. I knew no one except the Lion and PowerMove. Maybe it was the flattering, rosy lighting, or maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t eaten for most of the day, but everyone in that group was goddamn gorgeous. And at first I was impressed: it felt good to be included, even on the periphery of such a beautiful bunch, but about halfway through the discussion I was suddenly stabbed with the sensation that I didn’t belong there: that all these people were miles ahead of where I was and I would never catch up.

I tried to reason with myself: they’ve just been at this longer than you have, they’ve been focused on this while you’ve been focused on your writing or your filmmaking or your (payroll- shuddup!) or your grad school (who do you think you’re fooling, you don’t belong here- shuddup!)

I stood in the back corner listening to people talk about this experience or that experience or meeting this person or connecting with that person and felt each statement press against my body a little bit more making everybody else’s presence in the room just a little bit bigger and the room leftover for me just a little bit smaller until I wasn’t there at all.

That’s when I ran out of spoons.

When the discussion was over, I forced myself to stay long enough to greet PowerMove and thank her for inviting us, but then beat a hasty escape without staying to meet anybody else. There were already tears running down my face as I walked to the car. I made it home and forced myself to heat up some food and sit at the kitchen table tearfully eating it even though it was late and I just wanted to go to bed.

The strength of my reaction at the group was mystifying to me: everything had seemed fine in one moment and then suddenly it wasn’t fine anymore. What had set it off? I’m still not sure that I know, except to speculate that I just ran out of energy and blood sugar and social bandwidth all at the exact same time.

So I’ve been struggling to shake off the after effects of that for the past few days. This has been coupled with the fact that I’m the only check cutter in the office at work right now so the workload has been pretty constant leaving both too much time and not enough time for introspection on deep emotional matters, and the limbo state has not been helpful.

So that’s been my life of late.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on September 25, 2018.

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