Let's talk about some things that are fun.
Going on Space Mountain at Disneyland for the first time, and being so surprised by all the turns in the dark that your natural reaction is just to crack up laughing throughout the ride.
Seeing Jens Lekman in concert and having no idea what you're getting yourself into, and then thinking, "This is one of the most bizarre things I've ever heard and seen in my life," and saying in Alex's ear: "This is a trip!" and dancing and smiling so big without abandon.
Sitting on a couch in Courtney's living room and just talking and talking and talking about whatever with my gal pal, for so long that at some point we say, "Huh. Maybe we should get lunch."
Those things are fun.
I'll tell you what's NOT fun.
Being irked by basically anything and everything that seems to be happening around you.
No. I mean, like, iiiiiiiirked.
Like, recognizing you're way too irritated but being unable to stop it.
You know how sometimes your irritation builds? You're just having a bad day, for whatever reason. You're tired, you're PMSing, you're impatient, or something is just not feeling hunky dory inside you (and it's probably totally normal as humans to only feel hunky dory a certain percentage of the time but we WANT to feel that way so much that we expect to feel that way 95 percent of the time and when we don't we are always clawing our way back to that place, even though forcing it is not how to conjure it up. I'm pretty sure it can't be simply conjured). And then throughout the day you get more and more annoyed, so that it reaches a point where a song comes on the radio that you don't love, and all of a sudden your inner thoughts go something like this?:
Oh my goodness I HATE this song! And why is it even on?! And that part is the worst part, the part with the whistling, and of course THAT's the part that was playing when I couldn't get to my phone fast enough to change tracks so I just HAD to listen to the stupid stupid whistling and I just need everyone to GET OUT OF MY WAY! but also I need them to wait on me like I am a PHARAOH. I want people FANNING ME WITH LEAVES but I don't want those leaves to make ANY NOISE as they brush the air, and I want the people fanning me to, like, be there as a quiet emotional support but I also want them to just disappear from time to time but the fanning can't stop even though I CAN'T HANDLE! seeing a human form in my peripheral vision right now. And I need my boyfriend to tell me -- AND MEAN IT!! -- that I am the most beautiful woman he knows, and will ever know, and he needs to bring me Advil and some pizza but then I need him to, like, sit on the couch quietly, but also disappear if needed but of course still be there in the next room for emotional support if needed and.....
No? Just me?
OK well that ridiculous pattern of thinking that you read up there -- that is approximately how I've been feeling lately kind of all the time. I feel like I'm continually at that point where I've had too much -- like I've been babysitting for three hours and the kid won't stop crying and I've had three hours of it and then another straw gets added to the camel's back and I feel like I'm going to crumble into nonexistence because I couldn't keep being agitated so the only solution was to pop like an over-inflated balloon. I'm at that moment, a lot. The moment where you've reached your breaking point, or feel like you're about to. Today, for example, the day had hardly started and the Keurig was brewing really slowly and I got so upset. It's not like I'd been having a big long day and then the Keurig was brewing slowly and I couldn't take one more thing. It's like I'm always in that moment where it's too much.
Also I'm not kidding. I mean, yes, I took some comedic liberties with likening myself to a pharaoh just now, but the sentiment is totally accurate -- I am really struggling to be anything but annoyed. And my expectations of other people and stoplights and the radio and my appetite to be exactly synced to fix my frustrations and make me less crazed are way too high, I recognize that.
I could keep analyzing this but I'm not sure I want to so let's move on.
OK so let's talk about some things that have made me feel happy, or content, or have made me laugh lately, even if they were short lived. Because even though they're few and far between I do know that they are there and if I chronicle them here it will probably make me feel a little better.
(Unless the Lumineers start playing on Pandora. Then forget it. Sorry, Amy, if you're reading this.)
This weekend I went to a wedding and there was karaoke at the reception.
Let me repeat that.
At the reception.
Take a bow, bride and groom. Good move.
So my friend Lemar sang several times, and guys, he just has such an impressive, flawless voice. He can go really low in register or up to falsetto tones. I wonder what his range is.....I wonder if he's on a Mariah level....
So I love listening to Lemar. I just want him to keep singing more songs when I hear him sing one.
Also my friend Sam really makes me laugh. When we hang out we egg each other on in our silliness and it's the best. Last night we went out for ramen and we kept talking in valley girl voices and it was so funny for me. On the flipside I can talk to Sam about all the serious things I'm dealing with right now, and he will listen to the minutiae and give me sturdy, supportive words of advice and encouragement. He's such a great friend and I just know he has my back. Like Fight Club, but without the violence.
I've never seen Fight Club, so I'm not sure why I made that reference. Just felt right. Also did you know Brad Pitt studied at the University of Missouri, just like cute little irritated me?
Annnnd, let's see. One more positive thing, then I'll let you be.
I like that I'm listening to my body more than I usually do.
I can sense when I don't need any more coffee, and so I don't drink any more of it.
I notice when I have headaches. I haven't solved this problem with a headache-free bow, but I'm at least recognizing how often they are happening, what things are abating them and that there are several occasions where nothing seems to release the tension.
Last night at the ramen party, I ordered a veggie bowl (with meat on the side). There were big chunks of cabbage in it, and for most of my life I would just eat around that cabbage.
But I ate that cabbage.
Several bites of it. Big chunks. Flavorless. But down the gullet they went. Because they were there, and I know that they have some sort of vitamin or something in them, and yes they're flavorless but that doesn't mean I can't pull it together and eat them. It's not as if I feel any sort of immediate or delayed gratification or improvement in my bodily feelings, but I just know that it's not a bad idea to eat cabbage that is put in front of me and I did it and I know it's silly but I'm proud of myself for that.
So this post is long -- as most of mine are -- and I am going to sign off.
If you are feeling chronically and acutely irritable, like me, I really feel for you. I hope that you can find at least a few moments of contentment throughout each day, and I hope that you return to your less-angry functioning state very soon. I also hope that a few things are making you laugh, or getting you away from your discomfort, and that you are recognizing those and returning to them for more peace.