Why I’ve Been MIA

2018 was my weakest writing year to date.

I maybe published three posts, and they weren’t strong pieces either.

It was honestly one of my weakest years in all respects. I’m no stranger to depressive episodes, but I’ve never fallen as deep into a rut than when I lost a good friend of mine in December 2017.

While trying to process that and mourn, I was working one job from 6am to 2pm and another job from 6pm to 11pm five, six, seven days a week for months. I spent the holidays working and away from family. I was in a toxic relationship in which my boyfriend was living off me. I did a favor for a friend and watched his deceased mother’s two cats and they wrecked my house and made my life hell for weeks longer than scheduled, and a bunch of other random things happened that further drained my already tanked energy and motivation.

And as far as my friend Mateo’s death, I couldn’t get to the memorial service, considering it was across the country in California, and I only had one reliable source of information regarding what even happened, and I still don’t know the truth. I never will, and I can’t find peace settling with any of the stories. It all hurts. It all sounds absurd. I had just seen him a few months prior…

I felt so much in so many directions that I eventually settled into an emotional catatonic state. I didn’t feel like myself, or anyone. Feeling like anything would guarantee a complete meltdown, and I had responsibilities. That’s apparently not how this stuff works, and my implosion was inevitable.

I’m doing a whole lot better, but I feel like I’m still putting myself back together over a year later. Maybe I owe myself more credit, but that’s the thing. I don’t feel like I’m doing something unless I’m doing, gaining, earning. But last year seemed to be full of loss. I lost friends, I lost jobs, I lost enjoyment in a lot of activities, I lost material things like my computer, my car, my savings, my growing liquor collection, I lost the respect I have for some of my relatives. Loss rarely feels like progress or an achievement. I couldn’t feel myself strengthening, only falling apart. Especially when I tried to DO, I tried to GAIN, but my attempts only led to more loss.

I sense that 2019 carries a different theme. I sense that different theme as not a turning of the tables, but a continuation of the work that’s been going on in my life. I’ve suffered loss, I’ve cleared my life of things unhealthy or not meant for me. I sense 2019 taking the perspectives I’ve developed through loss to help me decipher and pursue worthy gains.

And I think of Mateo.

My first “best” friend.

Because after moving so many times I refused to get too close to anyone, and I was open about not claiming anyone as my best friend. This offended Mateo, and he immediately changed my name in his phone to “Best Friend” and changed his name in my phone to the same. He emphasized it every time he greeted me thereafter.

My #1 supporter in any and everything I wanted to do.

Back in high school when I decided to try selling my knitted and crocheted accessories, Mateo bought several hat/scarf sets from me and never failed to post pictures of the pieces online. He marketed my hats better than I did.

I made those!

When my mom needed a blood transfusion, and I didn’t have anyone to take me into Beverly Hills to the hospital, Mateo picked me up. He spent time with me in my mom’s room keeping her company and making her laugh for a while.

When I needed my high school transcripts to get into Temple University, Mateo went to the school district office for me in California and paid for them to fax the documents. I still remember him calling me as he was leaving, ” I worry about our education system, Stormy. I’m glad we already graduated. It was $3 to fax the transcripts. I gave them a ten. Stormy. They gave me $8 change. Eight dollars!” He’s contributed more to my education than my parents have.

Any time we would catch up with each other since school, he was never without words of encouragement in whatever I was working on at the time. He just had such a sureness about him, whether he had a plan or not. My neurotic self relied on his confidence in things working out a lot.

Today, February 28th, is Mateo’s birthday. I don’t know a better motivation to push myself out of this inactivity than to honor my best friend by doing the things I enjoy that he always encouraged me to keep up. So I’m writing. And I’ll keep writing. And I’ll keep working on being as great a friend to the people I love that Mateo was to me. And thanks for sticking around through my hiatuses.

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Loose Ends

I’ve been frustrating myself all year so far, trying to push through exhaustion and work drama to start creating again. It hasn’t been going well.

I finally put some time aside to write a new post yesterday, and ended up staring at my wall for two hours.

And then I was hungry.

And then I needed to pee.

And then I was cold.

And then I gave up writing, bundled up in my blanket, and took a nap.

This blanket, I made for myself three years ago as an anchor piece for my then goal of moving out of my uncle’s house and getting my first place on my own.

I was an avid user of Pinterest at the time, and envisioned the snazziest interior decorating in my dream space, and everything would be yellow and gray, clean and contemporary.

I crocheted this blanket over the course of a couple months and through a rewatch of three seasons of 30 Rock. It’s roughly six feet tall and wide, and it reminded me to save up every day I saw it draped across my bed.

I finally got my apartment, moved out, and it has been the staple piece of the house for the past two and a half years. But I realized something yesterday.

I never finished that blanket.

There’s always that one part of your passion that you hate to do. Art isn’t all fun and sunshine, it is actual work sometimes. And when it comes to knitting and crocheting, I absolutely detest sewing in ends when I’ve completed a project.

It’s arguably the most important part. The piece isn’t finished until you’ve sewn in the ends. It’s so crucial, it’s a common figure of speech.

Tieing in/up the loose ends.”

Where else where that have come from if not the fiber arts? I hate it though. I’m far from the only one, but I sure feel like the only one so hellbent in just leaving piles of old projects around that would otherwise be complete and ready to sell, should I just sew in the ends.

I’ve been using this blanket for the past three years with strands of yarn sticking out of every corner where the colors change, just ignoring the fact that my work is incomplete. Just acting like nothing is wrong with it. Glossing over my longstanding lack of follow-through.

You know how the question stands, does life imitate art, or does art imitate life? I’ve always found consistencies between my creative processes and my life happenings.  I feel like through this blanket, I have hexed my own life.

 

Why can’t I get a coherent thought on paper? Why do I have more drafts than published articles on this site? Why does it take me longer than two hours to put together one post? It shouldn’t take a whole day, a whole week, a whole month for one post! Why am I so scatterbrained?

This blanket was my anchor. It was my motivation to step into the next chapter. But I didn’t even finish it. Because I was too lazy. Because I didn’t feel like doing it.  But it was my first step. I brought the bad energy of sloth into my house and life with that shoddy first step.

Nothing gets finished.

I’m too tired to care.

All my plants are dead.

And I just keep wrapping up in this frayed blanket, wondering why. Wondering when it will get better.

Life imitates art. At least it seems to in this case. And I need to tie up some loose ends. A lot of loose ends. A lot of stupid pieces of thread all over the place, driving me insane and disturbing my qi.

I’m getting my qi back, one thread at a time. I’m 10 down so far, and when I’m done I’ll post a picture of the finally-finished blanket. And then we’ll see if I warded off the lazieness out of my house so I can write more frequently, not kill my new plants, and get my other creative endeavors rocking. I’m knocking out three strands of yarn per day, and I should be done in a couple weeks.