“I’d squeeze a squeeze a heart through my fingertips
but I type too slow to make expressions stick.
And it’s like TV with a microchip.
Sets your sights to sink the partyline, ’cause it’s so tired.
Set your sights! Destroy this mock-shrine. ‘Cause it’s so tired.”
-“Company Calls”, Death Cab for Cutie
At this point I will assume you are exasperated and just want to know where the hell I’m living. This is my party and I’ll cry if I want to. I’m almost there.
I spent the last month in a sort of decision making turmoil. I haven’t had to make this serious a decision since I was 17 years old and deciding if I wanted to date the guitar-playing winemaker or the boy-next-door. I chose the boy-next-door and then ultimately cheated on him with the winemaker. So as you can see, I haven’t always had the best track record when it comes to making good decisions for myself (or anyone else caught up in my undertow, for that matter).
I feel like there were a few things the spiders were trying to tell me.
One of them is that I need to move forward with my life and stop self-sabotaging, regretting, guilt-shame-cycling. Another was that all of the things I loathe about myself are the same things that most of my friends and family fall in love with me for and that I need to embrace myself, shadows and all. I have to come to terms with the fact that for over half of my life, I’ve battled crippling depression and that for the rest of my life, I may continue to fight this battle. There is nothing wrong with this and my story is not unlike many of your stories. I have to understand that other people that do not experience this same manifestation may place their judgments upon me. I am willing to accept this and in exchange I’m willing to figuratively cut my arm and bleed for those of us that are in this same place. I just want to be honest, with all of you and ultimately with myself.
At the end of the day, I want to be able to climb to the top of the mountain and blow my Ricola horn and tell you that RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE. I brush my teeth every morning because I don’t want them to rot and fall out. I run at least 3 miles a day so that my muscles and my heart stay in shape. And every single day I am actively seeking the most positive mental place my brain and heart can reside together. I’m still healing from these last few intrepid years. I almost lost myself, but I didn’t.
Quilt Mama and I were sewing together in the evening last week.
“Have you thought about where you want to live?” she asked me in between Daily Show commercials.
“I’ve thought about it. A lot, actually.”
“I imagine you have been.” Her machine has a funny little digital bloop that it makes when her foot raises and lowers and I’ve come to find it strangely comforting.
“You know Mom….I’ve thought about all kinds of things. Like how much I miss Austin and how I really want a Mexican Martini and I miss Leann even though we never really saw each other that past year and I miss Lily and Kate and the rest of my conglomerate. Then I think about Sammy and how hard it was for us to be apart that first year that Barbara died. I think about my dad and what I would do if I ever got a phone call like that again.
“I think about you and everything you’ve done to help me be successful. And I don’t think we can run this business from across the country together.”
“Well…..I found a studio in Grass Valley and I want you to take a look at it. The old tenants were a salon, and the bottom is an apartment that overlooks the creek. It’s right next to the highway, so it might be noisy. But it wouldn’t hurt, you know, just to look. And it’s on Main Street.” Her quilt shop was on Main Street. My first six jobs were on Main Street.
And that’s when I decided that I was tired of running.
I’m tired of moving and I’m tired of living out of storage units and sleeping in the guest bed.
I don’t want to run away from my family.
I have unfinished business with California. And more importantly, it’s making sense for the journey.
So at this point, I thank you for wading through the first three installments to get to the meat.
The apartment is adorable and roomy. The building itself was built in the late 1800’s and still has original molding. It’s been renovated and has central heating and air, thankfully. There’s a staircase that was blocked off, and underneath it is a little cupboard, much like Harry’s. I smiled when I saw it and I knew it was the right place.
“Look Mom, it’s Harry’s cupboard. Maybe I’ll put my bed in here.”
I smiled and she smiled.