Ruts and fears

Running, I feel neither empty nor too heavy.

I think about when I used to take Irish dance, and about watching the championship dancers at competitions after my section was done. Reels and slips jigs and treble reels. Like having a good kind of fire in your body, like something between singing and yelling.

Now that I am finally able to run again, I could do that too, at some point.

And I think about my first winter at college, when I still hoped to continue taking dance lessons. That January I found a school that I liked and took a class, and the teacher invited me to come back to try a higher level's class, but I never went back, because it was so much work to travel by train and bicycle in the middle of winter to an unfamiliar place after a day full of classes. I just wanted to be cozy and safe, and it was dark so early, by 4:15 or 4:30.

I think now that if I had kept going to those dance classes, I would not have gotten quite so depressed that semester and had such a hard time that year / the rest of my time at that college, really. But I did the best I knew at the time, I believe.

I'm still like that. I prefer to be at home; I prefer to be in familiar places. Doing easy familiar things. Though I get bored easily, I also get anxious easily. So I walk the same routes over and over again. The library, the produce store, the thrift store, the mailbox. I watch a TV show or movie and then a few days later begin again from the beginning, and then again, until it's like white noise, white sugar, the cheap replacement for real silence. I ponder how long I could live taking the same seasonal data entry job each year. I clean my room.

Here in Australia I am meeting people I've only met once before, when I was twenty and too well prescribed to worry. I am less sparkly than I was then, but I don't mourn that self. I carry myself better now, maybe with less self-confidence but definitely with more steadiness.

I want you to know that I am not a terribly brave person. It's just that it's the mundane things that frighten me.


Q 10/11/2012 9:12 AM  


Erin Wilson 10/11/2012 4:59 PM  

You've got the world by the tail, and you don't even know it.
You're doing this life thing beautifully.

Odessa 10/11/2012 9:48 PM  

Oh, love this so much.
And you are brave.

Anonymous 10/13/2012 6:21 AM  

Oh, Holly. I love that though we live separate lives you so beautifully write about the instances our lives intersect. - Maria

Holly 10/13/2012 6:23 AM  

Erin - What a wonderful thing to say, and I will remember that you did. Thank you.

Odessa - Sometimes, sometimes...and your twenty-three-year-old self is an inspiration to me in that area to be sure.

Maria - Yes? I don't always know what I'm writing, so I'm glad, and thank you.

loveandsomewords 10/16/2012 4:51 PM  

how are you less sparkly?

i think you're pretty sparkly, still. always.

Holly 10/17/2012 4:55 AM  

loveandsomewords - When I was on meds and they were still working, this is how I remember that time -- that I marched around the world like it belonged to me, asking for everything I wanted and getting it, and I thought I would never ever relapse or struggle again, and that I would succeed at everything...which I hadn't thought in years. I think it showed. I was bolder, less anxious, and very optimistic. That kind of sparkle.

HOWEVER. I sense there is a mixture of accuracy and romanticizing there. And I would be happy to try to take your word for that, re: present sparkle. Thank you.

sui 10/19/2012 2:25 PM  

"But I did the best I knew at the time, I believe."

you are brave!

and i agree with zoe, you're still sparkly to me ;)

though i know what you mean about that kind of sparkle ... i'm still hoping to regain that feeling of indomitable undefeatability, actually... (even though i've now learned it makes it even more dangerous/debilitating/crushing when you do fall)

Holly 10/23/2012 5:49 AM  

sui -

Learning to really think that (and you were a significant part of that process!) has been quite freeing, and a big corner to round.

Yes, I can see that you would know about that kind of sparkle...I see some of that sparkle in your old cynosure, I think? Nonetheless I'm glad we grow older, both of us.

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