Fandango over at This, That and the Other has come up with a fun challenge to expose readers to some of our earlier blog posts they, “May have missed.” Re-post a post from this same date (September 17th) in a previous year. This turns out to also be an excellent excuse to keep posting something when I’m severely burned out and – despite having written most of it – find the final prospect of editing and actually posting a true, “Where have you been, Lavender?” post overwhelming.
And, also, we might all live in the Matrix – or just a world where climate change is real and permanent – because this post references a lot of things that are still relevant. Déjà vu is just a glitch in the matrix, right? And I’m now so meta that my Messages in a Bottle sometimes flashback to other, previous Messages in a bottle!
I still have not experienced a true hurricane for my bucket list of natural disasters, but I’m becoming very blasé at this point about the not-quite-hurricanes that seem to develop and hit the region with surprising regularity now.
That work that didn’t get it in 2019 still doesn’t get it. To the point they changed my job so much that the level of ridiculous self-inflicted manual data entry and pain from it required me to ask for specific chronic illness accommodations. I also hit a mental wall of, “I give up, why even try?” at a certain point when that same work then told me I was so smart and talked so far above people that the fact I am also so “egalitarian” and always act as though I truly believe anyone could be anything if only inequalities, privilege and/or the lack of it didn’t so severely impact our society means that I actually make people feel bad about themselves. Because, since I seem to truly believe that, then it just reinforces that I really am that smart, and that makes others feel bad. I go out of my way to make others feel included and as though they could understand what I do. So, when they still don’t even after that – because I am talking on another level – it just makes them feel they really aren’t as smart as me. Could I tone it down a bit with the belief in social justice? What do you even do with feedback like that during an equity training? That you are too equitable and that’s making others self-conscious, so could you tone down either your intellect or your passion for social justice? Especially when you’ve been told your entire childhood you weren’t intelligent at all?
You burn out. Hard. That’s what. Because now you are just physically and emotionally exhausted. And, that’s a dangerous combination.
So, you tell your therapist, “That’s it, we’re done. We just need a break from caring anymore. We need a period where we don’t think about trauma, don’t think about social justice, don’t think about much of anything beyond trying to convince ourselves that the world we’ve built for ourselves out here is the real one, and that, for once, it is not our responsibility to save anyone else.” We decide that – while we can’t quite be an asshole – we can just be absent. (Although maybe being an asshole would make my work understand me more? I don’t know. I, weirdly, did vaguely try to be more pretentious to see if it would help. It…might have? But not enough?) You decide to just believe maybe, for once in your life, that you are right. And, that when your work self-inflicts disasters upon themselves in the form of almost losing contracts that you warned them they were risking – but they ignored the too-smart girl – that it’s not your responsibility to try to make it better or easier next time. You just withdraw into your own world.
Also, you try to turn the Hypothetical Future Child referenced in this prior post into a Not-So-Hypothetical Child. With all the data savvy and precision no one else appreciates. Trackers, timing, etc. And, get nowhere. We’ve been “trying to conceive” (which I swore once I’d never write on a blog post, but, eh, life is weird) even though my penultimate or so final blog post before my absence actually was about the fact that might be weird in its own right. And – despite all that data savviness – I have so far failed to conceive. Which is disheartening in its own way.
Oh, and then you put too much of yourself into something else as a (non-typing) distraction from the aforementioned deep physical and emotional burnout. And, because you are an irony magnet – as this post suggests – you have that go epically weird. And, more heartbreaking than you care to admit. Because you have a tendency to be the kind who has to put too much of herself into something. And, if the things that used to be have burned you out, you fall into something else despite yourself. Because that neurodiverse deep need to be deeply invested into something is so very, very real. But, that, eventually, will be a post for another day. For now, have a post from before.
My next three blog posts were all originally written in August/early September, at the height of
Gentrification Moving “Hey, Climate Change Affects the Northeast, Too!” Season.
During the past six weeks of meteorological tristate/microstate (plus parts of Canada) mayhem, I’ve tackled a new job, a new lease, planning a move, temporarily doubling my old commute length, finding a new EDS-aware PT because my old one retired, and dropping down to once a month therapy because I am working (and will soon be living) far enough away that I can only make an appointment in office on a night my therapist has graciously agreed to stay late to accommodate me because she
knows the odds of me sticking with therapy at all if I have to start over with another representative of a system are nil is a good person.
I’ve also accidentally had an entire conversation with my Partner on the subway wherein both of us forgot to modulate our volume and probably terrified our fellow passengers trading jokes about how many of our Middle American/Southern “scare the coastal residents” severe storm shock stories our hypothetical future child will get to experience even as a future native Northeasterner and debating which Apocalypse professions will be most lucrative for said hypothetical future child to get in on the ground floor of today to meet post-climate-change economic demand tomorrow. Oh, and I’m a manager now, even though I still suck at social conventions like, “Don’t terrify the weather neophytes.” I’m more surprised by that than anything.
While almost everybody noted that September “Alabama” hurricane that wasn’t quite an “Alabama” hurricane as a harbinger of climate change, the media missed a couple of Northeastern tornado outbreaks in August/September that actually were Northeastern tornado outbreaks. The Notheast gets multi-week, multi-state tornado outbreaks now? The times they really are a-changin, it seems, and not just for me.
And, because I’m an irony magnet, I got to be the enlighted old extreme weather expat explaining epigrams like, “Don’t ignore the leaking roof or it will collapse on you, but, at the same time, don’t panic until the funnel cloud touches down. It isn’t even a tornado until it’s on the ground” to the new people in my life.
I also got to be one of those unlucky travelers on the one and only shuttle bus that (after torrential rains accompanying one such not-a-tornado caused signal problems that required busses to replace regional rail) got so lost it stopped in the middle of a highway.
I’d say it has been an eventful first couple of months at my new job, but, eh, it’s still nothing to 2018. Technically nothing is actually wrong in my life right now – just occasionally weird – which feels like something between par for the course (the weirdness) and a minor miracle (the lack of imminent crisis.)
However, rather than be able to post about any of these oddities in real time, I ran out of spoons because my current commute is long and change is physically exhausting and flare inducing. My next few weeks of posts will all be Messages in a Bottle from the very recent past because I’ve been too tired to post them in real time.
In principle, they are no more time-shifted than posts by sensible bloggers who pre-plan for low-spoon weeks by scheduling posts in advance. They probably don’t even require a Message in a Bottle label or special series title.
I apparently still have to label them as such, though, because I’m overly semantically precise, and I care about the exact dates of things to the point of it being triggering to time-shift “current event” stories too much. Being dissociative to the point I started a reality journal in 2018 – plus going through the gaslighting of those experiences that led me to become that dissociative early on – will tend to do that to a girl.
For those of you who have been wondering how things have been going lately with all the recent changes, enjoy a few weeks of catch-up posts flavored with a healthy dose of meteorological misanthropy as metacontext. For those of you who are less interested in my personal life, hopefully you’ll at least learn something about coping with climate change as a now-Northeasterner.
Why? Because I invested spoons in those posts and don’t want to waste them, because I wanted to be a storm chaser as a kid until I really thought through the fact that profession would return me to Hell far too often, and because I’m probably going to be too permanently exhausted until we finish moving to write any new material.
And, finally, because a couple of stray spaghetti plots showed Dorian drifting into my area instead of Halifax at one point. In the post-Sharpiegate world that means I get to claim to be an amateur hurricane expert as well as an amateur tornado expert, right? (Or does that honor still belong to my Partner who has been through an actual non-dry-erase one and, thus, remains one checkbox ahead of me in weather bingo?)
Need a recap of anything I’m talking about in any post? Check out my Glossary of Terms