Sunday, September 8, 2013

I May Live In A Red State, But I'm Blue

I once had a person tell me I had no idea how hard it was to be pretty; I also don't have any idea how hard it is to be rich, thin, or deeply satisfied. 

So that's a little depressing.

And I guess it's safe to say that I've been pretty depressed recently.  I had a lot of amaze-balls things happen to me this year.  They were painful, and full of growth, and joyous moments.  I won a fellowship, got divorced, graduated from an MFA program, and  won a prestigious film award.  I made a movie!  I went to Beijing! I got a dog!  One thing fell quickly on the heels of the other.  Most of these events were huge life-changers.  It's fair to say that a major life change can leave one prone to depression -- I fully expected that to happen after I finished three years of graduate school.  But instead I won a trip to Beijing and a budget to make a film.  So I did that.

Now you might be thinking, "Quit your whinging!  Yours is a first world problem at best."  And it's true.  I'm not hungry, or homeless, or in fear of my life.  I am healthy and have many opportunities ahead of me. 

That doesn't mean that right now, in this moment of solitude and stillness that I shouldn't allow myself to feel the sadness.

I had a lot of great things happen to me.  I also had some very traumatic things happen, which made me relish the great happenings all the more.

And now, none of that is happening.  My body doesn't know what to do.  I'm not in trauma, I'm not in exuberant joy. 

I'm in stasis.

So some of the sad creeps in. 

It feels so personal to be sad.  No one gets it.  Everyone wants the sadness to go away.  It makes them uncomfortable.  So I spend more time alone, to avoid the looks of others that seem to say, "You really ought to stop feeling sorry for yourself."  But I'm not feeling sorry for myself.  I'm just feeling.

Sad.

It didn't help that today was very rainy, a thing that happens infrequently in this desert.  The rain makes the heart beat a different pattern.  The lub-dub of life becomes the tom-tom of tears.  You can cry in the rain.  No one really looks at you when you do that.  They've seen enough movies to know that it's expected that a few Sad Sallies will be out and about.

I thought I'd take the D-O-G out for some comforting play in the deluge, but my dog wouldn't walk in the rain.  He hid under the shelter of a neighbor's balcony instead.  I get it.  We're not here to meet each other's expectations -cliche or otherwise. 

We are here to learn and grow. 

Sometimes that's painful. 

Sometimes it's lonely. 

Sometimes it's sad.

I'm blue.  I'm sad.  I feel melancholy. 

I guess I'll just sit here and feel that for a little bit.  That's okay.

When the next great thing comes along, I'll have something to compare it to.  I'll be able to say that I know what joy is, because I know what joy is not.

This is not joy.

But this is necessary so that the other stuff can be appreciated, too.

I'll get through it.  I mean the rain's gone already, so the gloom in my heart will lift, too.  Eventually. 

Maybe after a night's sleep and a cuddle with my dog.

If he lets me.  If that's not expecting too much.  I mean, it is rather cliche.

I still don't know how hard it is to be pretty, rich, thin or deeply satisfied.  But I do know that I understand how to stand in the rain and listen to the dripping water, be in the moment, feel the sadness and weight of it all, then let it go when the sun comes back.  I know how to pick myself up, dust myself off and start again when the sun comes out.