A Break in the Narrative

Blogs and lives both need a narrative. Which, I suppose, is why both my life and blog have been muddy and unclear where they used to be lively and purposeful.

This blog, as I have written before, began as a shapeless personal blog but soon found a shape as the story of a person struggling for mastery of math — the blog of a student. But since I changed goals and majors, blog and life both have become both clearer and less clear.

Luckily for everyone involved with this blog, a new narrative may be emerging: the story of a person who is looking for creative solutions for a life that doesn’t seem to want to fit into the straightforward mold of office hours and the single family home.

It’s oversimplyfing to the point of being wrong to say that I am sad lately, or depressed. What’s going on is far more complex than that. When I told a friend I’d had the blahs for long gray months on end, she asked with great concern if I was missing classes.

Oh no, nothing so extreme here. I go to class, I do my homework, I read my readings, I write my papers, I cook decent food, I continue to please clients with good work done to my exacting standards. I see friends when I can. But the color’s drained right out of my world. When your eyes see me, I am the same. When my eyes see the world, nothing is the same.

And to my mind, when this happens, what answer is there but change? I’ve tried to love and appreciate my life as it is, in the ways that always worked before. But I don’t think my problem is a lack of gratitude anymore.

I had a break from having a housemate for more than a year. And in just a few short days of having other people present, I can tell a difference in myself. The difference is a point of reference. The difference is that the presence of others is strangely energizing. I go to bed earlier, get up earlier, get more done with less tiredness.

Other people live and breathe in your space, your little bachelorette pad, and the whole house transforms in an instant:

Good lord. There are dead bugs on the kitchen counter where they dropped, drunk dry of life and fluids, from the spiderweb that I let flourish by the window for months during the summer. The dish rack by the sink is slick and disgusting with brown mildew. The microwave is lightly encrusted with the ghosts of lasagnas past. The dining room table is stacked high with schoolbooks that could easily find homes elsewhere.

A million things around the house fell into neglect and mild disrepair, unnoticed, in a little world where the caretaker slowly drifted away from taking care.

I don’t feel shame, or want to clean and straighten out of the desire to be thought of in a certain way, as neat or orderly or responsible. I just didn’t even notice these things until I had a frame of reference, the opportunity to see my space with new eyes that remembered other ways than neglect and the path of least resistance.

I welcome my new eyes to see my living space with. A table should be a place where people can sit, not a catch-all for schoolbooks, papers, magazines and jackets.


A final word of apology, or, at least, another explanation.

I have always tried in this blog to provide useful information for others who have problems my own struggles might offer insight to. To do that, a writer needs a narrative, a story, a goal. A blog that isn’t offering anyone useful information is just a journal. And I want this to be a useful record of life, not a self-indulgent one. This blog was never meant for me alone

But this blog, just like me, has lost its story.

It’ll come, though. That I still believe. When you don’t have a story, I suppose, you get the fuck out there and hunt one down. What on earth else can you do?

I heard from my realtor friend the other day. Soon I’ll call my mom and tell her of my new ideas involving selling my house.

My problem, you see, is not that I have run out of answers.

I have run out of questions.

2 responses to “A Break in the Narrative

  1. Great post, Jennifer. One of the great things about personal blogs is that they can evolve as you do. Kathryn over at What The Hell? has had her blog going since 1999. It’s been through more incarnations than the bodhisattva of compassion.

    Just go with it, right?

  2. LOL Gordon, you are so funny. Thanks for that, and also thanks for the particularly excellent city council campaign coverage. If you ever opened up an online tip jar over at SH, I’d pay big for what you & the other Hooligans do for the wired citizens of this town.

    I hate incarnating, actually. I am a steady-state person in the extreme, and am not really so much resistant to change as I am happier when my journeys are clear-cut. In oher words, moving towards a destination is cool, but figuring our a destination kind of sucks.

    But, yes, HELL yes, just go with it is all one can do.

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