Tuesday, August 9, 2016

8.8.16 #1

(I keep writing parts of "essay posts" and run out of steam, so I'm going to try some straight-up journaling and see how it goes.)

I've been in Tacoma for almost a week. It's been interesting. The whole place feels so worn down and burdened. The signs are faded, there's a fair amount of trash, the aesthetics are industrial and defeated. I keep wondering what Seattle is like, if there's more life there. In Tacoma, it's kind of sinister. There's a fair amount of homelessness, graffiti, etc. It feels like the land and its people are angry. I don't know what they're angry about. Poverty? Past misdeeds of white settlers? Changing economics? It's just so different from sanitized Salt Lake City, where everything was clean and suppressed. Here, it hangs out in the open for all to see. It's scarier, in some ways. I kind of like it.

I miss home a lot. Tacoma's like bizzaro Knoxville; it's overflowing with vegetation. But it's darker, moodier. I can totally see why vampires and werewolves would live here. It feels punkier, fierce, untamed in a way the South felt so stagnant and resigned. I have one bluegrass CD in my car (from "the everybodyfields"), and I listen to it over and over again. I wish I was home. I feel like I took it for granted. I feel like I didn't give it a chance. Like I judged it too much, expected too much from it. I want slow and sad. I want the places I remember. The plants, the trees. The Smokies (where you don't even have to pay to enter). The people I knew, most of whom have left it anyway. I want everything to be familiar. And easy. I want things to be easy. So, so easy.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

On Suicide and The Future

For many years, suicide was a pretty constant part of my life. It was a coping mechanism, albeit a pretty bad one. Whenever things got too hard or whenever I did something I felt bad about (which is/was pretty often), I would fantasize about killing myself. Sometimes violently as self-punishment, sometimes more deliberate, as an escape. But each time, it gave me two things: a way to demonstrate how truly sorry I was for hurting others and a way to avoid failing more.

When suicide is a constant possibility, it warps your sense of the future: there's always the very real possibility that there won't be one. You never have to think about the long term, never have to deal with uncomfortable thoughts of age or change. You just blink to suicide and the pain goes away.


I think that's part of what's making turning 30 so difficult. I think part of me honestly never thought I'd get here. When I made my attempt at 20, I really did plan on dying. It was surreal and traumatic, thinking that was really going to be it. And when I failed, I was kind of at a loss. As if in some way I really did die that day and everything after is "bonus time."

So now I'm turning 30. And I'm looking at the next decade and I'm thinking "what the hell." I never really expected to get here. I'm still kind of shocked. I never expected to have to deal with being single. Or to deal with a career/job/money if my current plan didn't work out. Or to deal with getting older and what that means. I always just assumed that if shit got real, I could/would peace out of this mortal coil and be done with it.

But now I'm at a point where I don't really want to die. So instead I'm tasked with actually figuring out how, exactly, to deal with my problems. And that's just really hard. The deep sense of hopelessness, of helplessness, of worthlessness is so challenging to work through. There's so much pain, pain I avoided for years and years in one way or another. I honestly don't know if or how I'll do it. It's truly awful. And yet, there's something hopeful about approaching life as if I'll be living it rather than constantly looking for a way out. I really hope I find a way to make it work.