After I broke down about my apartment of HOLY FUCKING HELL two weeks ago, I went home and spent the evening sobbing and breaking things. And I realized, in the midst of all my wanton destruction of very small and unvaluable objects (fyi, it's really hard to break a toothbrush in desolate rage, lol - they're so bendy!), that if I didn't get my shit together and at least try to work with the life and the home I have (because let's face it - unless I suddenly get a financial windfall, I'm not going anywhere better), then I might as well just stick a knife in my throat. And I really don't want to die, because my shell of a body would become a bee hive/squirrel condo/ant nest in about five minutes... also, Herbert would never forgive me. And frankly, I'm more afraid of Herbert than bees or Death.
So, anyway. For the past two weeks, I've been alternating my evenings between a local gym and the local Starbucks. I come home, I get into my sweats, I do a bit of housecleaning, eat a bit of food, and then I either go throw weights around and run for two hours, or I spend two hours at Starbucks (hey, it's close and it has tables, ok?) with a latte and my Acer Aspire, Patti. No matter how shitty or exhausted I feel, by 6:30pm I'm out the door - and I don't let myself come back home until at least 9pm.
The result? Well, I've lost five pounds. I've stopped waking up with headaches every morning. I haven't freaked out or inexplicably burst into tears since the bendy-toothbrush episode. It's not like anyone's around to gauge my mental/emotional ups and downs, but now, when I come home at night, I don't feel this huge weight settling down around my shoulders and chest like I've just aged forty years - the kind of weight that'd make me reach for a big Bag-O-Carbs and a bottle of wine, or take long naps when I wasn't actually sleepy. It's not like everything's suddenly sunshine and roses - I still live in a fucking garbage can, my 401k and savings are a goddamn joke, etc. etc. - but I just feel better. There's still no light at the end of the tunnel, but I don't feel so much despair about it anymore.
And, I don't have time anymore to dwell and brood about things. As much as I hate the thought of spending $1200 a month for nothing more than a sleeping chamber, I find that when I have less time to spend here, I spend less time obsessing over how shitty everything is. It used to be that I'd come home and sit for hours in my office, not writing a word, just boiling over with helpless rage over things I obviously have no control over. Now, I don't have time for that. I'm up in the morning and then I'm out the door. And then I'm home, and I have to get ready to go. And then I'm home by nine, and I have to get ready for bed and for work tomorrow. Yes, I have moments (like this) where I can sit and space out in front of the TV or computer with a glass of wine, but it's the exception now, not the rule. And it feels deserved.
I'm also writing more. I've found that when I have less time to write, I focus more - two hours at Starbucks (of all places) three or four times a week doesn't sound like quality time, and it isn't. So I have to make it quality time, whether I like it or not. It became far too easy for me to mull over a single sentence when I had five or six hours every night, and call it my "process". Yeah, right. Now that my schedule is far more disjointed, I tend to focus quickly and write quickly, and write well. This, by the way, is something I did NOT learn at Clarion, and probably never could have. Instead of waffling about with tons of stories I start and never finish, I've been very steadily working on a few select projects, which I've been finishing and sending out - yes, this is where you all say "no shit, Sherlock - writers finish things and send them out, you moron". Well, everyone has their process, and it's just taking longer to find mine. And it may all change, I realize, but for the moment, this seems to be working. I finished and sent out two stories, and I'm currently finishing up the first of a trilogy of novellas. So, I'm doing something right, and doing it well. For once.
I just wish that fucking Yip Dog would shut up. That's one thing I can't seem to fix. Arg.
And that's it for now.