I went to an acupuncturist yesterday and all the while she put needles into my back and feet and arms I felt bubbly, almost euphoric, as I lay face-down on her table. I probably looked like a giggly porcupine. Then she stuck glass jars all over my back (it's called "cupping") and it felt like being attacked by an octopus. I floated home on a cloud of bliss; I was in love with the whole world.
Today, the flipside. I wake up feeling as though an army of dwarves has pummeled me while I slept. I am sore, and sad. I have jar-shaped hickeys all over my back. The acupuncturist, who had a lovely Columbian accent, reminded me that "your issues are in your tissues", a saying which I found delightful yesterday, and all too true today.
So much has happened in less than two years. I had cancer. I had surgery. I had to rush back to work after almost no time to recover from the surgery. I let two men go out of my life. I moved. I started school the DAY AFTER I came back from my summer-long work. I juggled a busy school and work schedule... And now my body is exhausted. My issues- sadness, worry, guilt, frustration, anxiety, ambition, money troubles- are hurting my body... There is so much love and good fortune in my life too but right now I feel subsumed by the bad things and they are working their way out through my body. I don't recommend running for you, she tells me. Slow walks: notice the trees and the sky as you walk. Yoga. Tai Chi. Don't do that cleanse (I was thinking of doing the Master Cleanse for a few days). Eat well. No stress. You need to look after your body.
I don't always eat well. It's been just over a week since I quit eating desserts and I fantasize about licking the biggest candy cane in the world from time to time. Instead of sugar I eat salty fatty snacks (like Barbara's Jalapeno Cheese Puffs- Look! It says "All Natural" on the bag, so they're healthy, right?) I made lamb stew last night but the dumplings fell apart so now it's Lamb Stew with Thick Flour Paste and I chased it with like a million crackers anyway. When I eat something I love, especially sugar, I have to eat it until it's all gone. I have no self control.
I am impatient. I read books fast. I grind my teeth when people around me are slow, either to move, or to 'get' things. When I DO exercise, I like to be breathless and sweaty at the end of it. Yoga and Tai Chi don't fit the bill, but maybe I have to make them fit. Maybe I also have to let patience fit into my life as well, or the dwarves will keep on pummeling me until I'm really sick.
Today I wanted to be looked after but my sweetheart is looking after his five year-old, who's also sick, and I clenched my teeth and thought Do I have the patience and the selflessness to be with someone who has kids? Can I put myself second, for a little person I haven't even met yet? And the answer is a resounding I don't know. It's another issue right now, the elephant in the room. At times it shrinks to nothing and at times it's so big I can't see round it to all the good things. I don't know how to adapt to a life with someone who has three kids with two exes and needs to grab work when he can and god, you do the math- between all that and me being at school and working when do we spend time together? And more importantly- because of course we DO find the time- what kind of future can two people build who are so far apart in age and experiences and goals? Always the underlying question: what do you want whatdoyouwant? From love, from life, from work, from school. And again, the resounding I don't know.
My singing teacher told me to take deep breaths today and I almost started crying. I can't breathe properly, I told her with tears in my eyes. It's been a problem- an issue- ever since I was little. I get stressed and I take these shallow, gaspy breaths and if I breathe 'deeply' I feel panicky and air-deprived.
And from my window, as a reminder, this:
*NOT Starbucks, silly. The rainbow.