OK, so, it's time I was on the road to LA, headed out to see my second mom for Thanksgiving, but I've been slow at getting ready and much of it is because of the things swirling around in my brain, and I figure I'll be less likely to get myself into a car accident if I think it all through and write it down before I hit the road.
I guess I'll start with the shorter subtopics and work my way down to the one I've been thinking about the longest... prepare for a wall of text any which way I go about it.
First, on dreams. It's been a little over four months now, and it has occurred to me several times over that span that I haven't dreamed about Jason. At all. I don't know why that is... it's not like I haven't been sleeping - although up until the other day when I picked up a bottle of Melatonin capsules at the store, it was certainly not on what you'd call a regular pattern - but my dreams have been strangely absent of the man who was such a constant presence in my life for over 8 years.
Monday night I finally dreamed about him. In this dream, apparently we hadn't decided to have him cremated, and after about two weeks (yeah, my dreams are completely unrealistic like this) the doctors had found a way to revive him and make him all better. Evidently he was still recuperating from his ordeal and we were staying in someone else's house in separate rooms, but I remember part of the dream where I came into his room and was cuddling next to him and being just amazed and grateful that I had him back. I was about to ask him if he had any memory of the time when he'd been dead, and what it was like for him to come back...
And then I woke up, with a pounding headache from sleeping with an extra pillow and my neck at a funny angle. It didn't help any that it was just nearly that time of the month and I was super-emotional anyway. Yeah, yesterday was a bad day.
Whiplash subject change! I know some of you are keeping tabs on me, worrying and praying for me, and wondering how things are going with the tasks of moving forward, finding work, etc. I think part of the reason why it's been so hard for me to write these last couple of months is that I haven't had any updates, and I've felt a terrible sort of obligation not to disappoint everyone. It's hard for me to know that people are looking out for me sometimes, because I feel like if I don't do things right I'm letting them down. And yeah, I know everyone's an individual and in situations like this, there's no "right" way of doing it, but every time someone asks me "how's it going looking for a job" or "did you get your car sold yet" or whatever, it's like a little guilt trip.
I've been OK. I'm not drowning in misery or anything here, I'm just a procrastinator and unlike those whose self-defense mechanisms include throwing themselves into productive activities and working through the pain, I tend to try to tiptoe around the edges and avoid thinking about it for a while, then look at little bits of it at a time. I've actually felt really good most days, except for the sleep schedule thing (which as I've said I'm starting to get on top of with the Melatonin), but when I start trying to plan for the future and do really productive stuff, that's when I start feeling overwhelmed and the grief really hits me. It's a little easier than it was a few weeks ago, and quite a bit easier than it was a couple of months ago, I guess, but still whenever I look at this situation head on, it sucks like nobody's business, and it hurts.
But yes, I know I have to do something. I'm not planning on sitting around using up all the life insurance funding and then going on welfare while I freak out for a few more years. I've been doing a lot of thinking about what sounds good to me.... about what I want my life to be like from here on out.
The problem is that what I want the most is what I had, and I can't have back. So I'm figuring out what I didn't have that maybe I might have wanted at one point, and perhaps I can find a way of making that work for me. Some of you know I was a Radio/TV major and a Theatre minor in college, and Jason and I had often talked about getting into the voiceover/voice acting business on the side but never got around to it. I've gathered some contact information now for some agents, acting coaches and studios that I might be able to use to put together a good demo and try to start getting work in that field... and while it sounds unstable and iffy, it's something I'd definitely love, and if God chooses to bless it, it's something I could do as a career.
I've also been mulling over writing a book - fiction, of course, since I certainly don't feel qualified to write anything that more than a handful of people would find insightful, but I feel competent to be entertaining. My best friend and I had a long talk one night about the concept of me writing, and she gave me an idea I can sink my teeth into, and maybe even make that work. While I'm out in LA for Thanksgiving I'll be doing some preliminary work on that, and perhaps give out more details here when I get more into it.
And another whiplash subject change - you should be used to them from me if you've read this blog for long. This is the post that's been hanging around at the edges of my mind since about a week after Jason died, and that it's becoming necessary to get written now that I'm going to be going on a road trip. Last time I drove this route by myself was over 8 years ago, in October of 2000, when I went to help Jason pack up and move to Phoenix. I never imagined I'd have to do it alone again so soon.
The road - in general, not a specific stretch of highway - is an image that has toyed with my poetic mind for years now. It's probably pretty trite and unoriginal (yeah, Robert Frost used it, I'm sure plenty of others have too), but as I've said before in a poem, all the profound thoughts have been had by now, overused, and become cliches.
I wrote about the road for the first time shortly after I really began writing poetry at 16. That poem I rewrote a few years later for a poetry class, expanding on my original minimalist thoughts... the essence is the same. I also got a bit into the road imagery in this poem I wrote for my best friend, although it was less about the road itself and more about the journey. I revisited a lot of the same images last year in this poem while flying back to Phoenix.
It's pretty easy to see the symbolism, the road representing your life, stretching out before you. At 16 I was eager to follow where it led, to go somewhere and do something and be someone. My life was calling me, and I couldn't wait to be old enough to go wherever it would take me.
Four months ago as I was standing in my church, surrounded by my loved ones, I could see that road again... except instead of the beautiful, winding, tree canopied road of my teenage years, it was a flat, parched expanse of highway leading into a hot, featureless desert, and my car had broken down and left me facing that road alone. I could see it so clearly in my mind - me, standing in the middle of the road, looking down it as far as I could see... and then I sat down. Couldn't take another step, didn't want to. I didn't want to go there anymore.
I'm feel like I'm crawling along that road now, slowly... perhaps I'm being carried right now. And I am hoping that further ahead, beyond what I could see at the time, there's more beauty. Maybe there's even a junction with someone else's road somewhere down the line, and I'll have some company again.
So for those who are wondering how I am... this is how I am. I'm trying to figure out how to move on. Some days are better than others, and I feel - sometimes, and more often recently - like I'm almost ready to pick a direction and start walking again.