I did so much crying in August. I did lots of different of kinds: the kind where you can’t get out of bed and have to remember to drink water at hourly intervals to replenish your vital fluids; the kind where you start sobbing at work; the kind where you weep silently on the bus when a certain song comes on. The kind where you can feel the tears building up behind your eyes over the course of the day and you are living in dread of the moment you know will come when they’ll all just slowly seep out out and you will tilt your head back and blink real hard but there they’ll be, all the same. Also the kind where you didn’t know you were going to cry, you had no prior warning, it just happens and you’re in the middle of the street looking in the window of Recycle Boutique and boom, there you are, sniffling in public.
There are lots of reasons for this crying, as you’d imagine: work and friends and housing, like actual events and issues—and oh dear heaven, the housing, the housing–as well as the kind of dull whine my brain likes to set up after a while, when nothing’s going exactly wrong but nothing’s going exactly right either, and it’s harder to get out of bed, and the winter won’t end, and paying attention to people talking at you seems so unfairly impossible. Every mistake I’ve ever made, every stupid thing I’ve ever said, every choice I wish I could unchoose, rattling, hissing, grumbling in the background, week after week after week after week.
And this August, I don’t know, everything just fell apart, in this very slow, mostly sustainable way. I mean, I’m still employed. I haven’t had to bury any bodies or anything. I just broke down, over the month, except there wasn’t, there hasn’t been, any breaking point. Maybe I’ve just crumbled, or slowly melted, or desiccated. So many things happened one right after the other that nothing really happened. “I’m a bit stressed,” I’ve been saying, or, “Yeah, interesting times.” My boss suggested I take a week off. My face broke out lavishly and I started waking up an hour before my alarm, just to freak out pointlessly in the dark. My stomach started hurting all the time. “Interesting times,” I said to everyone (and there were so many!) who expressed gentle concern.
I started counting my blessings, like actually making lists of all my gifts and privileges. I pulled back from a lot of my social stuff and spent a lot of time reading in bed. I think I probably lost some friends. I tried not to have every single status update be all ‘Chiara is struggling,’ or ‘Chiara is thoughtful’ or ‘Chiara doesn’t really see the point of any of this anymore.’ I went to yoga, sometimes. I drank lots of tea.
Yesterday was the first of September, and the first day of spring in the Southern Hemisphere. It was an appropriately bright and gorgeous day and I took off my cardigan for a while and noticed that it’s really staying lighter later now. There’s even more change and transition coming for me this month—I’m moving, for one thing, so there’s also a lot of expense!—and I’m not expecting everything to just magically be okay. I mean, everything’s still okay, I’m very happy to report, but I’m not expecting any greatness right now. Today’s the second of September, for example, and it’s been absolutely awful, like pouring down rain all day.
I guess I’m just glad that month is over. I’m being a bit drama queeny after all the non-events that didn’t happen, but I don’t care, really, right now. I also don’t care what the rest of this year brings, I’m just glad that I got to get out in the sun yesterday. Everything will be all right, I keep telling myself, everything will be all right.