I wrote my last entry — about 1,600 words — in less than an hour. Often, writing even half that takes twice the time. I have to coax the words out, from deep in my subconscious and up through my heart. Each sentence needs a long Swedish massage. After a quick pass by my brain for coherence and a long journey down my arms, they move into my fingers to the keyboard. Monday night was like being on some kind of drug.
I sat on the back patio with a glass of white wine, swatting at mosquitoes and practically feeling my hair relax into waves as the oppressive humidity set in. I was relaxed. And exhausted. But the words exploded, poured out of me.
Caution: Emits showers of sparks.
I was so excited. It just…it felt like such a long time coming. To finally be able to say, "I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm getting out." To tell the world about this leap I'm taking, even though I gave next to no details. (But is where you land really as important as the fact that you've jumped?)
When I finished writing, I threw my MacBook in my oversize handbag, unlocked my bicycle and flew the three blocks to Starbucks. Which was closed.
Which I knew. (What Starbucks closes at 9?)
But I also knew there was a warped wooden bus stop bench just outside the café, one that would certainly still pick up the wireless signal from inside the store. Which is what I needed. So I opened my computer outside, parked on the bench like a hobo, and did my thing. Click. Publish. I sat there for a few minutes before I went home, dizzy and out of breath. The combination of 90-degree weather, a frantic bike ride and the biggest news of my life left little beads of perspiration under my bangs. I watched police cars and buses and motorcycles and beat-up old sedans whiz by in the creeping darkness.
I can't believe this is happening.
And then the comments started rolling in. The buzzing high I'd felt before, alone and in front of my laptop, was nothing compared to the pulsating, raving ecstasy that came next. This is where I go all blogger: Guys. Thirty comments. This does not happen. Retweets from people with tens of thousands of followers. This does not happen. Nearly 600 page views. THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN. End blogger.
And then I realized: I am living the dream. I'm not just living my dream, in fact; I'm living other people's dreams.
I don't know what happens when you come down from a high. Because I've never so much as touched an illegal substance. Okay. A friend gave me an Adderall. One. Once. When I was in college, to help me pull an all-nighter and finish a paper — I couldn't seem to coax the words out then, either. And I turned into a paranoid freak. So I haven't gone there since.
But I think I got an idea of what it's like when I woke up. I remembered the high. I wanted more. And then…goodness.
I was sleep deprived. My focus was shot: I couldn't think about anything else. And, worst of all, the cold, blinding light of reality was streaming through my brand new rose-colored glasses. Harshing my buzz, as my new partner in crime would say.
Because with this new life, this dream I'm living, comes a new set of…well, nightmares: Focus. Time management. All. The. Details. Health insurance. Finances. Isolation.
Shake it off.
The day went on, and I went in to my regular appointment with my therapist last night, dizzy and out of breath just like the night before. I told her about Monday, the notice and the news and the love and the absolute high, then I sat there drumming my fingers on the leather sofa with nothing more to say. Until the words exploded from me again.
I was overwhelmed and fearful and, seemingly, completely unprepared to embrace the new level of adulthood I'd launched myself into. Worst of all, the person whose approval I seek most of all? She doesn't approve. Again.
I can't believe this is happening to me.
But one more day past it, my eyes are adjusting to the light through those rosy spectacles, and I realize I can pinch myself out of the nightmares. Because I always do. I'll find a pattern. Find a way to get it all done. I'll get health insurance; I'll pay my bills. I might scrape, but that was always part of it. I'll see my friends, because I'd die without them. I'll just…make it work. I'll make this new life work. And I'll like it, dammit. Because one day I'll wake up to find I'm just…that the dream is reality, and then there will be something new to shoot for.
At 800 words, this entry took me two hours. But I was watching So You Think You Can Dance. Multitasking. Already.