Cycles: Connecting & Disconnecting

We run away to the beach for a weekend after Edward finishes an exam. Everything is great – we are an easy walk from the ocean waves, we can see them from our AirBNB’s balconies during the day. We eat delicious food. I learn I love calzones. We watch documentaries curled up on the sofa at night. I buy a large mason jar with a little garden in it – an aloe plant, a baby cactus shaped like a pincushion, an air plant, a chunk of crystal quartz – at a quirky beachside pottery shop. We walk along the beach. Lena loves the beach – she runs in circles in the soft white sand, kicking it up behind her, avoiding the waves. I worry about her getting older sometimes, how she’s gotten a bit less nimble, and it’s great to see her running full tilt here and truly enjoying herself. We feel like us again for the first time in a while. We’re on the same page. Then on the last day while we’re walking on the beach Edward starts telling me how hard the next few months will probably be, how stressed and busy he is going to be because his Step 1 exam is coming up in April and he needs to study study study for that on top of his usual brutal schedule of medical school quizzes & exams. I start to crumble thinking about the months ahead too. Right now I hate that he’s in medical school. I hate how it dictates our schedules, how much or how little time we get to spend together, where we have to live for the next 6.5 years. I want an entirely different life – still with him as my husband but not this. But we don’t see another path, another way.

We had booked the AirBNB for an extra night but end up heading back to Birmingham anyway. A deer jumps out in front our our car in the rain but we are lucky and no one (including the deer) is hurt. The drive home is long, we barely talk for the last two hours of the trek because we both just want to be safely home & in bed.

Everything is completely different today than yesterday even though nothing is actually different at all except my emotional landscape. How is it possible to want to change every part of your life one day, hate all of it, then the next you wouldn’t change a thing? I decide I want to document more of our little family and begin the process. It’s an idea I’ve had before. I don’t like taking photographs without natural light but sometimes inspiration comes after the sun sets.

I sit on the couch, my hair covered in henna dye mud and my nails painted stark white. I have anxiety for no reason, it came out of the blue when I was a good drive from home earlier, but being back home with Edward and the dogs helps. Anxiety is virtually a daily occurrence for me at this point even with the 3mg of Klonopin I’m prescribed per day. On my luckier days the anxiety doesn’t come with a panic attack. I want to start doing more physical movement – yoga, dancing, hiking, stretching, acro – and see if it helps with the anxiety. I make a promise to myself to try to stick to this new goal. The moon today is in a waning gibbous phase. This is the first phase after the full moon occurs. I think you are supposed to set intentions during the waxing phase, not the waning one, but I set this intention anyway. During the waning phases I believe you are supposed to let go of things. I let go of my resentment, my victim mentality, my rage. I worry without the anger I won’t have energy, but the anger makes everyone miserable. My period began during the full moon and this always makes me feel happy – wilder somehow, for some silly reason, like my body is connected to nature even when I feel mostly disconnected from it in my urban life. What I’ve learned about my cycle with the help of another wise woman:

Before Bleeding: Rage. Deep hopelessness.

During Bleeding: Tiredness. A time to take things slowly, to examine them with perspective.

Today I took a two hour nap after lunch.

Sometimes I feel lonely even when I am sitting next to Edward on the couch and I wonder why this is happening. I think I know the answer: lack of connection, not in the larger sense but in a more immediate one. We’re doing our own things on our own laptops. I think I crave connection more constantly than others. I think of this as a flaw.

I buy beads off of the internet (never quite know what you are going to get) and string them onto bracelets, one metal and one pale pink braided leather. I put the beads on one, decide they’re not ordered properly, take them off again, repeat the process many times. The beads are made from different kinds of crystals (moonstone, amazonite…) or blown glass. I feel like I am curating and wearing each of my personalities on my wrist all at once. So far: delicate, aesthetic, floral, feminine, rose gold. So far: pale, natural stones, hippie-desert-New-Mexico-vibes. Next: something darker, more witchy. I’m not done. I want my right wrist, the one with my blurry little first tattoo that I no longer adore, covered in these beaded bangles. I have three glass beads I don’t know where to put – they don’t fit in anywhere. I don’t love them right now but I feel like they will make a place for themselves eventually though, so I keep them in the bottom of my jewelry box. I don’t know how my personalities are going to morph and change. Maybe I’ll grow fonder of bright bright bright almost Disney colors.

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