Blizzard of 2011

Today I watched about five TED videos, read more of Infinite Jest, and listened to Grammar Girl. All around it feels like a pretty productive day. I have chicken in the oven and am debating either catching up on television shows to veg out or write.

These last three weeks have been the most difficult weeks of my life. The ups and downs of emotions, forgetfulness, and sheer exhaustion have left me feeling like I’m standing in the middle of a blizzard. I am completely still while the flakes pile high around me. I can’t see anything except my hands. There’s this strange sense of emptiness – unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. It’s almost like I’m a hollow old tree –  my shell remains intact, but my insides are no longer filled in.

I told my therapist it’s like a part of me was ripped out and now it’s trying to fit back in but can’t. She asked me what part I felt like I’d lost. As individuals we are all made up of so many parts. We play so many different roles, depending on who we’re with or where we are in the world. We are made up of all these individual parts that come together to form one independent being. It took me a while to realize that although we remain the same person, we play so many different versions of ourselves daily. I wasn’t able to answer the question – I can’t pinpoint what part of me is missing, but I can feel it.

It’s like you’re walking through life and suddenly something hits you and your whole being is blown apart. Your parts separate and it’s like a slow motion affect where everything is moving upwards and outwards. All these parts are floating and there’s no anchor, no weight. They are moving independent of one another, but still existing. And because suddenly you’re no longer whole, you have the ability to analyze and look at each part of who you are. Finally you can focus on the individual parts and give them the necessary attention that’s difficult to do when they’re meshed together.

So I’m standing in the blizzard and all the flakes represent all the individual parts of who I am and soon it becomes clear that everything is white. All these parts are now a blank canvas – everything that was the day before is gone.

In a way this is a truly beautiful thing among all the pain. Because for the first time all the parts of who I am are completely blank. And this means that I have another chance to define what I want in each part of me and begin to fill it in.

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