This might be jinxing things big time, but I'm going to write it anyway. I've really enjoyed this whole doing stuff thing. And I want to continue. We've been home since Saturday night and I've managed to hold it together. Maybe the anxiety won't make me pay for the activity on the trip. In fact, I want to do more. Yesterday I told Z I wanted to go to the farmers market in Ithaca next Saturday. We've lived here for almost 3 years and I've never gone to Ithaca. Not surprising, but frustrating. We lived in Rhode Island for 3 years and I never made it to the beach there, only was in Newport once or twice. My agoraphobic tendencies might keep me feeling secure, but they prevent me from doing so much. But I really forced myself to engage in the last few weeks, and while it was extremely difficult, while at some points I cried in frustration or got mad as hell at how hard it was for me, I fucking did it anyway.
The question is how do I keep the momentum going now that I'm home? Over the last three years Z and I have built a comfortable life in Syracuse in which I am both pretty damn happy and not required to do the shit that scares me most of the time. I go through periods where I almost forget that I have an anxiety problem because my days are structured in a way that I don't have to challenge myself. Yes, I think about making changes, but six months go by until I make something happen. Or six months go by and nothing happens at all. I want to open myself up to engaging more, but I'll also be opening myself up to failure and a lot of emotional discomfort. It exhilarates me and scares the shit out of me at the same time. Who will I be then? I so strongly identify as someone who struggles with mental illness, as someone who is unable to participate much of the time that I'm scared not to be that person anymore. Just writing that sentence, well, it's a brutally honest admission even for me.
The second summer session at SU begins next week, and earlier today I was looking at what classes are still available online. Not much is left that interests me. I did go ahead and request additional info for fall classes. I want to make the school thing happen. I want to go hiking with my family. I want to take a trip down to the city. When people invite us over I want to say, "Yes!" instead of staying at home while Z and the boys go have fun. In a huge and nutty stretch I want Z and me to start writing and performing music together. I want to write a novel. I want to open a dessert place. I want to make enameled jewelry. Suddenly I want to be living life all the way. And I understand wanting these things means I'll be in physical and emotional discomfort. But the anxiety doesn't go away when I manage my symptoms. I'm just fooling myself into believing it has. I'm scared to welcome the fear back into my life, but the thing is I'm also scared not to do it-to continue to live the unchallenged life I have been settling for.
Do you want a tattoo? Can you get to Baltimore? Go see Charlie Foos, proprietor of Read Street Tattoo and all around swell guy.
13 for T and 31 for C. I couldn't be happier with it. Took this picture while I was nursing C in the front seat of the car during a stop on the way home. I love how you can see a sliver of the top of his head in the bottom left corner. Occasionally I am a multi-tasker.
My fellas in their matching shirts. T is still having trouble keeping that tongue in his mouth. He licked the pole he was holding in the DC Metro and it made me think of the New York City episode of the Simpsons (tied with the Lisa-becomes-a-vegetarian episode as my all time favorite) when Bart is panhandling and claims he doesn't have any taste buds so he licks a subway pole. I have a feeling T will regularly remind me of Bart Simpson over the next decade or so....
My mom wanted a nice picture of the four Cordano cousins. Right before I left my sister's house I realized we hadn't taken one. Of course, one of the cousins was napping. And I couldn't get the other three to take me seriously. Story of my life.