Blog Archive

daybreak

Morning time, coffeeshop time, purging and cleaning and untangling the knots. I don’t know how I ever lived without this, the writing, the quiet self-time… I feel like, even thought I just wrote to the contrary, that my life is boring, and this starts happening because I compare how I think to how everyone else’s life looks and I get all jammed up. I’ve got a simple life. I guess I’m just not functioning at such a crazy pace, all shows all the time and out all the time and everything – I feel like I’m hibernating.

I’m all slapped together with bubble gum and promises today, I hardly slept – Buddy is really getting out of control and all of the cat stuff I’m reading is saying that we have to re-separate and re-acclimate him and ChaCha, so this weekend we are getting some shelves and setting up the back as his official room once again. Also, apparently some cats won’t pee and crap in the same litterbox, so we are getting a second one. And some enzyme cleaner, because he keeps pooping in the exact same place on the floor, and also some heavy bowls in a holder so he can’t throw his dishes around. Yesterday he got into the trash, he’s broken a few of my favorite things, and we are getting to the end of our respective ropes. Apparently he is redirecting some type of primal fear in our household – so Buddy, like the rest of us, is jammed up and acting out. And I am willing to go to any lengths to provide him with a loving and stable home, poop and flipped kibble dishes and everything. Even flipped water dishes. I know he can change, he wasn’t like this when he moved in, so that probably means in our lack of cat-knowledge that we have inadvertently caused some kind of response in him. He’s like a little kid that got caught in the system, and everyone has yelled at him his whole life, and now he’s the troublemaking scrapper that nobody wants. But I do, we do. He’s a good boy under all that, he’s just had a rough life.

Do I have a charity-case magnet adhered to my forehead? Sometimes I wonder. I must be projecting all maternal nurturing time vibes out into the stratosphere… I really think he wound up with us because no one else would be willing to participate in this level of love and tolerance with him… I think I got into this already…

Here I am all talking about my cat. WTF. This is why I think I’m lame.

I’ve got a bid out for a wedding that I’m waiting to hear back on, I’m purging my whole house, and being home-based to do some restructuring does not mean that I’m boring or lame. I read Kristin’s site and I’m all, I have no weather angst, I play it too safe, maybe I should move, I don’t have anything exciting like a scooter and ensuing scooter drama – it sounds silly, but that’s what happens in my head. I compare, instantly. Which means I’m judging, myself, everyone around me, all the time. I don’t quite know what to do with that. And I keep forgetting that trying to make myself think differently isn’t what’s going to make me think differently, because I only know what I know. So that leaves me with taking a different action and knowing that my thoughts will catch up eventually.

I am okay. I am good enough. I am responsible. I am wearing the pants I wore yesterday (but not the ones from the first three days of this week) and my shoes don’t match anything and I put on a sparkly necklace and pinned up my bangs and didn’t shower. I feel all scrappy hippie playing dress-up.

Respect your hormones.

I want to go back to school in the fall. We’ve decided we can probably get me out of debt by the end of summer, so that would leave a few bucks for school, even just one class at a time like I did last time. And – gasp – we’ve got to start looking at wedding plans, if were shooting for the end of next summer, that’s a little less than two years away. I want to be on the beach, but there’s this place I saw online up in the woods, some girl’s school, that looks lovely and awesome but it might be all country-time. Ducks and carved wood and stuff. Blech. And somewhere in there we have plans for a condo downtown, or in Branford, so there’s all these adult plans in the works. Who knows what will actually happen, but I feel better having a set of goals. Goals make me feel like I’m working toward something… duh. School makes me feel like my existence is being validated.

Maybe I need a bigger plan. Sometimes I’m depressed, and other times I’m just lazy, and any time I talk about this stuff with anyone they tell me I’m being too hard on myself. But when I don’t make things happen, I wind up just writing about the same stuff over and over – I feel like I’m repeating my entries and just wasting away.

So what’s the solution?

-goals list, for like, life, not for the new crap I want for the bathroom
-destination goals list
-school goals list
-savings plan
-national novella writing month… a ha…

There’s something that should stir the pot up. I figured February is just the end of it, just shit cold fucker crappy freezing lame inside time stretching on and on without an end – so why not change it up a little bit? Then I can write about writing. I don’t have the stuff from the last time I did the real NaNoWriMo, I had done a cut-and-paste into an email so that I could save it, and didn’t realize it had cut it in half (message truncated or something) and I had deleted my copy of it from my work computer (where I spent most of the time writing it). It was great, I wrote about a girl who was writing a book, and touring with Tom Brosseau, and wound up bumping into other bands in these imaginary cities (well, real cities that I’d never been to so I made up what they felt like) and it just went on and on in the greatest way. I don’t quite know where my main character was going to wind up, but I would go back and read it and it really was a piece of great writing – or there were pieces of great writing in there – and it’s gone.

The crazy part is, it started to happen. Tom Brosseau asked me to come on tour with him for a stretch of shows, to shoot, and I froze. Like my head got all paralyzed, and I told him I couldn’t get the time off from work… I think I was just scared. And on top of that, I didn’t really think it was an appropriate thing for someone in a relationship to do – and I simultaneously thought that I should be able to do whatever the hell I wanted, whatever the Universe put in my path – so there I was, in a perfectly secure relationship, telling Tom I couldn’t go, and knowing that it just wouldn’t sit right with me and Raf.

Sometimes I wonder if I did the right thing, because I started to pull away from all of that then, and one side of me is like, you made all these contacts and did all this work and built up so much, and then you pushed it aside. And the rest of me is like, it just didn’t seem appropriate – hey, I’m going to go live in hotel rooms for two weeks with a guy you don’t know… it’s like I built up this single-girl life and then it collided with my girlfriend-boyfriend life… see, then, if I really get dirty and talk about it – I was still in the place where I was getting a lot of validation from boys in bands, and that’s just not what you do when you’re seriously dating someone. Fuck, I was supposed to go do two days of shows with the Wrens and like, stay with them. At their house and stuff. And when I was going to do KEXP time that first year I was with Raf, I had a conversation with him about how I’d stay with Michael and who he was and how I knew him… and as I heard myself telling him my plans, it just felt awkward. Split right down the middle with independent girl doing what she wants and maybe if you don’t like it then you’re not the right guy… so Raf said, look – if I had an opportunity to go coach for a softball tournament in like, Philadelphia, and it was an all-girls twenty-something team, and I was the only guy, and I had to go share a hotel with a bunch of them for a few days – how would that make you feel? And it made me feel awkward. Jealous. Uncomfortable. Split right down the middle with feeling like he should do whatever he wanted to make himself happy. And he was all, see how it feels on the other side? And then I decided that creating all that angst just wasn’t worth it – let me annihilate our relationship so that I can be in a van with Kevin Whelan or alone for a week with Tom Brosseau, all in the name of art – it just didn’t add up.

I talked about all this with my therapist and she told me I had to get over it, and that there was no reason I couldn’t be with Raf and pursue my art career and that some of that stuff felt like inappropriate behavior because it was… I’m just tying the whole experience to the wrong strings in my head. So when we fight, or things don’t work out very well, sometimes I’ll go, shit, did I do the right thing? And then every disagreement affects the entire scope of our relationship (in my head at least) and I don’t know how to make it stop.

I’ve had to do a lot of growing up in this relationship. I’ve had to learn how to work, and sacrifice, and not give up, and change, and allow room for change, and to tolerate… I had to choose between being in love and riding around in vans with boys in bands. And as alluring as the band life is, we’ve all got to grow up sometimes. Maybe I’m identifying the whole thing with a period of change and shifting of my place in the world and… part of me still wonders what would have happened if I went with Tom, or with the Wrens, or to stay in the city that week for KEXP.

You know what? I would have taken some great pictures, and I probably would have made out with someone eventually (not with Raf, not cheating, but Raf notwithstanding) and I’ve got it all disguised as whether or not I’m sacrificing being true to my art. It’s so hard for me to clear it out, but maybe it’s just that I’m afraid to look at the fact that that was going to be in the very near future in a few different situations. And then what – I’m continuing the manifestations of my youth, being the girl on the side and not the girlfriend and wondering why, and wondering what would have happened if I hadn’t pushed Raf away, and I’d be sitting here with a wall of photos and a bunch of notches in my belt, well on my way to becoming a late thirty-something year old tragic band whore that lived in the body of a photographer.

Holy shit.

And I think I knew that then, on some level – I was there for the music and all the goodness and the magic – but I hadn’t separated it from enamored with boy in the band time. So, that string of decisions, all that angst, has actually saved my career, because I kept my pants on past the time where I could figured out what was going on. I always say that – when it’s all tragic decision making time, you’d better make sure you’re not doing something you can’t take back if you change your mind.

I never thought about that – if I go with having taken the other route, it would have been a freaking mess. It’s like I romanticized it this whole time, like drinking or something.

No, just like drinking.

I feel like I’m getting to the “Part Two” of my life, like the character is waking up to all these things and not only does the chapter end, but another section of the book starts and suddenly, everything has changed.

I literally feel like I’m going to throw up.

vvb

Victoria Uhl