I was thinking yesterday that I haven’t been writing too much over the past few weeks. It’s not like there aren’t events in the news which I don’t have commentary for. My heart hasn’t gone silent over gun control and all the children speaking out. In fact it’s the first time I have ever felt the little prick of regret of being childless in that I am able to picture having a child who would exercise her first amendment rights and not be able to keep her mouth shut over injustice just like her mom. I’d actually be kind of proud to have a kid like me be my kid.

#Metoo is still heavily present in my mind. I am working through a confidential issue right now which tests the boundaries of integrity and trust to the point I have hives and am having dreams about dogs in danger I cannot save. In the dream, it’s my job to pick which ones go free and which ones have to die and then I have to do the awful job of putting them down. I send my peers off with the safe dogs so they don’t have to see what needs to be done.

So I have a lot on my mind but I realized that by picking up the “Straight Up with Stassi” podcast circa 2015 I have subconsciously called time out on my brain. The podcast is mindless but entertaining. I have actually convinced myself that Stassi from Vanderpump Rules has a little more depth to herself than what I see on my vapid Bravo reality tv obsession. I need the entertainment of it, the break. So the writing is less because I am sourcing my brain with Cocoa Puffs instead of a healthy organic oat selection.

This isn’t a concern by any means. I am not worried the writing is drying up. I just needed a cerebral rest. It’s the timing of it which has significance. It’s only about a few weeks out from Marathon time. This year will be my 5 year anniversary of surviving the bombing. Nobody wants to hear about it. By year 2 I was being told I needed to let it go and that I was wearing it like a hair shirt. I got quieter for all of you but the war in my head and body has tattooed itself into my life right down to the coordinates on my ankle.

Every year about this time I get very cranky….categorically outside what is within the range of normal or to be expected. I am quicker to lose patience with people. I have little tolerance for even the tiniest snippets of other people’s dramas. I have to listen to people complain about being afraid to drive in the snow while I am thinking about dead people and where they would be in their lives now if they were here instead of me.

I am incredibly jaded about being 3 years out from getting my Masters and having done nothing with it. No career change has happened. I can’t drop $40k off my salary to start a new industry from the bottom up. My married friends can sometimes make those choices because of the double income but I just cannot. There’s no law school in my future which would be the next step. I’d love to be working in Bioethics or on a medical board fighting for innovation or the right to die. I have legit talent I am not using. And it’s not even ego talent where I think I could be important. It’s disappointment at all the people I don’t get to help because I am in the wrong place and pretty much shackled to it. My career situation is my only hair shirt.

I went to grad school as 100% response to escaping a bombing. And people call me a pessimist. Fuck you for that categorization by the way. I’d like to see you have depression, anxiety, PTSD and survivor’s guilt and then do something as productive as grad school with it. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.

See what I mean about this time of year? It’s not a funny or sarcastic salty. It’s a deeply embedded ogre of black ooze who takes over this time of every year. I ask to not be challenged because I will say the things you don’t want to hear. I will hurt you with my words, irrevocably. I don’t want to but I can’t help it. I am so angry with myself. I am so disappointed in my failures. April 15th is my New Years, my reckoning, my taking stock. 5 years out I am still not using any real skills. I am still not using my degree. I am still in a place where people believe I have no potential and yet I know that it’s I actually have a ton of it but we are all capped at a certain point in this one venue. I need a new space. They are still working towards the cap.

I see the beauty in everything. But I also see all the shadows and evils. I see all the grey, the blurriness of the world. I see past the facades and offend you when I do because I know the parts of you that you don’t want known. That’s the way my brain works and it’s pretty phenomenal even when I see monsters no one else sees. My brain feels limitless but I live in a cage.

I have consciously noticed my brain recessing in order to preserve me over the next month. I am going into a deep, extended fight or flight state which will last about a month. My body is arming itself for the war of tv specials and Facebook posts. My body is loading up it’s weaponry to unleash at the deluge of shit, memories and bizarre platitudes coming my way. All the while, on the inside, I am also at war with myself over my guilt for having nothing to show 5 years later. Three families are absent a loved one. Several people have the scars and amputations as a reminder of what was and what can never be again. I just have a brain disease and foot which hurts on occasion. I got off so lucky. And I haven’t done anything noteworthy which is absolutely dreadful to me.

There will be more shallow podcasts and reality tv, searching for candy and snacks at work to get myself through a rage moment. There will be snipping and snapping. There will be zero empathy for others. I will be cold. I will be less observant of your needs. I will forget to check in on my friends who are suffering for other reasons. I will only be present enough to get the minimum done without calling attention to the fact I am skimming over myself and capabilities. I will be angry most days. I won’t sleep very well. I don’t know if I will be writing or how much. All I know is that last night I recognized this moment against the mirror of the past 4 years. It makes perfect sense that I am obsessed with Stassi’s podcast which is actually pretty good for what it is.