Sunday, November 6, 2011

One of Those Days

The weather in Miami this weekend was the kind that makes people want to move down here permanently, regardless of the bad traffic, corrupt businesses, and the as-fake-as-money-can-buy locals. Yesterday, while the majority of the Northern United States was under snow or battling 30 degree cold fronts, we went to the beach - in bathing suits.  We drove up to Juno and Chris surfed while Kaya and I lounged on the dog-friendly side of the beach. I was content, at peace, feeling good about myself, bonding with my youngest dog, watching her flop onto her back and roll all over the washed up seaweed. 

During our slow walk back to the pier to meet with Chris I stopped briefly to talk to an older man who was intrigued by Kaya's "disposition". A few minutes later, a younger guy in a car with a surfboard on it's hood gave me a thumbs up. Maybe I looked the way that he was feeling - good and happy. Maybe he thought I reminded him of all that's right with the world - a girl and her dog on a leisurely walk along the beach on a seriously beautiful day. Regardless, it didn't creep me out at all, not like the cat calls that I received in Honduras - which made it protocol for me to walk with my eyes trained on to the floor. I felt confident and special. On our way home, Chris and I had sandwiches at a cafe while I filled him in on the latest celebrity gossip (someone had left a trashy tabloid magazine on the table). 

But then, last night, something happened. We were in the midst of our weekly Date Night - eating steaks, drinking wine, and watching HBO - and it was time to decide on the next show to watch. We did not agree on the show and I lost my mind. As Chris likes to say, I "went from zero to one hundred". I started yelling and complaining about anything and everything that I could possibly think of:  From (the usual complaint) "I hate my job" to (the totally unusual) "I just want to do simple things like pick apples, bake pies, and be crafty". Basically, words were spewing from my mouth faster than my brain could put together coherent thoughts. It took me about an hour and a half to calm down. And then everything was back to normal, or so I thought.  

Today was another absolutely gorgeous day. Chris went surfing again this morning and I stayed behind to take Bear and Kaya to the dog park. Later I planned on walking into the Grove to shop for jewelry at a vintage store. But then I couldn't decide what to wear, which isn't always an issue for me but today it just was. I finally decided on a comfortable, cross back dress. And then I realized it was windy and I worried that my skirt would fly up and expose my ass. My frustration started to mount, I could feel it bubbling in my core. I sat around feeling pathetic and then I decided I would change one more time and go. Finally, wearing jeans, I was ready to leave. Chris, the amazingly patient husband that he is, said he'd take me to the store on his scooter and study at a bench outside while I did my shopping. I was just starting to relax and feeling thrilled to be the only customer inside the small shop when, five minutes later, the store was packed. Girls, all of them looking way cuter than I felt, were everywhere - looking at the bracelets I was looking at, buying the  light brown leather clutch that I had had my eye on...basically just doing normal things that normally wouldn't have bothered me, but, again, for some reason I was uncomfortable and annoyed. So I left, without purchasing a single one of the many items I had admired. And we went home, and I threw myself a surprise pity-party on the couch. Again my mouth started moving without my brain's better judgment and out came a volcanic spew of self-deprecation. This time Chris was not as patient as he'd been the night before (as in he just ignored my tantrum, nothing more) so as a grand finale I grabbed what I saw directly in front of me(the two, small pumpkins I had painted for Halloween and an orange candle) and chucked them across the room. 
Then, because it felt so good, I stood up to look for something else to throw. And all around me I saw things made of glass. But deep inside my brain managed to process my thoughts before my hands did and the only thing I grabbed was my big teaching bag, which landed on the floor with a satisfying "thud" and scared both Kaya and Bear. Then, of course, I went upstairs, slammed the door, collapsed onto the bed, and, sobbed

I shared my moment of rage with my cousin and she instructed me to "relax, pet Bear, and drink some hot cocoa". Now I sit in front of the computer, writing this post, and feeling much better. 

Both of her suggestions, along with an easy and quirky read, took my mind away from whatever it was that caused me to lose my cool in such an immature way.

These random outbursts of rage and quick, but intense, depressive moments happen infrequently, but happen none-the-less. And after they happen I feel so ashamed for having felt so sad for no apparent reason. I am much more fortunate than multitudes of others in this crazy world: I have a loving and supportive husband and family; a job (which I don't really hate); good health. I know that the circumstances in my life could be worse. Yet, when these random moments of sadness take over, as suddenly as turning off a light, I can't bring myself to care about how good my life really is because all I think about is how much better it could be. Am I a spoiled American brat? Does anyone else suffer from these irregular bouts of depression? Am I about to get my period?

On a brighter note, and another reason to not complain about my life, my Peace Corps friends, Anita and Tara, are coming to visit in four days! I'm very much looking forward to this reunion and have been planning the weekend way in advance. Their visit is perfect timing. I think I really miss my girl time. I'm envisioning many hours spent sitting around talking and sipping coffee, tea, and wine. 

I hope I haven't scared anyone away. Blogging is the Reality T.V of the internet.


simone said...'re so cool

Anonymous said...

Nana, if it is any consolation, you were that way from at least the age of 2. I doubt that this will change, so learn to love the mystery that you are. (I am just glad that you are Chris' 'problem' now and not mommy and me's) ;-)

Anonymous said...

I heard a song once from a traveling priest/carnival showman (it was the seventies!) that has stayed with me in large part. The problem with you is that your 'soul' is like the ocean. The song goes:

"Some people have souls, like a swimming pool.
Carefully measured, each corner square.
They're predictable and they're neat,
but they're not very deep and they seldom make waves.

"Some people have souls like the ocean itself.
Vast and robust, bursting with life,
one day they rage, another they're silk.
They thunder and storm, they never wilt
(I forget the rest)

"Be my ocean, be my sea.
Let yourself go, be a mystery to me
(then I forget the rest)


Carol said...

Okay, first of all... Papi... A traveling priest/carnival showman? In the seventies, nonetheless. The rest of that story is just begging to be told!

And I agree with Papi tenfold. The mystery that is Nana! Embrace it!
And let's not chalk it up to menstruation 'cause that's a played-out gender stereotype that dismisses real, solid feelings!
Don't beat yourself up about your feelings and actions. Yes, we are very blessed and lucky ladies. Yes, there is great suffering the world over. Yes, there is suffering in your heart at times. Which is to say... it is what it is. Let us not dismiss the health of our minds.
Plus, it sounds like you handled it pretty well. This is something I am learning a lot about, too: life feels bad and life feels good. A rage and silk.

Carol said...

Oh, and, did I mention I love you?
; )

Anonymous said...

Carol, I think I have some pictures somewhere; he dresses as a clown. It was called the Royal Liechtenstein 1/4 ring circus. It is on Wikipedia! (what isn't?)
I remember some more of the song:
"Be my ocean, be my sea.
Let yourself go, be a mystery to me
I want an ocean that I can dive in,
I want a whole sea to cover up me."

for a surfer like Chris that is a good analogy !

I love you, Carol and Nana. You are both very special young women.

Chris said...

I like that analogy. I could have used that June 10, last year!

Mood swings are indeed mysteries. Just this past Thanksgiving, I was extremely mad at my lovely Nanna and mother for having the nerve of using MY butter while visiting. I mean really -- how disrespectful; of them, of course. After I'd weathered that storm, it was easy to laugh and reflect on my childish behavior that afternoon but I was hardly approachable in the moment.

But given that these mood swings can lead to such high energy, I love it when Nana translates hers to therapeutic and thoughtful blog entries such as above. Helps all of us realize how human we are.

Thank you for the 'problem' Guy.

Ana Maria said...

Chris - I remember that now, about the butter. You were pissed that we used your nonsalted butter instead of the salted butter - which you were vehemently opposed to using, for some reason. Like I said earlier, I'd rather argue about petty stuff than heavy things, like infidelity or money.

Everyone else - Thanks for the kind words and support!

Anonymous said...

You're welcome, Chris! Amazing how you can't imagine parting with your children when they are little, but at some point it changes to wishing each one would meet an amazing person like you, Chris, so that they will become independent but, at the same time, attached to someone who loves them, dare I say, more than their own parents can!

James said...

mmm...butter. :D

Kallmen said...

I will NEVER run out of unsalted butter again. In fact the next time I visit Miami I am stopping at the store to get 3 lbs of unsalted butter just in case. Ana, I love the poem and ocean analogy. Riding the small waves now is good practice for the big ones later.