The Universe Just Slapped Me In The Face

*Ow.* Universe, you hurt so good.

Ten days ago, trying to write through depression, I posted a story I called The Rainbow Warriors. Yesterday, feeling like depression had wrung every good thing out of me, I posted a notice that I’d be quiet for a while. I just couldn’t see myself writing anything of quality while feeling like this.

Today, I got an email that my story – the one I’d written to try and find some color in a dark place – well, that story’s getting Freshly Pressed. I’m sure I’m jumping some sort of gun here by announcing that before it goes up, but screw guns! The Universe has just glitter-bombed me! And I believe in signs.

So, I’ll be braver. I’ll take this life experience and find not just silver, but platinum linings. I’ll be grateful that I’m feeling something novel – that nearing 30 hasn’t slowed down my rate of brand-new-things to take in – and I’ll try to complain less that the novelties are rarely as simple as they used to be. I’ll embrace this expanded understanding of the human condition, and I’ll channel all these ups and downs and questions and fears and glorious, beautiful slaps in the face into my writing, which I will NOT give up.

And then I’ll dance to this song, because it pretty much sums up how much sense my life has made over the past few weeks. But who needs sense, when we’re all already on this utterly mesmerizing trip through space and time?

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52 responses to “The Universe Just Slapped Me In The Face

    • Thanks, Lizzy-O! (I dunno; a silly nickname felt right.) I’m still happy dancing with you, three days later! Not so much because of any “pressing” matters, but because I still feel like myself and have since Thursday. Rock on, universe.

      • And, Jennie-babe, LOVE my new nickname “Lizzy-O”. It makes me laugh and feel all gooey-happy inside, honey. You are such a beam of light and goodness on this planet, my friend. XOXO

    • Many thanks! I’m so glad the universe is smarter (and more persistent) than I am. Actually, writing that has me wondering about a whole different train of thought: have you ever written about people who talk about “spirituality” instead of religion, or believing – not in God – but in signs? I’d be interested to read! I recently saw Bill Mahr and had to laugh when he said it all amounts to the same thing.

  1. Wow, big congrats to you on getting Freshly Pressed! I’ve been on WordPress for 4 years, and still haven’t had a big feature like that – clearly you are doing something that the WP folks (among others) really like!

    Just don’t forget about all us little people when you are big and famous. 馃檪

    • As for the first part of your comment: I’ve written other things that I thought had much more impact; I submitted them to FP for consideration and nothing came of it. I never, ever would have guessed this little story would get attention, so the point is I have no idea how they make their decisions.

      As for the second part of your comment: Two words. As if. 馃檪 xoxo

  2. Pretty terrific news! What a great way to start your weekend! Keep writing, we’ll all keep reading and who knows where this journey you’ve begun will end. Somewhere pretty awesome I’ve no doubt!!

  3. I wish you all the best in your journey. I have struggled off and on with depression and can attest to how it saps a fine mind, spirit, and heart. Getting into nature and taking photos has been as much my therapy as any medical solution. By the way I too ran across this music video and it made my day – such a goofy, trippy parody of all those “serious” pop music.

    • Hi Charles – I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been dealing with this on and off for so long. I do know that’s how depression affects many of my friends, but I can’t help but wish it were simpler to end the cycle once and for all. But maybe it’s just part of the human condition? I don’t know; this is all brand new to me and I feel like I’m on an alien planet trying to figure out how things work.

      But anyway, thank you for sharing your experience and your coping mechanisms. I wish you all the best! I’ve been advised to try and look at the world as my 8-year-old self would, and that’s actually been easier and more fun than I imagined. There’s something to going off the path you’re taking to get to the office for a few minutes to touch a plant just because – when you were 8 – you would have wanted to know how it felt in your fingers.

      And yes, this music video is a beautiful, ridiculous thing. I’ve been driving my husband crazy with it all weekend. WHAT THE FOX SAY?!

      • I think your strategy is quite wonderful. I think anything that takes a person out of themselves for awhile is helpful – nature, art, music, dance, exercise, the creative process, gardening or pets for some, simple but fun projects that become kind of meditative, volunteering, and of course if you can get them lots of hugs and wonderful conversation from those who love you. When I was a docent at an art museum, I used to love to follow the tours given to grade school kids. They saw art, particularly modern art, with such open eyes and hearts. And they came up with the most insightful ideas about a work, I used to take notes for my own tours. Sometimes they saw something even the curators had not picked up on.

  4. If a Norwegian band from one of the darkest and most psychologically depressed regions of the world can produce this, you’re doing just fine, dear. 馃檪

  5. Always the way. It so often seems that just as you’re ready to give up on everything, a wisp of hope comes along to poke you. Very happy for you Jennie, and very glad you’re not ‘going quiet’ on us 馃檪 x

  6. So what you’re saying is that I just have to give up?
    Congratulations, darling — it couldn’t have happened to a better pixie — and now I’m picturing you caught in a butterfly net and being freshly pressed into a notebook. OUCH! Okay, I take back the analogy, darling!
    Um, let’s see… nope, that image is stuck with me now.
    Thanks for not letting me give up, darling — you’ve been a great encouragement, and I’ll just keep striving.
    (by the way — I did get your comment on my nostalgic article, but for some reason, it won’t let me approve it! weird, right)

    • Yes. Absolutely. Get really, really down and out, to the point where you can’t even handle talking on the telephone anymore, let alone typing words that make sense… decide that the best use of all your waking hours is laying in bed with your dogs… get so disconnected from reality that you think your dogs are whispering stories in your ear… and then get out of bed and write whatever the beagles told you to say. Works like a charm.

      But really… if I have to be trapped, at least it’s inside a notebook. Maybe if I wiggle a bit, the powder from my wings will form some words to mark my time there. And encouraging, me? That’s a bad case of the pot calling the kettle shiny.

  7. That. Is. AWESOME! Congratulations, Jennie! On a more serious note, though, I’m really sorry that you’ve been depressed, and I hope you’re feeling more rainbow-rific now. To me, you always radiate positivity, but I know what you’re really feeling seems like it’ll NEVER END. (And it’s always tempting to bag the blog when that happens, isn’t it? When I’m most tempted, I try to tell myself it’s worst thing I can do.)

    • Thank you. For all of that. It seems like what I need to focus on is learning how to feel a wider range of emotions without feeling like I’m entering scary-land. I’m so used to being up that being down throws me for a bigger loop that it realistically should… and I have to say, understanding how to relax into the inevitable lulls in life sounds pretty damn good to me. But, you are right: I really enjoy this blog, and giving it up would be worse than posting a few scattered pieces. xoxo/power ring clink

  8. You are such a beautiful and inspirational writer, Jennie. Depression is the worst, and it’s the worst when you feel like you can’t do the things that make you the happiest. Everyone’s experience is different but I’ve been feeling that same dread the last couple of weeks with my blog and it’s probably been one of the harder things to keep it going so I understand how you feel (sort of). Oh and CONGRATS on Freshly Pressed girrrrrrl — the best kind of karma.

    • Aly! Your words are freaking balm – thank you. Although I want to turn your words back around at you – I love reading your blog, and if you were ever dreading how it was going, I’d probably be thrilled to read whatever you posted and be eagerly awaiting more. I’m working on finding that point where commitment to quality turns into “own worst critic” – I don’t want to play that role for myself.

      Anyway! I hope something good washes all your dread away, just like the rain did to that damn spider in the song. And here’s to karma when she’s on her best behavior!

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