Ennui in the Midst of Bliss

Yep. I disappeared again. Because sometimes life happens and no one is paying me to write this stuff. Because I’m incredibly bad at monetizing words when they are personal on any level. I’m never going to write that novel. Look at me, just setting the perfect tone for this post.

There’s a lot of excuses for why I’ve been MIA lately. Mostly it can be attributed to a move that gave way to the responsibility of home ownership, insanity at work and an unprecedented level of freelance. And then in the pockets of time that did open up in the chaos, I was more likely to wallow in self pity than tackle writing or some such creative endeavor. I like to think F. Scott Fitzgerald had the same writing process.

I had a particularly vicious bout with PMS-triggered melancholy this past Saturday as I attempted to pick out a dining table that matched the very specific needs of our home. I broke down because I couldn’t possibly find one that would make The One™happy and still look good in the space. That then snowballed into “oh God what has life come to? I’m falling apart over home decorating crises. I am that insufferable person. Starving children. Wars. Famine. Etc. Etc. And all I’m concerned about is whether I’ll be able to live with some mass produced surface for the next 5-10 years.

More self-loathing ensued and soon I was indulging in a pity spiral. These movies weren’t really enough to uproot all the sad, so I chose to watch a movie based solely on how well the poster art reflected my feels. I landed on I Smile Back. And then basically cried until we had to meet some friends for a double date. I am an adult.



The thing that’s most frustrating about these strange, despondent days is that I’m genuinely in one of the happiest places I’ve ever been. The One™is a wonderful person who both challenges and supports me. We bought our first home and it is happily (for me) not in the suburbs and has no high-maintenance yard. I have enough freelance work on top of my day job to make things more than comfortable. With all this, the periods of ennui feel both disingenuous and hopeless. What is wrong with me that I just can’t be happy all the time? Maybe I’m just broken. Also, I probably don’t deserve love. Blah blah blah. It’s exhausting.

And, honestly, it’s pointless. Everyone goes through regular highs and lows. It’s part of being a person. Especially an over-thinking person. Everyone is just trying to come to terms with the idea that they are only the center of their own universe and they have no control over anything outside of that sphere. The dank caves make us appreciate the dawn even if it comes too soon and you didn’t get to bed until 3 a.m.

But more than gratitude that stems from the juxtaposition of dark and light, it forces us to take the time to recognize and reflect on the unforeseen pockets of dysphoria and where they stem from. Yes, I have every reason to be over the moon about life. But, there are cracks, too. There’s the strain of 70-hour work weeks. There’s the compromise and sacrifice that comes when you share your life with someone (even if he’s the one doing most of the sacrificing). There’s the fact that I haven’t been able to establish any sort of spiritual routine since falling out with the last church I attended regularly. There’s an event on the horizon that’s going to force me confront the worst period of my life.

After a day languishing among all the reasons I had to be forlorn, I woke up on Sunday and I got the hell over it. I just needed to allow myself to feel the things and move on. Fighting it was only going to prolong the mess. The One™has given me a lot of things. But permission to feel my feelings has been one of the greatest.

That permission was something I lacked in previous lives. Especially those I traversed alone. I am a naturally moody person, and even though I am a lady person, it was always something that needed to be fixed. And, man, did I love to fix people, so I was especially hard on myself when it came to mourning when I didn’t think I had earned it. What I didn’t realize is I had earned it. Just by being human with a history filled with everything from bliss to sorrow, I had earned a mournful day on occasion. It didn’t have to come immediately after something terrible had happened. Because people are complex and weird.

(Disclaimer: I am not a mental health professionals. Mournful days should only be indulged in when they don’t become a habit. If they become a habit, you should get that shit checked out. Consideration should also be given to the mental health of the people around you.)