you know better now than ever before.

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Monday, September 11, 2006
Today has been strange. I find myself unpredictably weepy. Not overcome with ragged-hearted ruination, but welling up at the slightest provocation -- sort of like a not very deep but free-bleeding scrape with a bandage that won't stay put. Since I'm pretty much by myself today, this is okay. I go about my business crying or not crying and I don't have to worry about explaining it to anyone. (I am not trying to lay all of this at the feet of the anniversary of 9/11, although I do think collective sorrow has more of an effect than people realize.)

The last few days have caught me feeling uncharacteristically melancholy anyway. Is it because summer is ending? (Melancholy, the new HOT look for fall!) It's probably a confluence of things. I've been missing my dad -- he's been dead for 10 years. I just passed the 5 year anniversary of leaving a job that made me cry almost every day (which is, I assure you, No Way To Live), but I have been in career-limbo since then. I'm at a weird nebulous point (can a point be nebulous?) in my life where it's less a matter of choosing which of two roads to go down, but wondering why I'm standing in the bottom of a swimming pool instead of at a nice clear crossroad. I realize this is not an uncommon condition, and my inner optimist tells me that it is a moment ripe with opportunity rather than imminent disaster. Every now and then sadness and uncertainty get kicked up to the top and make me a temporary mess, but they'll settle down again. My inner optimist doesn't protect against the odd weepy day, but then she probably shouldn't. (Sometimes I think My Optimism is a serious mental defect, but I also think those who always favor probability over possibility are missing out. But I digress...)

[note to self: when it is time to move from random weeping to random pogoing, switching from from Neko Case to the Buzzcocks helps a lot.]

The title of this post comes from a gift my mom gave me for my birthday a couple of years ago. It's called The Book of Answers, which is kind of like a book-form Magic 8 Ball, except it has more advice than just "better not tell you now," although I think that's in there as well. The idea is that you think of your closed-ended question, run your thumbs along the edge of the pages until it feels right and flip it open. I did it today (don't know why) and this is the answer it gave me. Like all the best fortune cookie messages or horoscopes, it could mean anything, nothing, or just what it says. Of course you know better now than ever before! Each minute alive gives you a little more information, right? sigh. The most helpful responses I have ever gotten were probably "be patient," or "take a chance," believe it or not.
12 comments on "you know better now than ever before."
  1. Hey man -

    Sorry you're feeling melancholy. I have had a weird day too - not so much weepy as dejected and feeling stuck. My interview was bizarre and made me question what the hell it is I'm doing. My conclusion so far is that I have no f!!@%^# clue. I'm sorry you're feeling bad about your dad, work and the state of the world. Grief is tough. It doesn't end in some neat, little package like people seem to expect it to.

    Anyway, sometimes it's ok to have a weepy day. If you want to talk, let me know. Remember, tomorrow will be better or at least Ditty Boppier.


  2. Thanks, man. What a weird day. I no longer feel weepy, just tired. The dad thing and the state of the world thing wasn't such a surprise, they crop up periodically. That I'm still agitated about a job from 5 years ago kind of was. Bah.

    I'm sorry that your interview was so bizarre. My inner optimist says to tell you that things will work out and you'll find the job you want. Clues are overrated, anyway!

    yay for ditty bop shows and tuesdays in general.

  3. I discovered during my Library training that I am unfit for the job. I'm not as young as I was, you know? So that made me feel all icky this weekend and then, of course, I always get a little mental around the 11th of September as it is, so...I was lucky enough to spend most of yesterday "proper" alone so I could watch all the news/talk shows that exploit/encourage rememberance of the people that were killed that horrible day and I was able to go from smiling to weeping in a matter of seconds but I like to do that when I am alone, although I have often wondered what is the point of having an emotion if no one is around to see it? This week should only get better?

  4. BBD, I am sorry you are having such a rough time! Any transition can be tough, so I hope you give yourself a little time to see if the job might fit better as you go on. If that option is no longer on the table, I know you'll figure out something that's more suited. The week will definitely get better.

  5. hey weepy girl, i'm glad it changed to sleepy.

    are we born with this sadness?
    or does it come to us in time?

    this is a question i've been asking myself for years...

    i bet your today was better than yesterday.

  6. I wish I'd read your blog before I sent you a long email all about ME! Sigh. I hope you're feeling much better

  7. I am unable to do the physical part of the job so, no, the job is no longer mine. I was allowed to put my name back in "the pool" for other positions, so we shall see. I just...feel like I should never be too happy because it never seems to work out the way I want. Although I do know, or I have been told, that things work out the way that they are supposed to. Ghandi was all "Be the change you want to see in the world" and to that I would say BLECH. At least right now I would say that. I mean look how he ended up...

  8. I should add...I am just feeling like having a pity party right about now but I do appreciate your kind words...

  9. hey billy, thanks. that's a really good question. If I think about it too long it becomes a little chicken v. egg / nature v. nurture confusing, but if it were easy to know I guess it wouldn't be so interesting. (and tuesday was an order of magnitude better than monday, hallelujah.)

    leslie, I am feeling much better! Even if I weren't, you could send me a victorian novel length email all about you and I would think it a happy mailbox occasion.

    bbd, I am so sorry to hear about the job. For what it's worth, I think pity parties (in moderation) are sometimes the only thing that works. Poor Gandhi. No respect! Kids today!

  10. See how crazy I was yesterday, I said Ghandi as opposed to Gandhi. At least you knew what I meant. I hope that this weather is not affecting your mood. I like it because it fits my mood. I like it when the weather reflects how I am feeling...and while we are on this subject, what about Anna Nicole's son? Super sad I would say. Which I just did say.

  11. The light is changing! I hate that.

    I had no idea that the job you worked at 5 years ago made you weep nearly every day--I feel so dumb, since I worked with you those days and never realized.......I am sorry I was so unobservant.

    I do remember weeping in the bathroom one day because the grand dame who was my boss at the time had assaulted me with her worst witchy character assassination.

    Was the weeping cathartic? I carefully avoided any programs on TV dealing with 911--every time they show the tower going down the tears flow and I am so angry about the way the whole thing has been exploited that it is just better not to go there.

    Hard to believe it has been 10 years since your Dad died. I remember him very well--he was a distinctive person. Have you written about him--about what it was like to have him for a Dad?

  12. bbd, I wasn't trying to give you grief about how to spell Gandhi! The weather is not altering my mood particularly (thankfully), except to make it feel more like fall and back to school. (which makes me cast a guilty eye at my GRE book that I have ignored for a week.) I am very sorry you are having a grey and rainy time right now, though. You deserve sunnier.

    patty -- that job made me CRY not weep. (the crying was almost entirely stress-related opposed to being sadness-related, which is how I would differentiate if someone held a shoe to my head and made me)

    I can't believe it's been 10 years either.


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