Slowing the Spinning Helix

The sun dips lower behind the pine trees, no longer casting shimmering reflections on the snowy porch of the cabin I’ve rented for a personal retreat, a getaway I’ve needed more than I acknowledged.

The past two years of raising a baby/toddler and persisting through work drama and transitions have taken such a toll on my spirit. Each day is a hurtling through one rushed blur into distraction, worries swirling, relentlessly tired, chronically stressed, and resentful of the upswings that don’t seem to be coming. I have been restless, thinking of ways to rearrange furniture or the feasibility of selling the house and moving up north. Melancholia looms, and a deep longing seeps from the underside of my skin. Each day is a spinning helix of emotion and want, and only a fragile mental harness holds me from free fall.

My dreams have become so vivid and unsettling. I’ve dreamt of someone asking me if I want to write a poem, of sex in stolen moments, of Finn whining outside my door, of my husband looking at me like he needs more than I can give. My conscious and subconscious mingle in the fog.

All I wanted was to start 2023 full of joy and celebrating everything for which I have to be grateful, but heart has been too heavy. I’m so blessed and privileged, which I try not to take for granted, but I can’t shake the weight of it all. I need a way out of the bitchy, whiny, tired version of myself. I need to move the needle along the spectrum of change, and so at the expense, guilt, and sacrifice of my supportive husband, I’m in the woods for solitude and introspection.

I’m journaling through the murky depths inside to make sense of why I’ve carried insecurity, jealousy, envy, judgment, and an incessant need for reassurance and affection my whole life. I continue working to replace old thought patterns that no longer serve me with ones that reflect trust, security, confidence, abundance, and unconditional love.

As much as I want to jump right to the glowing pieces of my life and the simple pleasures of this solo weekend away from it all, I recognize that would be doing myself a disservice. I have to examine the dark bits and try to shine a light on everything that’s been holding me back, all that I need to unlearn.

I find myself remembering and churning up the hurt and disappointment of failed relationships, unrequited love, fading friendships, and the taut threads to my family that seem ready to snap, all the ways we’ve played roles but no longer know how (or want) to play. The ways we keep each other from growing and from understanding each other as we are today. My need for love and belonging hums through each thread of my life, but my need to pull people close plays tug of war with my need for solitude.

At what point will my husband and children resent my need for time alone or internalize it as a fault of their own? Where’s the line between what’s okay to give myself at the expense of what others expect of me or what they deserve? When does saving myself by reclaiming my rights to my days become overwhelmingly selfish?

So many questions lie before landing on a resolution. I reread Sabrina Ward Harrison’s books and realize how ingrained her voice is in me, how often her words surface in me, her experience a palimpsest over my own. It’s a comforting reminder that there are others out there feeling their way through it all, hoping for true connection by being authentic and vulnerable.

That’s all I’ve ever aimed to be, but it’s a tough ask in a world that begs only for the cheeriest, most polished and successful aspects of ourselves. Though we all have internal struggles, blah days (or years), and rollercoaster moods, for some reason we only want to see the beautiful, accomplished people with their curated versions of their lives shining brighter than our own.

I’d like to see more of the raw, bare facets of people, see where our angles intersect. I want to find where my own jagged edges align with others and how we might, together, form a puzzle where each odd-shaped piece is perfect and necessary to complete the whole.

One thought on “Slowing the Spinning Helix

  1. I want nothing more for you than to discover the beauty of who you truly are and the spontaneous joy you bring others with your quick crossword/scrabble solving intellect and your absolutely infectious smile!

    Liked by 1 person

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