I’m gonna be worse

I saw this meme shortly before the new year, and to put it lightly, flipped out.

What do I mean by being worse?

Melting into me. Relaxing into the lack of chill. Folding into the absurdity of it all. Running up and down Gun Road for fun. Being chalant, wondering about the etymology, then confirming that chalant is indeed slang because the main rule of English is that there are no rules.

I have a bit of a life philosophy, mostly existential, as the former teenager reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being in between lifeguarding shifts. It could just as well be otherwise.

Be worse.

Keep going.

We get to do this.

Themes I can see as I look back on my poetry while editing a full length manuscript and submitting a prize portfolio.

Getting worse. At some point in my late 20s, I stopped having much shame. I’m sending the text, sending the email. I have 18 pages of a Word Doc tracking mostly rejected writing and have an Aquarius moon, I don’t notice the hurt. After doctor appointment on doctor appointment, having to claw my way to an endometriosis diagnosis, what did I have to loose?

It took deeper reflecting after a conversation with my coach about goals for early 2023 to understand more of what I want out of running. I was having trouble pinpointing a “goal” race. Rather, I had a bunch of shit on my calendar that to me, looked like fun trail time with unusual distances. I may shoot for time goals at some point, but mostly I want to go outside and be. I feel the friend I lost in the moon, in crows gliding, in the soft peach of sunrise and sunset.

I am not alone in these haunted moments. A group of us (we all went to an MFA program together) wrote a joint eulogy and wrote through our memories of her.

I am conflicted about writing much about grief on the blog, but like processing chronic illness grief through this venue, I continue to process the loss, even as I’m back to doing things like opening my mail. It seeps into the everyday.

I feel other people carrying their grief as they enter meetings, enter supposedly joyful spaces. So much to think about. To quote what Mandy wrote in i want people to think: I want people to think of the body’s resilient failure, rising from bedspreads of fire and ash screaming “I eat men like air” and then I did.


Books I’m thinking about / recently read:

  • Grief is Pink  by Jessica Niles DeHoff
  • My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

Stay sweaty and glittery. Black Lives Matter.

This is just to say grief is hard

Many people I care about are struggling right now, and I am too. Time moves differently with grief. I check the clock often to understand when I am. Yes, when.

Grief has brought feelings of not being enough. I’ve learned over the years (and therapy, please, therapy is the best) this not enough is a vague malaise—there isn’t a specific thing I think I need to do more. I’m getting down on myself without anything concrete, mostly grasping for something to hold. There have been some very wonderful things happening this month, so the grief sneaks in as I simultaneously feel joy.

I’ll keep on running into the new year. In the trees, in the sun, in the rain—I am moving and free and nearly outside of my skin. Specifically, there are 2023 races I’m thinking about. I’m not even sure what my goals are for each race, other than learn something about myself and go long. I’m working to get enough protein and stretch while I work through the grief this way. I don’t need to be injured and sad.

This is just to say, I often write about not wanting to be vulnerable. Sick is not fragile. When I reflect on the past year, I’m not actively sick anymore. I can plan trips and give hard efforts on run and not be flattened for days or weeks. This is still new, and I’m very grateful (again) for therapy and working through this.

Grief is somehow collective and personal. The grief from the loss of a wonderful person will keep coming in waves, but there is still all this future to reach for. They would appreciate all of us keeping up the fuck around & find out attitude.

Books I’m thinking about / recently read:

  • Please make me pretty, I don’t want to die by Tawanda Mulalu
  • Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong

Stay sweaty and glittery. Black Lives Matter.