You know how when you're a teenager you go through the angsty phase of trying to figure out who you are? Where you sit in the dark and burn candles and write poems about your cellophane-covered soul? Well, maybe that was just me. I was big on the whole cellophane-covered soul thing. I thought it sounded West Village circa 1958. Anyway, that was the last time that I spent serious time trying to figure out who I am and who I wanted to be. Oh, I've thought about it a lot since then - you don't sit in Landmark courses for years and not think about who you're "creating" yourself to be. But I haven't engaged in the deep examination of myself that I did when I was, say, seventeen.
When I was seventeen my world crashed down around me when my parents split up, and I had to figure out who I was as someone who didn't have a family unit to rely on anymore. Now at thirty-four my world has crashed down around me in losing my baby boy, and I'm trying to figure out who I am in the face of more physical and emotional pain than I ever knew was possible in the world. I just realized that thirty-four is double seventeen. So every seventeen years something really awful has happened in my life. Remind me when I'm fifty-one to avoid doing, or planning anything big.
So what I'm doing now to figure this all out is going back to what made me happy when I was a teenager. Familiar stuff like writing with markers (I thought I was so cool taking notes in AP History with skinny crayola markers and doing each paragraph in a different color). Listening to Peter Cetera. Ok, so he's familiar and cheesy, ok? I like that. I downloaded a player that will let me play Wonder Boy on my PC. Wonder Boy in Monsterland rocked my world in the fall of 1993. I had bought a Sega Genesis from a guy I knew at work, and one of the games that came with it was Wonder Boy. Man, I played that thing for months before I finally beat it. I was seriously obsessed.
I'm also lighting a lot of apple cinnamon candles. When I was sixteen I started cutting school. I didn't do it to go engage in petty criminal activities. Nope, I did it to stay home and study in peace (my parents argued a lot and it was pretty tense when they were around, even on their own - too much grief and pain for a seventeen year old girl to handle). One day while cutting school I drove into Downtown Lancaster (that was a big deal for me at the time - driving around in The City) and I went to the old Watt and Shand in Penn Square (which is now a convention center, incidentally) and I bought a Ziggy assignment planner, new markers, and a crapload of apple cinnamon candles. I think I was trying to create a homey feeling in my house - a psychologist would probably have an explanation of why I felt the need to burn apple cinnamon candles all the time. I think I got pizza at the place on Queen Street on the way back to the parking lot. When I got home, I burned my apple cinnamon candles (this was also slightly contraband because I wasn't really allowed to play with matches, even as a teenager) and put on a record (a real record, with an arm and a needle) of the Messiah and I sat in the living room and did my AP European History reading with my dog Rocky on the couch next to me, and I felt very peaceful.
I bought apple cinnamon candles in bulk at Target the other day. Now I just need a dog....
So my dad is visiting this weekend, and I'm excited. It will be good to be comforted by my dad. Every girl needs a good dad. I'm glad I've got one.
Finally, on a practical note, I had my follow-up doctor appointment yesterday, and he gave us the ok to start trying again after one cycle. We also started grief therapy with the therapist that we did our pre-marital counselling with. My mother-in-law says that we're doing everything right. If results are a product of the actions you take, then we should be in ok shape. Last night we sat down to paint together, and independently we both did paintings about Baby Teysko. We're learning how to express our grief in creative ways, and not just breaking down and crying. We do that a lot too, but we have to learn how to channel it because it's not going anywhere for a while. National Novel Writing Month starts next week. I wonder what I'll be writing about....