I had a bit of a breakdown on Monday. I had forgotten to send J. this poster we had worked on the day before. I was already late for work after voting and going to the bank and had to go back home to e-mail it to her. I should have done it without stress. No one was mad at me, I didn’t miss anything at work. Everything worked out and I was doing a nice thing but I was still anxious and frustrated that I had forgotten that now I was going to have to go through my day rushing to get stuff done (which isn’t even true and I know that).
All day I couldn’t think about anything but how far away September was. I was thinking about the conflict I was having at work with people, how I’m not doing a good enough job there. We don’t have a functional accountability process and I feel that everyone wants to tell me to do a better job but that they just don’t know how, or can’t because I’m too upset most days.
I want to be critical of things there. It’s part of how I am to be critical, or at least I’ve thought it was for a long time. Most days I can’t bring myself to do it because of all the people who have told me that nicely telling them to cut their tomatoes thinner or observing them as they do things has hurt their feelings. Everyone seems super sensitive, maybe I’m an asshole. After a larger conflict last month I haven’t been able to talk to anyone at work about anything. I don’t want to give them positive feedback because if my tone matches my mood and I’ve been so down, I don’t want to come off at patronizing or condescending.
I was thinking about my failure as a communicative member of the collective, as a partner to people I’ve been with, as a friend to my friends. I was thinking of everything getting busier for summer and how I would need to tighten my belt and get it done. I hadn’t cried in maybe 8 months.
At the meeting, without taking too much time to think it over, I told everyone I was questions my ability to work there. I asked for and was given a vacation beginning next week. I’m going to take a few days and get myself centered. Then I’m going to go east.
I used to travel a lot. I would hop into town and have a good time with folks, check out the scene. I would get inspired by all the greatness that my new friends were apart of. Then frustrated because I couldn’t really invest, I couldn’t become apart of their amazing moments the same way. I had other towns to see, I had to go home.
When I would return from a month or two on the road I would be full of motivation. Workshops in Montreal would make me want to talk to all of my friends about how I am when I’m breaking down, warning signs. DIY punks in Newfoundland would make me want to throw a music festival. The kids of Kentucky would show me how to live a warm life, while constantly drinking Arizona iced tea. I would do things because of that. That is something I have lost or forgotten.
I call myself a punk and most people laugh at it. I do too sometimes. But when I say punk I mean a lot more what it implies to most people. To me it’s being sincere, loving your friends and standing up for them. It’s being an anarchist. It’s being productive in your projects which are ever growing and there’s always something new around the corner. It’s not being tied down by an intrinsic need for money, possessions or status. It is to live in opposition of “just the way it is”.
When I was on the road a lot I would become frustrated by my inability to settle down and give myself to a community. I would fear I would never love a city the way some of the punks I saw did. That I would never help others the way they could. I’m still scared of that. That is what makes leaving a place so difficult. I feel a certain failure in it. I know it’s for the best and everyone I talk to seems to agree. I need to be inspired again.
I once wrote “So will you live your whole life on the same block or will you seek out those places that you dream about? Because the world waits for no one, or so I’m told. Every great lesson is waiting for us on the open road.” I should listen to my past self more often.
See you all soon.