This year has made me smaller.
(Not physically; I've been stress eating and boredom eating and anxiety eating and depression eating all year.)
But it's stunted and shrunk me in ways that have crept in slowly and compounded.
I talked about this with my therapist today, and in an effort to cheer me up (I feel like therapists aren't supposed to try to cheer you up?), she said I was probably feeling off because Outlander, my fav brain candy of late, wasn't on this past weekend. Ha ha
I've always been an extrovert, thriving on interactions and conversations and jokes and stories and laughter; I've been a social butterfly, a networker, a connector, a show-offer, a clowner, a super-social drinker.
And I've forgotten how to do all of it. Not only that, but I've lost the desire to do much of it, or at least put forth the effort.
Frustrated mid-fight not too long ago, my boyfriend told me it seemed the only thing I got excited about was my genealogy research. If I was making conversation, it was all I'd turn to: long-lost cousins and uncles and grand-folks who carved some unexpected path through the wilderness of early America. I prattled on about my DNA results, my maternal haplogroup, my genetic predisposition to be able to smell that asparagus compound in urine.
Where was I going wrong? Why were my instincts failing me? Conversations aren't hard. What are conversations, after all, but a trading of stories and perspectives?
But what happens to your conversations when your life has shrunk down to work and research and braindead TV binges and watching the world burn, and you don't have the time -- or, more accurately, the energy -- for hiking, painting, reading, running, singing, playing, stretching?
What happens to your conversations when your entire day is scrolling, typing, scrolling, typing, all the while knowing that if you take a break to look at Twitter, you'll be confronted with all the ways in which the world truly is worse every single day?
What happens for me, apparently, is losing the ability to communicate like a human person. I get drunk and talk about the mysterious lives of my ancestors. I talk about the book I'm reading, but all of that's about gender and American history, too. I talk about the show you HAVE to watch. I tell you we HAVE to hang out soon. I talk too much about nothing. I wait to be interrupted. I hope someone else will fill the silence. I shrink down so you'll just make decisions around me. I make myself irrelevant.
This is not me. I'm sick of this person.
I've been alone with myself and my research and my thoughts and my despair a little too long this year. I'm not uncomfortable because I'm finally getting a look at myself or anything like that. I'm simply about to claw my skin off because it feels like there's no escape and no time and nothing pure anymore.
See? Who talks like that?
Time to get a hobby, I guess!