I suspect that spending time with me, these days, is a bit like walking through a land with that kind of weather that changes in a heartbeat. I don’t mean that it just changes the way it does everywhere, like how everywhere I have lived, people say “Don’t like the weather in ____? Wait five minutes!”
[Spoiler alert: they say that EVERYWHERE. The nature of weather IS change.]
This weather changes in ways that show. They are changes that force you to notice. This weather pounds on the roof so hard you forget your work; you get up from your desk and go out to the front porch to watch the lightning. Or it floods the sky with colors that scream “Filter!” and remind you most of the huge eyeshadow palette you had in high school, all blues and purples and magentas and glitter. It’s weather that makes you get your camera out, or run for your coat, or rip off your layers.
My weather changes in ways that don’t necessarily seem to follow reasonably from one another. Reasonable changes would be from cloudy, to light rain, to pouring. Or from cold wind and rain to sleet. My weather isn’t that orderly. It defies cause and effect. Maybe it’s cold and windy, and you’re walking along bracing against it as the fuzz around the hood of your parka gets wet and crusty. And then without warning you are sweating, red-faced and panting, and the sun is bald and burning. I change like that.
I feel all my feelings, and also a lot of other people’s feelings, and also I have feelings about all those feelings. And I have BIG feelings. I always have. Even my elementary school report cards said things like “very sensitive,” and way too many partners and family members and even acquaintances have said “too intense.” It feels like I’ve spent most of my life trying to dial that intensity down for fear of not being liked. But really, how does one dial down the weather? You can’t. All you can really do is make sure you have the right clothing and equipment. Or, roll with it and just let the snowflakes melt your tongue. Let the sunlight warm your face. Feel the wind in your hair, and squish your toes in the mud.
Also, I have spent way too much time in my life terrified, and absolutely convinced, that bad emotional weather will stay bad. Every down day is transformed in my mind into a doomsday: “Oh no. What if I’m depressed? It was like this at the beginning the other times. I’m never going to just be happy, am I. What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I just be happy? Fuck. I’m going to get so behind at work. And on and on.
But weather changes, doesn’t it? The nature of weather IS change. Even horrible long gray cooped-up interminable sloggy winters in central Pennsylvania eventually do come to an end. Maybe instead of hating the showy, unreasonable changing of my soulweather, I can love it. No weather is forever, and neither is any emotion, and for that I am grateful. Showily, unreasonably grateful.