Some words I’ve strung together


I’ve been doing that thing again.

That thing where I start writing stuff in my head. I’ll be looking out the window, washing my hair in the shower (always the shower!) - zoning out when I should be listening to my kids tell me (again) about the funniest video they just watched.

My mind is full.

I’ve told myself that this blog should be reserved for professional content, so it lingers untouched, except for all of the unpublished drafts that I’ve deemed “not related.” Part of my daydream writing includes a fantasy anonymous blog where I actually tell the truth and don’t have to worry about offending anyone, or field probing questions, or be nice to the people that correct my “you’re” to “your” because they like to think you’ARE stupid and not that you can’t be arsed to proofread every goddamn thing online. A place where there are no comments, only thoughts - and then I remember that’s why people have journals. Laughing smiling emoji.

The daily inundation of broadcasting and being connected has left my typing fingers numb. I haven’t had much to say for several years, there are too many other things that need attending, and writing feels like an indulgence as life needs my presence and not another blog post. I’m seeing that my cohorts are mostly quiet too as we get older - realizing things will change and complicate, and you will change your mind, and you will change, and so maybe it’s time to ride it out, not knowing and not saying, and stop proclaiming how much you know about life. That’s what I think about my lack of writing, but I reserve the right to feel differently.

Instagram is no place for real thoughts. I write captions, sure, but it is a different beast, and I don’t count it as a space for expression. I have to be funny or amusing, because we can’t handle multifaceted people on social media. Well that, and we don’t like reading in general. I don’t say that as an accusation - it’s the overwhelming nature of constant information.

As I said though, my mind is a swirling place lately. And it’s nice to be thinking more constructively. Yes, actual phone down thinking - it still exists! I enjoy coming up with the sentences - I sort my thoughts and opinions as I write them out in my head, choose the words that feel right. I’m trying to read books instead of absent-mindedly scrolling, and I often find myself studying the way particular authors write, how they construct their sentences, why some seem more relatable.

I find myself composing my thoughts about aging, particularly within the social media world, but also as I see older women being maligned in political news as their male peers are lauded for their vast years of “experience.” (I try not to think about current events too much though, because that only becomes a string of expletives in my mind that make me want to scream and slap people.)

When I think more optimistically, I have a lot of thoughts about how easy it would be to write about happiness after you lose your religion. I consider it the best decision of our married life and feel fantastic about it. Highly recommend!!! It would be nice to extol the virtues of our heathen life freely and without restraint. (We aren’t supposed to be happy about it, so keep this on the DL.)

Then there are the cliched life thoughts - the ways I’ve become like my parents, with its annoying predictability, but conversely, how my kids are becoming like me in ways that I would rather they do not. My kids get a lot of think time. But they’re older now and have more complex feelings about harder life stuff, and the cute stories for the internet are drying up. For them, I compose apologies and essays about how I will never stop trying to be a better parent.

Health is another topic that prevails. More specifically how health is different for each person and there is so much prescriptive advice that is not one-size-fits-all. I’ve been a lot more proactive about figuring out what is healthy for my mind and my body, even though I continue to play up my bad habits on IG. Sex may sell, but carbs are a close second ;)

And to bring this to a close, I’ve written an entire article in my head about adult friendship and why it’s so hard to find, to keep, and how we all generally suck at being a good friend. It involves a lot of self- serving talk about how I tried for years to be the initiator - to arrange, to gather, to entertain - and then gave up entirely because it felt one-sided and exhausting. But my personal rumination aside, I parse out the qualities of friendship almost daily. It fascinates me the way we treat this type of relationship as merely an extra when so much of the research (and our own feelings) emphasizes its crucial role in our lives and overall happiness.

These are my highly edited, almost swear-free thoughts. Maybe I’ll write more about these things, or maybe I won’t. But I’m finished navel gazing for now.

Mendy WaitsComment