Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lies I tell myself

It is a gorgeous spring day, the leaves brand new and green on the trees at my window, the sunlight filtering down from a blue sky in a luminous watery yellow, and for some reason it makes my heart ache. It makes me feel lonely despite the fact that I am here in the midst of my family, my husband watching English Premier League soccer, my daughter escaping homework by watching the first season of Gossip Girl on her laptop, soon to leave the house to meet up with her friends who took their SATs this morning. She opted to take the ACTs instead, and so has the morning free, but will join the rest of them in the hidden garden on one of their Manhattan rooftops, where they plan to lounge in their sunglasses and slather on sunblock and listen to music and read Cosmo and Glamor and Seventeen and usher in the spring afternoon in the most perfect manner I can imagine.

I envy them, their connectedness and youth, their embrace of their world, their ability to be spontaneous and do. I feel so inert, unable to seize the day, to truly inhabit it. I feel imprisoned somehow, looking out at all that blue and yellow and green from a high window, locked away from it, offended by the way it beckons to us, but not me. I have the strange sensation of not being invited to the party, or if I am invited, not knowing how to join in. I have never loved spring. It demands engagement and lightheartedness and outdoor imagination and I have trouble leaving my house, even to go to work every day, so it helps to have bleak weather outside. I feel less assaulted by my inadequacies under grey skies, on rainy days. But on days like this one, I am at a loss. Stupidly, my heart aches and I want to be anyone but me.

The feeling makes no sense really. None. In a short while I will be going with my husband to the Apple store and maybe after we will walk up Broadway and people watch and maybe go to the park and then I have plans for this evening. I will be meeting up with friends to drink wine and make panini and celebrate birthdays, and talk and lounge and do nothing but what we please. I love these woman and enjoy spending time in their company. This is how I know the moodiness that has invaded me is treacherous chemistry. It is the unconscious playing tricks, telling me that I am not okay. I am wrong, wrong, wrong. Telling me the lie I hold most dear without ever having understood the why.


  1. Bad chemical days. We all have them. We have to just grit out teeth and let them pass. And they do.

  2. I loved reading this, such a fascinating glimpse into your personhood, and it totally makes sense that gloom would relieve you of the feeling that you have to DO. Sometimes I try to think of what I would tell my kids...if I had a child who just liked to be cozy in her nest I'd talk to her about appreciating her unique there is room for all kinds in the youxo

  3. My Friend, Angella. I want to get to know you better. I don't understand this sadness. Spring is suppose to bring cheer, not melancholy.
    You don't live a million miles away so I'm hoping that one day, I can meet you. We can sit and have some wine. Actually, I'm having some now. Sorry to start without you.
    I do hope that you have a wonderful Mother's Day.
    Your Friend, m.

  4. You know, I think I know exactly how you feel and have felt that way myself. It's so difficult to shake off -- takes heroic actions (like you've described) to do so sometimes. I hope you have a wonderful time with your friends -- I'm doing much the same tonight!

  5. Dear Angella, I always feel better when its gloomy and raining and dark, when the external weather matches the internal weather. Bright, glorious spring days are usually hard for me for the same reason you spoke of--it makes me feel separate, out of the loop, apart. I cling to my 'nest' on the best of days, and it takes a great deal to get me out and about, and then to join the party to which I feel I'm never invited? I hardly can ever make myself go. I feel I don't belong, won't be missed, can add nothing and won't be welcomed there, whereever there is. It's chemical treachery, surely, but it's been with me for so long, it feels more real than the days I feel cheerful and cheered by the weather, the season, the activity, the friends. I can't scour it away. I'm glad that writing it down eases the pain of it for you, and that walking with your husband through the city also helps.

  6. was it the planets, the stars? i was saddened to read your post last night; yesterday was rough for me, too. who moods, waves of anxiety, rampant insecurity, weepy spells. i was so exhausted with myself i slept like the dead. this morning is a brand new day. go figure...i hope you wake up with the light of possibility once again glowing at the end of the hallway.
    have a lovely Mother's Day!

  7. Ms. Moon, sitting around a fountain in the middle of a people filled plaza with my man and then late afternoon lunch with pomegranate margaritas sure helps!

    Maggie May, i do like to be cozy in my nest. I think i love it most of all. I have to remember sometimes that it's even better when I've been away from it and get to come back to it and just exhale. I think you understand and thank you dear Maggie May.

    Mark, don't worry about starting without me. I started without you, too! But margaritas, not wine. I'm better than I felt earlier, and writing it down earlier helped allow that to happen. Sometimes i feel a dark mood and if i can write it down i helps to move it out of me, so if that helps explain it well there you go. I am heading over to leave a comment on your spring cleaning post now! Looks like you earned that wine!

  8. Elizabeth, I hope you had a wonderful evening with friends! I did. What a difference a day can make. Happy Mother's Day, my lovely friend.

    Melissa, I can tell you understand the feeling so well, and I'm sorry you do because it sucks to feel this way. But thank you for being here, for always holding out a rope on which I can place my hands, one over the other, and find my way back. Sending love to you, dear Melissa.

    Susan, maybe it was the planets, because it is another glorious day and my mood is so much lighter. Go figure. I am glad today feels better for you, too. Happy mother's day to you! With love.

  9. Angella, I love this post, I can connect with it too, treacherous chemistry is perfect.

    love, D

  10. Dierdre, i think sometimes that the treacherous chemistry we experience is part of what pushes us to write. It has to escape somewhere. So in that sense, it is useful. Maybe.

  11. I have been barely able to type .. to read..
    emotions are very very real. intense and incapacitating and glorious and life affirming...
    sometimes all at once.