Coffee Thoughts: empty milk jugs blowing in the wind

“Chubbic! Chubbic! Help me! I feel like a spoon in the cutlery of life — surrounded by forks — and everywhere, everywhere, are cherry pits. And I also feel like a robotic arm on the spacecraft, surrounded by the stars, that has–”

At this point I realized my Dad was spoofing me. I was about 14 years old, and very prone to announcing to my family my latest mood swings in increasingly complicated metaphors. The one that my siblings like to quote back at me the most was the “empty milk jug blowing in the wind.”

I’d coined that one after taking out the recycling up the the curb, and watching the gusty fall wind lift an empty milk jug out of the recycling bin, shoving it up and down the street before I retrieved it. It made me think of how heavy the milk jug had been when Mom would come back from shopping, and we’d haul them into the house up the porch steps. It fit how I felt–I should be full and heavy, but instead I feel so empty, and tiny little gusts of wind (which shouldn’t even knock me over if I was a full milk jug) could now just bat me about, buffeted by any winds that blow.

It’s how I feel a bit right now. Maybe it’s just financial/work stress, as I’m now juggling part time jobs with actual work place dynamics and more responsibilities.

Or maybe its because I’m nearing 30, and am realizing (once again) that it is increasingly likely that I will never join the ranks of conservative housewives with lively hordes of children — something I always assumed would probably happen to me. In a way, I chose this. I wanted to be independent in my inner soul, to not be hemmed in by someone else’s will, to never submit my conscience to another’s unless I thought they were already right, but I also wanted to be with a traditional man — basically, the opposite of the drifting hipster…the patriarchal “old-school” kind of man that seizes responsibility and is even sorta sexist (e.g. “women and children to the life boats!”) and who sticks to his religious principles and doesn’t bend on those things no matter what. So it has kind of been a Catch-22. I did this to myself. I can’t have my cake and eat it too, so here I am.

Or maybe because its the 2016 election cycle, and I’m bitterly disillusioned in many, many Americans. America is something that aches inside of me. What Laura was to Petrarch, or what Beatrice was to Dante, is what America is to me. It’s this kind of reckless hyper-idealized incoherent gut-wrenching love for something I can’t even explain concretely very well, but moves in a deeper place in my guts&heart&marrow than any romance I’ve ever experienced. Besides Jesus and my nuclear family, America is the biggest thing to me. More so than church. Maybe it’s not healthy. It is probably idolatrous. But it is the way I tick — it is not something I’m doing, its something I am.

Then I’ve been blaming it on hormones too. First I blamed it on hormone spikes around ovulation, then I blamed it on hormone drop-offs after ovulation, then on pre-PMS hormone fluctuations, then on PMS hormone drop-offs, and now on being exhausted due to blood loss. But then, that is basically all the time. We are always having some hormonal fluctuation:hormonecycle

So I don’t think I can blame that. It’s just empty milk jug time in my life. I’m not sad all the time — sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry, sometimes I have nightmares, and sometimes I pray. And I have so many dear people in my life who love me so much, beyond what I deserve.

But I feel really empty and kinda “blank”. I know there is more in my soul than this–it just feels kinda blank right now. After my work is done, I sit around trying to think of something I want to do. Things I used to get excited about, now don’t hold my interest for long. Reading isn’t the same, writing isn’t the same, you can see how little I’ve blogged, and I feel kinda empty. I’m still intact–the milk jug is here, it’s just empty at the moment.

I guess I’ll just have to wait this one out. Someday it will be full again. If nature has seasons, and times of drought and then rain, I guess my soul can too.

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