It's somewhat worse than usual this year -- maybe because of my grandfather, or maybe because I'm not dwelling on the big-picture career issues that I had to distract myself with for the two prior years. But whatever the cause, I'm spending way too much time in my own headspace -- and even for me, it's mildly disturbing.
For the past couple of nights, right around bedtime, I've been listening to Neko Case. I'm pretty sure it's complicating the matter. I'm drifting off into sleep, trying to unravel my own muddled thoughts, listening to certain words:
I know it's unkind but my own blood is much too dangerous
Lying in bed at night, I'm starting to think I understand this. At least to me, it's about the wall. You know the one -- the wall we all put up, protecting our hearts from others, protecting others from us, protecting ourselves from ourselves. It's easier to be kind when others have no expectations of you and you have no expectations of them.
Or somebody's in-between girl
This is the line that kills me, the one I relate to. This makes the whole song make sense to me: The story of the girl taking stock of her poor romantic choices in, of all places, the middle of a wedding -- and resorting to self-medication as the way to get through it all.
In any event, the song just fits. It fits with the somewhat-serious conversation I had with my mother the other day, where somehow, in response to something, I explained to her that, on the inside, I'm still the same scared little kid I've always been, but that from the outside it's hard to see -- or for me to let anyone see it -- because of all of the layers and layers of scar tissue that have accumulated over the years. My mother sort-of chuckled, and asked me why I thought it was any different for her at 60.
The thing is, it's different for her -- she's adept at letting people in. I'm just not built that way.
The funny thing is that I don't want to be this way -- I want to change, to be open and to tell others how I feel, even with the possibility of rejection. But at this point, my behavior is reflexive, a habit. Or maybe it's more than that: It's who I am.