Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bad Apple

I love biting into a cold Gala apple. I love the firm crispness, the crunch, the mild sweetness. A Gala apple straight from the fridge is my favorite snack, especially when paired with a hunk of pepper jack cheese or a handful of Melba toast. It's a rare twenty-four hour period that passes without seeing me indulge in this choice treat. The thing about Gala apples, though, is they get mealy when they’re overripe. And as we all know, there is nothing in the world as unpleasant as a mealy apple, especially when you were expecting something much more delightful.

I was happy to see last year end. I can’t claim it as the worst year of my life but it certainly was a trying one. Emotionally trying as I let go of old feelings and grappled with what was left, physically trying as I spent more time in hospitals and doctors’ offices in the past twelvemonth than in the previous five added together, financially trying as all those hospital visits translated into piles of hospital bills, and just harder as a good portion of my support system disappeared to the other side of the country in one fell swoop. Ahem. (looks pointedly eastward)

December turned out to be the rotter of the year and by mid-month, I was desperately looking forward to a new year and a fresh start. Ah, the best laid plans and all, you know. January has been like an old Gala apple. I grabbed it eagerly, anticipating that sweetly familiar crunch, and instead got a mouthful of dry, crumbly bits. It was, in short, disappointing. So now, the bitter taste of a mealy month still fresh on my tongue, I look hesitantly at the coming year.

Unless you live with me or happen to be one of my very limited intimates, you’re probably surprised to read this as I require much cajoling to talk about my feelings and even more when those particular feelings are unpleasant. Also, I am queen of masking stress and disappointment with Fun Kim. Fun Kim is always cheerful and in love with life. I love Fun Kim. I love being Fun Kim. I love the people who bring out Fun Kim, who accept her and want her around. But, more than that, I need Fun Kim. I need her to let me know things are going to be okay. I need the release of stress she brings.

Lately, though, the jovial fa├žade is beginning to crack. In the nearly two decades I've been employing this particular coping mechanism, I've never found it more difficult to dredge up the energy Fun Kim requires. One recent occasion may demonstrate what I mean: minutes before several friends were due at our house for a game night, I was unloading all my problems via a phone call home. I became so distressed at one point that I lost the ability to speak and my father, the most patient and kindest of men, listened as I quietly wept into the receiver for the better part of ten minutes. After a fresh coat of mascara and a nerve-steadying Diet Dr Pepper, Fun Kim was back in full-force and ready for the next round of Scattergories.

I'm finding myself tossed betwixt feelings of frustration that my life doesn't seem to be headed the direction I'd like and amazement that I, just a single person, could be so astoundingly and lavishly blessed. That’s how it might be for a while. I’m going to be as happy as I can muster and enjoy whatever this year is going to be.

To those dear few who've been by my side through all this, anything I say would be inadequate to acknowledge the kindness you've shown me so I'll just say this: I will never forget it.

And to all others (old friends, new friends, acquaintances, commenters, stalkers, lurkers and the like), sorry I've been more Sylvia Plath than Lucille Ball lately. Thanks for sticking around. Knowing someone is out there means the world to me.


Alanna said...

I'm one of your lurkers (and also a Fuji apple gal, myself, usually coupled with some sharp cheddar cheese), but I did want to say that I'm sorry you've been having a rough time. I wish I had some great words of wisdom, but anything left in the "comments" section of a blog usually sounds pretty pithy as soon as you're done typing.

So I'll just teach you my favorite Japanese phrase: ganbatte. It means, "Hang in there," but somehow not as dorky as it sounds in English. Also, it's in the command form, so when you say it, you're telling the person to hang in there, not just suggesting it. We all have those days, but it's infinitely harder when those days seem to be stretching into months. Good luck.

If it helps at all, you should know that your blog is one of my favorite ones to read (you and Jenslog); maybe some day you could teach seminars on how to make your blog not annoying like most tend to be...!

Amy Brinton said...

Is this because I didn't call you back last night? I will repent and call later.

Sherrie said...

<3 <3 <3 to you!!!

momof8 said...

Sending you love and prayers . . .

Becca's Blog said...

Kim, I totally could relate to this post. I've become a pro at tearful phonecalls to family in the past few years. Sometimes I think I'm going crazy, but then I just realize that what I was taught my whole life was the goal of life and would make me happy is not something happening for me and I have to totally re-program my brain. And re-programing a brain is a pain.

But, regardless of what happens to you in your life or how life "turns out," just remember how freaking cool you are!

Kristina P. said...

Things tend to take it's toll. I totally know what it's like to always be the funny, optimistic person. And there are times when I don't want to be.

I too have been to the doctors more in the past 6 months, than the past 6 years, and it sucks!!!

Fishgutts said...

Kim, in the end you still have good family, good friends, the Gospel and yes me - Mr. Anonymous (who you so rudely muted only one of my comments on your blog).

My when my 5 kids and the world are against me, I turn to my ever wonderful wife. Frustration lately about children that just don't seem to be the same people at home as they are at school and more concerned about having friends than doing their job (getting good grades). Sometimes I just need me and wife time. Maybe you need that same thing. Time where you don't need to expend the energy to be Fun Kim and just sit and listen -- to you, to your heart and to the Lord. Don't know if you have a Temple Recommend but just go and sit in the Celestial Room.

My prayers are with you though this brings up a very controversial Gospel discussion -- Can God hear anonymous prayers?

Daddyof5greatkids - your Mr. Anonymous