I’ve come to expect a certain level of disaster every time I look in the mirror. I’m used to it, either wild frizzy hair, hunched shitty posture, or the hollow, tired expression of someone who has seen all their friends pulled out to sea and eaten by some horror of the deep ocean. I’ve come to identify with a certain level of visible exhaustion, like a brand. There are people I’ve become decent friends with who have never seen me well rested. There are people I’ve known for years, been to their homes, petted their cats, and shared hangovers with, and they’ve never seen me fully awake and genuinely happy.
If I met someone right now, they would have an idea of me that would be sadly impermanent and uniquely genuine. It is weird not to be tired overwhelmed, or nervous.
It’s strange to be separated from negative feelings I’ve come to feel like are a permanent part of my personality. It’s like suddenly realizing I’m allowed to cook using ingredients I want instead of having to add orange peel and frog’s breath to everything I make.
It’s also strange knowing this absolutely isn’t permanent. Like when you’re feeling awful and exhausted and broken and people say things like “this will pass,” or “you’re going to pull through,” it’s also true for when you’re weirdly happy. It’ll pass.
I’m not tired. I’m not overwhelmed by work. I finally have a window in which it’s ok for me to sleep in and eat a slow breakfast. I know that won’t last forever. I know the bruised circles will wrap around my eyes again soon and I’ll miss this light feeling of energy, but I like it while it’s here.