Sometimes, after a big meal or a nap, my grandpa would comment that “I feel more like I do now than I did a little while ago.” That’s the best way for me to tell you how I’m feeling these days. More like myself. More like I do now. I’ve been feeling like myself from time to time and recognizing it as a good thing and not feeling guilty about it or feeling as though I need to contemplate deep things as a way to draw myself closer to what I think (thought) is normal (which now I know is not normal).
It’s really tough to explain.
Coming out of a depression that lasted–in its darkest phase–for more than six months is quite a relief. And I do feel more like myself now. Thing is, I don’t know how to articulate what feeling like me is like. I have noticed myself doing things that seem more like me. Like listening to Leon Redbone on a Sunday morning or a Wednesday night; writing here; thinking about writing fiction; catching myself really enjoying my job; going to a friend’s house for dinner on a weeknight; having plans for Friday evening; thinking about gardening (that’s not particularly me-ish, but it’s becoming a me thing and I like it); thinking about getting in touch with those I’ve been out of touch with, especially my friend John Paul, who I haven’t talked with in nearly a year. I haven’t done these things for what seems like a long, long time.
And I wonder about the permenance of it all. How long will I stay here? How long until the next big plunge? But maybe I’m done plunging. Maybe I’m moving towards where I’m supposed to be–that space where I get to have a dog and good finances and enjoy my job and write and live contentedly.
I had a conversation, once, with a guy I knew in grad school, about transitioning, about how we’re always talking about that thing we’re moving towards. Jobs, stability, new stages in relationships–you get my drift. His take on things is that we’re always in a space and we eventually transition into another space. So the journey isn’t about the movement, but the being in the space we’re in. I’m trying to think in those terms, trying to hold on to where I am.
And here’s one more thing. I’ve been reading some Michel de Certeau lately (it makes me feel smart just to say that I’m reading de Certeau–I’m reading Foucault, too). Today I read an essay that differentiates between space and place. In short, it works like this: a place is a point on a map. A space is the place with movement. A place is a city street. It’s transformed into a place when there are people walking on the street. A place is stagnent. Spaces are lively, transformative. Evenutally I’ll get around to writing about Eudora Welty’s use of space and place. But for now I’m content to think about how I was once in a place and now am in a space. I’m inhabiting the place I live in. Get it?