To me, the best time to turn over a new leaf isn't New Year's Day. It's still cold then, meaning the earth is still hibernating and so am I. I'm also just coming out of full holiday mode at the beginning of January -- probably not even back to work yet after whatever vacation I took to celebrate the season. I'm not ready to go from that state of being to making self-improvement plans and trying to be productive in any meaningful way.
"Pre-spring" is a much more natural time for that. It's getting a little warmer, which makes it easier to get in the mood for positive change. Lent also starts, so I'm already primed and ready to put the brakes on the old self-indulgence engine for a while. I've been in kind of a low energy funk for a while, but I feel pretty prepared for Ash Wednesday day after tomorrow. This is a challenging time of year for me, but an exciting one as well.
That said, I felt like trying to snag myself a real bank account and maybe a line of credit a few days ago. To my very pleasant surprise, I was actually approved for both. My credit's been such shit for such a long time, I've grown completely used to living a cash only lifestyle over the years. Apparently by now though, it's been so long since any credit problems I might have once had that I'm seen more as someone with no credit at all than I am a potential risk with bad credit. (I confirmed this with an actual credit check.)
That's appropriate, as I feel like a completely different person from the one I was many years ago when my life was a lot more conventional. I went from being a married person that worked for the man and worried constantly about being "normal" to someone that is in a relationship on her own terms, works for herself, and couldn't give fewer fucks about whether or not she's enough like everyone else. Something about being approved for a whole new set of "real person" financial accounts somehow feels like having those choices validated in a tangible way. Finally.
I even opened a savings account for the first time in my life and that's something I've never had before. I've never had enough money to my name to necessitate one, nor have I ever had any reason to think that state of affairs might actually change one day. This is no longer the case. Despite never having wanted to work and never having been an ambitious person, I appear to have stumbled onto something society seems to need from me badly enough to pay me to do it.
In all likelihood, I probably won't be a copywriter for the rest of my life, but I'm really sure I'll always be a writer. And I think there could be a future there that comes complete with money to live on and security of one kind or another. Or at least that's the way I'm feeling right now. A big, fat wave of depression and self-loathing might roll in next week and find me feeling completely differently, but hey. I haven't felt this hopeful about life in general in a while, so I'm just going to accept it for what it is.
I've also been writing little snippets of weird, creative prose like I used to here and there -- a good sign. This little narrative is from earlier in the month. I even posted it a couple of places it could be read by someone other than myself for a change and I can't recall the last time I did that. I figure it belongs here as well, as I like it and don't want to lose it. I'm not completely sure what it's about -- abuse recovery, mental illness, and some other random things. Admittedly my creative writing has never made tons of sense, but I rather like it that way.
Burnt and Buried
It began not with peace, but with a storm. A vortex of salt, and sea, and flying debris. Air heavy with moisture and meaning. An energetic pregnant earth far below, green with growing things and ripe with possibility. But the longer the vortex twisted and writhed, the higher it rose into the cosmos. The further it traveled toward another place where there quite possibly was no more green earth far below -- no lemon trees and no cinnamon foxes with black velvet paws. Only tall, lopsided mushrooms and drooping nightshade -- things that grew in the dark, anchored in place by strange roots.
One day, she decided to build a golem just to see if she could. She took a handful of burnt rags from the center of her chest and tied them into a series of knots following a very specific sequence. The golem stank of kerosene and tobacco. His was the scent of frustration and imprisonment. And his name was Burnt. But Burnt could not be controlled as well as one would have hoped. He refused to rake leaves in the autumn and make chamomile tea in the spring, so his maker cast him out of the vortex onto the hypothetical green earth far below to find the cinnamon foxes instead.
Sooner rather than later, she decided to build a second golem for no discernible reason at all. She took a handful of iron from the center of her head and molded it into a series of peaks and valleys following a very specific sequence. The golem stank of mildew and musk. Hers was the scent of melancholy and panic. And her name was Buried. But like Burnt, Buried also could not be controlled as well as one would have hoped. She refused to gather seashells in the summer and stack bones in the winter, so out of the vortex onto the hypothetical earth below, Buried was cast to find the yellow lemons.
There were no more golems after that. Only the wind and the lightning cage spinning round and round as it hurtled through the void. Somewhere far below, the Lemons of Maybe continued to grow at a dizzying rate, perfuming the air where the Foxes of Perhaps lay sleeping.