Finding My Edge
Spring Awakening – A Series of Small Attempts to Change No. 1
The light is back, creating little squares and rectangles in my room, wandering from the bookshelf over the Pilea peperomioides, the Chinese money plant on top of my dresser, reflecting in the mirror, lying still on the edge of my bed, my head is resting on my hand, the warm February sun is promising brighter days again.
And just as I am finding out where the light will hit over the next months, creating shadows, marking the space where it ends, where it is not: I need to find my edges.
Currently one of them is: I’m tired. I’ve been going full speed and I can feel a slight wish to catch a cold or something else to force me to lie down and do nothing. I know that this is just a sign of how urgently I need rest and how little I am allowing it. When I sit on the bus, I can feel myself glued to the seat, I want to keep sitting and watch the landscape pass by. I want to do nothing. I don’t want to scroll on my phone or binge Netflix, I just want to stare at the wall and exist.
On Friday I get my period, I finally have an excuse. Lying under my electric heating blanket occasionally shifting my body into an even more comfortable position: peace at last. I know I don’t need an excuse to rest, but I also know that I do.
Something I need to work on by not working on it. By not turning it into another self-improvement goal that always feels out of reach. Allowing yourself to do nothing is not another self-care hack. Abigail Bergstrom wrote in an essay a couple of weeks on effortless rest: “there is a fine line between rest and a ‘self-care to-do lists’ comprising of yoga classes, retreats, taking supplements or forcing yourself out of bed to make a therapy appointment.”
Real rest is not a routine to implement, real rest is to slow the fuck down, drop what you’re doing and just stop – when you need to.
But how do you know?
Another one of my edges I am finding these days is anger. It is a pretty recognisable edge and it gets sharper, the more I ignore it, which at that point is quite potent. So I try not to do that. One night I’m lying awake in bed, agonising over a friend who acted careless; for half an hour I ruminate till finally I utter: I am angry.
And suddenly like a magic spell my anger feels different, it feels like love. Anger is self-preserving, I wrote in my latest book. “It is a demand for love”, wrote Natalie Diaz. And I would add, more often than not it is a demand for self-love. It sometimes wants you to create change urgently. And sometimes it just wants to be acknowledged. It wants to be felt.