February is actually the longest month.

I’m so tired of being cold.

It’s the snow. It’s the ache. It’s the gloom. I sit and I want to burrow under mountains of blankets and I have committed to too many things and I can’t seem to make my body move at the speed of my mind, both of which are feeling slow and sluggish and underutilized, in sharp contrast to the body of work I should be accomplishing right now. My depression is flickering again, this tiny little pinprick somewhere inside of me that creeps up, tendril-like, and makes me snappish, makes me lazy, makes me apathetic, makes me so agitated. I cried this morning because I ruined the process of making coffee in a french press, which is really a pretty remarkable accomplishment considering there are really only two steps that go into making coffee in a french press. The coffee tasted terrible and grounds got stuck in my teeth and I drank it anyway and quietly cried, all the while self-aware enough to sense that I was really crying because of how stupid and pathetic it is to cry over something as easily remedied as a gross pot of coffee. I would write this scene for a movie to be played for a laugh line: look at that hilariously pathetic girl! The girl with the unshowered head of hair, crying in her gross old sweatpants over a gross cup of coffee. Underscore it with a tuba solo and you’ve basically got a better short film than anything I worked on in undergrad.

Figuring out freelance work is hard, and I’ve been actively trying to be better at balancing my need for money with my need for a reasonable work schedule. But I never seem to learn this lesson: that February is ALWAYS the month where it’s the most difficult for me to accomplish tasks that I could probably manage more easily in June. Being overbooked in February is not good for my writing or my spirit or my waistline. It’s when my body just seems to shut itself down and say No more. You’ve done enough. When you can put on a sundress again, we can talk about that to-do list. But that’s not actually how “having a job” and “paying rent” work, so: off I go, with a permanent sense of anxiety that I’m disappointing those around me, trying to hide the fact that my light is shining a bit duller these days. I’m going through the motions somewhat. And I will get it all done because I always do. It’s just taking more effort. It’s just all a bit harder than it wants to be.

The motherfucker of depression is this: that I want nothing more than to travel the entire world. I want to read all of the books. I want to laugh with my friends over cups of coffee and bottles of wine, long into the night. I want to hear classical music played in symphony halls; I want to sit in dive bars and diners until it’s too late to stay. I want to open a bookstore in a small town near the sea; I want to live in a bustling city and write funny little stories about the funny little people I see on the subway. I want to move to the other side of the country and sit in a writer’s room; I want to date someone kind and handsome and considerate who might someday become my partner. I want to grow up and I want to grow old and I want to create and I want to have it mean something.

And I could probably do all of that shit a whole lot easier if I could just get off the fucking couch.

Which of course, I will do eventually. It’ll happen soon, because it always does. I will stop feeling like an old soggy towel and will start feeling like a person, even a person I like and think is pretty great. I will go back to caring deeply about my friends and my family; I will be better at returning emails; I will take pleasure in my work and my home and my relationships. I will shave my legs with more regularity and plan weekend trips to the beach and I will buy cheap plastic sunglasses even when they look stupid on my face. I will water the geraniums in the window boxes and I will mop the kitchen floors until everything smells lemony and clean. I will read and I will dance and I will sing along in the car to pop songs and know all of the words and not be ashamed. I will create, and I will be good at it. I will write and some of it will suck, but a lot of it won’t, and I will tell the stories I want to tell. I will go running, and remember that I despise running, but relish the sense of accomplishment, the stretch in my back and my calves. I will snap out of it. I will give good hugs. I will ask how others are doing and genuinely want to know the answer. I will be me again.

I just have to get through February first.

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