So yesterday I bought a house.
And I only hyperventilated a teensy bit.
I thought I was being ridiculous until at least 30 people representing EVERY SINGLE major stage of my life (childhood, summer school, college, Spain, grad school, Louisiana) got in touch to inform me that my buying a house symbolized to them the fact we have gotten OLD.
None of which made the urge to hyperventilate get any better.
So I’m coping the only way I know how: by sublimating my feelings into action. It’s awesomely effective, just don’t tell a therapist. And because I’m generous like that, I thought I’d share my method.
Wanna hear it? Here it goes.
DR. PEELER’S SORT OF NOT REALLY (AT ALL) PATENTED TEN-STEP PROGRAM TO COPE WITH A SUDDEN FEELING THAT YOU’RE TRAPPED, BUT IN A GOOD WAY, AND YOU’RE GOING TO CALL IT “NESTING” TILL YOU CAN BREATHE AGAIN:
- Buy a shit ton of Swiffer products. They’re disposable! Unlike your new life.
- Throw out a ton of stuff because YOU ARE NOT WEIGHTED DOWN, YOU ARE STILL LIGHT AND FREE. Also, what the fuck were you thinking, buying not one, but THREE cans of haggis??? Blame Heather Osborn and Jungle Jim’s! Oh, and senility. Because you’re OLD.
- Go to Home Depot and look at paint chips. Because you’ll be able to paint stuff! And paint can always be repainted. Just like houses can be sold. And just like you can go back to being twenty-one and peripatetic! Oh, wait, you can’t. You’re old. You also hate painting.
- Call all your way cooler friends who are undoubtedly AT THIS MOMENT planning to go clubbing, or climb some mountain, or move to Paris. Only to find they’re napping. Because y’all are OLD.
- Pack up some boxes with mementos from the admittedly pretty amazing life you’ve led so far, only to find that they’re showing distinct signs of AGING. Aging just like you. You and all your once super-rad friends. Who are now old, as you are old. And can’t talk you down because they’re napping.
- Call your mom, who tells you to suck it up, that you are old. And to go have a drink.
- Take mom’s advice.
- Finally, the number one top tip for coping is to do just that–cope. And not just cope, to realize how awesome this whole scenario is. That after all these years you’re chums with someone who still calls you Nyx from when you tried to reinvent yourself at a distant summer school, age sixteen. That you’re still close to your BFF from elementary school, and you regularly hear from the girls you got drunk with on your first night in Spain, when you accidentally (and repeatedly) told the taxi drive you were horny instead of hot. That you’ve got this crazy-ass global tribe that now includes all these people you’ve met as a writer, who get you in a way no one else ever has. That understand the part of you who is always dreaming; the part that makes up whole stories about every single person you meet in which they’re secret uni-cycling spies (the deadliest spy imaginable) or itinerant narwhal trainers; the part that is always a little bit disappointed in this world because the one in your mind is so much more colorful. Oh, and you have readers, because you wrote books, books you never thought you’d write but that came out of your heart and your weird little brain and that people read and tell you mattered to them. Books that helped pay for the house you’re going to move into, and that will help pay for your new patio you’re planning, and the lady-leading-praying-mantis-on-a-leash wallpaper you want for the dining room (the theme for your new home will be Fucked Up Victorian-Goth, just an FYI). Books that you hold sometimes in a creepy way, like they’re your children, but that’s sort of how how you feel about them even though you know that’s another thing you shouldn’t mention to a therapist. Basically, realize that you’re an insanely lucky girl and that this is an opportunity, not an anchor weighing you down. A chance to build–to build a home, a whole house of your own (mere rooms of one’s own are so 1920s!) in which you can write, and dream, and love. A place where you can thank your friends, both old and new–by cooking them dinner, or inventing a new world for them to escape into, or just having them over when they, too, need a little help coping.
Or you can just write weird, Bob Dole style third person accounts of your own feelings, because that’s cheaper than a therapist.
Basically what I’m trying to say is thanks for being there for me, folks. And thanks for being there for Jane. We both appreciate it more than we could ever express. If you want to show her some love, I’m creating a True Love album for my fan page. Just email me your own pictures of things that remind you of Jane, that you think Jane would like, or a still life with Jane in them. You can send them to iheartselkies(at)gmail(dot)com. I’ll post them on my FB (unless they’ll get me kicked off of there, so nothing too salty!) and I’ll pick some of my favorites, and some random winners, next week, to win a UK copy of book six, Tempest Reborn, out on May 28th.
All right, I’m spent. And those Swiffer products aren’t going to buy themselves…