Sentimentalkative: Orating Sorrows

Portmanteaux Series 2

The Portmanteaux Series is a short collection of personal writing to celebrate and encapsulate the memory of the beginning of my career writing online, a little over a decade ago I had the plan to start publishing my content online, which quickly became a blog about life. Every Friday I wrote about what I learned, what I didn’t learn and what I could teach to my peers.

I’ve since stopped writing in this manner, but given the circumstance I wanted to get one more good run in before I hang up the “lifestyle” writing for good. Lifeis+ 2023 is a celebration and it is also a funeral.

I’m glad you are in attendance.

I like to write out my feelings.

I spoke about waves earlier. Back in the day, I had a saying I would repeat to myself and my friends to remind them that life was more than just the culmination of moments that made is happy or sad. 

“Small Waves, Big Ocean”

This was a reminder, no matter how difficult things might turn out, in the grand scheme of life they are just tiny waves in a vast, ever expanding ocean. Despite being on the tatters of a life raft afloat in the middle of nowhere, I still feel that way. The world is big and our problems might be big too, but we don’t have to succumb to them. It is always better to fight.

It’s one of two things I like to think I’m known for. I’m a fighter, and I’m a talker. Both of those go hand in hand when I have strong opinions about something. Given my predisposition to go to war over nothing at all, I’ve found myself hanging on to hurts for a long time. Longer than necessary. Long enough that it prevents my ability to heal.

Everything in life is a matter of perspective. The small things to us aren’t small to our children, to our pets. The stones we throw at one another could crush an ant. It is right to be afraid of things. What was a harmless word to you a decade ago might become something today that cuts you deep. We are an ever changing, evolving people. 

Despite knowing I was changing every day, adopting new memories and learning like a machine, I wanted to catalogue as much as I could. This was born from the weekly posting on my now retired blog. I’d written it with the intention of helping others, but ended up recording hurts and let downs of various sizes. Despite how I spun the words I was saying to make it sound positive, it wasn’t always as such. I’ve got more to touch on about my old habits and mannerisms later on. In the meantime, I wanted to talk about the habits I made for myself.

The last three years or so, I’ve been trying to get myself adjusted. As a known hater of “New Years Resolutions” due to their inefficiency you’ll understand my surprise when I started writing Resolutions for myself around the end of 2019. When I made my collected list of things to cover, I was looking at my mood during the day to day and made the decision to write down the events of each day just before I went to bed.

Recording the events did little for me, though on the particularly bad days it helped ease the pain of whatever wound was causing me trouble at the time. I recorded them all and logged them in a private database which, at the end of the year, I planned to review to see what my overall condition was during the year.

None of these attempts lasted longer than a quarter, and in traditional Polar Bear King fashion I found myself reviewing the contents of the notes every few months in a state of melancholy for the way things “used to be.”

I’m obsessed with the past. It’s a blight that marks my writing even today, having difficulty writing about the moment and not about what used to be. Tangled up in histories while I battle depression in the moment I found that recording my thoughts to review later was a suitable way to have my cake and eat it too. It enabled me to both experience my frustrations, and also live in the past.

See, I like to write my feelings, and I grew up with the mentality that art was intrinsically linked with pain. There could be no artist without the suffering and the few who were without day to day struggles in their lives were not truly living the “artists experience.” This of course, is malarkey, but you couldn’t convince the version of me who made it through 2016 of anything otherwise.

Those habits continued until this year, when the clock struck midnight and we entered 2023, my long list of changes didn’t involve, for the first time in a while, a daily journaling routine. I elected instead to take more time to do things I loved. To write more, read more, eat better and take better care of my pups. All of my resolutions from the year were pieces of my life which had slipped away during my extended depression. 

Each of them replaced with self sacrificial glorification of my pain.

See, the problem with being Sentimental and Talkative is that eventually you run out of people to talk to about your sentiments. Sooner or later, all of the time you spend with long winded paragraphs explaining “Here’s the thing about my feelings,” or, “I think I figured out the root cause of…” all winds up being white noise sooner or later.

I realized how frequently I hit on the same subjects without actually making the moves to fix them pretty early on into the year. Constantly battling something I refused to actually change, I talked about it and when talking failed I wrote about it.

I started journaling my feelings again and surely enough, I would write it down, forget and be reminded a few days later when I happened upon the note in my phone or computer explaining the symptoms of my sorrows.

To make sure I explain this before closing, today, I do not think the practice of journaling is inherently bad. What I think is the failing is the manner in which it was practiced. If all we do to combat cracks in our mind is to write down what is leaking through those cracks but don’t use that understanding to repair ourselves or understand our feelings, what good are they?

The act of sailing doesn’t come from a force that we can use to directly push the ship across the water. We must maintain the mast, lead the sail and pull the anchor. It is all necessary for a ship to move when the wind pushes, and you can only go when the wind allows. To maintain any one aspect of a sailing ship is helpful, but all in all, doesn’t help you to make any forward progression to where you might hope to go.

If you release the sail, it can tear. If you leave the rope free, it can tangle. If you don’t pull anchor, you won’t go anywhere.

In the same way, recording my sorrows at the loss of someone to work through them with (in a professional sense) did nothing beyond leaving me still wanting to be healed but without the tools to heal.

All of those little things help, they do. Writing your feelings out, going for walks, drinking more water, not letting yourself spiral. They are all necessary. But what is most necessary is to keep sailing, even when you are only on a dinghy or a scrap of wood.

The waves are smaller than they appear, I promise. All you can do is to work out what you can do until you can call for the coast guard to help you home.

Portmanteaux Part Three Comes out tomorrow morning!

Samaritangle: Talking To Yourself, Through Yourself

Thank you for participating once more in the Lifeis+ celebration. I’ve got a lot to celebrate this time around so you’ll be hearing from me often. If you’d like to read more, you can check out me current fiction project Sisters of Westwinter & the previous Portmanteaux parts below!

More From Me:

SOW: Chapter Five, Part Five: A Single Spark

The Nail Ward, as they called it, was as miserable as it looked from the outside. The thousands of needles covering the floor and walls made it impossible to relax, and sleep was terribly out of the question. So Kerrick stood in the corner waiting, patiently, for the sunrise.

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