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-Personal blog for Janika Banks.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

what the Pinky love letter all boils down to


I've been trying to put my finger on something this spring, not quite sure what I've been feeling until this sentence suddenly sprung into my mind- I am suffering a debilitating lack of angst in my life. I have lived with angst for so long that I am feeling fresh out of the wrapper and not sure what to do with myself through the days without it. I keep looking for direction and meaning, because whereas my purpose before was to keep doggedly plowing through the angst, now finding myself free of it leaves me not exactly listless, but possibly a bit unmotivated. I was used to using emotional misery as my go-to for motivation.

Don't get me wrong, there's still plenty of drama going on around me, although I endeavor to remain out of the middle of it as much as possible. I lend a hand here and there, sorting through towels to hand off along with the refrigerator in the basement to a person who was recently evicted and stepping into a new life, or offering Bunny sitting service when plans become jagged and emotions rise, or generally just getting the shopping done when specifics are required, even though I find breathing outside the house to be a real challenge lately. But these things don't cause me the sort of continual daily angst I've lived with since I was 19 years old.

My whole world has flipped. My heart, my head. I feel like the black chasm I struggled through every day since way back then just up and tipped over and dumped me out this year, and now I'm standing in a sunny grassy field dotted with little flowers and a nice breeze. You'd think this would feel surreal, but I know it's normal. This is the first time I have felt normal in quite possibly my entire life, but especially since I was 19.

This last January I wrote a sort of TV show review where I think about what was going on in a character's head, called f(x) where x = "reflection John". I got that because most of my previous 8 years had been spent in conversation with someone who wasn't really there. A relationship broke off, but that didn't prevent it from continuing in my mind. I came to rely on that connection in my head through everything going on out here in real life, as they say. I didn't worry about it because I am a huge Count of Monte Cristo fan, read the original Dumas work when I was still a teenager before I ever saw a diluted print version or anything in film. The most intriguing part of the entire story for me was how he survived prison, much of it being devoted to deeply thinking and learning everything he could whenever he got the chance. Our minds can get us through anything if we focus.

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In my late 20s, about the time I plummeted into devastating crippling pain, Hawking was becoming all the rage, and again, I modeled focusing my mind as a way of dealing with the prison that was my body. I became so obsessed with thinking that I was able to get through many terrible days and nights without falling to suicide or other self harm, or cruelty to my family by way of dumping my misery on them.

Over the years I've had mental conversations with nearly everyone I've met, but no one stuck around like one person in particular. No one had ever bested me, challenged me, propelled me into deeper thought like another person daring to step over lines asking 'what if'. Another person wanted to grab the bit, take control, do more with the world than simply just accept it. I didn't realize at the time, but I'd found another prisoner tunneling under the prison cells our minds are locked into by society. And not just any prisoner.

Life happens, the world turns, and people move on, but like an echo of Guinan in the Nexus, I took her with me. She didn't know I did. Over the years we've had many excellent conversations which I've treasured, but they are arguably not 'real', just as Sherlock's conversations with John in his mind were not 'real'. However, I deduce that a stream of consciousness is its own valid reality, and for me, those ongoing conversations have been an excellent survival skill.


Still, in real real life, as it were, I suffered the angst of not really having that connection. It was, after all, all in my mind. The angst ate away at me, lived alongside me, enveloped me, and everything I lived out in my mind was through an almost corporeal fog of angst. My soul ached for the real connection I'd once had. Well, I've got it back now. And now I've got a funny conundrum- I'm still having conversations with her in my mind and she doesn't know about them.

I am so glad I made Pinky blog. I started spilling my mind over into public journaling, and it grew into what I've dubbed a love letter. This was the only way I could think of to share what was in my mind with a very real person out there somewhere. I had no idea whether it would ever be seen or read, but like a message in a bottle, this note is still floating intact on the sea of the internet. My mind is readable now.

So I am learning something new- how to integrate my mind conversations into a real life relationship again. I guess a person could call keeping it all in my head a bad habit, because even though I could connect almost any time now in real life, I'm still doing much of the thinking myself, and the whole point to a real relationship is the symbiotic rapport that comes from more than one head.


I see my psychologist in a couple of days. This might be an interesting thing to bring up. Right now on Pinky blog, this is a monologue. Even if she speaks up in my mind, I don't speak for her because I don't really know what is in her real mind. Everything in my mind is based on what I had gathered from the past, what little new stuff I'm picking up now, and my own conjecture.

But the angst is gone. Vanished, without a trace. Nearly every day I poke around in my head to see if I can feel it, and I guess it's just not there. I wanted to make sure, because it could have been simply replaced with relief or elation or something else, but it's been a few months now and it's mostly just a curious absence of angst. I like that. Just still not sure how to live like this, but at least it feels good. So little in my life has really felt good.

Another thing that made me feel really good a couple of weeks ago was psyche guy saying something about my Poe style. That one still hasn't really sunk in, mostly because it's so terribly rare for anyone to discuss literary criticism with me, especially about my own writing (I really am different in real life than in print, I'm so easy to talk to in a real discussion), so I'm just letting it float above my head for awhile.

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