I like to think of myself as a pretty optimistic person who tends to see the positive in just about any situation, but lately I've been feeling the opposite, and I just can't seem to shake it.
Granted, I think almost anyone would feel the same way if they were in my shoes, but it sucks the joy out of things I normally take pleasure in. Not a great place to be, for sure.
Part of me would love to rant and explode, but mostly I'm just tired of even feeling the weight of everything on my mind. When I'm laying down at night and I hear a train rumble past, I like to envision it taking my troubles with it. I inhale deeply and imagine clean, pure air filling my lungs. Then, when I exhale, I try to let go of my anger and picture it leaving in a murky cloud -- one that's swept up in the current of the boxcars racing by.
This is the latest of my mental release exercises. I've invented different ones over the years for different reasons. It's a habit I formed when I was in seventh grade after a counselor walked a room of us through a relaxation program when I was at summer camp. I found it so freeing that I started doing it when I was having trouble sleeping and it just sort of took off from there.
It sounds silly to even put it into words, but it really has helped me cope with a variety of issues throughout my life. The counselor instructed us to envision ourselves as a stick of butter on a hill at dawn. Then, little by little as the sun comes up, the butter melts into the ground. By the end, I feel weightless and free of the skin that binds me. And my troubles don't seem so important anymore.
When I'm feeling empty and broken, I like to envision myself as a hollow vessel on a beach. As the tide comes in, it fills me with warm salt water, swirling into my extremities and pulsing with life.
And sometimes, when I want nothing more than to walk away from all of the complications that come with being alive, I imagine what it would feel like to stand against a wall and become part of it. Letting it envelop me. Becoming an inanimate object that can't feel pain or anger or hurt or betrayal or animosity or any of it.
Well, there's a train whistle now.
I hope it has a few empty cars because I have a lot of emotional garbage today.