It Got Dark

I woke up at 5 AM today. Had a long and nice conversation with my husband over a cup of coffee, woke Lila up at 7.30 AM and by 8.55 AM Lila and I were already waiting in line at a Social Security Administration Office. By 9.32 AM we were done. My SS card will come in the mail in less than 2 weeks (hopefully).

This is not a post about applying for a Social Security Card, because you can easily find out how here: How to Apply for a Social Security Card. This is a post about dragging myself out of the darkness.

I have always considered myself a person with a positive outlook on life. I get mellow and emo sometimes, but I never linger too long. So it was confusing to me when I found myself feeling rather depressed and gloomy at the beginning of this year. That feeling stayed for a while. I recognized it but I could not climb out of it. And I felt like I could not talk about it because I did not know the reason behind it. Although come to think about it, I think now I know why.

Death. That was it. The death of one of my neighbors in our old neighborhood. She was 74 years old, but she sure did not act and look like one. She walked around the neighborhood everyday with her dog. Her hair was always done perfectly and she always looked put together. She was petite like me and she was never shy to ask if I wanted some of her old clothes that she was not wearing anymore. And I was never to shy to say, "Why, of course!".

We often conversed when she was out walking her dog and I was walking with Lila. She was a really sweet lady. Her name was Rebecca Irene Garza. I found out her last name when she contacted my real estate agent when we moved without saying goodbye to our neighbors. Turned out Ms. Irene had made something for Lila. I came by her house in early November and she gave me a blanket she had hand-made for Lila. It was an absolutely thoughtful and sweet gift. I did not know that it would be the last time I would see and talk to her. She passed away on November 24, 2017.

I did not know about her passing after until more than a month later. And it truly shocked me. I felt so sad for not knowing earlier and for not coming to the memorial service because to me she was a friend. Anyway, after hearing the sad news, I began feeling this dark cloud looming over me. And that cloud stayed. It did not move. I felt heavier and heavier. I began having thoughts about death. Not just mine, but people I love and care. The more those thoughts came, the more I ran to my phone to find something else to think about. So I found myself in the middle of the night, in the dark, scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, ruining my eyes in the process. Strangely enough, it did not make me feel better. It made me feel worse.

So I decided to take necessary steps to climb out of the abyss. Not major ones, but small ones. First: coming back to yoga. More precisely to my yoga teacher: MT. I've been coming to her Saturday morning yoga class and it has been tremendously helpful in keeping my mind in check. Second: not taking my phone to bed. I have been leaving it outside the room and I have been trying to read or write something in my journal. And then yesterday my phone sort of stopped working. First it deleted my whatsapp and then it forced me to update the software. I have not been successful in updating it and now most apps on my phone are gone. I cannot use the GPS. I cannot even text without the phone blacking out. Although frustrating, I felt a sense of freedom. I got lost coming back from the SS office, but I made it home nonetheless. It was a nice little detour anyway and I enjoyed the drive.

I realize now how my phone has made my life easier, but not more well-lived. I spent so much time on my phone, looking at other people's life, looking at things that would supposedly make my life better, make me look nicer, make my house more put-together, but it also takes away time. Time I could use to create, to think, to play, to live. My smartphone thinks for me and leaves me feeling unaccomplished. Or am I using it for the wrong things? I don't know.

I feel better now. No longer in that invisible dark hole that made me continuously sad. I know the phone is not the main reason my days were so gloomy, but it surely did not make it brighter. Although I do feel better about not being on my phone so much, I am still going to get it fixed or get a new one. I am living in 2018 and I am depending on my phone to keep in touch with my family and friends who are living half a world away and also with my tenants who would probably be unhappy if I am unreachable.

For now I am elated to feel normal again. Life's so much sweeter and fun now that I am present. Miss Irene, I will forever remember you. Thank you for being such a wonderful person. The memories I have of you are reminders for me to live my best life, to be kind to others, and to keep myself healthy. I hope someone is taking good care of your Cooper.


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