A useful piece of information is finally sinking in to my cranium, and I do not like it one little bit. “Brenna,” I have begun to say to myself, “This is probably going to hurt a little.” I said it to myself last night as I got ready to disassemble an old computer for the scrap heap, a task I have been avoiding since at least 2009. I said it to myself this morning when I noticed how unpleasant it was going to be to fold the sheets up, once I got out of them, which transition I also was scheming to avoid as long as possible.*
The source of the pain is a gear in my noggin that spins frantically when I try mightily to do the right thing. How many years – YEARS, people – did I stare at that dust encrusted Dell, knowing I just needed to pry from its clutches a few precious images of my doggies, and some bookkeeping records in case of IRS? Sunrise, sunset, and all the while I was simply avoiding a painful thought – “How the hell am I going to scrub the hard drive?”
Facing the painful fear of hard-drive destruction, and sitting through the tears of disappointment and regret that have plagued me this week are not really that different. In some ways, the perfectionism is exactly the same. I don’t want to feel failure. I don’t want to feel disappointment. But the truth is, some feelings I can handle, some feelings are overwhelming for me, and the only possible passage between those two states is a bridge of time and self-forgiveness. Perversely, telling myself, “This is going to hurt,” lessens my worry about how much these feelings are going to hurt in the future. It’s an honest perspective that focusses my attention in the here and now, and I need that immediate sanity more than I need hope.
And the punchline to the story? Ding Dong, the Dell is Dead! Carried away by two tattooed hunks from a local charity which contracts with an eCycler (hard drive shredding included) for a percentage of the profits. They came to my door. They picked up the computer. They did it for free. How great is that?
Well, it did hurt a little.
*I do like loading the dishwasher. I mean, if ever there was a perfectly painless task, an incentive that needed no sugar coating of any kind, it is the promise of warm, squeaky dishes that you did not have to wash yourself. Pure, f**king heaven, if you ask me..