I don’t want to get all woo-woo on you here, but I’m definitely a person who believes in the movement of the planets having an effect on our human bodies and our human lives. So now is the part where I say: this Mercury Retrograde is kicking my ass. Mercury Retrograde is often a time of contemplation. Things go wrong, sure, but they do because the universe is inviting us to slow the heck down. That has never been truer than right now. I feel like a raw nerve 90% of the time. Everything sets me off. This is quite similar to how I felt in late 2013, post car accident, when I was truly in my shit with PTSD, anxiety and depression. That was the first time I ever truly acknowledged that I was depressed.
This Mercury Retrograde, therefore, coming at a time when I am also working on a project based on that dark period of my life, is turning out to be pretty significant. Everything is sad. Everything has meaning. A friend who is working on this web series with me got in a car accident. I, on the way to pick this friend up before work, almost got in a car accident. In a single moment, my body was thrown back in time four and a half years. PTSD is the worst type of time travel. Your brain knows that it’s 2018. Your brain has had extensive cognitive behavioral therapy, and EMDR, and knows that you are here and safe. Your brain knows, but your body does not. Your body thinks it’s 2013, that you’ve just been in a car accident, that you’re lost and have no friends and no prospects. Your brain says, “We need to go into work.” Your body says “Bro. What the fuck? We almost just died. We are dying.”
I know that this will help me tell this story. I know that all of this-- every feeling, every thought, every memory, will help me make this web series, and when I’m done, finish this book. I know that this will help me help others. But in the moment, it just sucks. I just feel helpless. My body is tired from the whiplash of time travel, and what’s more, it all just feels a little too perfect. Mercury Retrograde usually brings up shit from our past— but to be faced with my car accident while I’m working on a web series about my car accident? It’s just a little on the nose, universe. Get a bit more creative, please.
This weekend we filmed one of the hardest scenes of my creative life. I don’t want to give too much away, but it was a therapy scene that simply required my entire self- mind, body, soul- to do the scene justice. And of course with filming, you don’t just do one take. You need to do it at least three times in multiple different angles. This is assuming that you live in a perfect world where everyone remembers all of their lines and delivers them perfectly the first time and the sound doesn’t randomly cut out and human beings in the apartment above you remain quiet as mice the entire time. You’re looking at 9 takes in a perfect world. For us, flawed human beings on planet Earth, it was a lot more than that. Thus, I was pretty much the walking dead when it was over. And then we had to go out to Peaks and attempt to film the rest of the coffee shop scenes. By the end of the night, I was actual toast.
Afterwards, Eli made me go home early and take a bath with lavender Epsom salts and essential oils. For some reason I was reluctant to do this. I thought I could take a quick shower, get the same effect as a bath, and go to sleep. But I took the time to take the bath, and as my muscles were finally relaxing my brain joined the party. She was like, “Hey, a lot happened today. What if we think extensively about it all? We really need to analyze it. Think about it Think about it Think about it.” I, being a rational human being who has had a lot of therapy replied, “No, brain. We are tired. Thinking about it doesn’t help.” My brain was like, “Uuuummm but what do you think you’re going to do? NOT think about it and instead go into work tomorrow like nothing happened? How are you going to do that without analyzing it until 1 am?” To which I calmly replied, “Yeah. I am. And you know what? When I get to work tomorrow? I’m not going to give 110%. I’m going to show up, and I’m going to do what I can. But I don’t need to go in there with my all. I left my all out on set today. My all needs time to come back to me, so I can show up and do it again next week.” My brain didn’t know what to make of that. Ha. Owned, brain. OWNED.
If you believe in Mercury Retrograde, you can blame it on Mercury Retrograde. If you don't, you can just say that some moments in our lives are like this. You are lost in the middle of a forest, unsure where to turn, unsure where this muddy path is taking you, wanting to give up and watch Gilmore Girls. But you don't, because even though one of your callings is surely Gilmore Girls, another of your callings is up ahead, in that mist over there. Where it's scary and you're probably going to have to do shit you don't want to do, shit that is hard and exhausting and makes you feel like you're actually going to faint sometimes. But you're going to do it. Because it's your calling. And it's calling to you.
Mercury, please come home soon.