Photo taken on my beach trip, spring 2023.

Hello! How are you?! I feel like there’s a lot of dust to clear off of this creative workspace – I’d have to go back and look to see how long it’s been since my last post, but I know it’s been quite awhile. I apologize for not being here more frequently. It’s not necessarily by choice, but just the way the cookie crumbles for me. My creative juices do not flow freely. It takes just the right circumstances for me to be able to access the part of me that loves to write. Today, I’m happy to say, is that kind of day. Maybe it’s because the sun is finally shining. Maybe it’s because today is a rest day and I told myself not to do anything that wasn’t necessary. Lately I’ve been caught in the web of obsession and perfectionism – definitely not the landscape in which creativity and sharing can exist. I’m tired of taking stock of every single dog hair on the floor, the smears across household surfaces, the endless ticking of trying to make it all go away and create perfection within human living spaces.

It’s absolutely ludicrous, and I don’t have an excuse. I just know that I have an anxious brain that tells me to go around fixing every little thing, to find a way to infuse order where order cannot exist. In fact, I had an English assignment in high school to write an epitaph (the words that go on a tombstone. Yes, a strange assignment . . .). Fifteen years later I still remember mine and reflect on it often because, well, it was very on the nose:

Here lies Emma Dhesi
Who thought the world was just too messy.
And somewhere along her cleaning spree,
She got lost and
Never returned to me.

What a legacy, right? This self-awareness at 17 sure was something. How could I know that my silly rhyming was really onto something, that my desire to alleviate imperfections would follow me around forever, morphing into something toxic?

Anyway, I suppose that’s why I’m loving my therapist and my Zoloft so much. Together they are helping me see the brighter side of things, leaning into the realization that it already has gotten better and will continue to do so. It’s also why, once I had finished the first draft of this essay, I immediately hired a cleaner to come once per month to help me. I heard what I said – “I’m tired of taking stock of every single dog hair on the floor” – and decided to do something about it. Amazingly, as soon as I booked the cleaning I instantly stopped caring about the dirt on the floor. The cleaner hasn’t even come yet! But I know professional help is on the way, and I am already so relieved and grateful. I am learning that it is okay to ask for help, to accept help, and even to pay for help.

By the way, sharing about my high school epitaph and hiring a cleaning service was not the reason I brought out my laptop to write. I was planning to share that I recently read the COVID-19 public health emergency is coming to an end in May, and I wondered what that will mean. What will it look like? (Will people still wear masks, outside, while walking by themselves??) My work is still hybrid and I hope that will not change too much. Hybrid work is good for me, personally. Regardless, I appreciate the timing of this “coming to an end” in May because three years ago I was certain I’d be sent back to the office full time mid-May, so I’d better hurry up and get a dog. Now, that dog is 70 pounds of wild love who gives everyone a run for their money and escorts them around the house 24/7. Ruca has also been the very best coworker I could ask for, and I am thankful for her presence every single day.

Though there are unknowns about the future, I believe that figuring it out, acclimating to a new normal, and being resilient are all part of the human experience. 

And wow, won’t we all be very experienced? 😉

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