The Professor Haus is just screaming for them, right?
I have actual Christmas trees in my yard!
The gentleman we bought the house from even left this frankensteined together extension cord with outlets spaced perfectly between each tree. It’s really cool.
But it’s also one of the reasons I haven’t decorated a single stitch yet.
My brain finds the entire act of going to the garage and opening the door and lifting up this giant frankenstein cord and putting it on the ground, and dragging it out to the yard and starting to line up to each tree, getting halfway through and realizing I did it completely wrong.
And then I’d have to start over.
Multiple times, knowing the way my brain works.
Because, obviously, the answer would be to just flip the giant frankensteined extension cord around but then I would start doing it and my brain would forget what was where.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
By, like, the fourth time of attempting this, I’d get the bright idea to mark each end and then I wouldn’t have to worry about it ever again. I don’t think I’ve ever given credit to what an effect not being able to picture things in my head (aka aphantasia) has on projects like this.
And that’s only part of the inner brain monologue keeping me from decorating the yard.
The other part is the worry that I won’t decorate “good” enough. This one is honestly the worse of the two “excuses” that my brain gives me regarding this matter.
I know it would be easy to slap some lights on these trees all willy nilly, but I’d look at them and get sad because *I* realize how awfully sloppy they are.
While I can’t picture what I want the lights to look like, I have an inner knowing of how I want the finished product to “feel”. This is the hardest thing for me to explain about having aphantasia. I can’t “see” how I want things to look, but I know when they are not right.
Also, I’m a short lil bitch who gets all shaky on a ladder when there’s no one to hold it, so I know I could make the bottoms of the trees holiday fancy up to my standards, I cannot do the tops without asking for help.
And I still have trouble with that – Yes, even with Mickey! I’m getting better about it, but it’s still very hard for me for a couple reasons.
One is that is shows up as “weakness” to my brain, which is silly AF because do I expect every other human on the planet to be able to do every other activity on the planet without assistance?
No, I do not.
So why does my brain expect that of me? Fuck that bitch (my brain). I’m a human too. There are certain things I’m not good at and that’s okay – that just leaves room for me to get really great at other things!
AND THAT’S OKAYYYYYY. (yes, brain, it is. stop arguing with me.)
The other reason I still have trouble asking for help is because there were literal decades of my personal and professional life where I would ask for help and not get it. Or worse, ask for help and be ridiculed for it.
Not only does it take a long time to heal from that, but it’s also hard as fuck for my brain to realize that when I ask for help nowadays, most of the time, I’ll get it. Now that I know to look for it, I make it a point to tell my brain, “Look! We asked for help and what happened?!? We got it! Remember this too – not just all the times we didn’t get help.”
Even though it’s learning, my brain’s still a bitch to me a lot. Especially when the week leading up to my period. This peri-menopause has my hormones on the World’s Most Dramatic Roller Coaster and y’all just need to prepare yourselves when when you’re my age.
And give grace to other people going through it.
Here’s the thing, though – I also know I will be fabulous at making the yard at the Professor Haus magical, if I give myself the time and space to do things the way I want to. And not be embarrassed to be as detail-oriented as a project like this needs.
See, early on, while still settling in, I was hanging out on the stoop and writing you know, just being a stoop kid, like I do sometimes.) when this couple came strolling by on the sidewalk.
One of ’em said, “I love your house so much!”
To which I replied, “me too!”
Then she said, “I have lived here ever since I was a little girl and this is my favorite house at Christmas time. Are you going to decorate.”
It was still summer outside, so my brain was not ready for this question.
So I probably answered in the affirmative. because my brain hadn’t had a chance to actually consider how much work it would actually be to decorate the yard of the Professor Haus.
And I also stopped all work on my normal “weird shit” holiday tree, because, well, I had actual holiday trees in my yard, so of course I had to decorate those this year.
This is a thing my brain does to me so much. It builds up a project that I really want to accomplish to something so large that it seems insurmountable. I didn’t recognize this pattern for what it was (self-sabotage) until very recently.
I’m still trying to navigate exactly what it takes to shut that part of my brain up, though.
Or at least make it work in my favor.
I am so lucky that I’m in a situation where I have the time and space to work on that… and on myself in general.
I know that it’s a luxury that not everyone has. I was there once myself, so wrapped up in the corporate ladder and manufactured drama of the workplace that I couldn’t see how I was complicit in the whole thing. Or I didn’t want to see it, because I knew I needed the money to survive.
Not seeing they needed me for profit.
Yoof, when I put it like that it really turns my stomach. We need our employers to survive, while they use us for profit. Not all of them, of course. There are a few gems that treat their employees as they should be.
I am so glad I made choices that have me in a place where the big thing I’m worried about is what people are thinking about me for not decorating the Professor Haus.
But my brain won’t stop making me feel guilty about it.
However, on one of our many trips to one of the many INCREDIBLE antique shops up here, we purchased a vintage electric candlestick, because we both remembered having those growing up.
So the other night, Mickey put it in one of the windows in the upstairs tower room and now our house is as Christmas as it’s gonna get.
And, hey, brain? That’s okay, ok?