You swore. You pinkie promised the little girl that managed to survive inside of you that you’d never go there again within yourself. The land you visited, the land you that you discovered that one sunny day in the mid-afternoon unexpectedly would be barricaded became open again. It beckoned… It told you it was okay to return and rest upon the grass and the open, wild fields it offered.
You knew it was lying. And yet you went.
And with those first hesitant steps you knew you were walking into the unknown. A territory that lacked rules, expectations. More importantly, you knew it lacked justice.
But for a girl… woman?… who loved justice, you still stepped quietly looking to explore. You’d heard about this place. A foreign world of selflessness where the governing rule was emotion and instinct. It sounded wildly bueautiful and exotic. What a thing, you had thought to yourself, to abandon the thoughts you so clutched to.
Returning, you realized, was not so scary. It was not as frightening, because you were armed with the knowledge of what to avoid. You knew what would damage you, and you recognized the dangers within this land but you never turned away even as your heart sped and your rational abilities evaporated into the sweet air. You had returned. And you were bold now. You weren’t scared.
You were alone. And you found that the air you had once so enjoyed as a breeze delivering the aroma of flowers and pine and grass was now reduced to a simple chill that reminded you of the lack of arms around you. The air was the echo of your solidarity of which you were both proud and ashamed. You had struggled to retain your independence. You worked, hard and silently, simply to be alone. And this made you sad. It made you, among other things that you could not name… confused.
The same eloquence that had been granted you here before had been revoked. Instead of plenty of words and a rushing of emotion you were solemnly observant. You had learned, since the last walk you had taken along these grounds, to be stoic. Your recongnition of the flaws posessed within this land was painful and it embarrassed you of the person you were in your last visit. You were ashamed of her former charming naivety, and you were ashamed of you current cynicism.
But you refuse to leave. Instead of looking for an exit or a path outward you sat. You picked at the leaves of grass and felt the wind’s reminders of your soul’s silence. Nothing rushed inside of you that day- and the river of your emotions remained constant regardless of the trinkets of the past that you crossed on your return’s travels. The bench where you both sat. The picture you took. The letters you wrote. The words that flowed that meant not much then that carried the weight of the universe in their memories. Nothing can move you now. It seems the air is mimicking your fortitude…. it blows, but falsely. Nothing moves because of it.
Perhaps you imagined it. It would not be the first time you felt something that was in fact, not there.
Sigh. You are older, now. A year older. You know the days have passed, and the required number of weeks have qualifed you into a new category of year of birth, but you are older in new ways. Your heart moves slower and your reactions lack the enthusiasm you knew them once to be capable of. It’s not their fault, you think to yourself. How could I have known that it… and then you stop the thought. The same thought you’ve echoed within yourself so many millions of times. You couldn’t have known.
You couldn’t have known. You couldn’t have stopped yourself. You couldn’t have prepared your heart. You couldn’t have protected yourself. You couldn’t have spared your future. You couldn’t have stopped the walls from forming. You couldn’t have known. You couldn’t have slowed the motions. You couldn’t have removed his hands. You couldn’t have known. You couldn’t have expected he would kiss you that way. You couldn’t have known. You couldn’t have seen what you would end up as. You couldn’t have realized it would hurt this way.
You couldn’t have known.
You couldn’t have known.
And even if you could have.
What would become of you then?
Remember when I was funny? Remember when I posted with dependable regularity? Want to know what happened? I moved.
I swear, I got away from Charlie the Miracle dog and his douche-bag of a mom, M, and I am literally incapable of producing a blog that doesn’t blow ever since. I blame geography.
…Only that’s not the whole story, I’m afraid. My blogging skills/schedule was largely dependent on the general mood I was in. I’m good when I’m miserable. In fact, my humor reaches impressive levels the less happy I am internally.
So in yet another way the-universe-is-fucked-up, the defenese mechanism I have exploited for years is kind of useless when there’s nothing to defend myself from. When I am unhappy, I deflect the probing questions and sympathetic looks by throwing open the doors to my self-deprecating humor. I suppose I must be thinking, “well, I might be black and rotten on the inside, but at least I can still make people laugh.” Or something like that.
Imagine my surprise then, when I found myself comfortable for the first time in a very long while. And with this comfort came a mental break that took me off guard-duty for myself. I can communicate with people without the need to interject jokes to control the situation. I employ my sarcasm less often now since I don’t need it to distract whoever is unfortunate enough to be near me. I am, I cannot believe I am writing this, not angry.
That’s a lie. I’m less angry. I’m still frustrated with Democrats and my boss and the weather’s bipolar tendencies of late. I’m still disappointed with certain folks and myself for my various shortcomings. But I’m not (at the moment— knock on wood) pissed off at the air for being there. I don’t want to yell at trees and the sky and God. I’m just kind of… going.
Ironically, as I became less awful a person, my blog plummeted. I think it’s more because I’m not passionate about things now… That’s not right either… I’m not passionately aggressive. I’m still in love with politics and my family and my friends and good music and literature. But I’m not forcing myself and my thoughts on the world, and I’m not (currently— knock on wood again!) trying to prove a point that I was never able to articulate well, anyway.
And conssequently, I’ll be taking a break from blogging. I neglected myself lately, and I was miserable… I cried myself to sleep for a long time, and I never looked in the mirror and asked why. Choosing to wallow was sooo much easier and blog-worthy. The need to grieve a number of things took priority over my own emotional well-being and to be frank, I got lazy and in the laziness, incredibly selfish. Lately, I feel like I see a different girl in the mirror, and I kind of like her more than that teenage-esque bitchy-for-no-reason person I always thought I was.
Sooner or later, I’ll return to the world of blogging with what I’m sure will be a wave of observations, but for now, I’ll keep if off the blogosphere. I’m just done trying to be funny.
Everything works out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out yet, then it’s not the end.
The holidays always seem to ambush me… Some sort of unexpected gust of wind that takes me from the mundane life I have come to shape for myself. And as quickly as they come- they vacate, leaving me with the debris of wrapping paper, the sweet memories of family and good food and joking banter with my sweet but absolutely irritating younger brother. This year proved to be no exception. I sat on Christmas eve wondering where the eff Christmas spirit was hiding, why I had yet to embrace it when all of a sudden it was Christmas day and then, before I had time to register it, it was the day after Christmas. The holiday hangover.
My best friend’s dad is sick. From needing a transplant to life support to up and staring down hospice care…. it’s a frightening thing to deal with. This is D’s dad… the fellow blogger, fellow cynic, fellow over-analytic woman who is my soul mate who mentions me in her blog which may or may not qualify me as famous (www.youkitschme.wordpress.com). During one of the visits I made to his hospial bed, Baba Gut (a nickname he ordained himself with… which is, in all honesty, quite fitting), imparted words of wisdom on us. Words that made me cry, words that hit home, words that had impeccable timing, and words that I’ll let D explain if she ever decides to do that… because they aren’t mine to say.
But this was the first holiday season that was coupled with reality of growing up. Looking around the table on Christmas night, I realized that the people gathered around my heart each year will change. I will gather new souls to mine, while mourning the loss of others, and each year the numbers will more likely than not dwindle. Life is, like someone said in Esquire recently (don’t judge my less-than-profound reference, ass), a generally sad thing- with bright spots that are moments of happiness. So this year taught me another lesson I never asked for. (Isn’t that always the way? Lessons, flying like knives from the back, never the front where we can prepare and ready ourselves… becuase we would duck them and the wisdom that they painfully force upon us). What was the lesson?
Years ending in even numbers will always be worse than years ending in odd numbers.
I don’t care if I sound crazy- I say/write this with a very solemn face and brown eyes that remain unblinking. Crazy works for me, and I have long since shed that accompanying shame. Screw you.
That’s mostly a joke. Key word being mostly. But 2010 wasn’t my year… I’ve explained this as both an excuse, a scapegoat and a target repeatedly on this very screen. Normally, I obligingly write a yearly wrap-up sort of thing… As if my life is a non-profit that owes an explanation for how it spent its time to a board of old, mostly white directors. Only it’s not. And if there were a board of directors in my life, it would be the few people I’ve decided I’d give a flying fuck about… which don’t want to read any more of my whining. The lesson being, then, that I can’t keep perpetuating the same shit that I say makes me miserable. People hurt you. Life has moments that make you curse at innocent plants and then at yourself for being such a loon that you could possibly mutter evil words at inanimate objects. At the worst moment, you’ll stub your toe and traffic will suck. You should have known better and
if you didn’t- now you do. In sum: growing up sucks.
Which is why I am letting 2010 pass without a fight. I’ve sort of gone into hiding, reading the books I’ve long stared at but always said I never had the time for and actually going to the movies (while smuggling diet coke in my purse because fountain soda is fucking gross). During the remaining days of this year- I won’t put up a fight, I won’t argue my case and I won’t continue the bleating drone of how I was a victim of the economy, my family, life, and people I should have known better about. The only thing I was sincerely a victim of was myself. And maybe credit card people. They’re like vultures. All roads of blame trace back to me, and I finally have come to terms with this.
So. I won’t be writing about how much I hated 2010. Doesn’t mean I didn’t. But once upon a time, I had a conversation with an aunt who used to journal- used to jot down her memories and repeated the words of others and her own into notebooks stashed away in some anonymous box. When she was sick with cancer, I sat with her a few mornings and while sitting, wrote feverishly my own memories. I asked why she stopped writing. Her response burns me, years later: I like to think I stopped recording life and starting living my own.
Like Baba Gut, Aunt Betsy found wisdom in dark hours. I am still trying to find the balance between recording and living but swing violently from one end to the other in the mean time. And although I don’t know if I do a good job of putting the wisdom thrown at me to good use, I file it away. And like the other ones, those lessons will come to reveal themselves when I am a student deserving of learning whatever they have to teach.
Good Riddance, 2010. Kiss my ass. (okay. I’m a slow learner).