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It’s amazing how things can change in a day. Today I was inspired in two separate ways by two separate incidents. A friend bravely shared her talent. Another shared himself. At noon today I was mourning the loss of his friendship. By this afternoon I felt giddy and happy that he cares. An unsolicited phone call and the desire to spend time with me can do that. By itself. I am so many things to so many people, yet happy to be myself to myself today. I’m learning stillness and patience. It’s cool. I’m trusting me again, I like it.
Holding her in my arms, feeling her breathe, I’m overwhelmed by love and joy. I brush her hair from her eyes and kiss her forehead. I carry her inside to her soft blanket. I wonder how it’s possible that by virtue of coming from inside my body, I could love any child more than I do this one, or her brother. Or my other godchildren- official and in spirit. Yet, I want that so much, flesh of my flesh. My body cries out for it every month. That desire makes me desperate sometimes, that’s when my pathetic self takes over.
Today I’m feeling somehow peaceful. Like I’m on the right path, even though I can’t see where I’m going. Today I don’t even feel sure I know where I want to go. I have goals. Some of them I’ve had all my life, some are newer. I’ve accomplished things I never imagined until they happened. Today I feel of sense of calm, an ability to “go with the flow” which is unusual for me. I crossed a line this week, one of those ones you can pass and you never fall all the way back again. Everything’s gonna be alright.
Anticipation. It’s something that makes living life interesting. It can lead to unmet expectations and bitter disappointment. But I’m not sure I could function through the day-to-day drudgery and boredom of every day life if I weren’t able to anticipate the next great thing that might happen to me. It’s always been hard for me to stay grounded in reality instead of residing completely in my fantasy worlds. If my reality didn’t contain some hope, I’m sure I would slip permanently into oblivion. I’m not sure anticipation and hope are the same things, but they connect closely in my mind.
How did this happen so quickly, going from feeling optimistic and strong to feeling that my life is out of control? Is it impossible for me to feel OK? Do I have to have the negative thrown in my face every time I start feeling positive about my life? I can’t live as if I don’t matter, as if I don’t care about things that are important to me. I can’t turn off feelings so other people don’t feel uncomfortable around me, or be insanely grateful every time someone shows me a little love or helps me in any way.
How stupid is it to allow myself to get into a situation which I know is hopeless, which I know can only lead to my getting hurt, and then when I get hurt to feel angry and to bawl like a baby? It’s about as stupid as allowing one phone call to give me hope about this hopeless situation. We make jokes about how I “know things” and I know he’s backing away from me and for some reason can’t tell me, yet I convince myself he’s not. Because he says he’s not, even though he dances around my questions.
Did you ever feel like you were a horse and you’ve spent your whole life chasing after some carrot that some unseen force is dangling in front of you? You’ve never even really tasted a carrot, but you know you would really like it and you would be very happy if you could only catch up to that stupid carrot. You’re not sure if you’re somehow doing something wrong, or if the carrot dangler is just a malicious, sadistic bastard. Each time the carrot is snatched from your grasp, it hurts just a little bit more. Like that? I have.
I’m in strange transition mode now. It’s exciting how things are falling into place with all my “jobs.” The mysteries are taking off, we’ve set up our summer teaching schedule and the classes are going well. My office job seems willing to give me the flexibility I need to focus more on teaching. And my niece lights up all my mornings. How rewarding to watch her grow and flourish. I seem to be making positive progress, but nothing is completely set. Even my personal life is in a total “wait and see mode.” So I guess I’ll wait and see.
They told me they would upgrade my voice mail and I would receive notification when it was ready. So I put the paperwork aside and put it out of my mind. Today, I discovered I had eight messages from the past ten days sitting in this new mailbox that I didn’t even know I had. It let me enter my old mailbox and told me “you have no messages” in that annoying voice which says, why would anyone want to talk to you anyway? But people did want to talk to me, I just didn’t know it. Now I know.
It doesn’t matter how tired I am, or how determined I am to get a good night’s sleep, something always keeps me up. Tonight it was two phone calls. Sometimes I get caught up watching some stupid movie on TV, or I start playing computer games and can’t stop, or I get close to the end of a really good book and I know I’ll never sleep until I get to the end. Rarely, I actually get to bed early and lie there, my brain racing, thinking too much. I think the rest of it makes sure that doesn’t happen.
The fantasy became so real. Then the phone rang at 11:05pm, I actually smiled, it was coming true. It wasn’t quite late enough that it had to be. In fact, it probably wasn’t late enough to possibly be what I imagined. Then my call waiting beeped. It was more likely, but I was already resigned and clicked over more curious than hopeful. It was my Mom. It’s funny, the fantasy didn’t even come to me right away, I’m further on the road to recovery than I thought. But it came, I had to go with it. It’s too late now.
I like vodka. Vodka has all these magical powers. I can say I'm having one drink…so I have that drink, and the vodka makes me think I should have just one more drink. So I do, and the group I'm with gets to talking and we're getting really profound, so if I have just one more drink, we can continue this earth-shattering conversation and I can still get myself home and get six hours of sleep. But while I'm drinking this third drink, the bartender lets us know the next round is on him. And I'm doomed. I like vodka.
West Side Story. It’s exactly nineteen years since I played Maria, yet I was inside her soul watching it today. I know the lines by heart and Tony’s death ripped out my heart, although I knew it was coming. I remembered what it felt like speaking her words when I still believed that story could happen. I expected to fall completely in love with someone who loved me the same way, so much that nothing else mattered, even killing my brother. It makes me sad to remember what that felt like and to realize I can’t believe in that anymore.
You really can psyche yourself out, believing cucumbers, tomatoes and mushrooms are the most delicious things on earth and eating them is almost as good as chocolate. You can add fat-free yogurt and relish with some garlic, onion and chives to red salmon, put it on a whole wheat pita and think you’ve died and gone to heaven. You can actually get to where you have to force the last bits to make sure you’ve had ENOUGH for the day. And if you’re faithful all week, you can even have a few drinks over the weekend without totally screwing up.
Suddenly, out of the blue, I had a clear and overwhelmingly real memory of what your mouth feels like. And although we’re not officially over, I missed you. I’ve known for awhile now that we most likely are over. Just as I know that would be wrong, I know it’s true. It started as one of those wonderful sense memories, I could physically feel you with me. It quickly turned into tears. Because I’m afraid it will never happen again. Which I feel is a tragedy. I don’t understand, I straight out asked and you denied it. But it’s clear.
Where to begin on one of those days when I hardly want to remain in this world? How in a mere hundred words to express this despair, this desire to have one really meaningful thing come to me or else to leave this world. Of course, even as I’m thinking this, that voice in the back of my head reminds me I don’t want to die. And that other one in the left corner starts listing all the wonderful things I have in my life to be thankful for. Whenever I get seemingly close to satisfaction, something falls apart again.
I learn how to sound reasonable, I can actually make people believe I’m sane. Somehow, I know what the words are. I guess it’s the actress in me, just as I can access things in various characters that I’ve never experienced, I’ve observed rational behavior and so I can make it believable when I try it. I can smile and laugh with the baby and I can be professional at work. But that sadness stays somewhere deep inside me all day, threatening to escape at a moment’s notice, an emotional scene on TV, an imagined slight. I think I’m brilliant.
I came to this sudden realization today that I managed to trick myself into doing the right thing for the wrong reason. Not wrong as in I’m bad, but I probably already knew that what I thought I was trying to accomplish was impossible. Now that I’m coming to that point where I have to accept that, it’s almost too late to go back and force one of my dramatic confrontational endings, although I’m certainly still tempted to do so. I was always one who could forgive doing the wrong thing for the right reason, this is a pleasant change.
I’m looking forward to being someone else. She’s unhappy, but she’s not me. She a different person with a different temperament and feelings, living in a different age. For a few hours tonight, all my actions and interactions with the world will be through her eyes, in her body. People think what I do is really hard. They don’t realize that sometimes it’s much easier to be someone else than to just be you, to feel what you feel and know what you know and want what you want which you never get. I’m looking forward to being someone else.
How did you manage to call me right at the deadline I had set for when I would give up completely? Yet, in your message, left when you knew I wouldn’t answer the phone, you said absolutely nothing to make me feel like there was any significance to the call. You expressed no desire to see me or even specifically to hear back from me. You gave me the absolute minimum. Which begs the question: why? What are you trying to get away with? Why are you holding on to something you seem to not even want anymore? I’m baffled.
I need glasses. I used to have reading glasses. After I sat on them I procrastinated because I didn’t have any money. Next thing I knew, I hadn’t been wearing glasses for over a year and I wasn’t getting headaches. So I haven’t had glasses for about seven years. Lately, not only do I get headaches, it’s sort of scary what happens to my eyes when they get tired, which is often. Yesterday a few sections of The New York Times left me practically blind. All the morons who never turn their brights off make me fear for my life.
I really have no idea what I want to write about today. I just read through everything I wrote so far this month, which is, of course, my first month doing this. I was hoping that I would get inspired by reading it, that some profound wisdom would come to me tying together some common thread I’m not aware of between all my random thoughts I’ve put down to date. That didn’t happen. I read it all, sat here a moment and still had nothing. So I decided a Seinfeldesque paragraph about nothing was in order. So here it is.
“O you beast, O faithless coward, O dishonest wretch! Wouldst thou be made a man out of my vice? Is’t not some kind of incest to take life from thine own sister’s shame? What should I think? Heaven shield my mother played my father fair, for such a warped slip of wilderness ne’er issued from his blood. Take my defiance. Die. Perish. Would but my bending down reprieve thee from thy fate, it should proceed I’ll pray a thousand prayers for thy death. No word to save thee. O fie, fie, fie. Tis best that thou diest quickly” Happy Birthday!
It’s so tempting still, to call you. The old me would interpret all these horoscopes to mean that I have to take that step. I’m smarter now. I know that there’s probably no chance anymore, and if there is any slightest chance left, it’s only by backing completely away that it could happen. If it’s dead, it’s dead and nothing I will do can save it. If it’s meant to be, then you’ll come to me. I’ve made my feelings clear and you probably have too, in a more subtle way. So I’m tempted, out of habit, but I won’t.
It was hard to tell if you enjoyed your first playground experience. You don’t like the sun in your eyes, which was part of it. You rode the bouncy duck, the swing, the slide. I expected you’d laugh or at least smile more if you were enjoying yourself. I have no doubt if you were unhappy you would have made that known to me. You seldom hesitate to loudly express your dissatisfaction. You were oddly disinterested in any of our activities, or the beautiful day we enjoyed on one of our rare trips outside. Anyway, I’m glad we did it.
I felt like a teacher again, like I’m making a difference, accomplishing something, helping people learn to do what I love more than anything. It felt great. Last night’s dreams were scary. I hadn’t realized how panicked I was until I was awakened by a particularly strange one…missing children, me yelling and an escaped crazed killer I was trying to protect them from. Not to mention a surprise visit from my former lover (I’m pretty sure he’s former). I was hoping I got all my fears out in the dreams and the day would be positive. It exceeded my hopes.
I walked three miles. The first part was along the boardwalk and it was a beautiful day. I was with people I like (but don’t tell them I said so, we’re related) and it was for a good cause. Combined with my classes on Saturday and walking carrying an almost twenty pound baby on Friday I might actually be starting to exercise regularly. Not major working out, I’ll probably never be that person, but at least some physical activity every day. It wasn’t even as horrible as I thought being up at eight am on a Sunday. Positive baby steps.
I didn’t realize how much better I was feeling all weekend, until I was a hormonal emotional wreck this afternoon. I was very busy all day, so it was only during the baby’s nap and it wasn’t even specifically about anything. We did take a half-hour walk, so I’m still on track with my new exercise regimen. I’m getting in my hours at work and making some big brownie points for being helpful and efficient. So I guess the exhaustion is at least a good tired and I’m still getting stuff done when I get home. I have clean sheets.
Some days, it’s so easy to stay right on track, to do what I know I should do without even wanting to do something else. Other days, it’s a real struggle. Temptation beckons in all directions and resistance is low. On those days the gargantuan effort of using my brain tires me out completely. There seems to be this evil imp living inside my body that tries to take over and undo all my hard work in every area of my life. Of course, when I do resist the imp and stay strong there is an immense sense of accomplishment.
My kids were brilliant…not perfect, but adorable and talented and they were on TV. My name was mentioned on TV as being their drama teacher. The young bugs forgot to sing at first, but they couldn’t see me which I’m sure was confusing for them. But they did the steps and looked cute. The older kids sang the whole time, there were a few out of step, but they were also awesome. I was pleased and proud and my no-show from last week with a disconnected phone also showed up. It was a good day. And I got home early!
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