If It's Not Getting Better

So I finally found a job and have been settling in. I'm getting closer and closer to a point incorporating more writing into my life. It's weird, some writers seem to be so prolific. Like writing is some sort of itch to scratch...they need to do it no matter what's going on. But I seem to be of the writerly type that needs certain stars in line.
This post will likely be a little scattered with themes that will reoccur, but that's ok, right?
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It was my birthday recently. When I was little I always wanted a big party. Lots of people and fun activities. But since I was born right in Harvest season, that rarely happened. One time we had a party several months after my birthday. We went to Bonesteel and bowled. It was amazingly fun and I was definitely under the impression that parties for your birthday were the way to go.

When I turned 25, we threw a big costume party with the theme of Wigs and Villains. I went as Ursula, the Sea Witch. The next door neighbors joined in competing with us as Coneheads or Superheroes. It was a birthday bash like I've always wanted. The next day, several of us went to Red Lobster and ate approx 30 cheddar bay biscuits. Each.

This year I turned 27 and I couldn't really muster up the energy of having a party. ugh. I went to a spa with my friend, Amanda, instead. I sat around naked in warm water and then had a massage. I ate bbq. That night, as if on some kind of chronological cue, I had to get up and pee twice in the night. Doubling the normal pee frequency in the night. And the second time I had to get up, the bones in my ankles popped. All of them. I think even Shaughn shifted in his sleep by the huge noise that this made.

Despite all this popping and peeing, and scrunched up faces of people telling me it doesn't get any better, I have been feeling pretty good the last week. I felt terrible last Monday. Old and cranky and really fat. Amanda and I walked around Greenlake and there was a point where I wanted to sit down and rest. Call a cab, maybe. But luckily we started talking about juicy girly stuff and I managed to push on through. We might have even upped the pace a little. Thank goodness for Amanda and her juicy life.

This Monday, Amanda and I went to a yoga class across the street from my place. It felt wonderful to be in there. To feel my body move, to stretch it. To look deep inside and ask myself questions like, "how do you really lengthen your spine? It is what it is, isn't it?" and "when did Amanda become so flexible?" I sweat, I breathed, and I fell down. Everything a person could want out of an hour of life, I suppose. Although there was one pose that I couldn't do at all. So I just laid there which also felt rather good. But I also felt like such a weeny pants, like the fat kid in gym class which I never was. I think, in my teens, being the fat-anything was about the worse thing you could be. So in some ways, it's sort of a relief to be the fat girl now that we all have a little perspective on life.

As a child and teenager, there was so much fear of failing. Like most, if not all, young people, I had picked a few good reasons for people to not like me and a few good reasons why they should. And the thought of losing even one reason on the should side was so horrible. Like it would tip the balances and I would have to pack up and leave and try somewhere else. In truth people liked me or didn't based almost always on things not on my list.

When I went back to school to finish my B.A. the first thing I had to write, I staid up until 2am with all but a blank page. And then I cried and cried. I sat myself down and asked what would happen if I failed this class. What it was, exactly, that was making me freak out. And it really came down to those lists. Of feeling like if I lost something on my good list--my good grades--that I would be less likable as a person. Less capable of being loved. But, when I thought of my friends, especially my closest friend, Amanda, this was so preposterous. In fact, I was pretty sure Amanda would like me more if I failed a class. Really, I could only win.

I used to fear being the "---est" of anything negative. I would just imagine how terrible it would be to be the slowest, the dumbest, the fattest, the loneliest, the ugliest....I mean I could cope being "---er" but just not the "---est." It's such a push pull. On one hand it really doesn't matter. And on the other it does. It's the push that you don't have to be like everyone else to be loved but the pull of wanting to belong. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go to a high school and look around. People wanting to be unique and wanting to fit in.
It really doesn't go away, it just gets easier. You sort of pick your battles a little wiser. It sucked being the fattest girl in the yoga room and it felt really good to be doing something good for myself with a bunch of people. Hours after leaving the yoga studio, I feel a little more of the good, a little less of the bad. That--is what getting older means to me.

In my early 20's (ack! I can't believe I can say that with a straight face), it was all about being a mess and getting comfortable with who I was, what I was about. It was exciting and a trip to the grocery store could feel like an adventure. So many possibilities to be awakened. I went on adventures to other countries and fell deeply and loyally in love with who I was. I was edgy. I was reckless with my hair. I listened to Ani DiFranco and maybe had the smallest feminist chip on my shoulder.

Whatever, I still listen to Ani DiFranco and have a feminist chip on my shoulder. I went and saw her in concert recently. I admit that when I heard that Ani had a new album out and that it was "happy" and that she was losing her edge and wasn't really an activist any more because everyone knows you have choose between being happy and being an activist, I felt a little sad. Like, maybe that's how it goes. There are definitely plenty of examples of artists having better art when they are angsty and miserable. And by plenty, I mean most of them. As soon as things work out...their work suffers. I felt so sad that this had already happened to me and I hadn't really even produced any great artistic work! People always told me that if i could work through all those things I was working through, I would be ahead of the game. I would be sitting pretty for much of life. But what they should have said, is that I would also lose the ability to do something worthwhile! Happiness is for people who've earned it! Why is life so counterproductive! My life is meaningless!!!!!!!!

But her show was amazing. I've been to many of her shows and I really and truly loved this one (not just because I got to sit down). She addressed all the negative media she's gotten from being too joyous in her latest album. And one of her songs seemed to counter perfectly. She said if it's not getting better, than your fucking up.




This is the best advice I have gotten in a long time. Or at least I thought so, until I told Amanda this and she said, "Oh great."

Comments

  1. It's so great to read your perspective on life. It hits home everytime-thanks for your openness and honesty. Glad to hear you're well-miss you. p-

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