Frazzled. But then, when am I not?
I used to be the kind of person who couldn’t survive without hope.
You know the type. They’re always chasing what “might be” and longing for who you “could be” and they’re never satisfied with what’s right in front of them.
That has been a step along the path to hating myself and my past less. Realizing that what could happen really doesn’t matter. I either need to find a way to accept what does happen or kill myself, cause what could happen and what I want to happen might never actually come to pass. And then what?! Then I’ve spent my whole life wishing and accomplished exactly jack and shit.
I don’t want to spend my whole life wishing.
This has been hard on me. I see potential in everything I look at. People, animals, plants, buildings, society… Everyone and everything could be so much more than what they are.
I had to learn that just because the potential is there doesn’t mean the desire is. Or even the need.
I also had to learn that different does not mean better. Or worse.
I have the potential to be an outstanding attorney. On the surface. Who knows what might happen once I hit the books. But I have the passion and the drive and the belief system that would allow me to be really good if I could get through the academic part and pass the bar. And for a long time that was my dream. Criminal defense and civil rights. That’s what I wanted to do. And I’d write fiction on the side to pass the time and donate any money I made from that to charity. Cause all lawyers are rich enough to just throw money at people who need it, dontcha know.
And that, right there, was the basis for my dream. Money. Any time I talked about being a lawyer, I’d say something like, “I’m gonna be a lawyer and be rich and buy Mom a big house and take her to Hawaii.” Mom’s dream was to have a big house and visit Hawaii.
I mean, I wanted to help people, too. Obviously. You don’t decide you want to be in criminal defense and civil rights if you don’t want to help people. Very few people go into criminal defense with the intention of getting criminals out of having to serve time for their offense. Most people interested in going into criminal defense just want to make sure the system works the way it’s supposed to. That the person is seen as innocent until proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt and that the government meets its burden of proof. That’s what I wanted, anyway.
Discrimination and a broken system. That’s what I wanted to fight when I was a kid. And these days, though I’ve narrowed the scope, I guess that’s still what I’m up against. Discrimination and a broken system.
The other day, I got an email from my ex’s wife. They’ve separated. My ex has proven himself to be the same person he’s been since age fourteen. The only obvious difference is, the last I heard, he wasn’t drinking or doing any drugs, or breaking any laws, or running the streets with his “boyz”. Though it sounds more like it was his declining health that cured him of those things.
For the first time since they fell off the face of the earth, I got an update on my children. They’re doing really well, and are really happy (minus the whole “Dad taking off to another state a day’s drive away again” thing). And are a lot like me. From my son’s quick temper to their love for music. And my youngest daughter has pit herself against discrimination and a broken system. She wants to be a journalist. Not just a journalist. An investigative reporter. She wants to be the one on the front lines, swooping in to shine a massive spotlight on the injustices of the world.
Hot damn. That makes me just as proud as a mama peacock the first day her baby spreads those gorgeous feathers.
And scared to death of what might happen to her. Please, god, let her be protected by whatever thing has kept me (mostly) safe through all I’ve been through.
I used to feel guilty about who I am. I was supposed to be something special! Everyone always said I was gonna do big things! I was gonna make shit happen! I was both a mover and a shaker and the world was my oyster.
But I don’t really want the world on a platter. I don’t think I’d like being on the news every day. And the amount of work and attention to detail and responsibility that lies on the shoulders of someone spearheading any campaign is monumental. I’m really not sure I could handle the pressure of everyone looking to me for their next move. What if I make the wrong decision? So if you don’t mind, World, I’m gonna stand in firm support out here on the internet, and when I talk to people about the things I believe in, but I think I’m okay with not being in the spotlight.
Of course, there are people out here on the internet that ended up in the spotlight, and sometimes when you’re talking to people you get recognition. And I am a journalist (though I hardly feel comfortable calling myself that –as if I’m not … something enough to deserve the title) on an adult publication that is getting more recognition every day. It’s likely I have nothing to do with that, but there’s nothing saying I won’t get caught up in the momentum of the other amazing writers there.
There’s this force that springs up out of nowhere, and suddenly a person finds oneself somewhere they never expected to be. And every once in a while, there’s that glimmer of hope that this might happen to me. “Well, I mean, I don’t really know how I got here. One day I wrote something, and the next day I was meeting with the heads of X, Y and Z organizations talking about blah. Now, I’m so-and-so’s head adviser and I meet with blah-di-blahs of such-and-such three days a week.” How often do you hear that out of the mouth of some muckety-muck you hadn’t heard of before yesterday but was today’s People’s person of the year?
But I’m learning to live in the moment. To appreciate what’s right here in front of me. I have a great husband who puts up with my shit even when He really doesn’t have to because He knows it’s just me being caught up in my emotions and not really intending to lash out. I have an awesome job and a (maybe) budding writing career that have allowed us to begin to get back on track and maybe pull ourselves out of this slump we’ve been in. I’ve got great friends who are there for me if I need them and actually like me for who I am and not what I can do for them. Even if they do all live halfway across the country.
My neighborhood is steadily declining but we’re probably going to be able to move by the end of the year. And maybe even into a house, rather than a flat. Not bought, mind, but renting at least.
My nerves are frayed because there’s a lot of unimaginable bullshit drama going on in my personal life. I’m not sleeping and being home is almost physically painful. Having obligations that keep me from just hitting the road with M and not stopping till we decide to is an indescribable weight on my chest. So we’ve been driving in little spurts. Last night we got almost up to The Caves, had pizza at a gas station in the middle of nowhere, and then drove home. I kinda want to go south some day soon. Around the city, not through it. Not yet. I’m not ready for the city yet. Soon.
We might go to Salem. Mass, not New York. This weekend. There’s a wax museum there that we love, and I need a new coffee cup. And a new “Doin’ it every witch way” shirt. And let’s not forget the cemeteries. The energy there is insane.
I know that some things have fallen through the cracks. I apologize. You know who you are. I need this weekend. But after this weekend I will be back on the ball.