Saturday, August 6, 2016

Elements in Processing. Spinning Wheel, or Maybe Progress Bar.

It wasn't one specific day that I woke up and realized that I didn't fit into my life anymore, but that's what happened. It's not because I'd eaten too much and had grown out of my dresses (although that happened, and then didn't, and then did again). It wasn't because I married a man and became a wife (that happened.) It wasn't because I had a child and became responsible for another person's survival and well-being (although that happened, too.) 

I didn't fit into my life anymore because my life was a generic model of life, a distant, but widely accepted version of the American dream. The modern family. The life that we all move toward without question. You want this. Of course you do. Who doesn't? Only sad people and weirdos and people who are terminally depressed or homeless drug addicts don't want this. This is the good life. You have arrived.  You don't want to be a drug addict, do you? 

I wanted to believe. The modern American family was what I wanted it because I had it. I fought for that life. As I inched toward it (once I decided to quit fucking around and get "serious" about my life), I found a person to marry. A person who is kind and easy and good. I made a baby. I found a good job. I menu-planned and grocery shopped and cooked holiday dinners and threw birthday parties and anniversaries and scheduled dentist appointments. In the busy life that I lived, there was this nagging feeling, a tug inside, a voice, a dream that would bubble up to the surface and say, "whoa. whothefuckareyou? do you even like this shit? when was the last time you felt like yourself 100%?"

Once I stopped rushing through all the things that I was supposed to want and supposed to do, and looked around, I was overcome by the ohfuck,thiscan'tbeit. We have certainly taken a wrong turn somewhere, baby, where is the map? I had been striving for a normal life for so long that when I was there living in the middle of it all, I was stunned. I knew I was supposed to be happy (after all, I did it!) but I was miserable.  But that's just the thing, isn't it? When you travel toward a destination that's not truly your own, it's gravely unsatisfying when you get there. This place was not mine to reach. I wanted to be proud that I drank so much less and exercised and balanced my bank account and career and my family and my friends. But it never felt right. 

There I was in the middle of someone else's well-earned dream destination. 

It was a historical dream. A community goal. Goals teethed from my grandmother and grandfather. It was a traditional destination. A goal that most of my friends wanted to reach and were reaching left and right. That time in our lives when every person we know is getting married and/or having children and/or buying a house. 

The collective ticking off of boxes. Job. Check. Marriage. Check. House. Check. Baby. Check. Life. Check. 

In the time it took me to get there, I had changed. Grown out of the wanting of that life. I certainly didn't want things anymore. I didn't want a bigger house or a nicer car or more jewelry or finer clothes (ok, I do have a fantasy about wearing only Eileen Fisher and Sanuks). I didn't want to work more to make more money to buy more stuff. I wanted to work just enough to feed myself and my family and keep my life full of joy and not to be burdened by being the keeper of things. Things feel heavy and cumbersome and loathsome. And I hate cleaning and dusting and washing things. What a huge waste of my precious time. Time is the only thing we can never have more of. 

The life that I thought I wanted didn't serve me. It wasn't true for me. As scary as that was, it was way scarier to pretend that I wanted it. It was like l was in jeopardy of disappearing or disintegrating. If I ignored that sinking feeling, if I turned away from the truth, I would just dissolve. There would be no Heather. She would forever be lost, dusting little trinkets after working seventy hours a week to pay for her extravagant shopping trips to Nordstrom Rack and fancy Cameron Mitchell dinners.  

I didn't want to be lost forever. So, I fucked shit up. Made a big ol mess. And then spent a whole lot of time cleaning that up (ugh.) And now, I live in a very clean soul and house. I am living in my truth and working and reading and laughing and playing and loving myself, my daughter, and my friends. I'm going to bed. More later. As always. 

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