I’m in a weird mood, and I have a mish-mash of things I want to rant/write about, but I don’t know that I will, other than making a fairly curtailed list, each of which could be an epic whining post of great whinging.
I don’t want to feel grateful for something someone did for me that I never asked them to do– or that I specifically told them to no longer worry about, especially when they did it out of guilt or their own sense of unfinished business, however they might define it. I don’t want a gift forced on me that I never asked for, not when I was working on figuring out how to do the thing for myself. I know that it’s a stupid fuss to make, to feel it an imposition, rather than to just allow this person to do the thing (if it even comes from amends), but I also feel like I’ve made it really clear in this phase of my life that the subtitle to this section of my memoir is subtitled: No, really, fuck you. I’m going to do it myself because I am smart and motivated (read, not suicidal) enough to figure this out.
I wish I wasn’t so angry that any gift or offer of help felt like an accusation that I was a failure, incompetent, fragile.
I’d like to recognize if someone was flirting with me. I know part of this is getting back on the bike, but the rest of me knows that I just– can’t believe I’m attractive, not after not being wanted that way for so very long. I want to know that I’m wanted. That I’m want-able. Love-able, too, even if I’m ten miles from ready.
I want to learn to just be grateful and not to feel startled, embarrassed or ashamed when someone at my new job (again) says I’m doing a great job at X/Y/Z just my job, even when 1) I know that it’s partly the work culture that promotes the expressions of praise, 2) that I am good at my job, 3) that I deserved to hear it all along whether I worked some place or lived with and befriended people who should have been expressing it long before now, 4) I want to learn to say thank you and not be flustered, because I feel like it’s as plain as the shock in my heart that it’s not something I’m used to, and I don’t want to walk around forever with “Kicked Puppy, Please Pet” written on my forehead. (I want to not have to archive the emails reflecting these praises and then pulling them out after I’ve had a shit day, just because I need to know that somewhere, someone thinks I’m of use.)
I want to be friends with people who follow up invites, one way or the other, or at least drop a line to say they’re flaking out. I want to learn to let go when this doesn’t happen, and to not blame myself for maybe something I’ve done. I want to try to reach out enough to feel satisfied that I tried, but not so much that I feel like a doormat. I want to learn where that doormat line lies. I want to learn to let people come and go as they need to, to not harbor anger about that, to not rely too much on anyone one person so that their loss is a shattering thing (been there, done that, husband, college best friend, maybe some more pending, we’ll see) to not feel like I’m being needy or clingy, but also to feel like I’m standing up for myself and saying– you know what? I’m going to go associate with some folks who do have time for me, even if we’ve had a good, a great run even– because they may not be you, but at least they’re around when it counts. They’re curious.
We all need to love and be loved. Somehow. Even in the smallest of possible ways.
I want to be brave enough after all the brave shit I’ve done– quit doing a job that I hated, did something new until I wasn’t just treading water, got out of that, found something I loved, learned to say what I needed and then walked away (though not without too much looking back, but I think I’d rather suffer regret than run the risk of becoming callous), learned to say no to things that hurt me, learned to say yes to things that pleased me, learned to turn aside from callousness and self-interest directed only at others’ self-absorption– to keep learning these things, to not lose strength, to not feel worn out, to not feel like even though I am still redefining who I am, what I want, what I expect from myself and the people I am willing to continue to know.
I want, sometimes, to not have to be brave– even though I knowingly walked away from a situation where I thought I didn’t have to, all of the time, only to find out that wasn’t the truth. I want to learn to embrace the truth that it’s okay and I’ll live and learn to live with the fact that in the end, we all always have to take care of ourselves, because no matter how hard we cry or plead or try to spell things out for others, in the end, we, alone, have to decide. I would still like a vacation from having to decide.
There are times when I would like someone to wave a magic wand and make my mother and all my memories off her fuzz, gently, and that I would fuzz out of her mind so that I didn’t have to talk to her at all anymore. I can’t bring myself to cut her off again because that would be consciously cruel, even though she’s oblivious as ever as to the narcissistic harm she causes, but I would like to … stop being part of her self-reflexive calculus of worth, so I don’t have to deal with her slights and her obtuseness, and could get on with reconstructing a self that will always be shaped by a mother’s neglect, but which can maybe have a little time to recover from the continuous dents she puts in my armor from dealing with her.
I would like my father to pay attention long enough to the things that drive me truly batshit to keep his mouth shut about my 1) driving, 2) not wearing slippers, 3) not doing things the way he would have done, 4) any other critical thing that comes out of his mouth, because– parents? I’m not you. And guess what? You failed. Stop projecting your unfulfilled wishes on me. I’ve got enough of my own to bring into better alignment. I don’t want yours, too, no matter they come from a place of good intentions.
I would like to stop being so fucking introverted, agoraphobic, and gun-shy about relationships outside the internet, and inside it, too.
I would like to finish some projects.
I would like to be perceived as creative.
I would like to stop having so many (too many) feelings. I would like for these feelings to stop bogging me down, suffocating my throat, blinding my eyes, making me twitch and dream anxiety dreams and feel paranoid about people who have sticks up their butts and aren’t worth thinking about because if they have a problem but won’t come out and say so, then screw them, stupid sonsofbitches, I’m pretty badass, crazy or not.
I would like to actually believe that last bit. I’d settle for even most (not all) of the time.
I’d like to not be staving off tears as I write this, because even after all this brave shit and all these fucking feelings I’ve done things to acknowledge these last couple of years, I still hate to cry, and I still suppress things rather than just having a sobfest. I think I don’t sob because there’s no one to hold me, and also because I would probably punch/hate/resent anyone who told me things would be okay or who just patted my back and said there, fucking there. Things won’t be okay, not forever. Life isn’t like that.
I’d like to just suck that bit up and move on.