Daily Archives: 11 . August . 2011

Small choices… another essay

It’s 6:20 and I’m in bed, hunkered down under my cotton throw with a belly full of protein shake. It beats the chips and banana cream pie slices I’ve been indulging in for dinner all week, and I had two other “sensible” meals today. I guess you gotta start somewhere… or maybe it’s sometime.

Steve says I’ll make an awful empty nester. Maybe so, judging by these summer training sessions. Maybe by the time it happens for real I’ll have gotten the hang of it, gotten a life pulled together that revolves around no one but myself.

But I’ve always been a communal sort. Odd, really, as this is juxtaposed right next to my natural tendency at introverted solitude, and quiet withdrawal. So much so that people mistake my quietude for snobbery and attitude. Until I smile.

Yet communal interaction doesn’t require a constant thread of communication. Sometimes more can be said by sitting silently together and sharing a meal. Giving up the mouth as the primary tool for communication to the task of biting and chewing, it is the hair and the eyes and the shoulders that speak, carrying on their secret conversations. Arm hairs bristling like morse code.

But I like quiet. I like sitting, side-by-side on a comfy couch, legs outstretched and intertwined, feet turned toward the fireplace, like sunflowers to the sun.

So as the day wanes, I’ll read a bit, until my eyelids droop as though they weigh their weight in gold and resolutely refuse to lift until the day starts anew.

On breaking down… a personal essay

I break down, randomly and with great regularity. I wonder when the tears will stop flowing, and the pain will transform into something else, something useful, like resolve or definitive action.

I wonder why I feel so broken this time, why a relationship that lasted but a year is capable of dissolving me into the putrid mess I have become. I wonder if it was simply the tipping point, the drop that made the bucket overflow, bringing with it all of the water that I had thought to be of the under the bridge kind.

I am mourning a loss but don’t understand why this man, who didn’t care about me deeply enough to be honest with his intentions (though I don’t think he was honest with himself, either), is worthy of my sorrow.

Why is it bothering me so much this time? Because I am older, and sometimes not wiser, and certainly faded in all of my physical attributes, the ones I had relied upon growing up and prior to marrying, imagining that if I picked carefully, I would only have to do it once?

Self-worth has always been an issue, but moreso now, as I look at what it is that I can offer to the world-not much, in my estimation, but I know on a deeper level that that is wrong, that is my inner critic speaking.

Or perhaps it is my mother at her most cynical, in her moments when she would scream at me at the top of her voice, letting me know that I was a choice, that she could have had me scratched out, like the several before me, how she suffered to bring me into the world and how I was an awful, awful child, always misbehaving. Fortunately, I was oblivious of these things as a young child, this being brought to my attention only as a young adult.

And fear grips me. The fear of being obsolete and useless. The fear of not being able to better myself or my situation. The fear of not being able to figure out how to fill out an application to resume my long-abandoned education and the fear of not being able to absorb the material or even qualify for entrance.

Why an application to college fills me with dread and befuddles me to the point of paralysis is beyond me, but it does.

I wish for a hand. One to hold, that will guide me through the process, slowly and methodically, never faltering in its support or wavering in its faith. One that knows something I don’t, has done something I haven’t yet but aim to do, and has triumphed. One who knows that I will triumph too.

Mostly, I wish for kindness. Kindness and the kind of love that is deep and compassionate. One that will not threaten to scratch me out.