this month's topic for Interpretations: distractions.
An Extended Meditation on Life - Part 3
Solitaire. Solitaire 'til Dawn. that's the distraction, folks.
more seriously - distractions assume a goal from which to be distracted. i think, overall, i get too caught up in the next thing, or side project that maybe should be the main project, to focus on where i want to go.
i mean, when i get up in the morning, i think, 'gotta shower, if i leave by 8 i can catch the bus, have to feed the cats, food - right, remember to bring lunch, don't forget to brush your teeth, oh shit it's almost 8, don't forget to turn down the heat, lock the door, say goodbye to the cats...' and then, walking down the street, 'damn! forgot lunch again!' if i can't remember to bring my lunch, how am i supposed to get ahead in the world?
and that's the sticky question. what, exactly, constitutes getting ahead? as if we need to make progress, because life, as we all know, goes in a straight line. not. it seems more to wander, circle back, go off on a little venture, and maybe even come back to where it all started before heading off in another completely different direction. or, maybe, it's not marching along with blinders on, but watching and learning, and collecting towards yourself the things that matter. like friends. and family. from that familiar place, you can jump off to find out if you can learn to be an opera singer. (i don't like opera, by the way. i'm just saying.)
except... except in the last few days, it seems that i have discovered that there are things i want to do. places i want to get. a sort of person i want to be, and fear that i might miss at getting there. and the wanting is very strong. suprisingly so, as i haven't paid much attention to it in a while. that sort of suprised me. it's not as if i plain didn't know. i did. but there have been distractions, say, or detours, or learning opportunities along the way.
while it appeared to come as a deep shock to my family when i got married, it made sense to me. after all, that's what you do. you find a partner, settle down, build a life, and then die. note that there is a tang of bitterness in that last sentence. the marriage, you may have guessed, did not go well. but in the beginning, it was fine. we were happy, and he proposed. and the family was stunned. for reasons that are a mystery to me, they had all decided i would be a bitter lonely old crone. (mind you, i don't think crone is a negative term, but they do.) what the? where did that come from? just because i never cooed over other peoples' small smelly children? because i have a strong independent (read: unfeminine) streak? who knows... it also made sense to me to get out later because fritz just was never going to be part of what i wanted. and that seemed to be a deep shock to my family too. because marriage is work, and sacred, and accept the misery, dollface, 'cause that's the way it is. jesus h. christ on a raft without a paddle... where did all that come from? we're not Catholic, so there's not even a good religious reason for all that blather. societal conditioning, i guess.
so, yeah. the last 7 or 8 years have been about getting into that mess, and getting myself out, and finding my feet again, whilst attempting to discuss all this with my family. i was so grateful when they finally stopped badgering me into couples therapy. when that conversation stopped, i knew we were making progress. and mind you, they don't have to like my choices, in that area or any other. but i do ask for respect. disagree all you want, just don't preach to me. because the louder you get, the less i listen. that last is a general life statement; my family never lectured me. it did take a long time for us to be able to hear each other and really talk, tho.
with that work done, i thought... i thought... well, that's the thing. i didn't really think. here i am, on my own, in my own place, trying to figure out what i want. but not in a 'sit down and come up with a five year plan for your career' kind of way. more a reactionary, shooting off at the mouth kind of way. rather than stepping back and looking at the larger picture, i let the immediate set me off, with sometimes disastrous results. take, for example, my boyfriend. (take my boyfriend - please! bastardized henny youngman, i think?) we're on take two now. i pretty well fucked up take one to a fare thee well. yes, i know, i had help. but i got so focused on one or two things, such as living together Right Now, that i was distracted from the broader idea of wanting our relationship to work. the distraction was the pitfall. now, this time around, i'm trying to learn. trying to step back and fit the question into place, see where it fits in my life, in our life.
there have been other things along the way. friends getting married, friends getting divorced, a job changing under my feet, an assault and the ensuing trial, people landing in hospitals, moving into town, out of town, and (oh yeah) this little thing i fondly like to call My Life, wherein i get to see the occasional movie and go get tipsy (maybe not in that order). it's not that these are distractions. they're life. but giving my time and energy to these things sometimes doesn't leave me with enough mental juice to ask if i'm happy with where i'm going.
and that should change. i want to truly know, to my core, that this is what i want. if it isn't, i want to find what it is. i want to come to terms with my fears. i want to see the distractions, acknowledge them, and put them aside. i do not want to lose myself again in the thicket of minor events. at the end, i would like to look back at my life with something approaching satisfaction, because i made a difference, met my goals, and was happy.