I’m at the undesirable place of near numbness that comes from forgetting not only how things work but why. It probably is a result of my disappointment in relationships. It doesn’t mean it is a person’s fault, just that some people are not always allies in my happiness. Example 1: sending a text of “I’m thinking about you etc.” followed by no response, dispelling the illusion of distant friends being just a text away. Or Example 2: friendship dynamics changing on terms you don’t control where you get dealt the sucky hand.
The other day (meaning weeks ago) God told me something. I feel like I should call “God” something else because the fact that I still hear good things from Him through my aura of apathy still surprises me. Apathy feels like eating greasy fried chicken. The idea of apathy as a “comfort food” is why I resort to it (accidentally), but then my heart feels greasy and sluggish.
…So back to the thing God told me. I heard, “I have to be willing to be smaller than my story or else I can’t experience it.” Let me explain. What that meant to me was as long as I’m the narrator of my life, my life can never be any bigger than who I am, and my life can never surprise me. It’s the same as a writer; if the entire story has to come from myself inherently, without outside sources, then it can be no greater than myself.
For a change let’s say God is my narrator. Then I’m not in charge of the plot anymore. I can be surprised or be at the mercy of not knowing what happens next or find myself overwhelmed even or challenged by unpredictability. I can feel incredibly free. So back to the fried chicken/apathy thing. Fried chicken is predictable. And my life has become flat like elevator music. In other words it’s music because it exists as music but it doesn’t make me feel anything I really want to feel.
Then apathy turns into the disease called “So What-arrhea” which is when every idea you used to think was fun or promising now feels like shit or “So What” because you feel depression coming on. And then you muster up the energy to say, “No Depression. I don’t want you here today…or ever,” even though saying those words are so hard somehow. And it doesn’t matter if you move to Austin, Texas or Atlanta because you don’t know how to picture yourself happy in either place because it has become easier to imagine yourself as slightly unhappy all the time except with scattered days/hours of happiness. And to tell the truth you don’t have the slightest damn clue where the fuck you should fit on a map.
And there’s this “hero” version of myself I always pictured becoming one day who had purpose and was successful and who adults always told “You will do great things”, but that “hero” looks more like a flawed person who believed in the Santa Clause version of myself, but I look in the mirror one day and realize I AM the Santa Clause so how can that be anything special. If you follow me, you become smaller than your life in a bad way and you are your own ceiling.
It’s really Toy Story 2 when Woody realizes he used to have an entire show on telivision, “Woody’s Round-Up”, and he was something special to lots of kids. He had worth. But then he finds the four letters “A-N-D-Y” on the bottom of his boot and that is what makes him special, not a bunch of kids watching him on a television show. So instead of feeling encouraged that I’m special because I’m “G-O-D’-S” (want some wine with that cheese?), I feel unprepared to know who I want to be, what I want to do, and how to feel the meaning again in doing it.
What happens when you want to be special not because you are, but to prove a point to everyone else. If you can be special in a big way then maybe that can make your friends who disappoint you feel guilty for not responding to care or love. (Disclaimer: I have several great friends, but due to where I’m at right now it’s easier to harp on the places that aren’t so good.)
So there you have it. In college I got a 4.0 so people could know I’m smart, and I could use that as empirical evidence that they could never call me lazy or think less of me. And now I need something else. And I have an unhealthy attachment to approval that I wish would vanish. Good news though. The people who don’t care enough to read my blog are the one’s I’m talking bad about. See how that works out. So thank you for doing this archaic thing I like to call “effort in friendship.”
P.S. After reading this (if I were you) I’d be like maybe I should send Jackson cookies or a card. He is in the pinnacle of his darkest hour! But I’m really fine. If you’re a writer or friend of writers then you are probably the kind of person who can liquify on the spot and then get yourself right back up and feel better, and go hang out with friends. It’s almost insanity, but it’s an actual process. Here’s to becoming smaller than your story in a good way.
Well… Let me just say that you feeling you need to perform well and measuring yourself according to the ” pats on the back” or the ability to prove your worth by a measurable performance, might be one of those hereditary traits you need to be aware you probably possess. I think you know who I’m talking about ( not me). And for the most part, I don’t really see it as a ” hardcore” problem for you. I think it comes more from your view of what is actually available ” out there ” in life for you. Most people who, like you, grow up in a small town with close knit families, are much more likely to be overly concerned with when they are going to meet their future mates and when will they will start a family. The career they end up with is only the last piece of the puzzle. This thing called ” Dreams” really only boils down to when those two things come into focus and are finally realized.( for them) But for you ” Dreams ” mean something else. You are better equipped to actually wait for a dream, even if you don’t even really know what it is now because you haven’t boxed yourself in to a pinpointed place or event in time that will finally relieve you of ever again having to wonder what your future holds. You are being sucked in a little by you impatiences at things not coming fast and furious enough to fit your liking…Don’t get me wrong, I understand. You have to know too that if you compare apples to oranges, it makes for a very frustrating debate. MANY of your friends and what is going on in their lives, is oranges. You and Jared are at an apple stage in your life and you can’t understand why your friends and their life choices don’t make sense. You are plowing your furrows and looking back and wondering why your rows aren’t straight. Some of this comes from ( ok a lot of this) you being the kind of person who others like to suck dry your abilty to encourage and lead them; to lift them up and point them in the right direction or to hold their hand in the hurtful or confusing times until, much like a parent, they let go of you and fall into someone elses care coming back periodically to be reassured again. Thus causing confusion again. Their dreams just aren’t as big or as all encompassing as yours and even though you thought you were all headed towards a big open world of possibilites, they stopped at the shoreline and shook their heads as you wade deeper into the surf grinning from ear to ear , hoping there is another shore to reach if you ” Just keep swimming swimming, swimming…. I know maybe this doesn’t make total sense, especially from a person whose last ” piece of the puzzle” was finding a husband but I do hope you find that place to cut the ropes of the past and the ropes that once held certain people who you thought ( as they did) were dreamers too but didn’t know their dreams were of the tradition , predictable, safe kind…..People say it’s better to be safe than sorry but for you and Jared , you might be sorry if you’re too safe!
Jared told me you thought I was offended because I didn’t comment but of course not! I love it when you comment on my blog, and I wish you had a blog because what you say is always so nice to read. It’s insightful, thought-provoking, and entertaining. So thank you for reading my blog. It means so much to me and I love you!
Love you too! Keep writing; it always challenges me and causes me to think!
Of course I will keep writing. It’s what I love to do, and I love sharing with thoughtful friends.