Monday, April 8, 2013


I quit. I give up. Nothing's good enough for anybody else it seems. And being alone
is the best way to be. When I'm by myself it's the best way to be. When I'm all alone it's
the best way to be. When I'm by myself nobody else can say goodbye. Everything is temporary anyway.

-Edie Brickell

I had a bad week a little while ago. It felt like everything in my life had gone wrong, good things left and bad things stayed, leaving me to dine on stress and shit sandwiches.

I gave up.

I gave up all hope. I had had it with thinking positive, with being positive, with having hope and wishes and dreams and aspirations. I just quit. What good is it anyway? You think positive and you believe in so much good and yet, you get taken to the mat. Why bother with all this positive thinking if it’s just going to slap you around? Better to be realistic or even better . . . to do nothing. To quit, throw in the towel, hoist the white flag and take the last train to Clarksville. As our dear friend and philosopher, Cartman, says “screw you guys, I’m goin’ home”.

During this bleak time I cried, and it showed. I turtle’d at home. I wondered what my purpose in life is and, indeed, the purpose of life at all. Not to the point where I broke out my pseudo intellectual college girl self and delved into Camus readings, but to the point of . . . hmmmmm . . . how do I describe it . . . nothing. Absolute zero. Null. Barren. Not even shoe shopping sounded interesting. Blah.

Generally time heals all wounds, other times it just opens the wounds that have healed. Imagine you want something, no . . . more than want, you believe so strongly you’ll have it that you don’t even consider life without it, but then, the years pass, what you thought would occur doesn’t, and you finally have to be real and say “that ship has sailed”. That damn ship left without me and I could have sworn I booked passage, but here I stand on the dock, watching it leave while I longingly stare at what I thought was mine diminish on the horizon. Wounded. And then, with many years time, healed. But what if the scar is scratched open and once again you have hope? Is it realistic? Does it matter? Do hope and reality always fit like hand in glove? Do you dare hope a second time for something that was so difficult to lose once? During happy times any one of you, and of course me, would say “Oh my yes, never give up hope, you never know, so many possibilities, so many other ways of having what you want, keep your mind and your heart open”. And then there are times when you say “Bullshit and balderdash”.

Bullshit and balderdash are feelings worth having. In this world of Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer we are all conditioned to follow the advice of our Python friends and always look on the bright side of life, and for the most part I agree. But it can’t always happen right away nor, I believe, should it. For craps sake, you’re unhappy, it’s ok, be unhappy a bit. Cry your little eyes out and when your friend says “Are you ok? You look like you’ve been crying”, just say "yes". After all, what if the answer was “no” and you truly looked like crap with no excuse? I’d rather be accused of crying. Besides, you have to let it out so you don’t end up with ulcers or shingles or going on a shopping spree you can ill afford. Just keep your tears and credit cards at home for a while and indulge how sad you are. It’s alright.

But what of the feeling beyond sad, the feeling of hopelessness and what if’s and giving up? These feelings are more than just the illness at hand, these are insidious. These are the bigger questions that only relate to the initial pain in an arterial way. You want a new job. You want a house . . . or children . . . or a garden, or a trip to Europe, or to be President of the Justin Timberlake fan club and you recognize they all require work and effort. You put in the work and effort and yet, your wish remains an elusive shot in the dark as your coin pings at the bottom of the well. Then you feel it. Why hope? Why bother? It comes so close and then runs through my un-webbed fingers as though it meant nothing to me. So you go to work, you leave work, you go to the gym, you go home, you go to sleep, you get up and do it all again along with all the other automatons and you wonder, are they happy? Is this it? Am I asking for too much? I don’t know, all I know is what I want isn’t here and doesn’t seem to be on its way, so what now? What path? Did I miss a turn? Did I forget to book passage on yet another ship? Did the ship return and leave without me again?!

I can’t answer any of these questions. But they’re all worthy questions and therein lay the productive catalyst of hopelessness. It brings up questions and can help foster change and growth. What do you really want? Do you really want that ship that you let sail to return? Then call it back, get that thing back here and until there is no hope whatsoever and the last nail is driven in the coffin of that dream then keep it up because now my dear friends . . .

Time has passed.

Now you can buck up buttercup (I love you M.M.!), and move onward through the fog. Along the way there will be setbacks and moments of struggle and that is all well and good, but you’ve hung your head low and contemplated your navel enough to see inside, and what beauty lies within. Life is fraught with sadness, just as it is fraught with happiness. You will lose hope and determination and drop all the spinning plates, but you can get more plates. All the seasons are beautiful, from snowstorm to sun splash.

I began this writing while wondering “is this it”? I’m not going to fill you up with a bunch of dewy crap and say “my life is wonderful and if this is it I’ll take it”! My life isn’t a musical, I’m not going to burst forth with song and dance, truth be told I hate musicals. My life has some great things in it, no doubt about it, and as M.M. and I discussed just the other day, the 21 year old version of me would look at the life I have now and find great success in at least some of it. But I want more. That’s where the question posed in the very beginning comes in; what comes from wanting more? Do you get what you want or do you get a reality inducing slap in the face? I dunno, lately it felt like a slap, but it’s still worth heeding the advice of Journey and “don’t stop believin’”. And listen my friends, it’s ok to want more. It’s ok to want more love, to want more from your job, to want more days on the mountain next Winter, and to want more out of life, there is nothing wrong with wanting all that you can handle. DON’T.STOP.BELIEVIN’.

Let’s go back to our friend, Edie and her New Bohemian buddies . . .

Everything is temporary anyway.
When the streets are wet the colors slip into the sky.

When the streets are wet the colors slip into the sky . . . and you have to look up to see them.

Chin up buttercup.

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