Morning musings

9/19/09 Intracoastal Sunset

Originally uploaded by dcwriterdawn

Every once in a while, it will come up in conversation, “Who would you want to have dinner with (alive/dead/historical/popular figure)?”

For me, the answer became clear. I want to have dinner with myself at age 22, when I thought I knew everything and when I was fearless and ready to conquer the world.

I wouldn’t want to have dinner with me at 35. Sure, I have more stories to tell now. I can tell you what I’ve seen and done as opposed to what I want to do. But I definitely don’t have as many forward-looking statements as I once did.

And that’s why I want to meet the person I was — to see if she can’t inspire me a bit.

I remember thinking that once I had a job, a car, a life partner, whatever — that my problems would be over. That once I surmounted those huge problems, it’d be smooth sailing from there.

As we all know, they’re all just means to an end and cause their own set of challenges. And that there’s so much more to conquer than those “basic needs.”

I’ve been consumed with living life for other people that I tend to forget that I’m on this planet to please the one who put me here. Of all the relationships with others that I’ve neglected over the years, I realize I’ve always put off my relationship with God, thinking that, well, I’ll meet Him someday — we’ll chat then.

But I realize now that even though I wasn’t much of a believer back then, I still had faith. I still thought things would work out right. And despite the fact that I’ve at least managed to open a line of communication to God, my faith is nowhere near as rock-solid as it once was.

I was very fortunate to connect with my old pastor yesterday; she reached out at a point when I was feeling like I didn’t have a friend left in the world. I acknowledge that it’s my choice to isolate myself. I don’t want to be isolated — it just seems to be less problematic in the end, that I don’t have to remember what I told to whom and whether an innocent remark would get mangled and passed along. Life never stops being like high school in that regard.

But I often think about how holding myself back, not sharing myself as I am, does such a disservice to me and maybe even to the world. Whose mold, exactly, am I trying to fit into? Why do I feel the need to apologize for things I think and feelings I have? I understand showing restraint and refinement. But at what point do you stop being yourself entirely, and how do you retain that person?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. My apartment has been a source of financial and emotional stress because everything broke within the first week and everyone took their sweet time getting me my mailbox key, fixing my dishwasher/washing machine/sink/refrigerator and whatever else went kaput.

Mom’s apartment was another source of aggravation. I had approved another apartment for her, only to be moving in and signing the lease (while the moving guys held on to my credit card and my cell phone) and being told, no, you’ll take the one next door. We had agreed on a price, and they didn’t honor it. But when your shit is sitting in the middle of the street, your choices are limited.

My health has been better. I have these occasional bouts of anxiety, and I am having one right now. I had a tooth break out of my mouth and I am running a fever and getting headaches. Good times, yo. Good times.

I don’t like to talk about the bad stuff because it always feels like it multiplies. I would rather keep quiet, deflect questions, and count my blessings. Like, most of the apartment crap got fixed (minus the leaky roof. They’re clearly waiting for the rainy season to end to do something about it). The view is beautiful. My church is nice. I’m doing more interesting things at work.

But then I realize, now that I actually am starting to have a relationship with my mom again (having two apartments has helped greatly), that maybe I was wrong in getting two apartments. Her health is in rapid decline. I should have used the money to get her health taken care of. Instead of beating her up because she doesn’t have a job, I should be helping her to get to a point where she can actually sustain one.

It’s in those wee small moments where I start to get scared. Like, at least she has me to take care of her. And if I live to be old, I’ll be the crazy old cat lady or will be by myself in some government-run facility, left to rot because anyone who meant anything will have forgotten me because I wasn’t smart enough to at least keep up my friendships with people who actually cared about me.

And that’s where I want to meet the 22-year-old Goddess again. The girl who could see past the problems and into a place where things were better. I find myself very wrapped-up in the here-and-now. I also seem to have this complex where I think I *can* fix everything. I fall into a pattern where I’d rather hang onto the old problems than get new ones.

I met a guy on the A1A yesterday; he asked if I’m from around here and I said I live across the street. He cocked his head and said, “You aren’t from around here — you’re a city girl.” I said yeah. He said he splits his time between Florida and Chicago. I swooned that I LOVE Chicago, and he said, “If you spend all year living here, you’ll kill yourself. There’s nothing to do here. I hope you get to spend time in ‘real’ cities.”

I laughed and said I’m here to stay. We chit-chatted about how many older people wait their whole lives to get to Florida, and how so many younger people probably can’t wait to leave if they grew up here. I said I was hoping the slower pace would calm me down, to put life into perspective for me. But, we agreed, it’s a good home base to come back to — just as long as you can escape it from time to time.

It’s funny because, before I left the house yesterday, I asked the universe for a life-changing encounter. Just, put me in a conversation with someone with an outlook that can spark my imagination. And how funny that within an hour, I met John from Chicago.

I don’t know that there was any life-changing information exchanged. But to remember that the world is bigger than the space I take up in it was huge to me.

I guess what I take out of it is that we have myriad chances to get it right. And I’ve been focused on what I’ve seen are my “one chance” opportunities — that I have to get it all right on the first try, to live with what I didn’t get right, and to not look at the “greener grass” on the other side of whatever.

Maybe the grass is greener in other people’s yards. But what’s to stop me from kicking off my flip-flops and frolicking through their foliage and returning with a renewed outlook on mine?

One Lonely Response to Morning musings

  1. Donna :

    First, my sincerest condolences on losing Maddie…I lost my fat, fuzzy calico suddenly 8 years ago and it still hurts. She was my baby, the love of my life and the one an only true friend. I read ‘her’ blog but missed it recently. Second, your mother. I’m 53 years old and still work 14 – 15 hour days. I’m afraid you may need to cut her off. She can always work in a grocery store or a fast food place. Really. It won’t kill her.