’08 hangover

Even though I celebrated the shit out of Festivus (i.e., the airing of grievances) this year, little has changed. There was progress on one front, which I am thrilled about. But I’m impatient for more results.

Since I decided I’m not going to have a panic attack when I turn (*gulp*) 35 later this year, I seem to be celebrating early and, instead of making plans for the new year, I’m finding that my focus is now wandering to exactly where I didn’t want it to go in May, and that would be where I haven’t gotten yet, and pondering why.

Adding to the domino effect of disappointment after being tapped out beyond my resources, I’ve also been feeling rather trapped after yet another ill-fated dating foray because, let’s face it, it was a much-needed distraction. Not that I was all that into him, and I knew it. But still, I don’t need to be in love to get out of the house … I just need an invitation. 😉

But my brain got a little bit of relief today when, incidentally, I did get out of the house for church for a whole hour. (Since I’m always grounded. At 34. Grounded with guilt trips.)

I don’t know what got into the pastor, but he was even more “on” than usual. He was preaching about creating an authentic community, and I was rather pleased when he acknowledged those of us he knows are cringing when we’re forced to stand up and greet other church patrons.

Ooh, that’s so me. I absolutely dread the part of the service where we’re told to play nice. I don’t want people to look into my eyes and know I’m just not all right these days.

I don’t want to slap on a goofy grin when I’ve just lost my shit on someone who might not have deserved it. (Even though they might have poked the penguin for the 10,000th time, though, they still make me feel like shit when the only response I have left is to explode.)

Anyway, I got lost in a story about the pastor and his wife in the early years of their marriage. They bought a dump of a house and lived in a friend’s garage while they renovated it. And what he said — “We did our vocation by day, and came home to our dream at night” — knocked off my froggy socks.

And I thought about all those people at workplaces across America who act like someone whizzed in their Cheerios, as well as those who take the opposite tack and put on a sanctimonious ray of sunshine, and suddenly I didn’t feel so alone in feeling like I’m living someone else’s life 24/7 and not knowing whether to shit or go sailing most days.

I mean, I try to be cordial. When I had a happy (read: alone) home life, I always had enough joy to go around during the day. And then I got my peace to recharge in the evenings. But I also used to hang with a group that got each other, no matter what our moods. And I’m overly aware that I need to change to fit in where I am. And THAT stresses me out more.

Now every moment of every day, morning and night, is tense for me. Sure, it is my choice to feel the way I feel. But I don’t how not to feel that way and I was never one to make excuses for being exactly who I am. But I do pity the first fool who visits me every morning and expects that I’m NOT going to gnaw his little head off. *nom nom nom*

But what the pastor said — “they came home to their dream at night” … wow. I mean, sure, in retrospect it was just a little dump of a first house that would be replaced by bigger and better. But what got them through the day at work was knowing that they were coming home each night to build a life.

Meanwhile, the rest of us seem to just come home for Round 2 of the “Try Not to Kill Anyone” Polka. Only difference is, at least we’re PAID not to kill anyone in the earlier part of the day. 😉

Anyway, even though I guess I never really came home to my dream at night, on some level I really did. I always figured that I had to get rid of roommate-types so I could enjoy my own company so that someone else, of the male variety, would come to enjoy my company almost as much as I do. What do they call that? Oh yeah. Making progress.

Now I’ve regressed and just living the dream nightmare. But even though I can hide in my locked bedroom with the shades drawn if I really want to be alone, I’m not happy anymore. At all. I could deal with a dry spell in my career when I had free time and hobbies and, oh let’s spell it out, free will to come and go as I pleased on my off time. But for work to be a welcome escape from my free time? That ain’t right.

I know today’s church message was to immerse yourself in community, that God intended for us to be social creatures who work in tandem for the greater good, and that we’re here to fulfill God’s dreams and not necessarily just our own. But what do you do if you just don’t have another iota of yourself left to give, because she just isn’t there anymore?

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