Is normality. I think.
I picked up a book today from the library today…a book about how to write a memoir. When I got home, I opened it, and one of the first exercises was about writing a short summary of what your life has really been about, you know, summarized. So (naturally) I closed the book and put it back on my shelf.
You see, whenever I tell my story, it’s full of pathos. And it wears even me out. The bipolar, abusive mother. The absent father. The controlling, abusive boyfriends. The controlling, abusive husbands. The emotionally devastating but ultimately cordial divorces. Then the controlling, abusive boyfriends again. Who would even want to read this predictable story full of repetition? And I’m too exhausted by my own life at the moment to try to give it some cute little twist. Plus, I’m 46 and am about ready to give up on “cute” altogether.
Not for nothing, I did a monumental bike ride today. Beginning the ride, I only knew it needed to be a fairly “long one,” to fit into my overall fitness plan, which lately seems to be mostly “do as much as you can all the time forever, without ceasing.” I’m tired. Anyway, as I traversed down the familiar path, I began to wonder how far I could go. My boyfriend (one of the non-abusive ones, yay! but still basically unavailable, boo!) had conquered a 20-mile ride this past summer and that seemed like such a feat to me. I fight this constant internal struggle that I’ve written about before, about needing to be Awesome. It’s been a while since I’ve done something I could classify that way – one month almost exactly, as a matter of fact – the Tough Mudder was my most recent Awesome Experience. So today, I decided I could go for 20 miles. And I did. I knew I really only needed to go for ten, because then I’d be committed to getting myself home, no matter what. And you know what? I did it.
So, pulling into the parking lot after this epic ride…naturally, that’s when I began to question all my important decisions ever. There’s something about Being Awesome for a moment (or for two hours) that makes me question every moment I haven’t been Awesome. And there have been many. And there are always, always more to come
I’m kind of tired of all that, actually. I feel like at my age, maybe I could stop with the growth opportunities already, at least just for a little while. Because what I really want? Normality. A soft place to land. A predictable outcome. Smiles at normal times. Celebrations that aren’t made weird by false distances created by the demands and edicts of people who shouldn’t be involved (you know who you are).
My life feels sometimes as if it is not my own. Shouldn’t it be, by now? And I’m more than aware that I only have myself to blame for the current state of affairs. The flip side of that old helpless album of course is that I’m the only one really in charge of me. Get it together, Rebecca. If you can ride 20 miles, surely you can take a stab at figuring the rest of it out. Can I? After 46 years, is there hope? How can I be Eating, Praying, or Loving differently? Better? Is there a Pinterest board for this? Or could I maybe just skip ahead to the Bali loving part of that manual/memoir where the author is swept away by some spiritual dude on a beach to have tantric sex that suddenly clears it ALL up (I may be remembering this wrong).
I’d like to say I’m figuring it out, but I’m losing faith. But hey, in the meantime, want me to pour you a glass of wine? Another? How important is clarity, anyway?
P.S. Tomorrow I’m probably going to get purple highlights in my hair. That will either solve a) Nothing or b) Everything. I’ll let you know.