Monday, March 30, 2009


Her neck seemed a mile long.
Sprouting from strong, broad shoulders
that appeared to stabilize the position of
her chin,
which was elevated at an angle that could only
be supported
by a lifetime of agreeable compliments.

Monday, March 23, 2009

An Adult Celebration

My birthday is on Sunday and I will be older.

Typically, my birthdays serve as an annual check-in to see where I am in my Life: What have I accomplished? Where have I progressed? Where am I still behind? HOW CLOSE AM I TO THE LIFE I THINK I'M SUPPOSED TO HAVE NOW? And you know what? I never measure up. Ever. For those of you who were getting the E-Rants &Insights back when they were e-mails, you remember how birthdays used to depress the hell out of me. I distinctly remember crying my eyes out on my 22nd and 23rd birthday because I felt I was being forced to become an adult and I didn't want to.

In my head, Grown-Ups are different from Adults. Grown-Ups are just people who are older than you. They don't necessarily have their shit together but they're older. Adults, on the other hand, do. They have the retirement plans, the 401K, the mortgage, the plans, the goals, etc. They're the ones in the business magazines and on all the boring C-SPAN shows. Adults suck. They're serious, always stressed, controlling, and so responsible that even "fun" looks boring when they do it. It occurred like it could only be one or the other so I wanted NO PART of that. Not at 22, 23, or the ones after.

The last few birthdays have become actual celebrations and this one won't be any different, only it is. For this birthday, I will finally be free of a paralyzing fear that I've always experienced but didn't understand or have the words to describe. This fear was weird to me because I couldn't control it. For whatever reason, if something made me happy I'd be close to tears when it left. It could be as short as three days or as long as three years. But there were instances where I intellectually knew X lasts for Y amount of time, and I'd still be all fukked up when it was over. Like a planned visit that I booked--I know when it begins and when it ends. But no matter what, when the end came I would either cry or be close to it. Oddly enough, it seemed like the more time passed, the older I got, the worse this reaction would get. It was embarrassing but I wrote it off as "something I do".

For the past month I've been in this funk. Completely stagnant, unmotivated, excited about some but not all of Life. I didn't get why. There was no isolated incident I could point to and say "THAT! That's the reason!" But this weekend, I finally got to the source of it.

I participated in the Wisdom Course at Landmark Education, and finally could identify all of this. I realized that I have this "Life Truth" (about the way it is) that All Good Things Go Away. Grandparents die, favorite clothes get outgrown or worn, toys get broken, friends aren't your friends anymore, romances disintegrate, cars breakdown, couples breakup, jobs go away, people don't love you anymore, money always goes away, kids become teenagers, gas goes away, etc.

All of this I knew inevitably happened but it didn't change the fact that I quietly resented all of it. I made growth wrong because the good things never seemed to stay put when it happened.

I know it sounds silly but I was doing this and wasn't even aware that I was. It had gotten to the point where I started lying to myself saying that I didn't want certain things in Life when waaaaay deep down I did. I just didn't want to have anything that could be taken from me as long as I wanted it. So over time, I practically buried dreams and ambition because I thought I couldn't have them.

I don't have a pretty bow to tie around all of this insight. No moral of the story. No happy ending. It's too new.

But one thing I'm clear about is that Sunday's occasion will be celebrated by an Adult.


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