“The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.”
― Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
I woke up this morning like I wake up every morning…
With this lump of shit in my throat.
I wake up every day and tell myself to think positive. I used to wake up with dread as my first thought. Actually, it was a mixture of dread and lack, of “Oh God, please let this day be better.” as if I had nothing to do with it and a finality of realization that perhaps, despite my best intentions, this day would be just like every other day until I figured out…
Figured out what? That’s what life does. It serves up a big plate of steaming dread-lack finality stew until you eat it up. All of it. Gone. Lick the fucking bowl. Pause. My little Angel Face just woke up and told me that she dreamt that she and her father and his family went to see a mermaid flipping ducks in the river….
“What did you dream?” she asked.
“Nothing that wonderful.” I replied.
A mermaid flipping ducks…in a river. Wow.
I wake up every day with this giant, throat blocking, tear causing, anxiety inducing, negative as shit, lump in my throat. And I used to succumb to it too. Now I wake up every day to that lump that I hate…loathe…and I fight that fucker until I can at least see some semblance of who I want to be that day. But the truth is, I can’t shake that bitch and I’m so, so tired of it. Is it too much to ask that I just open my eyes every day and be thankful?! To have my first thought be, “Thank god I’m alive and thank you for this day. For this beautiful child next to me and my children still safely in their beds. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Who has to work at that?! What kind of person can’t do that?! A lot of us I suppose.
This morning I woke up with that lump sitting heavy in my throat. Desperate to find the answer to this…ache. This lack. This thing that has bordered on what we call depression for a solid and unending two months. I feel…without. Incomplete. Confused and sometimes defeated. I can see the progress, the growth, but I feel like shit. I want to stay in bed all day and run a marathon. I want to nap and do yoga. I want to watch tv and write a novel. I want to live in the most positive, simplified, organic, full of love, healthy, happy, self acceptance based life you have ever seen…The new Louise Hay, the next big thing…that person that says, I was here, but now I’m HERE…but I don’t and fuck it all if I don’t know why.
This morning I woke up with a lump in my throat. I laid there and asked, “What am I supposed to do?” to my self, to God, to the Universe. I’ve read…and I think that I believe, that our bodies can tell us so much if we listen. I believe that there is something within me, some sort of intelligence, born of the cosmos and that connects us all, that can tell me the answers I seek, if I could just shut up and listen. So I laid there and asked…and tried to listen, but all I got was silence, a restless four year old next to me threatening to wake up before I was ready, and that god damn lump in my throat. So I thought, ask better questions. “Who am I?” I asked…
It’s a tricky question because we can only be who we are and sometimes we don’t like that. At that moment, I was just a woman, who feels old and uncomfortable every time she uses the word “woman” instead of “girl”, who had once again done things she knew she shouldn’t, only to a much lesser extent that she wouldn’t give herself credit for, laying in bed with a desperation inducing lump of shit in her throat, writing a blog that seemed oddly void of sentences and complete thoughts. A woman, I hate that word, who on the way to pee this morning, noticed herself in the mirror and thought, whoa- you look great. A thought that would ramble around in my not wanting to be a woman, but still a girl head, leading to other thoughts about my ex, my future Mr. Right or the fact that perhaps I’d lost him…thoughts like, who wouldn’t want to wake up to that in the morning? Who the fuck am I kinds of thoughts…
Who am I?
What am I supposed to be doing?
I can’t hear a thing in all of this noise in my head and heart, all of these lumps of shit just below the surface of the skin that contains this woman/girl called “Me”.
I haven’t written for weeks. I have this need to be good at it, even though I may entirely suck. I have this need to feel it and be done with it, but sometimes I feel like I write the same lame ass chapter over and over and over and over again…and I’m so sick of reading it. I have thoughts and epiphanies, breakthroughs and break downs…I even create other anonymous blogs so that I can write “truthfully” which I do, but then I just feel like a fraud because I’m anonymous and there’s no truth in that…except that somehow I’m always more truthful, but in an uglier way that I don’t let you see here…but maybe you need to see ugly. Maybe…no, it is an answer. I can feel that little lightbulb feeling I get when I get it…Who am I? Well, I’m ugly too…just like you. An ugly woman/girl child just like all the other ugly woman/girl children…like the ugly men/boy children that co exist with the ugly parent/still a child chldren…and we are all beautiful. Who am I? I’m you, sometimes in some distorted fashion that we can’t make sense of…I’m me.
I woke up this morning with this lump of shit in my throat because I want to be some sort of something and someone to the world, but I can barely be it to myself and I know that they are intrinsically woven together to become one beautiful, messy and complete thing, but for the life of me I can’t figure out which one of us is the egg or the chicken and who the fuck comes first. Isn’t the egg the chicken? Wasn’t the chicken the egg? If I had known that all of the books I would read and the shows I would watch would lead me to who I am by landing me in the middle of, Who the fuck am I- NO, really- WHO? I don’t know if I’d have gone here…but I suppose that’s moot because of course I would have. It’s who I am.
I think that I am my own best advice…that on my ugliest, shittiest, biggest lump in the throat, I lie for acceptance and to deny the truth days, I know better…but there’s this part of me that runs amuck in my life…maybe it’s that girl that makes the woman so unsure and uncomfortable. Maybe being the 38 year old single mom of three daughters, in a life that could have been designed better is somehow attached to that young girl- the drama queen that helped her fight her way through the shit that now sits like a lump in her throat every morning. Maybe I just need to swallow the lump whole. Take in all the parts of me- even the ugly ones and let them absorb themselves into my insides instead of always sitting here stuck in my throat…stuck in my life. Maybe I need to remember that NOT doing results in DOING something else…like living, not surviving.
I can’t tell you how badly I want to be honest with you here…with you and myself. How badly I need to let it all out, that I believe there are people out there just like me who need to hear my truth because it’s their truth…and I can’t tell you how badly I don’t want to care about what others think anymore. Who am I?
Who the fuck am I?!
It’s a question that stops me dead in my tracks. I just sit here and stare at the screen. Who the fuck cares? That’s what I want to say. I just want to write and be good at it and suck at it and not give a shit either way because I don’t know what else to do. I want to write with my real name, about my real life and believe in the real things that I have to tell people, but mostly myself. I want to write, hear and heed my own best advice. I want to believe that in healing myself I can heal others. I want to be more than a lump in the throat. I want to believe that by being truthfully who I am and true to that person. I want to believe that my life will be blessed with people who love that me I find at the end of the question I ask. Do you want to know who I am? Another tricky question…
Every day I wake up with this lump in my throat. It’s the lump that comes after a fantastic night of writing on yet another anonymous form because I feel like a fraud…I feel like the fraud because what I write is all true and it heals me, but I lie about who I am…as if lying about who we are gives me permission to be who I am…As if my name and identity remaining anonymous somehow protects me from the disapproval of others…and it’s necessary and sad all at once…but it’s a lump in my throat the size of a tennis ball and I want to swallow it. Who am I? I’m the one you can walk away from if you don’t like me…and I’ll miss you and I’ll panic and take it personal. I’ll rationalize and explain and analyze your behavior…but I’ll still be here. I think that this- feeling kinda crazy and wrapped up and in on ourselves is the straightest path we can take to the “I” in that insane question…Who am I?
I miss the sound of my own voice in my head…and I’m listening now. It’s so…like listening to the old AM stations that would overlap each other so you would hear three stations at once until you turned the dial just right…and found the one. I’m looking for that spot on the dial. Who am I? Static…Who am I? garbled voices…Who am I? Silence. Shh.