Over the last couple of weeks I've had a lot of thoughts in my head. I've had a lot of things I wanted to say. I've had so many things that have made my hands squeeze into fists and words that have come close to being screamed but not one have I said, not one thing have I allowed my fists to unleash their fury. Instead I've sat on all these things, let them marinate and dissected them because that's what I do. I go over and over them within to figure out the root of the problem. 2017 went by in a blur. I did some things I guess. I had some laughs, sure. I shed some tears and I sat disillusioned by my own self but it wasn't a bad year. And as my fists left nail prints in my palms, I sat and thought about my year. My life just went on. Life always goes on even in fists that don't fly anywhere. I guess the biggest thing I felt was defeated. I've felt defeated but those are words I can't really share. These are feelings I don't know how to express unless I'm speaking to paper, an inanimate object that won't retort that I'm being silly. Look at my life and their right. I've got a pretty good damn life but it's hard fighting the same demons over and over again. It's frustrating to win and lose so often in this life of mine. I am fine until I'm not. I'm not until I am. There's no right answer and no wrong done. I just get lost standing completely still sometimes. I work too hard, worry too much, and sometimes annoy myself at all the breath I've let get away. I wish just as much as you to simply sit down. I wish just as much anyone that I didn't feel like this, all this wasn't on my shoulders. If I take a step to the right, what then happens to you? If I slide to the left, what will be the thing to unravel? And if I don't move at all, what does that say about me?
I pick at my nails. I don't bite them. I pick at them. I bit them for years when I was a kid. I don't think I really stopped until I hit my mid twenties. Something just clicked one day at how gross it was to stick my fingers in my mouth constantly. It was like when I stopped sucking my thumb. People told me all the time that it was nasty. They told me all about the germs that I was putting into my system, that I would get buck teeth, that it made me look dumb. I didn't give two birds what they said. All I knew was that it comforted me. It took my mind off whatever anxiety was ailing me at that time. And one day I just stopped. I just stopped sucking my thumb. One day I just stopped biting my nails. It wasn't anything that someone said to me or the looks of horror that people would throw at me. I just stopped. Something in my brain clicked and I tossed those habits away like they were nothing, like they hadn't helped me throughout the years. So why do I tear up my beautiful cuticles as my husband likes to say? It's the same reason my hands form into fists. It's the same reason I poke at my face. It's always been the same reason. I get aggravated, frustrated that I can't break out of my own shell. Behind all these angst filled words, there is a happy little girl inside of me but I hide her behind these torn up cuticles because I guess a part of me doesn't share that part of me with anyone. I become terrified at the thought that the concern I have for her won't be shown by anyone else. So I overcompensate and work too much and care too hard and get my feelings hurt way too often by things people don't even know that they are doing because I can't make myself take a stand. I get so frustrated that I can't just be who I know I am without so much weight on my shoulders. I thought that 2017 was going to be the year that I learned how to shake off all this extra weight, I did. I had high hopes that this was going to be the year that I would figure out the formula and just stop doing all these things that hurt me but it was just another year of excuses. It was just another year of me getting caught up in expectations that I stubbornly put on myself.
So, as I sit here on a the 5th day of January, the birthday of my long gone father, listening to Paul Simon after working most the day, knowing all the emotions that have been building for the last few weeks, I think about what I do want this coming year to be. There are some hard truths about myself that I acknowledge, mostly accept, and know that I can improve. I know there are bad habits like picking at my nails that I should just stop. At some point I have to realize how inconsequential parts of my life are, how much meaning I give to the things that really mean anything at all. It is in those meaningless things that cause my greatest anxieties. I should know better at this point in my life. Today I've thought about my father. He would have been 65. I would have called him at some point and I would have wished him a happy birthday. He would've told me a horrible, corny joke and made some morbid comment about getting closer to death because that was just him. He's gone now and all I could do was close my eyes this morning and hope he heard me whisper happy birthday as I got ready to go to work. I thought about him today and how he dreamed. I remember all his grand schemes he would plan to make his life better, him better. I remembered how frustrated he would be when life got in his way and I laughed to myself in that morbid way I do sometimes. I am my father's daughter. I continue to chase these dreams, my grand schemes, and life just seems to keep getting in my way.
I get why I've been so frustrated the last few weeks. It's not the bills or the job or the fact that my daughter can't seem to put a plate in the sink. It's not the hours I work or the fact that when I'm not working I feel exhausted. It's not the laundry basket that's been sitting there for two days without being folded and put away. Sure, these things are annoying. I wish I could snap my fingers and instantly have a clean house and a comfortable amount of money in my bank account. I wish I could say the things I needed to say when I needed to say them to the people I wish would hear them. I would love to just be able to relax without feeling guilty over it or feel like I have to do five extra things to earn that moment. I wish sometimes someone would just understand me but I've been on this planet long enough to get it. I'm too strong for my own good and too proud to show you anything else. Over the last few weeks I guess I've let the fact that I'm not altogether where I want to be bother me. I feel as if I've lost some of momentum, my drive. I feel disappointed in myself and that's a hard pill to swallow. People disappoint me all the time. I feel as if that is just a part of life, part of being a human. We put the expectations of ourselves on other people and they'll never live up to our hype. We set ourselves up for that kind of disappoint and maybe that's just a rotten way to look at the world. I don't know. What I do know is that I can do better than what I am doing right now but I feel stuck. I feel stuck and I can't quite figure out how to shake it off. So, I think about my father. I think about all the times he started, all the times he failed. I don't want to keep failing. So, maybe 2017 wasn't what I wanted it to be. I somehow lost my inertia somewhere along the way. I didn't necessarily fail but I can't say I'm as far along as I'd like to be. I've marinated long enough. It's time to start again. Just start again.