I want to be honest before I start. I had a disappointing birthday where a lot of people let me down (but mad props to the amazing people who didn't). I have some aggravation that may lie in my undertones but I don't apologize for being honest. It's so easy to make friends when you're young. I mean you're stuck with the same people every day. You can't stray too far. For years, you go to school with these people. For years, your close quarters inspires kin ships but the test always come when our school days are over and we're all spit out into the world. Is that person who sat next to you at lunch still sitting at your table? Probably not (but if they are, appreciate each other). So, then you get a job and you become friends with the people who you work with because, again, these are the people you see every day. These are the people that you see sometimes more than your family. And then you make a career change and what happens? Most fade away.
I guess this last week I've been thinking really hard about the relationships in my life, who is real and important and whose faded away. I've thought about who has made the effort and who disappeared when I blinked. When I was in school, I had a lot of friends. I really thought our friendships were going to last but 20 years later, I've got one from those days. She's amazing and I couldn't have made it through some very hard years without her. I hope she knows that when I think of what a true friend is, it's her face I will always see. And, listen, it's cool that I'm not friends with people back from my child age. That is not my point. My point is that friendships take work as adults. They take time and effort from both sides. I felt pretty hurt when I didn't hear from the people I thought I would. My husband told me that I should shrug it off and, as the week has gone on, I have a little more. By writing these words today, I'm letting it go. I'm letting a lot of things go.
Every day I find it harder and harder to tolerate so much of this world, so many pretend things. I look at so many relationships in my life and realize that most of them are empty. I realize how very few people reach out. And, I completely own that maybe I don't reach out as much as I should. It just feels like every time I try, I get shooed away like a fly.... and I'm tired. I don't want to be a friendship kept out of obligation. It wasn't that so many people remained silent last weekend that hurt. It was that the wizard was revealed from behind the curtain and I became so disappointed in what I saw. My daughter once told me that I was mean when she was younger and it always makes me laugh. I wasn't mean. I just stood up for myself far better than I do today. Even writing this blog, I'm terrified that I'm going to hurt someone's feelings. So much of me has been put to the side because I don't want to ruffle your feathers but it's cool if you want to pluck mine out. My feelings were hurt so badly because of people's forgotten birthday wishes that as I write that I feel silly. My husband says to me often that I need to say what I feel more. If someone makes me mad, tell them. If someone hurts my feelings, tell them. If someone tries to put this baby in the corner, throw rocks at them. Once upon a time, I did all of those things. It's not that I became soft. I just got tired. Funny how a simple forgotten something can make you remember you're strength. My journey continues and, somewhere in this skin, I am a star ready to shine without fear of how my light might hurt the world's eyes.
I am turning 40 on Saturday, this strange number that doesn't seem right. I feel like I haven't been in this world that long most days though there are days that have made me feel like I've been here forever. Life and time can be so relative but I don't want to write a blog today about my regrets. I've had plenty. I want to write a blog today about today. We don't always have to look backwards to learn our lessons. And we don't always have to look forward to give ourselves value. Sometimes we can stop, take a minute, and let today sink in. I left work early today because there wasn't a lot to do. I'm good with that. It allows me this time to myself while the husband and kid are at work to sit here, in this moment, listening to Simon and Garfunkel's "Flowers Never Bend". It allows me time to be still. So often we get all wound up when our birthdays come around. We start thinking about if this where we wanted to be. We become so hard on ourselves when we're not where we want to be at all. So, then we barrade ourselves into making all these plans, these promises of all the things we're going to change. But you know what? So often we're just blowing smoke up on our own ass (pardon my french). I don't mean to be crude. Birthdays are just like New Year's. We see all the things we need to change but forget to appreciate what we are right now. Right now is just as beautiful as yesterday and can be just as bright as tomorrow.
Let's break my right now down. I will be honest, as honest as I can be. I am not where I want to be. I don't have the job I want. I don't have the financial stability I want. I don't have a lot of things I want. I constantly have a feeling of boredom and wanting just more. I don't see my friends enough. I don't see my family enough. I am exhausted most of the time but not because I do anything that exciting. I'm exhausted because too much of my life hurts and feels like a struggle. The inner demons that bounce around my head kick my ass on a daily basis. Some days it takes everything I got to get out of bed. I mean everything. I wish my kid would clean up after herself. I wish my husband would get that full time. I wish my art work would sell. I feel like my life is an uphill battle. As soon as I conquer one rock slide, a mud slide comes right behind it. I feel like I am suffocating. I had some dental work done last week. For the last four years, I haven't smiled, not in a way I would allow you to see. I kept my mouth closed as tightly as I could and I trained my hands to cover my face when I laughed or cried or screamed and especially when I smiled. I was embarrassed by what was happening in there. And though people have been kind to tell me they did not notice, I did. I did so much. And for the last four years, I struggled to deal with it because I never want to be a bother. I never want my life to be a bother to anyone else and that is a hard burden to carry but I do and I will and I doubt that will ever change.
I didn't go down that rabbit hole because I want pity. I went down it because at 40 I am not where I want to be but it doesn't matter. Right now, right now in this moment, I am where I need to be. I remember sitting in that dentist chair after they had removed my cyst and asking in my numbed, groggy state if it was gone. And I remember I instantly cried because I was so happy (and then almost choked on the suck-age cup). In that moment, I knew I could smile again without shame and without fear that the person sitting next to me would judge. I am not a vain person but not being able to smile leaves a hole in your heart. I didn't know how much I missed it until it came back. And every moment since that day, I cherish the moments that have followed. I can look at my job and understand that it is just a pit stop. This moment won't last. I can appreciate the lessons we have learned dealing with a lower income, the ways we have learned to save and survive and appreciate each other. I can stop and look at my 18 year old daughter and love this time of her life because it will be gone before we both know it. My husband will become something even better than he is right now and one day I will make a living doing what I love. Those things are just not right now.
What is right now is me sitting here on a Thursday afternoon while the sun shines bright outside and Meatloaf sings to me that he would do anything for love. What I see right now are two napping kitties and Christmas lights that I refuse to take down in my living room. I am turning 40 and maybe parts of my life still feel a little off. I don't dress like I should. My sense of humor is too dark for some. And honestly life is just funny. We live our lives, striving for all these different things and never appreciating what is right in front of us. I hope that when my time to fly comes I will remember all of these moments sitting in a corner, writing or drawing, wondering when it will happen for me. I hope I will never forget how important it is to be humble and kind. It is so easy to get swept away. It is so easy to forget who we are because we change so often. And right now, maybe I'm not fond of all my surroundings. But right now? I am really loving this version of who I am. My twenties were a daze. My thirties have been a challenging pleasure. My forties? I'll figure that version out tomorrow.