I don’t have a very compelling story to tell. My life, up to this point, probably stops short of mediocre, but I would definitely describe it as “unremarkable.”
Of course, I have my share of dinner party anecdotes to tell, and Mark takes great pleasure in relating some of the more out of the ordinary experiences of my life to a willing audience. Hitting the $5,000 jackpot on the penny slot machine at a casino, having three attempted kidnap attempts made on me, and narrowly missing out on dying in a plane crash AND a train derailment in the same year might seem like interesting stories to tell, I suppose, if I hadn’t lived through them and known how insignificant the experiences really were. He’s also strangely proud of my… shall we say… career dabbling of the past. The fact that I’ve worked in a bomb factory, as a flight attendant, a radio producer and a sales person seems to him to be quite extraordinary, while my ex-husband just found it frustrating that I couldn’t hold down a job…
That’s neither here nor there, of course, as I now have the most rewarding job of all, right? Being a full time mother and not having had to work for the last two and a half years (pretty much since I found out I was pregnant with Dexter!) has made me feel somewhat out of the loop and inferior. While I read status updates from friends and family on Facebook and Twitter, talking about their new offices or big pay raises… their daily commute or how the woman in the next cubicle won’t keep her voice down when she’s taking personal phone calls… the new gym that has just opened up and will be subsidised for all employees from next week onward….
Well, truly, I am filled with a kind of jealousy I never could have expected. Once upon a time, I had big plans for myself.
As a child and into my teens, I dreamed of being the next great American novelist. I wanted to write. I breathed ink and paper, and I read voraciously, anything I could get my hands on. I recall my brother being disgusted at me laying on the couch week in and week out, reading new volumes of prose every day instead of going out and LIVING IT UP.
I thought that reading it all would give me new fodder for my own writing – but really, all it did was dilute my own creativity, and I found myself mimicking the writing styles of each new author I took in. To really write, you have to do just what my brother berated me for – you must LIVE.
As Auntie Mame puts it, “Yes, LIVE! The world’s a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!”
And even knowing all of this now, what am I doing? Sure, I write this blog. I spend a bit of time every few days to sit down and spew forth a rehash of recent events, compiling photos to illustrate that this life is worth something.
But the truth is that I am stuck somewhere inside of myself, forgetting the beauty of my own environment, and sitting here alone, admiring my little family and content to be nothing but someone’s girlfriend and someone’s mother and someone’s daughter, far away…
I will be 31 years old in January, and I fear that if nothing changes soon, I will melt into myself, becoming a giant puddle of buttery fluster, swimming in my own apathy and lack of imagination.
And yet, I let pregnancy and Florida and being far from family and having a child and lack of friends and lack of money and so many other excuses stand in the way of really LIVING.
And I have no fucking idea how to start.