Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Beautiful Disaster

Alas, the senior woman on the first floor who signs for my packages has made friends with the UPS guy and she'll be sorry I'm not having anything delivered again any time soon.

That's real life in the big City. I've seen the UPS guy; she tipped him the money I gave her when he carried the jewelry mirror up two flights of stairs to my door. It was an extravagant tip.

The pants that arrived are loose and don't fit properly; I return them on Friday to a Loft store in the City. Instead, when I get the credit, I buy the J.Jill petite dark jeans.

I titled this blog entry "beautiful disaster" as a hook, because those evocative words came to me as I was writing in the spiral-bound notebook last night. The economy is a disaster and my living situation is status quo, yet I felt it was time to accept that my life is moving along like a turtle.

How much slower can it go? I feel the urge to fill up my days with activity again to counter the doldrums. The Chills, a New Zealand band, had a song, "Doldrums," whose lyrics were, "The benefits arrive and life goes on." When will the benefits arrive and why do I have to wait?

The economy is in the toilet and I see no upswing any time soon. Painting the living room seems like it would be an acknowledgment of defeat. I've been in the same place 10 years, and to live here another three years is stretching my patience.

This feels entirely too much to reveal, and so I'll keep other sentiments to myself, as well. Except to say I realize that the situation is far worse for far too many people in America today. And that is a crying shame when Wall Street hasn't been accountable for its excesses and ordinary Americans are losing their shirts and their retirement savings. We entrusted others with our money, and they went out and bought $6,000 shower curtains, and our stocks plummeted.

Maddening. Whatever happens, I refuse to work retail. Shortly I'll sign a book deal, and that should give me some peace of mind to make the leap out of this apartment when the time is right.

The reality is [and I begin a lot of my writing in the notebook with this expression, the reality is] it could be a lot worse. I'm here today because of the courageous action my mother took. Tomorrow I see Dr. Altman and I'm honest about the subtle shift. Although it's hard for me to admit that things are better and could continue this way indefinitely.

You get only one life to live and then in the next lifetime you're someone else, so as hard as it gets while you're here, I suggest you find pockets of hope to contain your expectations. It really can turn around. You just have to believe, even when taking it on faith is the biggest leap.

I'm a skeptic who needs things signed, sealed and written in stone.

I've wandered away from crediting God in any of this. It doesn't sit well with me that he doles out our fortunes or suffering. "He gives us only what we can carry," a woman told me last night. I don't doubt that. You must remember that as an outsider looking in you have no proof that other people have it easier, it only looks like they have it easy. I aspire to carry my cross in private yet that could do a disservice to you, to others, to the ones I'm here to help. Jesus accepted his cross, and I accept mine. I'm not going to go creeping to that cross. I will bear it with dignity.

Will continue in this vein for a little bit and then segue into something light and bubbly, like champagne for the soul. For now, I hope I'm giving lyrics you enjoy listening to tonight as you surf through JM. Am I skipping in a groove? Is it too much? Do you wonder at the fairness of things? I go back and forth between wondering about this and not giving it any credence.

Sure, life isn't fair yet it doesn't matter to me that it isn't. That's just the way it is, and so I deal with it. You can't change what happened, you can't go back to the way life was before. What did I have? Nothing. It wasn't until I returned to school that my recovery took off.

As I've said before, the tide could turn at any moment. I'm telling you this yet really I'm convincing myself it's true as I type it out in here. One thing you can't do is write the ending of the story before the story's even begun. You have to give it time.

Open your heart to yourself and be kind to yourself. It isn't over by a longshot, so keep the faith. You don't have to believe in God to believe in yourself and that things can change. There, I've said it: if you believe in yourself, that's all that matters: if you believe you will have a good life because of the actions you take, if you feel it's in your control.

So chances are it's goiong to happen: I'll publish my memoir, you'll recover to the best of your ability, life will go on and you will find joy in living.

On that note, it's time to carry on.


Flash: Mazzy Star's on the radio on Sophie with "Fade Into You," an old classic. I'm surprised the station revived the song yet it sounds good even today. I used to play Mazzy Star on the radio and I bought their albums on vinyl. Their lead singer Hope Sandoval has a haunting voice.

I also like Nelly Furtado.

Had wanted to continue the music and now I have no energy, the bubbles have fizzed in my brain and I feel like snoozing.

Must go to bed.


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