In a furious attempt to embrace the dialectic of my emotions, I keep chanting inane things in my brain tonight:
“You are both compassionate…and compulsive.”
“You are both flawed…and a fighter.”
“You are both psycho…and talking to yourself.”
Well, the last one didn’t work.
Apparently, I need a fucking project because my mind won’t stop. Depression was hazy today, gathering a cloud over me like a fine veil. I don’t know when things got so black and white again; I’m that old egomaniac with an inferiority complex again, either feeling so paranoid that everyone hates me, or thinking I’m the fucking Dalai Lama of emotions. When did I become a farce of myself again? When did I take those other parts of me and box them away, to save space for the next generation to wreak their imperfections upon the world? The complications don’t stop at 35. We are works in progress until our dying breath. We are human, unrelenting.
I used to (probably sometime in my twenties) think there was beauty in the struggle. That the most gorgeous people are always re-examining themselves, re-defining who they are, not restricting themselves to a label. Actually, I still think that, but somewhere along the way I excluded myself from that. And I shouldn’t. I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, I suppose. But changing that habit is like writing with my opposite hand. I don’t know how to give it up.
I am not someone who has ever fit neatly into a category. I didn’t change my name when I got married, I hate cooking and anything domestic, I don’t enjoy being part of a team, I’m a truth-teller, I basically have all these pointy edges that don’t make people always feel comfortable. I get the underdog – I get the person who has days where all they do is brood and hate everyone. Because I’ve been there. I was there today. And yes, I’m a therapist-mom-of-an-almost-four-year-old. (“Oh my god, I never would have guessed you’re an alcoholic!” That one’s an especially hard one to swallow for the elders in my life).
I am both-and, and I’m so tired of our either-or society. You’re either THIS, or THAT.
In reality, we’re all these finely-woven pieces of embroidery, with so many colors and mistakes that don’t get fixed and I don’t see the harm in tugging on those loose threads, until they’ve teased out a place they can comfortably co-exist with the pieces that just always seem to fit in.
I am the daughter of a compassionate poet hippie soul who made understanding an art; I am also the daughter of another fierce stubborn soul who told the truth no matter who was hurt. There’s a dichotomy there that leaves me rather conflicted at times.
You know, I really hope I remembered to start the laundry before I wrote all of this.