Archive for the ‘book’ Category
I remember towards the end of 2010 feeling like I just wanted it to be over already. I even posted a pic of me with a remote control, a representation of what felt like a desperate need to fast forward and get the hell on with it. 2011 promised to be a great year for me. BedPost Confessions was underway and beginning to pick up local steam, the book I had been writing for four years was close to being finished, and my marriage had made it successfully through some extremely prickly patches.
I was gonna rock the fuck outta 2011.
And I guess in many ways I did. There have been many wonderful happenings in my life this year, and while the separation from my husband was extraordinarily painful for a while (probably more hurtful and difficult than anything I’ve experienced before) I am learning that there is, too, wonderment in the process of un-linking myself from someone – in breaking the chain that tied me to the experiences and choices and processes of someone else. Someone whose path wasn’t the same as mine any longer.
I realized this after I got back from Burning Man in early September, where I’d escaped to, open-hearted and venturesome, and had vowed privately to have my very own experiences, ones of my choosing, independent of (if together with) others. For instance, one day I went for a bike ride outing with a group of my fellow (awesomely awesome) camp mates. We had difficulty getting everyone corralled just to leave the camp (as is often the case with large groups of people) but we eventually did, and so we all struck out for a sunset ride. We didn’t get too far before we realized we’d lost track of a few, so we stopped and waited for them to catch up. Once they did we moved onward along the dusty terrain spiked with majestic, artistic offerings, and towards a theme camp someone in the group had decided would be fun to peruse. It was when we arrived at our destination – the one I had made a decision to blithely follow along to – that I realized that I wasn’t having my own experience. I had tied myself to the helm of our group’s proverbial boat and allowed them to lead me to their destination, not my own. Not the one of my choosing. That’s not to say that I couldn’t have had a total blast just tagging along. I could have, I am certain of it. They are fun people and I had been having fun with them for days. There was just something nudging me in another direction.
And so I left. Struck out on my own, Sadie Solo Style, to have my very own experience on my very own terms. And in fact, in my adventure that evening I met someone with whom I spent the entire rest of the night. So it was a very good choice if I do say so myself.
Of course, we can’t always do this. We can’t always unattach ourselves from others just so that we can be the ones in control. We won’t always be the administrators of our experiences, the decision-makers of the process. But sometimes we can, and sometimes we have to. I had to that evening on the playa. I just had to, I don’t know why. And like I needed to break away from that group, I had to, upon returning from the Black Rock Desert, break away from my partner of many, many years. I didn’t know exactly why I had to then (although I had some ideas) and I am still not completely certain why I have to even now… I just know I have to.
So, in a sense, I guess did rock the fuck outta 2011, just not in the traditional model of success – I didn’t get married, I got separated and will be getting divorced this year. This, I think I am learning, can actually be counted as a success. For me anyway. And for now anyway.
Honestly, I felt like fast forwarding a few times this year, too. But then I remembered that it will all come to me no matter what, but in its own time. And then tonight I sat down with the ladies of BedPost Confessions, my fellow producers and curators and feminists, all of whom I love so dearly it almost hurts. As I peered at them across the table in my dining room I understood how much I care about them and what we do together. And then I considered the other beautiful people in my life that I love dearly … and I understood that this is what really matters.
People. Connections. Love. Friendship. Doing what we love. Together. This is what matters.
And then? Together the four of us looked at the calendar and realized that we’ve got shows – lots and lots of fantastic, funtastic, sexy, sexy shows – coming up in other cities. And just one of the cool things about that (for me) is that this is going to allow me to fulfill the number one position on my New Year’s resolution list – Gettin’ The Hell Outta Dodge Whenever Possible (aka TRAVEL). And with shows coming up in Baltimore, New Orleans, Boston, Athens and Washington DC all being scheduled before June, we are gonna rock the hell out of this year indeed. And I’m gonna get to see some other places as we do it.
I’d call that a success already and the year’s just started.
Yep, this year it seems that, like my mission had been on the playa, I will have more say in how my life goes than in any other year previous.
And that? Well, that is something to look forward to.
If you really love me, then let’s make a vow…right here, together… right now. Okay? Okay. All right. Repeat after me—I’m gonna be free. I’m gonna be free. And I’m gonna be brave. I’m gonna be brave. Good. And the next one is— I’m gonna live each day as if it were my last. Oh, that’s good. You like that? Yeah. Say it. I’m gonna live each day as if it were my last. Fantastically. Fantastically. Courageously. Courageously. With grace.
And so begins Miranda July’s movie, Me and You and Everyone we Know, based on her book of the same name.
Grace. It’s something I have been practicing for, I dunno, years now? How does one successfully embrace and embody grace continually? I haven’t figured out the formula for that. Grace and I are touch and go these days. She shows up when she feels like it but has abandoned me during those times when it seems I needed her the most.
I cried all the way through July’s movie last night while I sat alone on my couch with my cat and ordered-in garlic shrimp, pork egg-roll dangling out of my mouth while tears streamed down my face. The movie was described by Netflix as an examination of people’s idiosyncrasies. I think they should have called it Hey you, yeah you, crazy, gettin’ divorced lady, you are gonna cry your heart out tonight while you sit alone in your home and eat Chinese food that you paid way too much for. See, if they had just said something along those lines, maybe, just maybe I would have been somewhat prepared for the heart-bruising about to be inflicted upon me. But I wasn’t. I kept watching anyway.
Sometimes a girl just needs to sit home alone on a Friday night and weep over wontons.
Alone. I am learning to be alone. It hurts sometimes – being alone – because it’s so damned confronting. There are these expectations that we should be doing something, anything, with another person; fill the voids of time when we aren’t at work, or doing homework or housework or other worky work. Those expectations especially apply to a newly single person who is unencumbered for the weekend – no kid, just a couple of cats and some shitty Chinese food, including cheese wontons. I mean, what is up with cheese wontons?
There is just nothing right about cheese wontons. Nothing.
But back to confronting the empty, the lonely, the void. I have never done much of it before, so this has been somewhat … challenging to approach. I am an expert void-filler. I even wrote a book about how I filled the void – with plenty of booze, with drugs to some extent, with relationships that were toxic, with sex and with people. Using people (and sex with those people) as void fillers is the worst of such transgressions, I think, because it pulls them into your subconscious misery, invites them to dance around with you on your shit-stained floor and kick it up with you. The whole, I may be sad, but at least I am not sad alone, stuff. Everyone does it. I am trying not to do it these days.
Mainly because it’s not very graceful.
So, yeah, I am attempting to practice that grace thing. Figure out how to fill the void that exists inside of myself, by myself. Alone. Does it make me lonely, being alone? It’s diaphanous, that line between lonely and alone – I almost miss it. But, yes, I feel lonely sometimes. Not always, but enough so that my inclination to reach out to people just to make myself feel better is almost uncontrollable, defiant even. But one thing I’ve noticed? The desire to do so is proving to be -like that line between lonely and alone- just transparent enough so that I can see it.
And when I can see the inclination? I can cut it the fuck out. Stop the urge to void-fill in its shit-kicking tracks.
So I guess this is me learning how to be gracefully alone. It will take practice, of that I am certain. Hopefully I will achieve it at some point before I die.
If not, I will at least go understanding one very important thing - I never, ever needed to have another cheese wonton.