The thing about Catharsis is you can’t going looking for it. You have to let it find you. You can think you are due for a good purge, but you can’t sit and think of stuff to purge. You have to wait for something else to trigger it. And typically, at least in my experience it’s something that makes you re-evaluate where you are, how you are, where you want to go, where you’ve been. It’s a moment where things that weren’t important become important so that you can address it then leave it behind, or address it and buckle up with it in the front seat next to you.
The thing about the question “how are you?” is that most of us are always “fine.” Which is probably true and acceptable. “fine.” Doesn’t mean any more.
The thing about answering “I’m happy” is it’s a celebration word. It’s typically because something big has just happened. I’m happy I just got married, I just found out I’m pregnant, we got the house, I got an A, I’m cancer-free, I ran the whole 10K without stopping. It’s…a momentous occasion and the word to describe it is happy.
The thing you have to watch for are the people who say they are happy-happy-happy. The people that tell you over and over how happy they are, the people that have to relive the happy moment over and over and over. And it’s not because they weren’t but it makes me wonder if they actually *still* really are. Like…presently. So it’s okay that they were happy they just got married–but are they not allowed to be happy 6 months later? Will I question their authenticity? If they keep repeating themselves to me, I’m going to think they no longer are saying it because it’s true, but because they wish it were true, or they wish *I* believed it were true of them, or for them.
Or probably–I’m talking about me. Because that’s what I have realized I do. I am fine. I’m happy. I’m on an upswing. And now that I’ve successfully said it a hundred times–I believe I’m lying to myself and I’m saying it to someone else to bring them in on it.
The more people that believe it, the more true it is–right?
How many times am I going to say I like my job before it sounds like I’m making it up? And…am I???? Because it seems to change in a seconds’ time. All the “right” people know I like my job. All the “right” people know I’m good at it. Yes, I make decent money–finally. I mean: Jesus Christ I’m in my mid-thirties can I please not have to live paycheck to paycheck??? And the answer is yes, and so “I’m fine. I’m happy. I’m on an upswing.”
How many times am I going to say it’s nice to currently have no drama in my life regarding a relationship. Five? Ten? What’s a decent number to convince myself and others that what I am saying is true. Because at the time I say it, it is true…to me. Then there are the fifty-plus thoughts a day of the annoying things ex-men used to do and say that still drive me crazy. That’s still letting them in. That’s still drama in my life. That’s still ME not letting go of it. And OH How I would LOVE to let it go. What I want to do is list every thing any of the guys I’ve ever dated, that annoyed me pissed me off and drove me crazy. I want to list it and I want to say it to everyone because the more people that know it, the more true it is–right? Did I already say that? Do I still believe it? I want to video tape my complaints so that you can have a visual detailed account of my annoyance, and pissy-ness, and craziness. This way you can see and hear my side of what I dealt with. Because that’s SO important. I mean, NOW I’m fine. I’m happy. I’m on an upswing. But ask me again in five minutes and I could be pissed off at the memory of the inflection of a sentence The Crybaby said to me last year. Do I have emotional turrets? Is that a thing? And am I self-diagnosing? I mean. I just…I just get SO MAD. I follow these great manners and etiquette and for what? So that I look good for you? For me? So that I’m treated a certain way, or so that you think a certain thing??
For example: When I tell a guy “i’m a lady” it’s to educate them on how to treat me. If a guy tells me he’s a gentleman I tell him it’s tacky to tell me he is and it’s better to be humble and show me you’re a gentleman with you actions. BBUUUUTTTTT I’ve ONLY ever said this to the guys who WERE being ass-hats and trying to get a pat on the back or some kind of acknowledgement out of me or whoever is around us. It was a show–and I let them know, because I can’t be bothered with that fake shit. After all, I’m a lady…And now that’ I’ve said that a couple times maybe you believe me, maybe you think I’m trying to prove something–or Am I?? sigh. It’s so annoying isn’t it? I mean these are guys that say “No, I got dinner, I’m a gentleman” they can’t just DO it they have to SAY they are doing it, prove they did it, then remind me they did it for a minimum of five times or until they do something else they can let me know is “gentlemanly.” Do they think I’m so clueless or non-observant that they didn’t pay for my meal? What did we just skip out and I missed it?? Let me have my experience without your narration or commentary, there are enough voices in my head already–and we’re fine. We’re happy.
UUUGGGHHHH. I’m SO HAPPY. I’M SO MAD, though. And for many things. Nah, just a few. Well it could be a lot of little things.
You know: I dated this guy who at one point, in his semi-drunkeness, told me I was dead to him. So I blogged about it, briefly and without name dropping. Writing, and venting helps me get it out and get clear–and later a conversation happened like this:
him: you made me sound like a monster
me: it was monstrous
him: but now they will think I’m a monster
me: so, you’re concerned with what strangers will think, and not worried about how I feel?
He was a gentleman–he told me so.
And now? Nah I’m over it–I’m fine. I’m on an upswing. Minus the annoying facial expressions that pop into my head. Or even just their faces. Minus the fact that I miss acting and am terrified to even THINK of returning, let alone follow through with an attempt. I can’t lose what I have now. I can’t afford to lose what I have now. I can’t afford to take the risk–and that’s why I’m not booking episodic roles on hit TV shows, or booking films. Because I won’t even try. It’s the best way to guarantee a feeling of failure, well, forever. And here’s the things: if I list off what I DO have in my life, it should be enough. Well–careful with the word “should.” But, I have a roof over my head, a good job, a comfy bed, money for food etc etc. For some I AM LIVING the american dream. And for a while, it was the goal and everything I needed and wanted. And now that I have it–look at the grass over there. And so I can’t risk it. I wouldn’t know how anyway. The horror stories and rejection are enough to convince me to stay in my Real Life and not pursue an Old Life. Like I had my chance(s), and let them go. For one reason or another–None of which I believe happened for any GOOD reason so shut up with that one–and well, now I have to deal with it. Figure out what I CAN do, and move on.
This is the part I should say something like “Why not?” Because it’s what I’m trying to do, say stuff like that. And there will be the people that say “YES. WHY NOT??” Why NOT audition or pursue it?! And I’ll tell you why–BECAUSE I’M SCARED.
Scared to lose what I have. Failing means something different now than it did when I was 22 and living in Los Angeles. Failing means something different now that it did when I was 27 and married living in Vista, CA. Failing means something different now that I’m in my mid thirties living in Manhattan…with a good job, that I’m good at, that pays me decent. It’s just…it’s different now and I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to ride the upswing. I don’t know what to add to the mix. Because…well–now?…:::
Failing is a luxury that I can’t afford. Like good produce. heh. And so what I have, I have to find balance in. I have to be able to keep it all together whenever the downswing comes. And it doesn’t have to be a big dramatic thing, but I need to prepare myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. And I’m not going to do that with Ex-Titled-Men (The Ogre, The Alcoholic, The Convict, The Crybaby,etc) clouding up my headspace at their leisure just to remind me of either how bad it was then, or how good I got it now. I just can’t have all this. This Pressure.
You know I have had an idea for a book for about five years now. I have no idea how to write a book, and I’m scared if I try I will suck at it. It’s been pressing on my brain for five years though.
The hard part is–I really am here alone, meaning…I’m the one creating the headspace and letting them in. The exes, the books, the songs on the piano, the red carpet dreams, and oscar nominations. Don’t we all just want to have a moment up at the podium when everyone is listening? I want to do my work, that I’m passionate about and have wanted to do, and have loved for years and I want to be recognized by people I respect, as having done good work, and then I want to tell them thank you. Isn’t that okay to want? Or…is it just I’m the one who can’t or won’t let it all go. Like I have so SO much more to say but I’m scared no one will listen because I’ve said everything already too many times. But…isn’t it then, when someone says something too many times, that we-the-people *stop* believing that it’s the truth, and we start with questions like “are you saying that to convince me, or yourself?” Isn’t NOW the most opportune time to just cry and say “I’m happy! I am.. I am. Yes, I’m happy” Then grin and shrug the tears off your cheek.
Or is just writing it out cathartic enough?
Me? I’m fine. How are you?