Now why on earth would I say that?
I want what our parents all seemed to have, a set place to live, a set job for 25 years, a set home, a set life…
I am jealous.
At first, I felt ahead of the pack, I met the love of my life in college and had a comfortable relationship going. We had already mapped out plans and though my hormone induced barrenness was a setback, we had a plan for reproduction, work, and how we were to live our lives.
Then naturally, what we planned seemed to avoid us like we had the plague.
We got those teaching jobs we planned but we never thought we would end up somewhere where it takes 10 years to finally be accepted. We never thought that children would actually despise musical learning, like it was a chore they had to accomplish, and “where is my award for participating?” I certainly never realized how alive and well racism was, a folly of being from a white, lower middle class but still middle class, household.
I never, for the life of me, thought it would be more economical to NOT be married.
Now all of my friends are working the same jobs, and are ridiculously happy. They are buying houses, they are going on honeymoons (we can’t afford to. We were supposed to be going on our Anniversary this year but, that plan changed!), they are healthy.
I am sitting here being a jealous little bitch.
Every time we set aside money, I have a health crisis and *sloop* there goes the mullah. Every time I start to enjoy my job, Ryan hates his more. Every time we start to settle something jumps up and says “not today lassie!”‘and smacks us down.
Do I have a handprint on my forehead? Cause that last blow hurt.
It’s like, here I am, a sexually abused, child abuse survivor turned brain tumor, steadily losing her eyesight, victim and the best fucking thing someone said to me lately was, “maybe you’ll lose just enough vision to qualify for disability, wouldn’t that be nice?”
No, no,it wouldn’t. Seriously? You want me to go blind for my quality of life to improve!? Because that is the ONLY way you can see it improving?
But them I remember, no one, no being, karmatic cycle, nature spirit owes me a damned thing. So what if my life is hard? Honestly, some people out there have it even worse. Some people don’t get the luxury of annoying but generally unobtrusive brain tumors.
Seriously, suck it up buttercup.
The whole problem with that thinking too, is, I am once again telling myself it’s not okay to feel what I feel.
You aren’t allowed to feel anything but appropriate calm happiness for others. You are supposed to enjoy the little things (which I generally do). If you don’t, enjoy he little things, you are encouraged to “get the hell over it,” and quickly because, “ain’t nobody have time for dat” self pity you are slinging their way. They’d much rather watch why someone famous is upset with their life.
After all, it is the thing.
Instead of feeling jealousy, or clutching bitterness towards my lack of heroic stoicism, maybe it’s time to just stop.
Stop comparing your living breathing life to the pages of a now dead and glossed over magazine page. Stop looking at the light of your tv the perfectly warped view of American life.
Stop trading the happiness I feel for the bitterness of what I am not feeling yet because it’s not on, Your timeline or MY planned out timeline.
Maybe it’s time to stop and just listen.
Just listen to the footsteps, I am making on the path I am on. Why do I have to travel the road less traveled, like everyone else? Why can’t I take a path not even trodden in the first place? There maybe weeds and barbed wire fences blocking my way but, that’s why we have bolt cutters.
Why do I need to take my friends lives and decide the life they live is a standard in the real book (a jazz standards book) and I just haven’t practiced the melody hard enough?
Why can’t the song I am already playing be a standard too?
Because it is. It is enough. I cannot go around worrying what you do anymore. I can’t worry about what your measure of a good life is.
My goals need to be mine. My happiness isn’t based on yours. I can’t decide that what I do for a living defines me like it defines you.
It doesn’t matter what you are doing, it matters what I am doing.
What am I doing?
I am trying to take an enjoyable, culturally important, subject that is highly underrated and give it meaning.
I am trying to remember that just because you have decided the only way I can be useful is to be classified as disabled, is not true. I am useful because I have not laid down and taken it, because I have persevered, because I am adapting, constantly. I can do it. Sorry, not sorry.
I am taking what little I have and turing it around into goodness for my son. I am showing him happiness is not money, it love.
I am making my own choices. I don’t care if you don’t agree or “don’t know why I am even doing that in the first place,” because while I value your opinion, and always have, it’s not your business. I should in turn, stop acting like it is your business, it’s not. I am over sharing and I will take the blame for that, but nothing else.
I am not from the same type of family you see. I do not have to become what you decided because “2.5 million Americas” do the same.
Stop comparing the the incomparable. The sum of our existence is not how we stacked up to others. How we came to be who we are is a process that cannot be repeated. We can have similar experiences, but no one can live as we lived. So stop comparing. No one “did it better.” No one could have been more than you were. No one can be more than you are.
There is no comparison. So stop it.
Instead let’s decide, by ourselves taking the sum of what we have experienced, how we should judge ourselves. We set our own standards based on what we know to be true. Fundamentally most people, barring sociopaths, know what’s good and what’s not. Instead of being governed by people we’ll never met, as in super stars, govern our own minds by the one person we truly know, completely. Ourselves. It’s okay to decide your ambitions are yours. It’s ok to be not where everyone else is.
Don’t worry, what you want will happen because you wanted it too, not because other people your age are achieving that goal. It’s because you achieved it. So take the bitterness away, and go enjoy your immeasurable life.