I’m just… ordinary. Sometimes I feel genius, and messed up, and scattered, and smart all at the same time. But then it dawns on me. I’m totally, completely, and most definitely - ordinary.
In your twenties you’re driving towards goals. You’re pounding. You’re pounding against yourself and the world and life. And you’re thinking – “Ya, give me more. I can DO more. I can BE more. You’re all just stupid because I AM more.”
And then you hit your thirties and you start thinking, “Hey, maybe it’s okay if I slow down just a little. I mean, maybe I like wine more now than tequila shots. And maybe I like having someone to have sex with on the sober nights, and not the drunken, restless ones. And maybe it’s okay if I don’t want to go out at all.” And then you kinda, sorta start worrying that maybe you heard one or both of your parents say something vaguely similar to this years ago. As a warning. A cautionary tale. But you dismissed them because, um, -they’re PARENTS.
Then you grow up. And it’s weird because you didn’t think you would. And then all of the sudden there’s this whole new life being shoved out of your unyielding body and you took all of these stupid classes on swaddling and breathing and not dying during childbirth. But really all it comes down to is … there is – holy shit –there is an actual honest to god person being shoved out of your totally normal body. Like, how the fuck did that ever happen?
And that ONE person. That one person that you screamed and cried and pushed out of your too small body hole is now in the world and you’re supposed to be an adult, and be responsible and protect them.
But it was seriously only yesterday, it feels like at least, that you had a vodka tonic on the back patio talking about how you never wanted to have kids.
And then this little human is in your arms. And then they’re suckling at you. And you cry because everything hurts. It’s all so glorious and wonderful that even your tears hurt.
Then…you’re just plain fucking tired for years. Not days. Not months. Years. You’re tired. Because suddenly there’s LIFE. And why does the word seem so much harder now? There’s life of laundry and working and crying and babies suckling and more crying and working and tears that are your own and also ones of these little creatures that came out of you. And your spouse. And you’re just tired. No one talks about the fatigue. They start saying things like “adrenal fatigue” and “stress” and “get a walk in”.
Get a walk in? Are you kidding me? I put my underwear on inside out again and only realized it when I got to work at 8 am and had to pee and you tell me to get a walk in? Because, yea I get it, the dogs need a walk and they’re needy too. But that doesn’t help my stress level. All of the living creatures must chill the fuck out because I’m tired.
Time goes on. You deal. You cope. You eat some chocolate and make girlfriends because surprisingly enough, all the years spent trying to FIND A DATE are now spent TRYING TO FIND A GIRLFRIEND. Just one other person –just one - in the whole universe who will look at you without judgment or contempt, and for fucks sake not NEED, and they’ll look you in the eye and say, “I get it. We’re tired. Have some wine and tell me about it.”
Then, you’re so happy. It’s all so wonderful just to have another someone that gets it.
Then another few years go by and you get older. Because, honey, everyone does. And then you find yourself sitting at your desk at night, alone, because everyone else in the house is asleep. And you want to write. The need to write claws out of you gauging a forgotten wound. And you think, “I SHOULD write now. I CAN write now. Because I’ve lived so much and I can say so much and I know so much.”
And then you realize that you only know enough to wonder why you’re writing so many stupid words in caps and that you really don’t know jack shit. Maybe, you’ve only just started to sorta figure a few details out, like how the remote works. And that you really should never pay full price for expensive clothes because if you wait a few months they always go on sale. And you know that epiphanies in the middle of the night after a few margaritas aren’t anything poetic – they’re just small bursts of understanding. A crude attempt at figuring out this huge concept of life – like a teenager still groping in the dark for their partner.
I want to reach it so bad. I have such a hard-on for it. But I’m only maybe now, just starting to, kinda, sorta, figure out that none of us really know anything. Some of us know how to use prettier words. Or how to organize them better to make them sound coherent.
But really we’re all fumbling around in the dark. In the backseat of your parent’s car. Fingers stuck on a bra strap. A zipper. Fingers feeling like they’ve grown ten times their normal size. Wanting. Craving. Seizing and always fumbling. Hardly every grasping.
I’m now old enough to know that I don’t really know much.
But I’m finally, maybe, starting to enjoy the ride, and every place it will take me- no matter how shitty it can get.
And maybe it’s all just a Good Kind of Pain.