On The Edge Of 62

13 Apr

I don’t know about everybody else but I can’t seem to get a solid plot line going in my life.   Sometimes I feel like I just keep reliving the same twenty years, only I am older and each time I relive it, I seem to get closer to solving whatever it is, that will enable me to move forward.

I watched a documentary about Fran Leibovitz called “Public Speaking” and realized that we had some significant things in common.

  1. Neither of us could tell time until we were 9.
  2. We were both expelled from High School.
  3. We both had sudden, early success. (Hers of course was MUCH bigger than mine)
  4. We both had long periods where we were unable to write. Bigger than writer’s block, she called it “writer’s blockade.”

She attributed hers to an inability to deal with her success. I’m not sure what happened to me. I could describe the events, that led to me doing the creative equivalent to hiding under the bed, but I’m still trying to figure out why, instead of standing up and fighting, I hide.

Or I do something even worse, I pour every ounce of love, creativity and focus into a relationship with someone, that is so damaging to me, I am bereft of everything by the time it finally ends.

The last relationship I had was incredibly toxic, I knew it, but I couldn’t get out. And I didn’t tell my friends what was going on because I kept going back into the relationship and I didn’t want anyone to think I was a complete idiot. I lost some friends over this breakup because he is a very convincing victim, and I rarely come across as vulnerable.

During our last fight he was screaming at me, that he was a published writer (he just sold his first novel) and I never would be. (I do have a short story published in an award winning short story anthology) And that I would never be the writer he is.

You would think that I would just breeze through that break up and immerse myself in writing, or performing or… I hid in my bed. Poured my guts out to two amazing friends, who allowed me to cry, scream, rage and whimper until I had nothing left to say over and over again. And just when I thought I was healing, he would call one of my friends, or show up at my job or perform drunk at a slam I was competing in. The very thought of running into him makes me panic. I realized that I can’t go to some events now “just in case.”

The reason I am talking about this is threefold. I am talking about this because I need to get it out so that I really can be okay, instead of pretending to be okay. I am talking about this because it might help somebody to know they are not alone. I am talking about this because I learned some valuable lessons about myself because of it.

Things I learned in my 61st year.

  1. If you are an empathetic person, you are going to attract narcissists. If you were abandoned by a parent, you are going to be vulnerable to narcissists.
  2. If someone doesn’t love themselves, they can’t love you.
  3. It is infinitely more rewarding to rescue a cat or dog than a person.
  4. You may not be able to control what happens, but you can determine what you are going to take away long term.
  5. If you don’t have the emotional stamina to handle big goals, set tiny ones.
  6. Friends who tell you who to be, want to be friends with someone else.
  7. Don’t keep things in.
  8. Don’t pretend that everything is fucktabulous, when it sucks.
  9. There is always a way to maintain hope.
  10. I am perfectly comfortable being 10,000 miles away from home, in an environment where almost no one speaks my language or looks like me.
  11. If you allow yourself to be open to it, magical things happen, like being taken to China, or being given free passes to HotDocs.
  12. Sometimes you need to reach out, and keep reaching out.
  13. Everything changes especially when you are desperate for stability. That’s when you need to learn how to float.
  14. I am not happy if I am not growing.
  15. I am not happy being inert no matter how much I think I am.
  16. I have no discipline or ambition and I really need to change that or I will have serious regrets.
  17. I do not have nearly enough ink.

Now with all of that out of the way I can turn 62.






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