Temporary feathers.

DISCLAIMER: The nature of this writing is more personal than social graces might allow. I would apologize for my candor if I meant it, but I don’t. In addition to warning everyone about how weird this is going to be and providing those disinterested souls an opportunity to get the hell out of here, I wanted to finally clear the air about why I started this mostly ignored blog in the first place (it ties in later, I swear). I suffer from severe self-doubtitopia. Left untreated, it can lead to paralysis of the brain, and in rare cases, genital warts. So my remedy included various vulnerability exercises, one of which included starting a stupid, stupid blog. There’s a green bucket in my office filled with writing I’ve done over the years that I never had the balls to show anyone. Some of that actually worked out for the best because that hidden writing includes “poetry” I wrote at the start of my teenage angst and it is some of the most pathetic, poorly written literature ever conceived. That’s not even self-bashing; that’s reality. I still think I’m a pathetic writer (not an invitation for support), and when the weight of this fear began to grow so heavy that I started thinking of a career change, I mustered up all the boldness I could manage and decided to submit my work to the most vulnerable place on the planet: the INTERNET. So here I am, in the throes of some emotional fire, stripped to the nerve by life and its happenings, writing some personal editorial for no other reason than to expose myself to the whipping wind of the public and hopefully dig a little deeper into vulnerability.

This is going to get weird.

Single motherhood is not for the faint of heart. I hate it some days. I think it’s natural for people to want to share the experiences that accompany having a child with someone else. Since I don’t have many other people to share this with (aside from my weird family), I clog social media networks with pictures and posts about Ava. It’s annoying for some people, I’m sure. But only about sixty-five percent of me cares about that. There’s not much I can do about this situation. I tried. “It is what it is, and it ain’t what it ain’t” as the saying goes. So I did what most single mothers do after an extended period of time and a bunch of long nights in painful acceptance of my situation, I started dating. I always told myself I wasn’t going to be one of those women who brought dude after dude around Ava, carelessly introducing her to the various “friends” I found wandering around the world. Hell no. That’s gross. I did find a guy and I dated him for nearly three years, holding to my commitment to set a good example to Ava – at least in a relationship context. But I failed at that too. Shit. And when I say I failed, I mean really failed. No joke. It shattered, busted, fell apart, bottomed out, blew the F up. It feels like a divorce, which I’ve already done. It feels like a death, of much more than what people mourn after a failed relationship. It was, in essence, the death of an ideal. Another one. Shit, shit, shit.

Life feels way too big.

The subplot to this absurd melodrama has starred Ava’s dad. In this respect, I’ll acknowledge the public realm I’m in and skip a few sentences. If it weren’t for a few outside influences, we’d probably be good candidates for Maury. (This is getting too weird and off topic.) I really felt like it was my turn. By God, I had earned the right to be happy. And with this willful and misguided propulsion, I set out to make my world match what I saw in others. I’ve already mentioned how that worked out. I went to “this place I frequent a lot” and ran into the other participant in my train wrecked love experiment. That was enough to set me off kilter. But what’s worse, after taking a minute to compose myself and reaffirm the fleeting hope I can never seem to get rid of, I ran right smack dab into a wedding invitation. My initial thought was, “Oh Jesus, someone else in love and overpaying for a ceremony that will end with an eighty dollar divorce. Congratulations.” But curiosity got the best of me and I leaned in to read the names. THE BABY DADDY IS GETTING MARRIED. Boom! Slam! Gut check.

What can this be about? If there is a time to hold a pity party, is this it? I don’t want to miss a good opportunity to drown in my self-absorption. It’s not like I don’t have balloons. I’ve been waiting for this day for damn near three years. Believe me, I have the balloons.

I went outside and proceeded to fall the fuck apart on a bench. Life feels too big. I’m hyper-sensitive when it comes to emotions. I know this about myself. Some of this is good because I can apply it to my work which involves lots of drama anyway. Some of it isn’t so good because I can cry at the drop of a hat and appear fragile to people who don’t know me very well. In times of heightened frustration, the ol’ eye plumbing leaks more than usual and I’m even more sensitive to outside circumstances. That’s a bunch of crap I probably didn’t need to mention, but anyway. So I’m falling the fuck apart on a bench outside and my friend shows up. He’s going through his own aching life upheavals and even though he didn’t say much, he was at least able to sit by me for the sake of solidarity. Sometimes I think that’s all people need – camaraderie in the shit. Maybe that’s what we’re all here together for. Oh Jesus, I’m digressing into one of those fluffy, meaningless existential discourses. This is not the time and place!

I wish I could wrap this up with a pretty, positive bow – with some hopeful resolution – but I don’t have one yet. I am not exempt from being a human being, and these are human being things. When I was talking to my friend I mentioned this dichotomy I live with: the love of life and all its triumph and the absolute repulsion I have with the inevitable misery that I happen to feel today. I can’t have one without the other. I don’t know what my future is, but my undying optimism hints that it will be good – or at least okay. I’m sure there’s a kick ass dude out there somewhere. My life is what it is, and I don’t want to give the impression that I hate it because I don’t. I love Ava more than anything in the entire universe and she is without question the best thing to ever happen to me – aside, of course, from getting sober. I know she was a predetermined stitch in the fabric that was to be my existence, and is probably the one holding the whole damn thing together on some days. I’m sure when I look back at my life all these weird days will be lost in the wash of a life lived well. Every stopping place will suddenly make sense, every gut check necessary and every sob and laugh a part of what made up the joy of my days spent on earth. I can’t have one without the other, after all. My dad always says, “Some days it’s chicken, and some days it’s feathers.” I’ll live to dine another day! Thank God for optimism.

Life feels too big sometimes, but I think that’s because it is.

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One thought on “Temporary feathers.

  1. Susan, thanks for allowing us to be a part of some of the stopping places on the way to it making sense. As soon as it makes sense, please let me know. I’ve got a room full of stopping places all waiting for a little sense.

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