I struggle with the mundane of the day to day and don’t know if I’ll ever settle down. I make Amazon wish lists for our home: Anthro pitchers for sangria or flowers, gold flatware, always another bolga basket. I pin inspiration for the perfect backyard with a pergola and twinkle lights for summer nights. I dream about the time we’ll actually have the time and money to do all the undone shit.
I feel like I’ve never been young but I’m aging anyway, the window is closing on a period of my life I didn’t fully live–I’m hungry for thrill, adventure, wrong decisions (I did everything “right” and still lost my daughter, who cares? I sometimes think.) In my head I’m a girl with a backpack heading off to hike the Camino; in the mirror I’m tired and sad. I don’t want to meal plan, to worry about having anything in the fridge but champagne, coconut water and a jar of almond butter. I want a mattress on the floor with wrinkly linen sheets and Instax pictures on the wall of all the places I’d stretched my bank account and credit limits to see, life one big open end.
I look at myself in the mirror and wonder why I look so exhausted, why did pregnancy do that? What can I do to feel perfect?
I want more than I have, to perfect what I have. Completion, creativity, inspiration. Tobin’s art on white walls. Candles lit, playlists and cold cocktails, French press coffee in the morning–content and owning domesticity, making it mine.
I want the opposite of what I have, to run from what I have, to be free and minimal. I want to go back to school, to go everywhere.
I want to once and for all accept ME without the constant question of worth. I love and lust after beauty, always have, and I admit that I enjoy the chase. But it would be nice to really like myself, to “arrive” and have the old questions answered in an objective, once-and-for-all affirmative–or maybe better yet, to let them go.
I’m wild; I’m tired. I’m ravenous to feel safe; I want to be held close and never have to worry or feel sad again. I’m tired of wishing and outright fantasizing but yet it’s my fuel; I create these elaborate and beautiful alternatives to my reality and chase them to the best of my ability because it makes me happy. I want quiet, a place to land, but it’s almost impossible to imagine what contentment would look like in my actual life. Really though–can I really accept this life. The one here in Nebraska, where I lost my baby. Where I got married really young and where things are really hard, really unfinished, really heavy. The life where I feel the burn of being stuck. The life I’m so hungry in. Can I stop running–do I want to?
I’m reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed and I wish I didn’t know what she meant when she says she was levitating in sadness. I wish I didn’t relate to how crazy she went after her mom’s death (as in, I completely understand the mad rush to numb, the head-first dive into any pleasure that makes the pain disappear even for a second.) I wish I didn’t share such an affinity for that type of person, the person who writes books and craves experiences and jumps into a moment without looking ahead.
I think what I’m trying to say, after all of THIS, probably the most vulnerable thing I’ve ever written: I’ve never been quite sure where I fit in the conservative midwest microcosm, and after everything that’s happened, I am even less so. A rest that isn’t boredom, a safety that isn’t stale, a thrill that isn’t destructive, a beauty that doesn’t cost so much…that’s what I want. And I wonder, how will fulfillment and contentment intersect on my life’s Venn diagram? Wrestling through all these things right now.