Thursday, June 14, 2012

don't ask

maybe it's the fact that i remember being my daughter's age. or perhaps it's that i think that we are all given second chances more than once or twice or three times to be who we think we are supposed to be. and that sometimes all those chances just add up to a line of mistakes we can't take back. whatever the reason, i find myself thinking that looking forward and up and ahead is sometimes the most painful way to live. because it means that there are things i should be doing that maybe i'm not. and that perhaps this pain means i'm doing something right. because complacency doesn't hurt.

i found a facial moisturizer that i love. for some reason, this feels like an accomplishment. as though i've unlocked a way to maintain a life of happiness and balance amid the uncertainty that sits between the couch cushions at eleven o clock at night when i'm working on a deadline for work and bryan is home later than usual and i start to wonder what would happen if he didn't come home at all and i had to explain that to our kids in the morning. and who thinks these things? why is my head full of worst case scenarios and the serrated edge of what ifs sawing away at my brain at any given time. do you ever sit in your car and think what if another car plows into the side of us as we're driving? i was never afraid of these things before. it was as if these what if situations were writing exercises and not situations that made me want to crawl behind black out curtains with a xanax and a lifetime movie.

sometimes i wonder what i want to say in the first place. in any given situation. i hear myself and my small talk to random strangers and i feel like rolling my eyes but i know they would think it was about them and it would be harder to explain that i'm rolling my eyes at my own inane ramblings. i see pictures of myself and i look so disheveled and unkempt and i realize that i'm getting too old to get away with it. i mean, we can all get away with it but maybe it wouldn't hurt to take an extra few minutes in the morning to apply some makeup for christ's sake. give myself a pedicure. get my hair cut. something. maybe i would feel a bit better about the fact that my getting older means that a certain level of maintenance is required. i'm not worried about getting older. i don't have anxiety about that. i just don't know how to do it yet. because i still feel sometimes like i have all the time in the world ahead of me to worry about such things. and that, somehow, when i'm looking back a year from now, i'll all of a sudden be someone new entirely.

i have a lot of graffiti in my head right now. and i've been trying to keep it organized. packing it and unpacking it and i know myself well enough to know that i have to gather my cans of paint and just spray in order for it to make sense. in order to feel as though i've done something. there aren't enough facial moisturizers in the world to make up for all the second chances.


  1. your words make my heart rest easier, because i do have those damn thoughts and i really believed i was the only one. as if that's any solace...

    i have been trying a lot harder to look nice, wear makeup, and go to the gym regularly because i'm old enough now that when i don't, i feel like crap and i for sure look like crap.

    i used to not care about getting older, but now i don't even like to say how old i am, which is something i need to figure out, and yes, i am rolling my eyes at myself.

  2. Seriously, how do you know my life? I had to stop reading the news because I couldn't help but live each "what if" vicariously, it was really damaging my emotional well-being. It's a little better now, but I still feel like I'd rather never leave the house... Maybe investing a little in myself will make it easier?

  3. All I can tell you is that I still have those scenarios in my head - every day. Don't know if they'll ever go away.

    I've never been able to go out of the house without makeup - in fact, when I was married to your Dad, I used to get up before everyone else so I'd have it on when y'all got up to get ready for school. Just my idiosyncrasy..

    Mistakes we can't take back? I have millions! But I keep on forging ahead, hoping that I've learned some things along the way and won't make the EXACT mistake a second time.......fingers crossed!!!

    Love you....

  4. Yesterday I was lambasting myself for yet another dark, morbid imagining I had. This morning on the school run I caught a glance of myself in the mirror and realised (again!) that I can't leave the house tousled (read: crumpled) and comfy (read: slouchy) and think it looks even vaguely cute ...
    You write my heart, time and time again.

  5. PS your photos are beautiful, and getting better all the time

  6. I love how you take that telescope and look through it from both ends! I'm way older than you and I NEVER wear make up anymore. I get tired of trying to look cute, for whom I ask. But I live in VT where too cute is a bit disdained and Birkenstocks and hairy legs are admired!
    As for the dread scenarios- always had them but 10x worse since having a child. Now I wear seatbelts.... Sigh.

  7. I hear ya sista. You speak from that meek place in my own huge heart. Hard to reconcile the two. To live true is to live outside the boundaries of our own chalkline. I am still not sure what to make of it, or do with it. But I take your you seem to be doing just fine :)

  8. Once again, you nail it so nicely.

    I wish I could go to sleep without thinking through all the scenarios where bad things happen to the people I love.

    That would be nice.

  9. oh girl. i hear you. i have a doom and gloom mentality and sometimes a WILD IMAGINATION to boot. i think of horrible things all the time. like how i will react if bf gives me an ultimatum. what i will do when my parents start to get ill. lately i feel a car accident is eminent. i worry that the next mammogram won't be good (i am turning 42 this year, and my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 42). it is a MADDENING way to live. i don't have psycho thoughts every single second of the day, but i do have them WAY TOO OFTEN! i need to learn to relax and just enjoy things. but that is easier said than done! yeesh!

  10. I think I say this to some effect each time, but your photos and words, love them.


  11. Awww I know what you mean. Sometimes I tend to overthink things too. I always get so caught up worrying about things that aren't even going on yet. A classic example is something I had done this morning. I went to the mall and found myself drawn to the emergency map. I studied it for a moment and realized I had no idea how to read this map. I took a picture of the emergency map and planted in my head that I had to know this by heart just in case something happens and I am at the mall.

  12. forward momentum)))) and that pain just means we're alive. bloody well good thing, too, eh? i think the mortality mind warp stuff comes with motherhood. i think it's a biological response. it's up to us to exercise our way through.

    i look at your life (pictures and words) and believe you are doing it right, gorgeously, pain and all.


  13. I overthink everything too!! Riding on the bus and I will think about - if the bus crashes right now, I'll be the one who knows CPR and has a bandaid in her bag. or If the bus driver passes out, I am close enough and READY TO jump in and steer the bus to safety.
    I do it ALL THE TIME. It's exhausting.

    This is such a great expression of words that I think a lot of us are feeling -that last line is lovely and conveys so much: there aren't enough facial moisturizers in the world to make up for all the second chances.

  14. omgggggg all those worst case scenarios!!! The worst is when Im in a formal situation or specific situation like --------having dinner with my boyfriends mother who hated me for the first six years of our relationship and now that we're at nine years she just dislikes me but does it with a smile and irrelevant conversation-----or at a doctors office or something and for a split second I think about what would happen if I just stood up and yelled "FUUUUCK!!!" really really psychotically loud. Or yelled something horribly offensive that I don't mean but that would shock and upset everyone around me. siiiiiiiigh. good god. >_<

    your blog rules.

  15. That first paragraph. Oy.

    I know the eye-rolling at the self. A lot lately.

    And the graffiti in the head - thank you for that image. It's exactly right.

    Facial moisturizers may not solve our problems, but it sure makes our skin feel nicer. We need that, too. xo


use your kind words.