& the image that haunts me today is that of a shaved leg in a cowboy boot. The woman had asymmetrical hair, & dressed as I would dress if I fit into any of my clothing (or remembered how to have time to use my hair dryer).
I can’t remember the last time I felt put together. “Put together.” Out of context, it doesn’t necessarily sound like a good thing, though I like that the language affirms the constructed nature of presenting oneself. I am not a “natural” woman, perhaps until/unless I am lazy. Or “busy.” Which is the same thing.
Why am I terrified to do what I want, to look at myself / why do I say I MUST do this / must make ends meet, must..?
My biggest fear is that I don’t know how to do it. Find a career, to be “rewarded for my passions.” That narrative.
Moreso than writing, the thing I feel most passionate about is self-reflection & examination. What kind of career can I have with that, imaginary reader?
My therapist says that “narrative therapy” is a real thing but would I have to leave Boise to pursue it?
If I examine close enough, I was happiest when:
1. I only worked part-time at a job that robbed me of sleep but allowed me to write/submit poems.
2. I had a stable relationship (which I have now).
3. I made time to meditate nearly daily.
4. I made time to run/do yoga nearly daily (or at least 3x/week).
5. I didn’t eat meat.
6. I had health insurance.
7. I had time to write, or at least journal.
8. I planned my meals. I knew that I would have access to flavorful, healthy foods.
& how can I have this now & how can I know this traditional will work now when it didn’t stick before & I am now essentially a different person?
At the bottom of every complaint, a desire.
I’m too busy could translate to I want (to make) more time for things I enjoy & find meaningful. (& I want more time to take things slowly, to enjoy cooking my eggs in the morning.)
I hate my job could translate to I want to be able to stick up for myself & insist on my life reflecting my passions, intelligence, & worth.
My biggest fear is that I don’t know how, that somehow I missed the “how to find work &/or a career” memo.
My student wrote about wanting to be a bohemian & basically described what my life had/has been.
Am I really okay with not knowing what time it is right now as I write this? It smells like potato time in my house.
The list of my traditional means to happiness provided a stability. I want stability. I want a degree of comfort &/or faith so I can work on the essay ideas about which I’ve been passionate–
I wish I could have been one of those writers who couldn’t see their lives any other way, couldn’t see failure as an option & knew that they could take that correct path to write for magazines or have a tenure-track position.
I am grateful to have done everything I’ve ever wanted but now I don’t know where I’m going–
I do know this:
1. I do not exercise. As a result, I do not fit into my clothes.
2. I do not meditate daily. As a result, I watch myself participating in blame games & ego defense at work.
3. I haven’t submitted poems to journals in a year.
4. I do not like working in a restaurant. I do not like whether or not I get paid to be determined by the time of day that I work & the mood of the people that I serve. (I want a steady income. I feel as though I deserve one, though hesitate to work hard to find other work…)
5. I do enjoy teaching, but find it difficult to do while working at the restaurant. I am also afraid of the slave labor wages it pays, of not adding enough to my “household economy,” of possibly relying on P for health insurance.
6. I am in love with P & it’s that limerence kind of love that has an addictive quality & most of my happiness lately (besides things like the bath I snuck in between this & commenting on student essays) has been derived from that which is wonderful that I’m doing something (& someone!) that I enjoy BUT it is also unfair. Still, I want to frame it this way: since I want to build a life with this man, it is only fair that I too am stable, that we build our house upon rock (as the Bible & new age teachers & myriad other metaphors suggest is THE way).
& what if I am being very stupid & missing something here? Is it a red flag that I’m missing red flags or is it possible that I’ve actually found someone who wants to create what I want to create & wants to treat me well & if so, what did I do to deserve this?
7. I have been neglecting my finances. & my rabbit.
So from here, I need to get through this semester. I need to sleep enough. I need to think beyond instant gratification: 15 minutes of meditation goes a much longer way than a donut.
After the semester is over, I need to start bike commuting again. I need to work in yoga & exercise.
I need to ask around about jobs.