This could be the PMS talking. Or just the existential angst that visits upon me at my birthday like some Dickensian ghost come to warn me of a downward trajectory. But whatever it is, I feel…weary.
First and foremost, I crave familiarity. The feel of a known lover’s arm around me as an alarm goes off for the fourth time. The smell of garlic, onion and chilies being blended in the kitchen. The sound of my dogs scampering on tile. The view of mountains. The taste of salt and bourbon on his lips after a run.
Second, I crave the understanding of someone who truly sees me. I think I appear to be something that is whole and capable. Most days, I feel fragile and in need of a great deal of care. I don’t live in this realm and I am not of this earth. I’ve only been able to survive on money I won in a contest of who could hold their breath longer. And that has served me well. You have no idea. But I feel more like a an endangered species of tree, living on borrowed time, rather than a human with ambition and foreword locomotion. Most days, I just wonder when this momentum will be met by an equal and opposite force and I’ll be shook. Shook for real.
Third, I crave descriptors and maybe even a name. I want to be re-baptized by those who see my potential. What the hell am I even doing? What resonates? What remains? What is the purpose of all this thinking and finger clacking? Do I have anything of value to add to the world beyond autistic parlor tricks? Is my writing good and compelling, and if so, why? I want to sit behind two way glass and hear people discuss my work with the passion that everyone I know discusses Phoebe Waller- Bridge. I want to know what they see and feel. My words are just shapes, organized into sentences, and bundled into paragraphs. But can anyone but me feel something visceral about them? I honestly do not know and feel incredibly self-indulgent asking.
I turn 40 on Saturday with little to show for my effort except an enviable life. But no real achievements. Just a string of stories that reach from the tippy top of my head, down through by body, and into the earth beneath me. If only I could get by on a budget. Or marry rich. Or discover the cure for male pattern baldness. Only money doesn’t solve everything. If it did, Steve Jobs would still be alive, wouldn’t he?
I don’t know what to wish for then. Tomorrow I speak to Pat McAnany. Check him out on his website. He’s brilliant. And he sets things straight for me.
A pebble in my shoe, I’ve already got. What I want is some certainty to hold onto. Some integrity I can call my own. Some touchstone I can rely on. All that I have and all that I am at this moment is ephemeral. Something sturdy seems quite appealing as I enter a new decade. Something that lets me know I am not just this voice in a head that perpetually narrates my life back to me. What it is, I’ve yet to encounter. But I know it exists.