Tuesday, December 20, 2011

moment of clarity

I'm up a little later than I should be tonight, I have to work early tomorrow, but I wanted to write about a moment of clarity I had while I was nearing the end of my shift.

I suppose every woman has moments like this when she's in her early 30s. I've been working at the same job for almost seven years, it was a job that was originally supposed to earn me some easy money while I wrote. It's not an easy job, I've worked in fast food for years before McDonalds. Over half a decade later, I wear a manager's uniform but mostly I'm a seasoned grunt. I can go anywhere and work any position. My co-workers are like family to me, and my work life has taken over to such an alarming level that my writing has suffered despite publishing 3 books and the projects I am currently working on. Needless to say, its a dead-end job. I feel like I could be better used elsewhere, but I'm too comfortable where I'm at to look for a better position. Yes, I've gotten lazy in several aspects of my life.

As a kid, I saw myself as ugly and fat. Guys in my class didn't pay any attention to me and I was not popular. I suppose that was the reason why I had relationships with the guys I did. If a man did pay any sort of attention to me, I grabbed on and held on regardless if he was the right one or not. These relationships, with two exceptions, ended badly because I wound up settling for the first man who would look my way instead of waiting for the man of my dreams. I deluded myself that these con men were the real deal. When I met a man who had potential, I screwed the relationship up myself through my own self-destructive insecurity and fears. It is something I've had a lot of trouble letting go of, because there was always the hint that maybe someday we would get a second chance. That hope is slowly dying six years later. I don't think he will ever really come back. I really loved him and always will. I feel his absence in my heart every day and see what could have been in my dreams almost every night.

The biggest piece of advice I can ever give anybody is this: The only things in this life you really regret are the risks you didn't take. If you see a chance to be happy, you grab it with both hands and to hell with the consequences. Don't ever settle.

I am trying to start doing more of the things I love, to take better care of myself and become the person I want to be. From now on I am done settling.

My friends, this may sound familiar. Well let me assure you this moment hit me so hard I may as well have been punched in the gut. I saw the never-ending cycle stretching out in front of me with no end in sight. I saw my life wasting away doing the same old shit when friends my age and younger are starting families and finding real love and happiness. As much as I loved my aunt Patsy, when she was alive she led the same sort of life. She lived several lives in fact, but the one I was a part of was one of...well, comfort. Security. She was only really happy when she was with her family. She was a real independent woman, never had a boyfriend move in with her and she raised her kids by herself. I love and admire her memory, and I always looked up to her. But as she told me several times, "Don't be like me."

I don't want to. I want to love and be loved, have a family and nurture my writing. I know that anything worth having is worth working hard for. I intend to make it happen.