Tell your story. Tell your story, a prompt as vague and as broad as the greeting of your weekly therapist, and the possibly genuine question “how are you feeling?” Or, as vague as the assignments assigned by my boss when he simply says to “work out an affordable housing plan” in this poor, forgotten town in a small east-coast state.
I lead a simple life, if we’re going to get into story-telling time. If my life were grandiose and full of adventure, I suppose I wouldn’t have started doing something like this. However, a hopeful part of me does believe that writing soothes the soul, and as Maya Angelou once said, “there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”.
You see, this quote is the theme of this blog and this blind attempt at soul-therapy. Why? Because until about three months ago, I bore a story that I could no longer hold. In fact, I have several stories- all true, I promise. Each one playing an intricate role in the me I am now. The me who desires to look at this passed tangled web of stories and see the good they’ve produced. The me who, whilst angst-driven, over-medicated and sleep-deprived, reaches for the light that I know deep down is at the end of this tunnel that has stretched on for years. And fuck, I’m only 27. Wait, 26.
When I was a little girl, and teachers would ask “what do you want to be when you grow up?” My answer changed like my outfits. A school bus-driver or the ice-cream lady were of my early career dreams, but as I got older I recognized inside myself a deep love for people. All people. There was not a soul that I encountered in the many avenues of life that my parents exposed me to that I did not care for and/or seek the approval of. Maybe that’s why I am this way. Because approval, in the end, isn’t up to another. And while I’m still attempting to live up to some standard or expectation, there is no one setting it- it just exists. It always has. As I was saying, as high school progressed along with thoughts of what my college career would look like, I decided I wanted to counsel youth. To mentor. I think of the all the kids I grew up with, and I see them, now, wondering what kind of help they needed in those key developmental years where life is just as exciting as it is confusing, frustrating, hopeless.
But that’s supposed to change, right? I thought so. But here I sit. In this office, on an April day, and yet cold because I haven’t eaten enough today to keep my blood pressure as high as the good ol’ doc wants me to. Maybe I’ll strike a deal with him- if he cuts that ridiculously long, albino-blond hair of his, I’ll work on getting that BP up. Nah, I’m kidding. It’s the simple fact that each day I wrestle with myself. The first thoughts each morning of calling out of work and continuing to sleep are normal of all human beings from what I’ve gathered. But I want to sleep to just, for those moments, not be within this head of mine. And then, cue the standards. The expectations. The unattainable goals. “Wake up, Brittany. Make-up, outfit, curled hair- don’t miss that strand. Pin it back. No, take it out. No, it’s better pinned and sprayed. Heels. Out the door with a clementine and a coffee- that’s enough til lunch, right? Yes, summer is coming up (not like I rock bathing suits anyways) but there it is again- that goal. That isn’t even there. It isn’t even fucking real. I look at this clock, 8:12 a.m. and apart from this brief snippet of the day spent writing, my mind has been everywhere. It’s already raced through that intricate web of stories I earlier referred to- the what if’s, the had-nots. I saw a Toyota 4-Runner today at the gas station, and of how much I hate 4-Runners. Not all, just that model. Really, just one specific 4-Runner. I imagine it being crushed between two machines after the engine has been extracted, useful for nothing but scrap metal. And somehow, I find comfort in knowing that that particular vehicle is today, at least I hope, in smithereens disbursed throughout this imaginary universe I picture of useless pieces, just gathering dirt in a junkyard somewhere in Tuscon. Cars where terrible things took place deserve to be smashed and sent to Tuscon.
But what about the owner of that car? What punishment does he deserve? Seven years later he’s served none. And why? Because I’m too afraid. I’m pathetically scared of this person, this world, it’s consequences, it’s traps. “Forget it, leave it be, bury it”, one voice clearly speaks in the right ear. “Fuck him, do something”, an angered internal hisses in the left. But what if I’m just too tired? Just always so, incurably tired.
Why such exhaustion? The ever battling entities of what I believe to be hope versus the proven disappointments that life on planet earth has brought grapple over the state of my mind as each day begins. And it’s only 8:22 a.m.