Thursday, October 12, 2006


I have learned over the last several years to be cognizant of my energy. I pay close attention to my moods - highs, lows, tired, hyper, calm, frantic, social, antisocial. When I was a child I needed much less sleep than my siblings. My brother would sleep on command and I, even as a toddler would remain awake in my crib until well after midnight. In my preschool and early school years I would often wake with crusted eyelids, as though my eyes wept through the night and then dried, causing them to be crusted shut.

As a teenager, I was an underachiever. I did practically nothing in high school and yet graduated with honors. In university, I continued my underachieving until the end of second year when I flunked calculus (highly likely given that I rarely attended class, had a shit teacher and didn't do assignments). I almost quit university at that point, for reasons beyond failing calc. Thankfully my mother went apeshit on my ass (quite literally) and I reconsidered under duress. Sometimes duress is good! My gpa went through the roof.

I now feel as though I have been a true adult for 10+ years. I've been married for far too long and waffle between complete happiness (I do love my husband) and questioning whether or not I am just afraid to make it on my own. We do not intend to have children and sometime we just wonder if this is what we want for the rest of our lives. Is 15 good years enough? Will it ever be enough?

At least half of me is a 60's child reincarnated. Social injustice hurts me deep inside and I long to change what is so obviously wrong with the world. I dream of teaching in dangerous third world countries. I am well identified with he hippy and draft-dodger. Part of me is afraid, part does not want to give up this mediocre middle class life.

Some people believe that you never truly change, that who you are is who you are. I am not one of those people. I am not who I was, not even close. Ten years ago I was in wonder with the world, identified with god and creation, faithfilled that all things work together for good. I have lost some of that wonder and all of that faith. I was happier when I believed, this is not to say that I am unhappy now. In ways I am freed. Perhaps I am who I have always been, it just took me a while to strip away that which I never truly was.

I have often wondered if perhaps I suffer from mental-illness and just happen to be smart enough to hide it. Then I wonder if the world is mentally ill for not seeing what I see and feeling what I feel. My mother accuses me of controlling my world. I have lived without control and trust me, it is not the path to inner peace for me. What I mean, goes back to monitoring my moods. I have learned with great unpleasantness that the line in the sand should not be crossed. Too much excitability is a very bad thing for me. My mother's energy is for the duration, mine is not and I must pick and choose where I spend it if I am to cross the finish. In our own way, I'm certain we're all insane or in denial.

My dad and I have always been close. We are very much alike. When we talk there is always more than just words. He somehow carries me with an understanding. It has been there since I was young, before I could articulate (even poorly) that it existed. It is as an adult that I realize the gift it is, it is not given freely between all fathers and daughters. Even for my sister it has been a process of development, not something that always was. I remember as a child once having this overwhelming need to cry, there was no reason other than I was overcome with deep sadness. I told my mom and she told me to go see my father. He was in his office with the door closed. I knocked and went in, and went directly to him in his chair, climbed on his lap and cried until I had no more tears.

When I sat down, it was not my intention to share all of that.


Rob said...

Thank you for sharing that. I really appreciate it when people open up like you have. It was good to hear about your positive experience with your father. You have also shared some of your pain and confusion -which is definitely not an easy thing to do.

Incidentally I have mixed feelings about the Sixties generation. I belonged to it and it was a magical time where youth suddenly enjoyed freedoms denied to previous generations. In my view there was a flip-side to it however....we were arguably more self-indulgent than caring. We were paying lip-service to high ideals without actually doing very much to make the world a better place.

Smarts said...

Rob, as always a pleasure. Thank you for your comments, I always feel raw after revealing so much and have mixed emotions afterwards.

My experience with the sixties generation was with teaching colleagues (they on their way out and I on the way into the profession). They had great conviction and knew how to band together as a collective. I am still inspired by them even though it has been years. I never knew people like that (like me) existed in day to day until I moved to the west coast. Perhaps my experience is out of context to the 60's movement as a whole.

Hugs to you Rob.

Ms Dare2dv8 said...