Someone* said, “If you are not making mistakes, you are not trying hard enough.”
Evidently, I am trying hard enough.
Around the time I wrote my last post, I was at a weekly coffee meeting with a close friend; I confided in her that nothing – just nothing – was going my way. After last year, the year of magical wonderful things, this year felt like the great reversal. Momentum yanked the pendulum as far from me as its path would allow. My hope clung to the belief that the pendulum’s inertia would hurtle toward me again, with slightly less force, but enough to shower me with more magical good fortune and success.
I wanted middle ground again. Comfort. Security. Thinness.**
“It’s life. It’s up; it’s down. Why make such a thing of it?” said my friend, always the pragmatic. Although I love her dearly I felt anger rising inside me. I wanted her life. Comfort. Security. Thinness. Challenges galore, but the kind you pay for and travel to exotic locations, not the kind that arrive in official envelopes and send you to the wine rack.
And yet I know that even swaddled in all the financial security blankets in the world, even with the perfect reflection in the mirror staring back, there is unhappiness. It cannot be found even in those things.
My friend went on to say that it seemed like I was building skyscrapers with toothpick foundations, that I was engineering failure at every turn.
Was I, gasp, tilting at windmills?
Tilting at windmills in the throes of a mid-life crisis. My husband jokes that I am having one big enough for the two of us.
Mid-life crisis indeed. My attitudes, much like that pendulum of fate, shift like the wind. One minute I am Eeyore bemoaning the aging process, that I have an adult child out in the world, that child-bearing years are in the rear-view mirror. The next minute, I’m the honey badger channeling Lena Dunham. I don’t care if my thighs are too big, my bank account too small, that my child watches too much TV, if I never get another second of male attention. I’m just glad to be alive. I am making a lot of mistakes.
A few days ago I marked on my personal calendar: bathing suit. A summer goal postponed no longer. I would face the beast. I fasted a bit to avoid the bloat and headed to the first of what I figured were many, many stops.
The first shop was a torture. I endured a bra fitting and a barrage of assessments. I contorted myself into the offerings of what might look good on my figure. Ugh. Blerg. Blah. I stood there in my middle-aged glory and stared down those cone-shaped battlefield cups staring at me from the dressing room hooks. They promised to defy gravity but I could put an eye out with those things. And those straps? They were so wide they totally covered my ink. I want an age-appropriate fun bathing suit. I want to bare what I can. I had the sick feeling that this was another failure in the making. Three stores later I headed to the mall to face the fluorescents and sneering teenage stick figures.
Guess what? I found a dream of a bathing suit. I let one of the stick figures*** pick it out. I tried it on and it is fabulous.
At long last. A win.
So, what does this have to do with blogging? See, blogging is another house of toothpicks in my world. Honestly, I don’t like what’s happening with blogging anymore. I don’t want to sell stuff, or inundate you with 25 pictures of what I’m wearing or eating or smearing all over my face. That’s for Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
I am writing. Not here so much. Elsewhere, privately. I am reading. Devouring the words of others. Because those two things are like breathing and a heartbeat to me.
You may not know it, but I am reading you. The world of commenting has become so complicated I have given up. I am sorry. I hope you see me in your stats. If you are baring a little of your soul, I am there. Flash me. I’m watching and waiting in my strapless bathing suit of victory.
I don’t care about what you’re selling either, unless it’s your soul. If so, I want to know how that worked for you.
* Who said this? The Internet is a bit confused on the wording and the source.
** This is the biggest setup for failure, ever, and I am working on body acceptance. You know about this movement, right?
*** I realize it is hostile to describe the youthful physique of the sales associate this way, but it is payback for the face she made when I told her my size.