Hello, my lovelies.
Feeling introspective today, and when I introspect, I gotta write about it. If you don’t wanna take a walk through the terrifying forest of my brain, you can skip to the “I Read…” section, which will likely be far less, erm, personal.
Also, this is kind of stream of consciousness, so it may not make sense till the end, if it makes sense even then. We’ll see.
So recently, a friend called me on the phone. He wasn’t paying attention to the time, and called at a time when most humans are sleeping, which I didn’t mind. I can always go back to sleep; I can’t always talk to my friends.
Anyway, when he apologized for waking me, I said “That’s OK. I’m always happy to be awakened by you.”
He was silent. “What?” I said. He replied, “You are just so relentlessly positive. It’s like being beaten with a rainbow.”
Now, I am given to understand that that is a Russell Brand quote, and I know this person well enough to know that he was just taking the piss, that he didn’t say it to hurt my feelings.
And it didn’t, not really. But it did launch me into a deep well of thinking about positivity, and when it’s real, and when it’s not, and if we should try to always be positive even if we aren’t feeling it, and if that makes other people mad, and if that should matter, and…
It was a deep well y’all. I’m lucky to have climbed out at all.
Here’s the thing. I was a miserable teenager. I was snarky, and mean. I hated not being popular, but not enough to do what it would take to actually BE popular, and I hated the popular kids for not accepting me as I was, and I hated the not-popular kids for not accepting me because they thought I thought I was better than they were, which I kind of did. I was miserable. I had a few friends, and a couple hobbies, and I mostly just read and picked fights with my mom, like teenagers do.
And then at seventeen, it occurred to me that I was about to go away to college, and no one would know me there, and I could be whomever I wanted to be. I could be a ray of fucking sunshine, and no one would ever know that I hadn’t been born that way. No one would know what a miserable shit I had always been up till that point.
It was a fascinating thought experiment. Can you just decide to be someone else?
The answer is yes, sort of. I don’t think that I really changed, not in my soul, but I got comfy being that girl, the one that laughed a lot, and hugged a lot, and loved fiercely. The one that looked at people like they were real people, who looked at them like they were the only people in the world, who looked at them like they MATTERED. I love being that girl.
I call her Marcie, that girl that everyone sees.
And Marcie and I coexist pretty well. She’s not always who I am, but she’s the face that I try to present to the world.
But who am I? Specifically, who am I without her? Well, I’m angry a lot of the time. I hate the state of the world right now, hate the pandemic, hate that we have politicized it at the expense of hundreds of thousands of lives. I hate politics, in general, but I also hate that I have to BE political because lives are on the line, and there is no room for anyone to sit this one out.
And I hate that I am sick. I hate this disease. I hate that I can’t drive, or earn a living anymore. I hate worrying about money, which I spend most of my waking hours doing. I hate knowing that tomorrow I could wake up blind or paralyzed. I know this because it’s happened. And I hate knowing that the next time, it could be permanent. The next time, five days of emergency steroid infusions might not repair the nerve pathways enough for me to walk, or see, or function. So, yeah. I’m pretty angry.
But all that anger makes it easy for Marcie to take the wheel, because when I don’t wake up blind or paralyzed, well, the relief is palpable. And that makes letting Marcie be in charge of the day seem OK.
So if I smack you with a rainbow, please know that it’s at least partly because I woke up able to see the freaking rainbow.
And also know that the rainbow obscures some real darkness. But the world doesn’t need more darkness, so rainbows it will be.
I read four books this week—
I did a full review of Never on Wednesday, and a full review of It Happened One Midnight (which is an #arc) will forthcome this week. This leaves us with Into the Dark (Orphan X #5), which I really liked, but thought was probably 100 pages too long (Editors! We need Editors!). And In A Holidaze was cute, but I didn’t quite buy the chemistry between the leads, which is weird for me in a Christina Lauren book. I mean, it was fine…but not exceptional.
OK, that’s all from the 52 meditation chamber, where we are frantically centering our chi.
Till next week, stay safe, wear a mask, get a booster if you can and stop and look at the rainbows.
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