What if I already was?
You know that Garth Brooks song, She’s Gonna Make it? Let me hum a few bars:
“After seven years of marriage
He wanted out
Now after seven months of freedom
It’s clear that there’s no doubt
She’s gonna make it
And he never will
He’s at the foot of the mountain
And she’s over that hill
He’s sinkin’ at sea
And her sails are filled
She’s gonna make it
And he never will”
I used to listen to that song and feel it, really feel it. I heard an interview with Garth Brooks who said he was on his tour bus outside a motel and saw a woman walking to her car and came up with a story about her. Maybe he said he saw the tan line of a wedding band, maybe he just made it all up because he’s brilliant, but it’s a good song. And I would listen to that song smugly, like Yeah, I’m gonna make it and he never will. It’s going to be me. I’m going to be living on Easy Street and he’s going to struggle for the rest of his life because he let me go. Why should anyone be able to let me go and have a fulfilling life?
In all my confidence and smugness, and in the 8 years that he’s been gone, I’m still struggling. I’m not going to make it. I’m at the foot of the mountain and he’s over that hill. He bought a house, he has a decent job that he’s been able to keep for more than two years, he speaks to one of our kids and seems to be fine with it, he literally has a boat, and I’m drowning. I got in the car today after a helluva week at work with more work than hours in the day and I couldn’t breathe. I literally couldn’t breathe. I started hyperventilating and crying and I couldn’t pull myself together because I’m not going to make it, I felt like I was being buried alive. I’ve felt it all night. I pulled myself together for the kids, but I’ve literally cried all night. And it’s not one thing, it’s an accumulation of all of them. It’s what I’ve become, it’s that this is my life. What am I doing with the one life I get?
And of course, I am going to make it. Save your cards and letters, I’ll be fine, I just don’t feel it right now. What I feel right now is defeated and sad and isolated and alone, while still being surrounded by people. I’m overwhelmed and debt-ridden and stressing out about Moonshine going to college next year and all the expenses that come with that.
I told Sunshine one day that I was feeling sorry for myself and I allowed myself a full five minutes to lay on my bed and have a pity party before I had to pull myself back up and move on. But I can’t move on from this one. This is a full-on seven day orgy of pity parties. And maybe it’s because it’s the start of Fall and maybe it’s because Sunshine turned 20 yesterday and maybe I’m feeling my own mortality or my own worthlessness or maybe I’m just really depressing, but I’m sitting in it. I’m stewing. It’s washing over me and the tears just keep flowing.
I finally watched Wild the other night. I had read the book but didn’t have anyone to go to the movie with to see it. I had people, but I loved the book so much I didn’t want the movie to be ruined by someone who didn’t love it as much as I was going to. And love it I did. I wondered how long I had to walk to get to the person I’m supposed to be. I thought about all the mistakes I’d made by 26 (her age in the book), and I wished I had the courage or the strength to do what she did. The irony is I was always afraid to be alone with the thoughts in my head and now that’s all I have. I was in bad relationships because I never wanted to be alone and now I’m in a self-imposed exile. I never had the courage to be alone and deal with the real issues and mistakes and baggage. A therapist once told me, What if you forgave yourself? And I’d never thought of it before. What if I did? How would that feel?
And then Cheryl Strayed said this at the end of the movie:
“What if I forgave myself? I thought. What if I forgave myself even though I’d done something I shouldn’t have? What if I was a liar and a cheat and there was no excuse for what I’d done other than because it was what I wanted and needed to do? What if I was sorry, but if I could go back in time I wouldn’t do anything differently than I had done? What if I’d actually wanted to [sleep with] every one of those men? What if [insert vice here] taught me something? What if yes was the right answer instead of no? What if what made me do all those things everyone thought I shouldn’t have done was what also had got me here? What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?”
This is my 500th blog post. Can you believe I still haven’t gotten my stuff together in 500 posts? I haven’t blogged in a week because I wanted this one to be good, but it’s dirty and raw and my life right now. Dealing with life.