Friday, October 21, 2011

Life goes on.

We've all had pivotal incidents in our lives that change us forever.  Some for immense good, others leave ugly scars and cast a shadow over our heads and hearts forever.

I don't believe that everything happens for a reason.  I don't believe in a higher being and I don't believe in fate.  That leaves me with very little to grip and hold on to in times of trouble, but I am one of the few that has the gumption to go with it.  I was never a fan of fairy tales and hollow words of comfort, it's just not my style.  I know and love people who need those things to get through the day, and I would never begrudge them that, but I would rather experience life as I do…. knowing we are but insignificant specks in the grand scheme of things.  I'm ok with imprinting my mark on the lives of those who I love and who love me.  If they remember me, I will continue to exist in their hearts and memories.  I leave a blood legacy.  That's enough for me, it has to be.  

Still, at times I've experienced disbelief and wonder when the fact of our true insignificance is thrust into our faces in the most undeniable ways.   I remember when my father died… I took it in stride as well as a nineteen year old could.  I was capable and level headed in the midst of everyone around me falling apart because someone had to be.   I believe I stuffed everything down, and it only crept into my unraveling later on, seeping out over a long period instead of spewing out immediately in one go.   It was slow release poison.  

One clear memory sticks from after the whirlwind passed, after everyone went home and the initial shock was gone.   I remember waking up a couple of weeks after the fact, the sun was streaming in through my window and birds were singing.   I was immediately angry.  How could they dare sing while this was happening to me?  As I walked around in a zombie-like state for the next few days, I noticed that my child was still equally demanding and happy, apparently two year olds don't care much about letting you grieve.   Everywhere I went, people were living their lives.  Drinking coffees, shopping, smiling, walking their dogs… nothing changed.  The world hadn't stopped because mine had.  For weeks I fought the urge to run into the street shaking my fist at all these annoyingly clueless people and endlessly scream obscenities into the air.  I may have actually done so a time or two.  

I'm so much older now.  I know all of these things, not only from a pragmatic standpoint but from actual unsavory experience.   I don't remember that this is how the world is when I experience joy.  It's easy to not see the face sulking in the corner and drowning in their problems, completely oblivious to the fact that you had a great day.  Your hair looks fantastic, you have new boots and everything is awesome… but there they are, not rejoicing with you because you don't matter.   In those instances, they aren't a blip on our radar.  Well, maybe a blip if we know them and are emotionally invested in their well being, but let's face it, most of us don't care at all about the sea of faces that make up the background scenery of our little lives.  That's how it is, if you say otherwise I'll call you a liar.  

What happens, though, when the shoe is on the other foot?  You know, when our world seems to be crumbling to pieces around us and we're still expected to actually show up for life.  It's not so easy to ignore then.  I still want to feel indignant, I want to throw away the fact that no one actually knows I'm screaming on the inside and be furious that it doesn't matter to anyone but me.   Ultimately, I can't though, because I learned this lesson a very long time ago.  I don't live in a sea of mind readers.  In fact,  most of the people I know are just tragically unobservant (and the observant ones are usually far more curious than concerned).  Toss that in with general human apathy and you have undeniable facts to face.  

Our personal tragedies, troubles and disasters are only ours, we are just damn lucky if we have some understanding people who will listen to our troubles and lend a shoulder to cry on or a hand to hold. ( I wonder how a narcissist handles this shit…. being faced with the realization that the world doesn't revolve around us.  How unimaginable it must be for them.   But I digress, really.)   I know that regardless of whatever I have going on, the birds are still going to sing and my dog is still going to want me to play with him.  The leaves are changing and still gorgeous. It's a beautiful day.  People are still going to smile at me at work today and I'll sit and listen to every trivial story that's thrown at me, smiling and nodding in understanding (all the while trying hard not to cry).   I know how to keep playing the game of life, and the kicker is that I won't even get mad about it.  That's the breaks.  

It's the best I can do.  Today,  I can take all that normalcy that surrounds my completely wrecked insides and use it as a crutch to make it through the day until I can crawl back into my hole and live in my own little world again, where everything that's wrong matters a whole lot.  I hate today, and I may hate tomorrow, but most of the folks I run into today won't know it… even if they did, an equal amount wouldn't truly care.  No one gives a shit except for those wading  knee deep in it.   You know what?  I can live with that.  I've lived with worse.  

Bad things happen.  The world doesn't stop turning because of it.   That's life.

(I realize that this blog is a total Debbie Downer as of late… mildly bordering on fucking depressing.  Sorry bout that.  I write because it's cathartic for me and when I'm pleased as punch with my life I am too busy living it and enjoying it to bother to chronicle the zany adventures I'm having… I know I should make more of an effort to balance out the content of these posts, but it just hasn't happened.   While I may be insignificant to the world at large, this is a piece of the net that is all about me.  So there. I'm off to go slap some cucumber over my ugly puffy eyes… because the truth of the day is that the only thing worse than feeling like shit is looking like it, too.)