I decided not to link my Facebook account to my blog just yet. The reason I write this blog is so I can write freely, without fear of being judged for all the sentences that begin with “I,” the clichés, the dangling prepositions (wait, is that a thing?), the overuse of “to be” verbs, the lack of emotion-evoking action verbs, etc. So I’m going to keep it that way. This is my online journal. It’s for therapy, catharsis, just to get something out there, and I don’t spend time editing and revising it. Maybe one day, when I feel more comfortable with the blog, I’ll put my name on it and link it to my Facebook account. Or maybe I’ll create a different blog, something that’s grammatically correct, more poetic, more literary and publishable, that I’ll put my name on. Something more… perfect. Haha! As if. The idea that I’ll do something when it becomes closer to perfect almost guarantees that it will never happen.
Part of this decision came from jealousy over a former classmate’s blog. I would link to it, but don’t want her to find this, because I’m ashamed of my jealousy. I want to be happy for her, and not to compare myself. Her posts are similar to mine, but written in a way that’s more articulate, more poetic. Her life also seems more interesting than mine. She’s in her 60’s, lives in an RV camper, has been published in literary journals, and she’s experienced more life, more pain, more loss, than I have. Not that I want to experience more pain or loss (though it will be inevitable the longer I live), it’s just that she has more life experience and writes about it in a more literary way. Other than the pain and loss, she lives a life that I would be living right now if I could figure out how. I forget that those are all just things. Mainly I want to live in my own space with no roommates, and I want to become a better writer… and those things can happen. Just because someone else is a good writer doesn’t mean I’m not or can’t be; there’s plenty of room in the world for more good writers.
There’s something about living in an RV that’s so romantic. It declares that I’m happy with my life and don’t care what anyone else thinks. It announces that this is my space, my little corner of the world, this is me. Before I moved into the house where I currently live with about a hundred other people (just kidding, five), I researched buying a tiny house, which I didn’t know financing was available for at the time. So I looked into buying a mobile home. My hourly wage wasn’t high enough to approve me for a loan, so the lender said to me, “Is it really that bad where you’re living? Can you stick it out for a little longer?” I can stick it out, and I can be happy in this space. And I am happy in this space, most days.
On the other hand, sometimes it can be hard living with five people who pretend like my mom didn’t just die all of a sudden. Maybe it’s for the best, because I don’t feel like talking to anyone anyway. I forget that my life events don’t happen to the rest of the world, and that their pains and losses aren’t any less for them just because mine left a hole in my heart. It’s a blessing that they don’t talk much to me, because I want to be alone. Furthermore, one of my friends came into the store where I work the other night, just to ask me how I was doing, and she told me that people won’t talk about it unless I do; it’s up to me to talk about it. This particular woman, I’ll call her Ginger, is about my mom’s age, of similar build and height, with short red hair, and wears stylish clothes. She’s a lot like my mom. She has been kind to me ever since I met her, and revealed that she sometimes gets signs from loved ones who’ve passed. Her own mother died of a stroke when Ginger was 30. It meant a lot to me that she stopped by to see how I was doing.
Every now and then memory bubbles float to the surface, including the should-haves. I should have visited Mom more often this past year. I should have taken her to see Cirque du Soleil. I should have called her more this past year. I should have opened up more to her. I should have sent her more cards with more heartfelt messages. I should have had more heartfelt conversations with her. I should have gone to Seattle to visit my sister and see the orca whales when Mom went, because that was one of her favorite moments.
The should-haves are futile, leave no room for gentleness, yet shoving those feelings away are no good either. I try to focus instead on the love I have for her, and in knowing that she knew and knows how much I love her. I remember that I took her to see “The Nutcracker” at the Kennedy Center, and I think we’d been to see it at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta when I lived there. We’d seen it in Macon when I was in high school. I remember I called her when I thought Steven was going to leave me, and how I’d cried and how she’d reassured me that he just needed more time.
Back to the anonymity issue, I will link to my private Instagram page (which is private so I don’t know if anyone can even see it) where I have two friends, and on this blog I have about two or three readers any given day, so it’s not like my Facebook page where I’d be exposing myself to hundreds of people, most of whom don’t even know me that well.
Finding happiness won’t come from living in an RV or in any declaration of happiness to the world, but in finding peace within myself. Right now that’s just not happening. There’s nowhere I can go to make it better. I think, I’ll go for a hike and then I’ll feel better. Nope. I think, I’ll meditate, and that will make it better. Nuh-uh. I think, I’ll sit outside and watch birds and then I’ll be happy. Maybe for a few minutes, but nothing makes the grief disappear. Nothing brings my mom back. You just walk through it. As my mentor says, there’s no way around it; you just have to go through it.