Do you want an interesting life? Or would you rather your life be settled, routine, ‘normal?’
The supposed ‘Chinese curse’ is may you live in interesting times. That is by no means the same thing as may you have an interesting life. Interesting Times happen TO you. An interesting Life, hopefully, is your choice.
What would you define as interesting? What is interesting for some is tiresome, tedious, or downright horrifying for others. I think crocheting is interesting, but I’m terrible at it and it makes me angry that I suck at something creative that I also want to do. I think mountain climbing, or rock climbing, is fucking dangerously stupid and why would you want to do that!?!?! But, I have a friend who loves it.
I’m reading Koontz again, his Odd Thomas series. Main character, Odd, is constantly approached by dead people needing help. He’d rather be a short-order cook, or a tire salesman. Well, he is a short-order cook, because the rest of his life is just a bit too interesting. But, he makes the case that he would never want to be famous. I don’t think I’d want to be famous either – not with the lack of privacy and the downright creepy attention people pay to everything you wear and every wrinkle or bulge on your physical body. Perhaps that’s only something famous women have to worry about? I can’t really care about my body’s appearance when I live entirely in my mind. And, if I had a choice, and lots of money, I would dress like a three year old goth: Spongebob and skulls. I don’t want to ever be put in a situation where millions think way too hard about the crap I’m wearing. And I will only wear makeup these days when it is socially expected (which I resent heartily) or I feel like hiding behind it.
There are innumerable women who stay with abusive men because (combined with other reasons) the excitement, the passion! involved is interesting. If and when these women break free, they absolutely miss that excitement. I totally understand that. Adrenaline is addictive.
So. All this comes about from a comment on my Gory Story Time post. Tom basically said that my life was too interesting and he had nothing close in his history to what I’d gone though. And my first reaction was to laugh – because that’s not a big story in my life at all. That’s an amusing side note, a small anecdote, a bit of nothing in the larger history! My life has been truly interesting – but I’m only now realising that it’s pretty much all been by my own choices. These, for the most part, have been pretty stupid choices. But goddamned exciting, nonetheless.
After I grew up a bit, I thought my biggest problem was that I have a tendency to run away. And I do, going back to childhood. But as a ‘growedup’ I would find a great relationship and stick for years – until I got bored, and/or cheated, and used that as an excuse to run away. I’ve also never worked a single job longer than four years straight – pretty impressive as I had my first ‘real’ job at about age 10. I’ve a history of moving around America, town to town, job to job, that finally ended up with me moving entire countries. On a whim, in retrospect. I didn’t have to. Not that I don’t love my husband. But I could have moved him to the US instead. Truly, it made sense for me to move here. BUT – and that’s a big but, that’s why it’s in all caps – I went looking for a man in Ireland intentionally. Because I was bored. I didn’t know that then, this is a new insight into my own motivations. I thought I just didn’t really like the US, and had finally realised that moving from redneck Lower Alabama to Big City Ohio didn’t make a difference – I still didn’t “fit in” with American culture.
Well fuck me, but I sure as shit don’t fit in here, either. After nearly eight years (an all-time record for me staying with one person and a growedup record for living continually at one address, since I was about…14), I’m bored again. I don’t know what is my trigger this time! Do I think I’ve learned all I can about where I live and this culture and all the people that I know? Is it just that the job I’ve had for the last year+ is one I dislike intensely? Am I, deep down, just a lazy feicer and I really, really miss the almost two years I was unemployed as it finally gave me a chance to feel that I had a right to be creative – to write, to draw, to start this blog?
Is it all of the above? How am I supposed to know? Is there something else I’m still missing? I’ve had a few shrinks and therapists, and not one ever pointed this rather important bit of insight out to me.
I know this much: Tom’s comment was a revelation for me, once I gave it some thought. I was pretty damn surprised, because it gives me hope – if only I can figure out what I can do to save myself that doesn’t involve running away. That’s a hard one, as the feeling of being trapped is, for me, something that inspires fight or flight. I fight for a while, but in most situations in my past, I have picked flight. The fight right now has nearly deserted me, leaving only a serious dearth of flight choices that gives me depression in spades. You can guess, if you’ve had depression, what the ultimate choice for flight is when all other options appear to be closed.
But, for now, I’m at penultimate. Because I am still fighting this! I had nearly given up, until Tom’s comment. I’ve fought before when things got this bad: I once decided that getting in my truck in Florida and driving to Maine, with nothing – nothing at all than would fit in the cab (including a very angry and upset Siamese) was better than suicide. Why? I’d never been to Maine, and Stephen King lives there. Those were my only reasons. My point being that I can still see that insane changes will make a difference, for me, rather than the one, irrevocable, change that I will come to, eventually, by choice or not.
I understand that this truly is a revelation, and I don’t expect deep thoughts or even good advice. I needed to write, and this is my outlet. I have written my thoughts and discarded them so many, many times over the last few months – because I don’t want this to be a negative space. This blog is my happy place and I just couldn’t ruin it. I hope I haven’t ruined it now? I still have a lot of stories to tell and – maybe – some art still left in me.