It’s no secret that I have a problem with authority. At different times in my life, and for different reasons, I have been absolutely terrified of turning into the person I am right now. I used to think that weighing more than 105 lbs was the worst thing I could do. Then I thought it might be working in an office, or being in a monogamous heterosexual relationship. Talking to my mom again, wanting to leave LA, having a cell phone, and purchasing my clothes in a retail establishment are all neatly crossed off the massive list of shit I’d never fucking do.
To a certain extent, everybody has a list like this that they carry around with them, crossing off and adding new items as their experience and their circumstances change. There’s nothing wrong with it, in fact any person who refrained from everything, or even most of the things they said they’d never do is probably severely disturbed. Change is necessary for growth. Staying in your personal comfort zone is basically a death sentence.
As ridiculous as it seems, working in an office, paying my bills, and having a loving relationship with a man I respect, who respects me is just about as far from my comfort zone as I’ve ever been, and if things go right, that’s not nearly as far away as I’ll get. I’m not sure what’s in store for me, but I’d like to be respected in my field, to own a house, to be somebody’s mom, to go somewhere new and be a part of a community, be a part of a family in a way that doesn’t make me sad or angry or lonely. There’s a life I want for myself that seems extremely safe, and boring and normal, but for me it would be an adventure, something I never thought I would get to do even if I wanted to.
One of the drawbacks of having a boring life is that the days can blend together, giving one the illusion of standing still, even when movement is actually happening. The other day I was at work, and I came across some little evidence that someone else’s life was really working out for them and I felt desperate. Not because somebody else is having an awesome life, even I have trouble being that petty (at least for the moment), but because I felt this person was evidence that somewhere, somehow, in the universe outside my cube walls, life was happening away without me. People were meeting, making memories and having successful carers while I continued to drive the same car from the same apartment through the same traffic to sit in the same cube, type the same collection of phrases and Photoshop commands for the same predesignated number of hours before I did the whole thing in reverse, only to wake up and do it again the next day.
Sometimes the world seems to spin so quickly, that I look up and the topography of my life is completely different. Other times it feels like everybody else is fast-tracking their destiny while I’m just sitting here. Neither is really the case. I like to think of things in grand gestures: up by the boot straps, skin of my nose, nick of time type of situations, but life is rarely actually like that. There are a billion little elements that lend themselves to each success, each failure, each learning experience. Millions of relationships, thousands of days, countless decisions, and adjustments, and acts of nature contribute to what we think of as our lives. The earth is still moving, even if we can’t feel it go. Life is still happening, even if we seem to be stationary.
I have to remember that while it feels like I’m not moving, I’m speeding through time, wasting the days I spend dwelling in self-pity. If I don’t like something about my life, or I don’t want it to be a permanent fixture, even if I’m happy with it for the moment, it’s only the rag-tag pile of effort and planning, and random weather patterns that will change that thing, or any thing I don’t want to keep around. It’s good to remember that the majority of everyone’s days are the same as the majority of all their other days until one day: you get a new job, you move to a new city, your ill begotten Malibu mansion goes tumbling into the ocean and every day after that is a completely different kind of exactly the same until something else occurs. It’s the slow, imperceptible movements I make as an individual, just like the slow, imperceptible movements of my planet that contribute to the weight of a life in the long run.
I just needed that pep talk for myself. I hope it helped you guys out too.