Thursday, August 5, 2010

the only thing I need more of is cowbell

Two years ago en route to the beach for a few days I devoured Eat, Pray, Love the crazy successful best seller by Elizabeth Gilbert. I know my love affair with that book is about to crash and burn, like all my loves, because it has become a super mega, blockbuster, media frenzied Julia Roberts starring thing with a Nickelbackish tone... and even though what I loved about it so much was the truth in it...her loses all its wonder now that it has become a massive media force to be reckoned with. I am so happy for her as a woman and a writer, but sad to lose my intimacy with the parts I felt so deeply and quietly and with a frog in my throat. Obviously millions of women identify with her search, her desperation on the bathroom floor to find her place, her peace, her truth. her love.

but....she wrote that book what? five years ago. Life isn't what it was for most of us five years ago when she wrote it, or even two years ago when I read it. Boy I thought I was struggling huh? A single mom with three kids, juggling two jobs... but always with a steady child support check coming in as a safety net...I was disappointed that my life had taken turns I did not want or anticipate just like my hero Elizabeth Gilbert... and "just as soon as_________________" things would be better and I could get on with being happy. What I wouldn't give to have another chance to appreciate how fortunate I was.

I think that now, with the state of loss so many people are in, losing homes, unemployed, sick and without health's kind of a shame that we arent all a little more thankful and at peace with what we have. Elizabeth Gilbert is a brilliant, talented, wildly successful woman...perfectly healthy, well educated and as far as I am concerned, pretty damn fortunate to have the life and opportunities she has major traumas or events...yet still so unsatisfied. Infact tortured and desperate....

her memoir of self destruction and discovery begins after the dust from the success of her first book, Coyote Ugly has settled; at *her* lowest point which is the very life that I dream of as a best selling author. She had my bliss, and it wasn't enough?


I identify with her wholeheartedly though because when I look back through old sad, tortured, self depricating blogs I see that I totally took for granted the money I had in my bank account to blow and the help I have had all along bringing up my sweet babies. I see an insatiable thirst for more. just I am asking myself, what exactly would ever be enough Melissa?

what is enough stuff that I *have* to have? I used to exhale without thought a few hundred dollars on random crap at Target..or a couple of nights out..or on shoes....and now I am deeply thankful and humbled to have TWO jobs that combined pay me just twice that weekly. Not much has changed really because I always felt like I didnt have enough. I wanted nicer stuff. I wanted more nicer stuff. There is always more, nicer stuff...

Am I ever good enough to stop comparing myself to others? There is always some part of me that is lacking, not measuring up to other women I know...women with husbands, women with impeccably furnished homes, women with perfect credit and pedicures, women with whiter teeth and nicer purses, women with all the time in the world to volunteer and mother and work successfully, and women that make everything look polished, fancy free and easy. and I don't want to imagine how other women compare themselves to me...(insert your own inadequacies that I trigger for you here)

Yes, soon all my needs and all my whims will be finally and universally gratified if I can just hold this all together loosely... but not let go until that one last piece falls into place? (Yes I just sort of quoted .38 Special). I exhaust myself with these pursuits, then denounce them when they burn me out... I push to realize my goals and that always makes room for more. I guess I have it in me to keep up, but doing so has the capacity sometimes to make *me* completely miserable.

Am I the only one?

I am built to make time for those moments in the morning when I am tangled up in arms and falling in love, or laughing with my children over bad magic tricks, our collective concern for Ashlee, our beagle who suddenly started peeing everywhere and has returned to the crate... or cackling with my people at any old place, wearing any old thing, throwing myself head first, 250% into the present. That's really all I ever had, and all I will ever have that's worth a damn, and all that really matters when it's all said and done. And even though the view I have has come from being brought to my knees, I love my life. I owe it to myself and my children to stop reaching up and out for more of everything and just be thankful, because on all fronts the only thing I could use more of is cowbell.

Ryan Montbleau "Chariot (I Know)"

1 comment:

  1. Oh Melissa, could you please come to my house and write my diary entries?!? lol This one hit me in the cut. You are a true artist with words. You articulate exactly the questions I ask myself on a daily basis. When am I enough? When is what is right now good enough? When is there not that 'if _________ would happen I could be happy'? When is it that every thing will fall into place and we can take that deep long breath that signifies that the struggle is over?
    Awesomely written girl. You already are a writer.