No. I’ve not deleted everything I’ve written on Pleasantly Demented since 2008, simply unpublished. It’s safe. Just waiting for relevancy, perspective, or deletion. I’ve not written anything in blog form in almost a year, and I’m not the same person I was then. Very much a different person. I’d like to think I’m smarter. Less trivial. Less pretentious. Far more humble.
My soapboxes have all rotted away, having been left out in the rain for far too long. I probably should have thrown them away, but watching them rot was therapeutic.
I’m a 38-year-old woman with two adult children, one of whom will turn 20 years old next month. I’ve spent a great deal of time truly dissecting Invictus. Not just the words that captured me when I was a child, not just how to say them with the florid grit they deserve, but how to live them.
I had a moment a few days ago. In the middle of finishing some assignment in one of my classes, I felt jittery. I paced back and forth in my living room. Sat on my couch rocking back and forth. And finally wound up lying on my back on my living room floor. Talking aloud. To my husband or myself. I”m not quite sure. But it was a moment of a very real, very physical, very emotional catharsis.
I was actually able to say aloud, yell, pound my fists and my feet on the floor, laugh hysterically at the sudden realization that the net utility of my existence is directly related to the negative number of fucks I have left to give.
The end of this summer marks the completion of a sad little associate’s degree it has taken me 15 years to finish. It’s only use is for transfer to university. I will graduate magna and transfer with a major in philosophy with a minor in creative writing.
I am surrounded by those who’ve taken the practical route. Accounting, business, engineering, etc. All those things that result in a stable job, a decent income, benefits, paid time off, 401(k). Quite smart. Quite practical.
I was never meant to be practical. My happiness has never run parallel to it, but always perpendicular. My dreams have always been those that others would call….. dreams.
No matter what I’ve tried to convince myself is the socially acceptable course of action, I have grown immeasurably exhausted by reigning in the animal instincts that control my frontal lobe. And so, I have set them free.
And for the first time in my life, despite the masks I’ve worn in the past that imply it, I am finally able to know what it feels like to truly mean it when I say I DON’T GIVE A FUCK WHAT YOU THINK.
The sense of practicality that is ingrained in us since childhood means entirely nothing to me. And anyone who doesn’t have an impractical dream that has nothing to do with their children, their spouse, or the messages with which we are bombarded since preschool is useless. And anyone who does have such a dream and chooses not to follow it is equally useless.
Unless we are Joan of Arc, Napoleon, Hitler, Mother Teresa, or a serial killer, each and every one of us has one, maybe two, generations we leave behind who will remember our names, much less any mark we have made upon this earth. Your grandchildren will know you while they are children. If you are lucky, they will love you. Your great-grandchildren will look upon you with pity and engage in conversation, if they care, so that you don’t feel lonely. After that, you are nothing but an entry on Ancestry.com.
You only have the years ahead of you to make anything count. And it is only going to count for you.
If the zeitgeist is the master of your fate, and practicality is the captain of your soul, then the disutility of your existence is fucking up the entire human race.
So, I shall return. Hopefully a bit bolder, a bit smarter, far less ambiguous, humbled, yet strong, with nothing to prove, mostly harmless, and miles to go before I sleep.