So I’m settling into this amazing new life I made for myself. And, truly, I do wake up every day and come home from work in the evenings on the days I go into the city and think, “Oh my god, I pulled it off! I’m so overwhelmed with joy.” Well actually, I don’tthink that last part; I feel it—which is the point. Live a little less in the running dialogue in my head; live a little more in my body and out in the world. Participate in this thing called life by just being, seeing, feeling.
But in the calm that has taken over the space where my simmering unhappiness lived, I can hear something else.
Now, three entire years plus ten whole months after my life started to flip itself upside down, now I feel the anger. More than three years since my parents disappeared and died in a way so confusing, fast and horrible that I still can’t really see it clearly. More than three years since I had to walk away from a job that I loved so, so much. More than three years since the entire media business started to turn inside out, erasing any sense of job security, in any job, as a possibility. More than three years since my boyfriend moved in and everything went wrong and our beautiful relationship turned into a long, painful waiting game of watching it slip through our fingers until we were both bloodied and empty of anything but regret. More than three years since my son went into a terrifying crisis, carrying so much awareness of life’s fragility that he fell apart under the weight of the truth of it all, a truth no child should ever have to carry.
And now I have the luxury of being pissed.
This is how I must look at it. I must realize that I had to get through so many layers of terror, of moving forward, of making plans, of beating down the obstacles, of being bright for my child, of believing that I would find a way to solve my financial struggles, of best face forward every day and many nights of what-the-fuck?, that yes, the anger had to wait.
And like everything else, it must be lived through.
I’ve been angry by turning inward. I’ve been being angry by being childish, by being the child I never was, by thumbing my nose at the rules and staying up too late and eating too much junk and being petulant about basic tasks. I’ve been angry by refusing to take care of myself, as if some Consolation-Prize Angel were going to show up and start cooking me meals and doing my workouts, and reward me for battening down the hatches when the hatches had to be battened. Where’s my gold star? Who gives me the trophy for succeeding at not completely falling apart? (That would be my parents, you see, but they’re not here to do that for me anymore. And that pisses me off.)
I need to be angry by just being angry. I need to allow myself the moments to pace my living room and be pissed. I need to cry hot tears of rage that I got pushed so far “off my track,” after 41 years of having lived life exactly as I had planned it out for myself. (Well, except for the divorce. But that’s another story.)
I need to have it all, so I can let it all go. Because otherwise, the anger will sneak in through the back door (as it has already begun) and create stories about my own failures and worthlessness, explaining to me that I feel bad because I am bad, whispering those thoughts in my ear at night so I wake up confused and sad, but completely unclear as to why.
Goddamn, but it is hard being a human being.
And also: goddamn, that was so so so so much really big, scary stuff all at once. I am on my knees and grateful (and yes, proud) that I found the way to get myself and my son through it, to this place where we feel the magic of life every day.
But also: the fury.