People been tellin’ me all my life it can’t be that bad. Well sometimes it is. They tellin’ me to just smile because it takes more muscles in your face to frown. My mouth just don’t naturally turn that way. They be tellin’ me I have to love myself before anybody else will love me, and that just sounds like a convenient cover for their not knowing why this is what it is.

I’m a big girl who I would think is too big to be not seen, but somehow I am not seen. Unless I do something wrong, or make people uncomfortable, or tell the truth. I hold a lot of truth for people around me. It would seem they are not capable of doing it themselves, making all manner of half-assed excuses for their mediocrity, failure to meet life head on, fragility. I believed I was fragile for a long time because I was easily brought into embarrassing tearful displays at the drop of a pin. Bleh.

I’m tired of people creating my context, my narrative, what I should understand and what I should be proud of. I’m not wrong. I always felt that I was inherently wrong – wrong body, wrong color, wrong face, wrong hair. Just wrong. They were telling me I was wrong for so long I believed them. I don’t believe I’m wrong now, but stilL feeling as though I’m in between worlds, in between places I only partially fit. Constantly hovering around the edges of various galaxies, a wanderer who doesn’t know how to do anything but wander.

I’ve learned things. I’ve learned some things I would gladly trade for every dime I have. I’ve learned how ugly and cruel and sadistic people can be, and I’ve seen the darkness behind some eyes that sends chills down my spine. I would almost rather see hatred than a great void of no form, no substance, and I have seen that. There is no changing that unless they want to change it, and sometimes I think the void is more comfortable for them. The darkness is seductive, addictive even.

What is to become of me, of any of us? Time will tell, I suppose. It’s so tempting to want to see into the future, although we suck at it. We equate bits of our reality with prophecy and triumphantly shout, “Look! It was foretold! We’re heading there now!” Wherever “there” is. Even if we are correct about progressing toward the end of days, could we change it? I don’t think we are powerful enough to shift the direction of time and space as we are working to do with near Earth asteroids.

Perhaps those of us who do not “belong” here would find ourselves belonging elsewhere in the cosmos. Maybe we really don’t fit here because we fit somewhere else. People be tellin’ me that’s crazy talk, but they don’t have anything better to offer.

Perhaps those of us who don’t belong here don’t want to belong in this place where our base instincts are celebrated and rewarded. Our lust for power is inexorable, and we are truly enslaved by it unless we fight. We’re a bit confused, though – we fight each other instead of the shadow that lurks within us. The reptile brain seems to get bolder with every generation, and we revel in the blood lust it generates in us.

It has always been such a challenge for me to articulate, or even conceptualize, what I want. There are certain immediate things I want, like right now I really want to have some work done on my truck, get the headlight lenses either cleaned or replaced, get my fog lights replaced, get a new audio system. That seems really short lived to me, just material baubles. Sometimes I believe the time for what I want is past. That doesn’t feel entirely good, but so be it.

Right now I have many things generating a sense of satisfaction, enjoyment, accomplishment even. Even that leave me a bit flat, though. I’m not sure I know what it is to feel right after having felt so wrong. Other people have created my frame and my context and I am not entirely sure how to take back that…power. Maybe it’s not power, but self-actualization. That feels a bit more palatable. Power is a deep, dark well and I don’t need to go down there.

A friend of mine was having a very hard time recently. She got cellulitis and was hospitalized to undergo surgery. When she got out of the hospital she had an eviction notice on the front door of the place she’s been living for several years. The story about her circumstances kept changing, though – her mother had been living with her, but she claimed her mother had been “abducted” by her sister and disappeared. She is not speaking to either of her adult daughters. Her ex-husband is a bastard who has stolen money from her. Her sister took money in her accounts when abducting her mother. She has a huge Malamute and that has narrowed the availability of affordable housing, which is an even smaller pool because she has no income.

My point in bringing my friend into musings on my self actualization and so on is simply this – the friend has immeasurable amounts of drama and conflict in her life, but she never once doubts herself. I doubt myself at every turn, around every corner, and cannot forgive myself for past mistakes. Friend has made a number of moves in her life that have not served her well, but she doesn’t lapse into self-doubt. In many ways, it’s everybody else that’s at fault for her difficulties. Not her. I don’t quite know if that’s a sign of mental illness or a hearty tinge of health.

Ah, well. None of this will be resolved in my corner of the world tonight. I am probably over-thinking all things at the moment, so that must mean I need to go to sleep. I hope I continue to remind myself that what people be tellin’ me ain’t always the truth. I need to listen to the small, still voice within…but I am apparently a bit hard of hearing so it should speak up.

It’s not the getting there, it’s the journey.

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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