Bitter Sweet Symphony
I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places
Where all the veins meet yeah
– The Verve
Mace started her sophomore year at NC State in August.
Oh, and Bubs went back to school too.
I never thought I would say that. I never thought I would say, “Yeah, Bubba is by far the most educated person to come out of our household. He’s a real bookworm, that one. We just can’t keep him out of the classroom!” But here I am. Twenty-eight years old and slated to be out-degreed by my idiot kid brother. The same idiot kid brother, mind you, that can’t keep a beer count for shit and blended his own hand.
Whatevs. I guess there’s still time. Sure, there’s still time for Mace and I to get our shit together – you know, really get up off our asses and do something with our lives.
For me, though, that time’s not now.
Nope, right now I’m too busy.
Too busy in mid-existential crisis…
Typical me, I know. I’m always in mid-existential crisis. I’m always going through something. I’m always so dramatic, and full of angst, and yearning for something I don’t have. I’m always so – restless.
It’s a side effect of being a creative-type.
I’ve never really considered myself a “creative-type.” Maybe because I always associate “creative” with “one who writes nicely on chalk boards.” But I know that’s not true. At least, not entirely true. I know “creative” encompasses many things – many more things than chalk art. Creativity can be found in photography, and dance, and song, and craft, and food, etc.
And so, after much thought and theoretical self-discussion, I finally came to the following conclusion: If one can weave words together in a way – in such a precise and perfectly fluid way – that his or her story resonates with others, then said “word weaver” would have to be creative, right? At least in some sort of default, forfeited kind of way. Like, when people describe others using nothing more than their name: “I can’t believe she did that! Such a typical Jane thing to do.”
As if “Jane” would have any other choice but to be Jane…
Therefore, by default, my craft makes me creative.
Back to my crisis.
A few weeks ago, I was going to quit writing again.
I haven’t been happy with my content for months. Somewhere along the way, it took a turn. I took a turn. I adopted this – “Give my people what they want!” – attitude. I started churning out these pieces that maybe didn’t accurately reflect who I am and my frame of mind at this particular point and time.
I was pulling a lot from my past.
Granted, it was a deliberate move on my part – the frequent compare and contrast bit. But often times, clicking Publish left a pit in my stomach.
I want to believe those deeply personal posts are so popular because you need to see them just as much as I need to write them. I want to think they truly echo the things you so desperately want to say regarding your own pasts. I cling to the idea that the words you read here honestly do reverberate the stories your own hearts are aching to tell.
However, there is an inkling of wickedness lingering around in the back of my mind. It nags me even as I bang out this very post. I know some of the popularity those particular pieces garnered only came out of curiosity, gossip, or bitterness.
I can’t control who visits my site for the wrong reasons. But I can say: Every word typed here is heartfelt and honest.
Though inappropriate, spiteful, vindictive, hurtful, cringe-worthy, and ugly, at times… it is very much heartfelt and honest. Some stuff just has to be unloaded, you know. I carry a lot around with me. I carry a lot around from past relationships, some screwed up family shit, weird internal mind-fuckery, etc. It’s a lot of baggage and bullshit. And some would rather me just bury all that stuff deep down in the bottom of my soul. Which is totally understandable, ’cause lately, I’ve been calling mother fuckers out like a Starbucks barista. But that – the push it down and pretend it never happened girl – isn’t who I am.
So, if you don’t like it, don’t read.
Or better yet, let’s be proactive… don’t be an assclown.
Speaking of assclowns.
I understand now when using the past as a point of reference – even if to emphasize how fantastically, fantastic things are going – people tend to think you’re still… stuck in the past. Or sad. Or not “over it.” Or not over him.
For the record, I’m not. Not that either. I am. And I am very much the last one, thanks. (Respectively, of course.)
Look, I thought I was doing people a favor. I really thought I was being quite the fucking humanitarian there for a bit – story spewing all over the place. But I wasn’t.
Okay, so maybe I was. People were coming out of the woodwork to give me a virtual pat on the back. But I felt disgusting. It feels disgusting to have someone say to you, “You’ll find your soulmate, sweetheart. He will walk into your life when you least expect it. Blah-dee blah blah blah.” The pity bullshit makes my skin crawl. Especially after I’ve spent a good part of my day (or week) writing a piece on (what I consider to be) self-empowerment, self-love, and finding inner-peace.
Do I look like that kind of woman? The kind of woman who spends her free time writhing around in dark corners, all “woe is me”-ing life away, waiting for someone (anyone) to blurt out Pinteresty-esque quotes for single women, and praying for God to send her a soulmate? I hope not. I sure as hell hope not because it makes me uncomfortable, and nervous, and sweaty.
Kinda like, when I say my greatest fear is dating a man who plays an instrument or sings in a band.
Anywho, so I was going to quit.
Because that’s what we do. When a creative person feels uninspired, we quit – or move, or fall inside ourselves, or go off the grid. We automatically go on the defense. No one likes our work, nothing we do is significant, everyone hates us…
Or maybe that’s what anxious people do?
The lines separating my creativity and chemical imbalances often blur making it difficult for me to decipher who’s calling what shots.
Nonetheless, I tried to think of something different to funnel my energy into. My first thought was to amp up my reading. I started reading a book a week. One lame fucking book after another. I’m really picky with books. And I’m trying to be open-minded here, but for the love of God, are there not any original thoughts left in the world? (Spoiler alert: “The Girl on the Train” is just a drunken, substantially less thrilling, knock-off of “Gone Girl”.) So, I tried going to a baseball game. As it turns out, baseball sucks even bigger dick when you go to games alone. Finally, I picked up movies again. I go to them, I rent them, I Netflix them, I make them…
Though the extra income couldn’t hurt…
Over the past several weeks, it has become more apparent to me than ever just how little I bring to the table as far as skill is concerned. I thought to myself, “Hey self, I wonder if you have certain talents you have yet to realize. I wonder what they are? Could it be you’re really good at Yoga (P.S. Classes at work started this week… guess we’ll see.)? Maybe Mandarin? You do love rice!” The hard part is, I don’t know where to start and people expect me to write.
But I’m not the same writer though.
My life is normal now. I have no material. I’m really fucking lame. I have a good life. I get these random, huge bursts of thankfulness. They catch me off guard. I’ll be walking to my car at work and suddenly think, “I have a really good life.” That has never happened to me before. I’ve never been overwhelmed with such bright, big bursts of cheerfulness before.
Don’t get it twisted, though. I’m the same ol’ bitchy rain cloud I’ve always been. I am bored. I’m bored a lot. And restless. I miss being surrounded by people, and noise, and excitement. Sometimes, I’ll just open my window and listen to the street traffic below. I like the sirens, and the honking, and the talking. I miss my old life. And then, I think about all of my friends back home and I consider how different things are for everyone now.
They are all married (for the most part). They are all married and starting new chapters. Our lives are in two totally different hemispheres at the moment. And that makes me sad. I’m stuck in this in-between place where I can’t go back and forward is almost not an option.
Nothing is applicable. Nothing feels applicable to anyone relevant in my life. Well, except for Mace, and Katie, and Stace. (#allthasingleladies) Everything I have to say feels silly, and insignificant, and unimportant. I’m not creating life. I’m not building a family. I don’t even have anyone to share this beautiful city with anymore.
The only story I have left is that one about Styx and that time he deliberately peed on my foot in the kitchen.
Shit’s just not what it used to be, y’all.
So, that’s why I’ve been inconsistent and absent.
I’ve been absent because my writing hasn’t really been all that present lately. I spent weeks writing about my past because I thought it was the only way for me to be relatable – to stay relevant. I typed out line after line, rambled on and on, published one post after another… when, truth be told, I would have rather napped instead.
I got tired of writing about him.
That relationship isn’t who I am anymore. He isn’t relevant to my life anymore. He doesn’t affect me anymore – at least, not in the soul-shaking, heart-wrenching way he once did. Sure, he’s a part of my story, but I’ve moved onto new chapters. Better acts. Lighter reading.
And then, it occurred to me: In an effort to keep you coming back for more, I may have inadvertently lead you to believe differently… to believe the opposite… to believe I was still suffering, when I wasn’t.
That’s my fault.
I’m a tricky, tricky b.
Because I’m not.
So, we’re gonna have to do things a little bit differently now.
“Don’t like it, don’t read.”
I’ve got to get back to that. I’ve got to stop caring about what I think you want to see here. Because I don’t write for you. (Sorry.) I write for me. I write to remember. I write so I have a perfect illustration of specific memories to look back on at a later date. I write for my own sanity. This is my place. Mine. My deepest, darkest, rawest self. And I choose to share this side of myself with the world because many people have reached out to me asking for a peek inside.
I don’t have to.
I kept journals, and tiny slips of paper, and files on my computer for years without anyone being the wiser.
I could do that again. Go back to that life. Hide away my only talent because sometimes people say things that make me self-conscious. Stop publishing on a public forum because I don’t feel as if I have anything relevant, news-worthy, or important to say.
Or, I can suck it up and adjust…
The posts on Miss Clariss: Sealed with a Kiss will be changing as of this. very. moment.
A lot of them will most likely be frivolous, and silly, and sort’ve annoying. They will probably only appeal to a small subset of people – of women. Women who like make-up, shopping, traveling, and eating. I can’t imagine these posts changing your life or inspiring you. But this is what my life is now.
My life is make-up, shopping, travel, eating, drinking, random excursions on the weekends, pools, beaches, dog stories, and selfies.
It isn’t dramatic.
People don’t throw drinks in each other’s faces, or shout terribly hurtful things at one another, or fight incessantly anymore. People don’t make promises they can’t keep, or flat-out lie, anymore. People don’t call me fat anymore.
My life is normal. It is calm. It is steady. It is exactly where I want it to be. And if you, dear reader, are not entertained enough by my happiness… then maybe you were part of my problem.
I hope this change will be well received. I hope you find something here worth coming back for each week. I hope some of my joy seeps through these words and out into the universe. I hope these new posts aren’t boring and shallow as fuck.