Inner Good Girl, GET THEE BEHIND ME!

Each time I think that I can’t handle any more instability, every time I think I have thrown off the last shackle of convention, I see myself in the mirror, and I say:

REALLY? I have that much further to go?

Today (again), I was ready to give up. I’m broke. I mean really broke. Borrowing money from random people broke. I didn’t make my mortgage payment. Well, except that I did. GODDAMMIT I CAN’T EVEN DO THAT RIGHT! My bank account balance is -$927.41, so I suppose that means that my mortgage payment went through, even though I only have a $500 overdraft. I thought that was going to be “the moment.” The moment when I said, I can’t take this anymore, I’m going to be responsible and get a real job, and just be a miserable zombie in a suit like everyone else in this fucked up world.

But my mortgage is paid (sort of. I can`t wait to see what kind of nasty “service charge” they try to throw at me this time. But what are they going to do? Change my bank balance to -$1927.41?). See? I’m still thinking like a sheep. I was aghast at the idea that I was going to be one of THOSE people who were (gasp) in arrears on their mortgage.  Which means, I suppose, that I’m not really one of those people. Yet. I have always paid my bills – mostly on time. I have a decent credit rating (but not for long).  I care about my credit rating.  God, do I have a long way to go.

Sooooooo….. Now what? Well, I’m going to finish my goddamned book for starters. And if I have to ask my ex-husband for some of my money that’s tied up in a piece of real estate, or if I have to go crawling to my parents who supported my brother until he was THIRTY FIVE (Yes, I was yelling just now) and ask for some money, SO WHAT? I DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT ANYMORE. I JUST HAVE TO BE HAPPY.

So for one blessed month (more if I can rationalize it in a month) I am going to do nothing but write. And put on flowing skirts and headbands and hoop earrings and look mildly crazy but who cares – I AM A WRITER.  And if I need to dress like one to feel like one, then I will do it. If I need to eat oatmeal for breakfast and a handful of nuts for lunch because that’s what is in my cupboard, then I will (And get one of my friends to buy me a Blizzard. See? I really do have a long way to go.)

Yay me. Get thee behind me, good girl. I am exorcising you, one always-pays-her-bills, wears-event-appropriate-clothes, doesn’t-want-to-look-like-a-crazy-person nonconformist teensy step at a time. But I couldn’t put on the flowy skirt today, because it really didn’t work with the brown headband. Maybe tomorrow.


Hard is Happy; Misery is Easy

blue car


This has been a difficult lesson for me. I almost went back to misery, because it was the easier path. I have walked it for years, so it is well worn, and comfortable, and laid out before me like a monotonous, flat, and predictable highway. It pays generously, and its price is my soul.

Happy is hard. It is unpredictable. It is illusory yet always within reach.   It glimmers like a mirage, but one that, miraculously enough, inevitably becomes real if I just close my eyes and reach out. It is writing in the dead of night, hearing my children’s laughter, looking back at how far I have come.  It is financial insecurity, and excitement about what will happen tomorrow. It is planning an uncertain, shimmering-in-the-sunlight future of laughter and learning and writing and travel and adventure. But it is nevertheless terrifying, because there is no road or even a path. Sometimes a push from behind, sometimes just an aversion to the highway that would be the easy choice. But often a nudge from a friend, or a smile from a new acquaintance, or the inspiration for a new story is enough to turn me away from that wide, smooth, black highway, at least for today.

And I reach out blindly and pray for the strength and courage and asylum to choose happy again tomorrow.

Please Help – We Have To Take A Stand


Unload and Unwind

bring back our girls As a rule I try to keep the weekend posts here at Unload and Unwind to more humorous topics as a way of taking a step back from the more serious pieces that I write about politics and the environment.  However I have decided that this issue far out ways the need to step back.  In fact I am calling for all of us to step forward, to raise our voice and add our names to the petitions being created around the world decrying the horrendous taking of a number of young girls in Nigeria.

As most may be aware on April 16 of this year 200 girls were kidnapped by an extremist group called ‘Boko Haram‘. This was done so that they would be unable to take their examinations and to call a halt to the education of women in that country. Around the world the outrage…

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