A few days ago I made a pact with myself.
It has no satanic overtones or underpinnings but is one that sits squarely in the center ring of probity and vows deep commitment to candor and self revelation. It is the kind of pact best adhered to while under the influence of drugs or alcohol because without such excuses to fall back on, sanity comes heavily questioned. Let it be known, then, that mine is on the line here.
I think it would be fair to say that in the past few years my inner life has undergone a transformation. It came about innocuously at first, but quickly escalated into a major soul-renovation replete with carved, heart- rending finials and new esoteric plumbing.
Prior to about four or five years ago, there was a certain reliable constancy at play that kept the waves from crashing over the sides of my empiric dingy, and I was managing the tides of change remarkably well by simply doing a lot of bailing. But as dicey as those waters at times were, nothing then prepared me for the relentless series of storms gathering just due north of inner peace.
It was almost like an extremely personalized, existential version of The Big Bang, and it led to the formation of an entirely new, reformatted sentient universe within my soul. However, it didn't come at my bidding and never once made me feel much like God. The chapter of Genesis in my bible reads quite differently: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was: DRAMA.
I'm not referring to the histrionic, screaming, shouting, flailing on the floor type of drama. (At least not all the time.) In most cases this was a drama that easily went unnoticed by anyone not immediately involved in fanning the flames in my mercurial heart, and since I tend not to share my darker side with most people (in my real life), it's a safe bet that a bare fraction were even mildly aware of my inner turmoil.
Exposing others to that buried mound of deep stress and grief goes against every sinewy strand of my genetic substructure in part because as I have probably mentioned before, I am a Libra, which supplies me with a disquieting need to please. I have a Pisces moon, which instills in me an unhealthy aptitude at soaking up the emotional vapors of an entire populace within a fifty-mile radius; and I have Sagittarius on the ascendent, which gives me an optimism that would put even Polyanna to shame not to mention the rebounding capacity of the best NBA player ever to hit the court.
In other words, I am relentlessly hopeful and terminally pleasant. At least on the surface.
Of course, it is not wholly my astrological makeup that gives me these annoying qualities. I'm sure the jails and prisons are full of criminals with the exact same signs in the same prime placements. However, it's a sure bet they are a milder, more congenial brand of deviant.
They would be the inmates who help plan and execute the jailbreak but insist on holding a 'get acquainted' tea first just to make sure everyone is comfortably familiar with one another and that they are all satisfied with the driving-safety record of the guy behind the wheel of the get-a-way car. In the world of a even a degenerate Libran there could exist no such thing as an inharmonious escape plan.
But I'm not a criminal and I've never played one on television. I'm just a middle-aged woman; artist; writer (in my own mind....hey, this is MY fantasy, okay?); wife; mother of three evolving human beings; owner of four, unruly dogs; and daughter of great parents with three lovely, peripatetic siblings and their spouses and a bunch of nieces and nephews. I'm staggeringly average.
And that brings me to platform Number One on the express train to Truthsville: If I am so utterly and devastatingly normal, why is it that for as long as I can remember (which, by consequence excludes a significant portion of my early teens and twenties spent heavily dosed on a variety of narcotics that gave a lively twist to the present moment but totally eradicated all hope of recall), I have occupied a choice seat in the Caboose of idiosyncratic Outsiders?
Circumstances have compelled me to give this a lot of thought lately and for a few reasons: One reason being my most recent obsession, which is to uncover the cleverly obscured meaning of my life (Did I mention I am a late-bloomer?); and another, to figure out how a relatively intelligent person could unfailingly miss every single red flag when it comes to interpersonal relationships and especially friendships.
No matter how often or how hard I have tried to fit in, join up and belong; ultimately there comes the point when I am faced with the caustic facts side-swiping my loyalty and making it unmistakably clear that my best days were when I lodged my foot in the door of friendship and continued chatting away through the crack. It was fairly easy for me to pretend I was actually in the house given my nature, which, as I said is like optimism on crack; but the fact is that eventually either that door is going to close leaving me with a life-long limp, or I am going to have to walk away.
The problem is I never want to give up on anyone or anything. I simply refuse to believe that something is not possible or that people are not always what they seem or that there really is no pot of gold at the rainbow's end.
But facts don't deal in rainbows or excuses and they don't tread softly.
Facts are a lot like lightening bolts or summer tornadoes. You never know if and when they may strike your house or backyard, but when they do, there is no denying you've been hit by them; and you could live, oh, say, fifty-four and a half years before experiencing the full impact of one.
And so, within the past few years the facts have startled me and sent me limping towards an introspection that ran deeper than hades and burned twice as hot.
They materialized through the convergent battering of a devolving life-plan replete with broken trust, lost ideals, misplaced loyalties, covetous underpinnings, lies, loss and longing; and a realization that I have been complicit in the derailing of my life by cradling large doses of denial.
Sadly, it is all much too convoluted to explain in only one, little blog entry, although my compulsive introspection assures there will be others. Besides, I've exceeded even my comfort level of verbosity, which is pretty scary.
This, of course, begs one more deferral; one that I'm sure causes no real disappointment since it is likely that the only dedicated follower of this blog is my mother, and she's heard it all before. But for anyone else who might possibly read this, put on your safety helmets and goggles. Things could get ugly. As for now, "Hi Mom!"