Swimming through the past. An ocean of negative feelings and tremendous waves of guilt, doubt, hurt and resentment pound you against the sand of time.
I swam in several oceans. Just this morning.
If you can read this, it’s because I trust you.
Well, sort of.
It’s because I’m willing to give you one chance before I don’t. So I trust you. For now.
It’s funny because I trust this online group of fellow writers more than I do my own flesh and blood. I trust you more because you and I are the same.
You understand the tiny intricacies and intimacies of out-loud emotion. Sensitivity to environment and relationships. You observe life and tell it again. Live it again. An editor said to Susan Weidener, “Writing is living twice.”
Writers are brave enough to live, even the bad parts, twice. Suck the marrow.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms…” Henry David Thoreau
YOU (Reader/Writer)=Preservationist. Historian. Testifier. Guardian. Lover of words, people, experiences, life.
I understand. Mad respect.
This morning, I crushed a tiny flying insect between my index finger and thumb. Without thought. It continued to fly around my face and it was extremely annoying. S/he landed on my shirt and I took my chance.
Somehow, now and again, I feel just like that bug. Crushed without thought by some annoyed acquaintance.
I’ve mainly felt that way around certain creative types who have enormous ego and too little time to care for another. Improv actors. Improv actors are good at one thing. Thinking up jokes on the spot. Otherwise, adulting is just too hard.
The trouble is impulse control. They have none. I should know. I married an improviser. Ironic, I know.
The same impulse that tells them to say something funny or true on stage? That’s the same impulse in life that gets you socked in the gob by a gnarly stranger. Most of us learn to control that impulse to blurt out something ridiculous. Improvisers are rewarded for such behavior with laughter, slaps on the back and applause.
My husband’s improv friends for the most part were a tightly-loomed clique of quick-witted attention whores who constantly tried to one-up each other. If you couldn’t hang, you were just a hanger-on.
I’m damn funny. But not an improviser. I’ve tried. I’m not an improv-er mainly because I have strict impulse guidelines and fear rejection. Plus, my brain just does not work that fast. My judgment slows my reaction. I can improv. Just not at the same level as my husband.
For years I tried to fit in, be supportive, hang on. But it is wholly unsatisfying to be surrounded by adult toddlers most of the time. It’s exhausting.
No one ever seemed to be able to hold more than a five-minute conversation. Never about anything real either. It was usually a 5-minute joke-off/caffeine/smoke break. And they certainly didn’t care about your personal details unless it benefited them in some way. Exhausting.
Most successful improv-ers IMO have compartmentalized lives. Improv is over here. Family, life, job is waaaay over there. And that’s just not me. I want to be fully integrated. Real. Whole. And I want my husband to be, too. He’s working on it. Doing really good. But we haven’t seen that whole improv crowd for years.
I mainly swam around in regret for a few minutes this morning because I just finally deleted most of those people from my LinkedIn page. Seeing all those faces again just made me sad and mad all over again. The rejection of my true self, the rejection of my ability, the rejection of my offer of genuine friendship. Tears came fast and hard without warning, without rationale.
But, I’ve written about it and I feel okay now. Plus, I am too busy to tire myself in this choppy ocean of feelings. I’m sure you understand. 🙂