Back in high school I got in an argument with a substitute teacher about music. It was my birthday and my parents had left me to stay with a friend, separated from my siblings, while they went on a trip with the Senior Class. I felt lost and abandoned and alone and the last thing I needed was some sub talking about how Meat Loaf was an unhealthy thing for Christians. To be fair she wasn’t singling Meat out in particular as much as she was basically advocating that we focus only on wholesome things. And Rock and Roll did not fit in that category.
Over the past couple of days I’ve started to realise that I’m turning into her. Not about Rock, which I still listen to all cranked up. Of course, I don’t get a lot of the real hardcore profanity. It took me several years to realise that ‘Take Your Mama’ by the Scissor Sisters is considered explicit because of the line “..get her jacked up on some cheap champagne.” I’m still naive enough to think that “jacked up” just means “messed up.” Anyway.
I’m in this weird place where the then and the now and the not yet are all folding into each other. I’m starting to connect the dots and the dos and the don’ts in weird new ways and see where what happened 30 years ago fertilised this crop today and how I’m pleased with who I am in spite of what I have or haven’t done.
But the weirdest part of this new segment of travel I’m doing is that I’ve found myself becoming more and more acutely aware of the destructiveness of some allegedly-harmless actions. A couple of hours ago I actually wrote a couple paragraphs of complaint to the makers of a Facebook game. They are rewarding extra points in one of the games if you ‘gossip with 10 friends’. When I was proofreading my little note I realised just how much I sounded like Mrs. H did all those years ago. And I’m halfway between embarrassed and frustrated. Because I’m not expecting to ever be in total agreement with her. But I’m also realising more and more how much the things we do for play say about the people we are deep down in our souls. And to me playing at gossip or playing at adultery or playing at stealing are all acts of nurturing the old self.
And I wonder if I’m doing things wrong, kind of. Because I didn’t expect to be here at 40. I like here, but I see some of the others I know doing strange and surprising and funky things and I think “why don’t I have those kinds of guts” all the while also thinking “why don’t they have any kind of sense?!?” It’s a weird and thrilling place to be.
Speaking of weird and thrilling; I’m glad I got something written at all. I’ve been paralyzed in that department for a week and a bit now. I am waiting for someone to invent Writeagra, because that sense of impotence that I feel really ought to be something that can be fixed.