Honestly? Mostly waking up and breathing. Life sucks right now. Before I had kids, people would talk about how incredibly hard parenting was and it's not like I didn't believe them. I had plenty of naive thoughts about what kind of parent I would be or what kind of children I would have, but I never struggled with the ridiculous notion that it would be easy. Even without that delusion, I had no real way of knowing just how difficult reality would be and how much stamina is required.
The same can be said about divorce. Having borne the literal and emotional scars of my parents' destruction, I had no qualms about what divorce could cost. However, within the last year, it became increasingly apparent that I was not going to be able to outrun this particular storm. It is the last option I would ever want to chose, but here I am, walking through the remnant of the life I had planned on living. And it is hard. WAY harder than I could have imagined. It is multifaceted and layered and the loss shows up in unexpected ways like the absence of a much needed hug, sleeping alone and people who say they can no longer be your friend. So, some days (or if I'm being honest, weeks) I wake up despite the overwhelming desire not to*, and move forward simply because there is no other viable option. And those are the days that I count breathing as something that I have accomplished.
Thankfully, the past few days have been more productive that just 'not dying', which is good for many reasons, one of them being that my second narrative project is due today. It is chapter two to the story I shared several weeks ago. I had started it shortly after submitting my first work, but due to the suckage of my life, I hadn't really made any progress on it again until recently.
We also have been challenged to take on the final two creative experiments of writing a slam poem and/or writing a letter to our future (possibly 100 year old) self. I decided to combine the two since frankly, who has time to do both when breathing is already taking up so much of my to do list? I'll post my take on the end-of-life reflective slam poem at the end of this blog post.
Word Count: Somewhere around 3000, but I'm including the choose-your-own-adventure story from the previous week since I didn't post a word count then.
How do I feel about the process?
Mixed, I guess. I'm grateful to get anything productive accomplished, but I'm not thrilled with the chapter as a whole. I feel like I should submit it with an apology, but I'm not exactly Miss Optimistic so I'll just let my housemates and professor make up their own minds and I'll be sure to slice myself an extra big piece of grace when I read their critiques.
What am I currently watching/reading?
Embarrassingly, I'm still binge-watching True Blood. It has gotten somewhat better than the disappointing first season, and it gives me things to be grateful for, like the fact that I don't have to worry about a vampire or werewolf (or werepanther for that matter!) trying to attack me at any given moment. So, there's that.
*By the way, I feel like I should write a disclaimer that this blog post is fraught with sarcasm. This isn't a cry for help. No need for mandatory reporting.
In the end
When my grandmother died, I sat under a holy steeple
Surrounded by a hundred mourning people
They dressed in devastation
With arms intertwined in desperation
And I watched from my removed location
Wondering what would be said of me
When the day comes that my body breathes its last
A long exhalation into oblivion cast
The final ending of my sentence
The reckoning of all my repentance
My sharp decline or great ascendance
Would my dead ears hear the words like she?
Her goodness, they claimed, was unexceeded
Return this stolen life, they pleaded
Their mouths spoke words of great affection
Of beauty, of kindness, unbroken connection
I wondered if she really lived such perfection
Or if death simply spit-shines reality
I don’t understand why we let the truth die
For the sake of respect, polish life into lies
Cover the blemishes, hide the decay
Take no notice of dirt, simply wipe it away
Rewrite history with the homage we pay
It seems a shame to lose life and accuracy
I don’t want flowery eulogies espousing my sainthood
Or my terrible deeds in retrospect made good
File virtue next to my promises unkept
Let bitterness intermix the tears that are wept
I don’t want my mistakes to be under-rug swept
In the end, I’d rather be known for my good, bad and ugly.