One day when I am old and insane I'm going to make an absurd claim that the menstrual cycle is a spiritual portal through time. Sometimes when I am depressed or anxious, and everything seems to be sort of out of control, the things that I say to myself are things like:
"Something is fundamentally wrong and I can't put my finger on it."
"I don't know how to fix my life."
"This is not the life I am supposed to be living."
"How did everything go so wrong?"
The insistence that this is not the life I'm supposed to be living is with me most of the time, somewhere, but it tends to be exposed more often in concert with my menses. Any sane, logical person would note that yes, this time of the month is one of increased hormonal activity, and thus a time of heightened sensitivity, depressed mood, and general irritability. Duly noted.
But tonight, I swear to God, I could see 14-year-old Anna below me. She was screaming something unintelligible and raising her hand up at me in a fist. Perhaps what she was screaming was, "Why?" And in that moment, the excuses, the facade, the decades of acceptance and dishonesty just melted away. Instantly. I know why. I let this happen. I made this happen.
I did not follow my dreams. I did not hold out for the best. I did not demand the best for or of myself. I didn't go for it, and I could have. For so many years now I've been confident that it's not too late, but in all honesty it might be too late now.
The intellectual achievements always came easy. Always. That should have led to so much more, but it has not.
I wanted to be a musician. I gave up without trying. The lie that I might have made it keeping music as a hobby, or inadvertently somehow been "discovered" comforted me for a long time, but I never even went that far. I'm only now rediscovering my love of playing music, and probably only because I'm fairly confident that even if I did try I wouldn't be successful at this point. Someone suggested to me once that I might have a fear of success. I can't wrap my mind around that one. That fact is probably an indicator that there's some truth to it.
I have never really believed that I would have a happy storybook love life. I regret with all my heart that I settled for so little in my marriage. I knew it wasn't the right thing long before we were married. In fact, I actually do deserve a great man. Kevs is a great man. He is perfect for me in many ways. But he's not the one. I will spend the rest of my life with him except in the unlikely event that he passes away before I do. If the only thing I had accomplished in my life was to find true love, I would have considered myself very lucky, and very honored. I could have at least done that for myself. I could have at least tried, and not always succumbed to fear and loneliness. But I do adore Kevs and I'm usually very happy with him. It's a nice consolation.
I would have loved being a writer, too. I've always loved writing. I thought at some point there should be some financial security, but even the career I stumbled into has not turned out to be lucrative for me, really. Except for the very highly skilled and supremely educated people in the world, the working sphere has very little to do with intelligence. It has much more to do with things like appearance. Punctuality. Politics. One's ability to completely suppress one's personality. I'm not good at those things. So my back-up plan eats most of my time and effort, and I can't really find the time to pursue either my first or second passion. Plus I smoked for 20 years, took very poor care of my body, had two children, engaged in all kinds of other hobbies, lived through a miserable marriage, spent every free minute engaged in the pursuit of fun, spent every free dime on stupid things like shoes, and honored every other commitment above any commitment to myself. It could be argued that I throw down the roadblocks before me rather than behind. It certainly seems that way.
The problem with reflection and self-discovery / self-awareness is that it does not prescribe the means or methods for change. I understand so much about what has gone wrong in my life and why things are the way they are. I have no idea how to change. I have no idea what it would take to "turn this ship around" and effect meaningful, significant improvement.
The only thing I have left to try is to be a robot. Fourteen days of this year are gone. This is how years go by, in increments. Very small increments. I have to do better. Every day.
I didn't smoke today. I exercised. I checked and caught up my bank book. I wrote. I did not play the bass. I did not do any cleaning. I ate my weight in chocolate.