Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Lapses in Judgment

I was a horribly hard headed teenager that ‘ran away’ from my mother’s home at 19 straight into a boyfriend’s life and home. He and I moved in together in September, he proposed to me in late November, and I was sleeping on the couch and counting how many days I could go without actually talking to him by December. I knew I had made an astronomical mistake but felt utterly trapped and completely unable to help myself get out of the situation I had fought my own mother to get into.

I eventually did ask for help and I did get out before my first big mistake became a major legal commitment. Here’s to coming to your senses just in the nick of time.

In fact, I spent most of my 20’s trying to outdo myself with one bad mistake after another.
I was a raging success.

However, no one promotes or praises you for rapid fire-screw ups - in fact just the opposite is true (ahem). Go ahead and trust me on this, no need to try it out at home.

In 2004, grief had its way with me. That whole year is like a black hole, I can’t really remember
any details about it. It’s a wonder I didn’t drive right off a bridge because “it seemed like a good idea at the time.”

The next two years I spent most of time trying to figure out what exactly I had to do with my life to make the rest of it worth living without him. Really. Writing that makes me feel overly dramatic, which isn’t something I’m terribly comfortable with, yet, there it is.

In my darkest moments, I made some of my worst decisions.
In retrospect, it seems that I set myself up to fail when I was feeling down, almost as if I was off to prove to myself that what I really did best was screw up. Clearly, this turns into some sick Prozac-deficient cycle.

I hope I’ve left this behind, you know, with blue eye shadow, wings, choosing to date people that I thought I could ‘fix’, and running into bad situations because I was being defiant.

I can rock defiant.

I just don’t want to anymore.
I’m finally at peace with what I have and what I’ve lost up to this point in my life. Now, the fear resides in not doing something to screw it up.
It is almost paralyzing.


kenju said...

Explain to me how you can be both peaceful and fearful at the same time?

We are a lot alike, but I was too fearful to do what you did, I only wanted to do it. After I got married and things were good, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, because I thought I didn't deserve to be happy.

As I got older, I realized that I did too deserve to be happy, so I quit worrying about what might happen. I hope you will get to that point too.

roo said...

i wish i had a more poetic, or deep, or intelligent way to say this. but, your 'bad' mistakes, defiant nature, and previous experiences have made you who you are. they have gotten you to where you are. and quite frankly, they have all led you into my life. for this I DO praise you for these rapid fire screw ups (and not driving off a bridge that looks so damn good). I toast ALL the previous jenny years and am BLESSED (yeah, i said it, i mean it) to be a part of the current and future jenny years.
um... so there.

Anne said...

It's crazy how we're never happy, isn't it? We want our life to improve, and when it does it makes us paranoid.
Hang in there.

rennratt said...

Try taking the peace in smaller doses.

Each day that you walk away from a potentially stupid/shattering decision, you have WON.

Peace in small doses gives you the courage to take it in bigger ones. Kind of like caffeine.

(Even I don't know what that means)

roo said...

ooh. ooh. i know what that means. there is some shit you shouldn't do before coffee.
really. i luv you jlew.

kenju said...

Thanks for the suggestion! I am free on the 14th and the 16th. Are eigher of hose days good for you? Let me know when and where.

tiff said...

Honey? I know what you're talking about. Getting older is so much better than I thought it would be, because the peace that comes with self-knowledge an the strength that comes with conviction are so much more powerful than a young kid can imagine.

Good for you for making it this far. You've got a lot to go on, so the next part of your life should rock the cazbah.

Biff Spiffy said...

Peace is good.

Meant to be enjoyed.

Hope you have more days of it in a row than you know what to do with.

Wordnerd said...

This was incredible, J, really. And I agree. What happened to you THEN is what makes you who you are NOW. And from what I know of you so far, that's pretty good indeed.

Tracy Lynn said...

I, Queen Of The Catastrophic Mistake, try to look at it like this.

Everything I've done in my life has made me who I am, a person I am quite happy with, and brought me to a place that I can only say I am content with. I would not be this person if I had been wiser when young. Plus, I would not have so many excellent anecdotes, which is the true reward of an interesting and misspent youth.