Sometimes it feels like my life is very stop and go- I’m pulled quite literally in two different directions- the call of home, the land of liberty, the New World, mass market and low culture, fast food and chain restaurants, and capitalism- and France, which in some ways has retained each feudal character despite its socialist, republicain values- liberty, egality, fraternity, secularism, elite and deluxe, and haute gastromie.
The second I declare I am ready to leave is the moment I find reasons to stay, and that things sem to get better. Even as the universe puts up big yellow lights when the everyday littl administrative stuff just couldn’t seem to go any closer or make me have any less faith in Franc’s economic future.
But the real vacillation is between the planned life and the spontaneous one. In many ways I prefer the spontaneous one, but to just take what comes is to ignore one’s inner pulsions. I came to France out of a perverted attachment to a time that was past in part, and a belief that Parisian scenery would enable me to quite simply be happy regardlss of the plotlines, and whether hte heroine was really doing her job or not.
And there are a lot of times I wonder about love, and babies, and if I’ll ever find my place in th world.
But I am starting to belong here, and no matter how estranged or isolated I felt, I have belonged everywhere I have been. Not one step went astray- though it seemed to take me off course from my “goal,”- I have ben going in the best direction without really having a goal. Somtimes I hav existential worries that all is for naught and I am on the wrong road, but the truth is that the path is in the way of walking. I will proceed fearlessly, as if I hav nothing to lose, bcause all I have to lose is the time allotted to me, this mortal life, and the serenity of my soul. My soul has to be happy, there’s no two ways about that.
And so I find myself a poet and an MBA, a diplomat who loves other cultures and more and more of a fan of my own country, a Catholic who sometimes consults tarot cards, the girl who wants to be married but can’t be held back from her own dreams and hasn’t been in a steady relationship in six years.
Possibly the most painful part of the drama is where I struggle to determine and to validate or deny my innate worthiness- mostly through food. All my fears of failure and success are there. Does it really matter if I eat this candy? Why should I have to deny myself anything that I want, especially when life is so hard outside? There’s no better way of checking out to blissful nothing than eating junk food, except eating junk that you know is bad for you while watching TV. The ultimate in nihilism.
Today I saw a doctor and had to get tested for diabetes, i am that overweight. Three years ago I went to the same sort of medical examination and was happy to be spared, and so proud of myself for not being out of the acceptable range.
My first big achievement in life, as I often see it, is losing a ton of weight. And now I seem to have gained it back and to spare, granted that I’m not as fat as I was as a child. But I feel a lot more culpable, even though I’d say it was some sort of mild depression and enormous xistential crisis and breakup that led me to seek solace in food.
And now, for the first time in years, since I first started taking out my hatred of myself and my belief I had to be perfect out on myself through my diet, i ordered a scale on AMazon. In addition to going to the gym, I’m going to have to not only be more aware of my food chocies but actually write them down. I’m going to have to face down the bad habits formed in my childhood then reinforced when I fell into despair, thinking a sugar rush was worth the calories, worth the relief and worth the will to carry on- because who am I without my accomplishments? WHo am I if I don’t go on and get it done? Will someone still love me?
Yes, I’ve found I’m quite loveable even with a considerable amount of excess weight. And maybe I needed to test the world around me, and myself. And I know the weight is sort of an existential thing- the burden of choice.
The belief I’ve done everything wrong and someone els could have done it better, the belief that I am nothng without my accomplishments, that I am nothing without sheer effort and will torn out of me to go agains the grain, that all that is good in my life has simply been given to me and I’ve fucked up the few things that I had to earn. Like my waistline.
When I try to let these feelings go, they don’t really go anyhere.
What I have to do instead is teach them how to fly away, open the cage, and say, FEEL. DO. BE.
What I have to do is except that I’m not always going to be perfect, never have been, never will be, and it is worth the pain of trying. I can’t be the precocious, praiseworth child forever who can do no wrong.
I hav to be my whole self- just as flawless as the child- beautiful, untrained, glib.
I have to accept I can’t be all things to all people, I can’t walk every path and catch every rainbow, that each of my virtues is a possible defect.
I hav to let myself be human, be a round character.
And being human HURTS.
Like you could cry a thousand tears for this stinking wretched condition, to be able to see the stars and have to live with the muck that’s within your soul.
Bu God so loved the world, or so they say.
And I could shake my fist at the universe, a mirror of the disdain I feel for my very flawed self.
Or I could raise my voice in humble adoration.
Perfection doesn’t live here.
Or maybe it does, and I just can’t see it.
So I’m just neither rowing ahead nor totaly flating in circles with oars out of the water, just taking a dip here and there and hoping I get to my desintation, much as I am sure there really isn’t one- just another step in the journey.
And I’m slowly going crazy as the paradoxes open me, and realizing I have finally seen reason for the first time in my life.
So yeah, just realizing how completely powerless I am in the hands of Fate yet realizing that Destiny itself is in my hands, is a reflection of all I am and all I’ve been and all I want.
Taking care to wish good things, and belive good things,
Just, purposefully, waiting, drifting, creating, responding, listening.