Wednesday, December 3, 2008

would someone please come hit me?


I’m serious. I feel like I need a nice, violent change in outlook. Best case scenario, you’d knock the neurosis out of me and I'd know what it feels like to be secure, to be where I want to be, to feel completely inside of my own mind. Worst case scenario is that my head would hurt and I’d quit whingeing about my existential problems. See, it’s win - win.

Here’s the problem: I’m a victim of the human condition. Or at least my human condition. I turned forty years old on August 16th. And it’s still bothering me. For so many reasons, some that make sense, some that don’t. And underneath it all I know that there is nothing I can do. Short of lying about my age. Which I’ve considered but rejected because I was raised Catholic and I’m a truly shitty liar.

It’s a battle between the material me and my higher self. There are things I want to be able to say about myself. There are achievements I’ve meant to, well, achieve. And I feel that I regularly stand in my own way. But on the other hand I know that life is a gift, that love and kindness are more important than anything. And I know that regret is a waste of energy. And there the argument splinters off into things like risk and courage and truth and gut instincts and(oh stop me! The more I re-read this paragraph the bigger it gets!)

Back in Grad School, I became friends with a tall, bright, and (it seemed like) fearless woman. She was a writer from New York, who stripped there and, during Grad School, stripped at the classier of two seedy clubs in Ypsilanti, MI. She wore stiletto heels in the middle of winter (in Michigan, mind you), she was a brilliant chef and she had a remarkable way of cutting through bullshit judgments – a skill that put me on edge but also thrilled me. Her existence in my life was an affirmation of the I-must-be-cool-if-she’s-my-friend kind.

We were walking to class one cold Michigan night and I was whingeing away about how who I was wasn’t who I thought I could be. That this was not my beautiful life. (Mind you this was years ago. At the wee age, let’s say, of 30)

She told me a story about a high-up professor at the University of Michigan. A Chairman of some or other department. A client of hers at the strip club. She told me that he paid for a lap dance and then, during, complained to her about his life, that he wasn’t where he’d expected to be. That there was more out there. That this was not his beautiful life.

“Everybody feels like that, Kate.” She told me. “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve achieved. Everybody feels like that.”

For some reason that story has always stuck with me. I don’t know. Maybe I just need a lap dance.


Red said...

Oh wow! I think I need a lap dance too!

Anonymous said...

I could have written that myself....and feel that way on a regular basis. I try to be thankful for what I do have but there is a lot that I feel I 'should' have done by 40...

On top of it beautiful daughter Isabella tells me on a monthly basis how old I look!