On my darkest days, I believe that the chances that I become some improved version of my current self are slim. Or zero. And yet I am still subjected to reviews of my performance. By my company. My children. Other mothers. Educators. Therapists. All kinds of men. Men who think they know me. Men who don’t know me at all. Men who want me. Men who don’t. Last and worst of all: By myself.
In those gloomy moments, I imagine that self improvement requires a lobotomy and heavy medication. Maybe a side of electric shock therapy. The thing is, I am most alive inside of myself, where no one can see me. But try as I might, and even on good days, I am somehow perennially constipated: Stuck Inside of Myself – I am difficult, and not even in a complicated or interesting way. On dark days, I sit and wonder how much longer I can pretend, for the sake of holding my tiny family together and stable. Sometimes I can’t bring myself to get out of the car at the office parking lot, at home, at the grocery store. I think long and hard about driving off and never returning. In those fantastical moments, I do not think beyond that first act of liberation – because that would ruin everything with all the guilt and fault I carry in my purse. I write. I cry. I spin. I bounce off walls and try to disrupt the rules and the process and all the boundaries restraining me.
I don’t say my dark things to anyone around me. They stay inside of my brain and collect into stale pools of funky moodiness that sprout into gray hairs and wrinkles. I think, no one really knows me. I don’t even understand myself. I’m a middle aged adolescent, still trying to belong somewhere and never finding my seat in the lunchroom of life.
I wonder what it would be like to have that nervous breakdown. I wonder if I am depressed — or maybe just taking too seriously the things that ail everyone? Would it be a relief to finally be the one who can’t keep it together? To let someone else take care of things so I can loll around and dribble out nonsense?
Until then, I will just dribble out my own form of more vaguely rational nonsense at work and home and hope for the best.