Monday, October 15, 2012

Rodents are people, too

Today, the gerbil running in my mind is kind. It's frolicking on a wheel made of gold thread and daisy petals. It smiles at me every once in a while to let me know that everything is going to be ok.

It wasn't so sweet yesterday. Or the day before that. And it might bust out its barbed wire  ring and sneer at me later on.

This thing I chase (me and my fickle gerbil), has been just at the tip of my horizon for as long as I remember remembering. And over the last few days a phrase has flitted across my minds-eye, popped into thoughts. I've seen it scratched into the sandwich board around my gerbil's tiny neck and today this phrase is starting to fit, so I'm going to say it out loud: A Genuine Life.

That is what I have been stalking and hunting my whole life: A Genuine Life.

I want to feel real. I don't just want to do real, I want to feel  real, genuine. I want to take each step knowing that even if it's the wrong move, that I didn't make a mistake. That even if that's not the way I'm supposed to go, that I'm still not lost.

Since I was a very young girl I've been worried about the How's and Why's of my choices. Do I really like chicken nuggets? Or am I just supposed to? Do I really want to wear culottes on my first day of 6th Grade? Or is that just what I think everyone else will be wearing? And as I've gotten older, my choices, decisions more crucial, the worrying has gotten worse. And worse and worse and worse.

Why? How? I crave confidence. I lust after it. And no matter how often I present that very thing to the world at large, the tiny inner world I alone occupy doesn't believe it for a second. I'm sure this is why I'm so tired all the time; this constant picking and choosing and worrying...

Another day and another costume change for my constant rodent companion. Today she's wearing black eyeliner and running on a metal-studded rubber tread. Today she's tough and nasty. And I'm not sure she's on my side.

I have been working for a long time now to peel off this sticky layer of malcontent; a yucky film that I've been assured and reassured isn't real, isn't me. That it is something I superimposed a long time ago to protect myself but that I don't need it anymore and keeping it around is simply keeping me down, keeping me from seeing me and from realizing My Genuine Life.


So. I keep trying to write this post and I keep not getting it right. Ironic, isn't it? It's the crux of my anxiety. The recipe I can't get right. The instructions I can't follow. The pattern I sew *exactly* backwards.

I know I'm not alone in this. This wanting to be real and true. And if I can figure it out, I can write about it and maybe, maybe someone else can figure it out, too.

And just because I know you're wondering: Today, Madame Gerbil is outfitted in the most sublime silk charmeuse jumpsuit. She's got bedazzled Chuck T's on her paws and her iPod is blasting No Doubt while she skips along her peacock feathered wheel.

The day was good.

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