I’m still crawling along through the desert.
I hold on to hope that what I see ahead of me is not a mirage, but it’s never quite as close as I imagine it is. I muster hope based on logical predictions, but life is often illogical as I’m being forced to swallow. Today is a day of negative perspective, and I’m starting to feel myself in a financial trap. Just when I seem to be on the right track to recovery, my hours have been reduced. It’s probably still enough to pay rent and bills and food, but I’ve been stuck in this rut for too long already. I’m fighting hard not to give up on myself, not to morph into another kind of human that just survives, and continues without hopes and dreams. My life is more than just something to keep going, it’s a forum for greatness of being. My idea of being great has less to do with career paths and more to do how I handle myself, how I manage those things that can’t be taken from me, that I can choose not to surrender under any circumstances.
I’m reminded of a time when I was young, living with my Mother, probably around 15. We had been arguing about something, and things had escalated to the point where I needed to escape so I retreated to my bedroom, and she had followed me and slapped me as I stood in the doorway. I snapped and told her to slap me again, and she did, and I told her to slap me again, and she did, over and over and over. Maybe 10 or 20 times, I’m not sure. Eventually she stopped, horrified, and left me alone in my room for a while. I felt extremely powerful and was gratified by my ability to take control of the situation.
I’m not entirely certain how this ties into today. On one hand, it’s an example of my ability to persist, to take whatever life will give me in stride and keep going. On the other, it’s an example of a way of being that I want more than anything to move away from. I employed survival tactics as a child dealing with my neurotic Mother that as an adult I see played out in political space dramas, and I know, it’s not who I want to be. Perhaps this story is an example of the real me striking out against the collaborating appeaser, but it also strikes me as being the opposite of how I want to move through life. I want to be able to say ‘no more!’ when it’s too much, and protect myself excess abuse. I don’t want to be trapped in misery ever, ever again. I want to have the strength to look my situation in the eye and say “I can do better.”
The question is, right now, can I do better? Is there any way I can improve on what’s happening now? I don’t like the answer that stares me in the face which is: wait. I’ve waited for several different things to happen at several different points. I keep saying ‘no, I can’t wait this long’ and try something else, but in all of this, my resources are dwindling, and I’m further and further from the last point at which I had room for independence and indulgence. I need both in my life. I try, now, to remember to make room for indulgence when I can to prevent me from exploding and doing unwise things that will greatly set me back. There is one main thing that I can’t help but consider that I need, it’s not cheap but it means a lot to my entire existence. Its a keystone to my being. I’ve had to go without it because I’ve told myself I didn’t need to endure what was keeping me afloat previously. I keep telling myself a few more months, a couple more months, and just when things are looking promising I find things degrading and I’m struggling so hard to recover from such destitution that I don’t know how to cope with a loss of hope at this point.
I keep thinking of the metaphor of being stranded in the desert, starving and totally dehydrated. You tell yourself to keep crawling because you know a way to get water, but every time you have a solid estimate of how much farther you have to go and you accept that you can do it if only barely, something comes along and lengthens the course and you lose that bit of hope. The difference between this metaphor and my reality is that I don’t have the luxury of choosing to die in the sun in the desert. There is no giving up, no such option even exists. Whether or not I would take it, something about the fact that the option doesn’t even exist for me is incredibly disheartening.
Shambling on in the face of death is one thing, dragging one foot after the other because it’s the only choice available is not appealing to me.
I don’t want to dive into misery. I want to fight it to the last, but I’m not sure if it’s really reasonable when hope is always just a little further away.