Clowning around and feeling witchy in Salem

Clowning around and feeling witchy in Salem

In an effort to be a more consistent blogger – I finish books and then it can be a while before I have a chance to post- I thought it would be an interesting challenge to myself to blog weekly about what I am reading/thinking/doing.  The Thinking and Doing sections of this blog have been pretty neglected lately, and I suppose it’s time to break that pattern.

RachelInTheOC says to just write your truth- who cares what anyone else thinks? Well, I care, but I’m trying to get over that. So I’m going to be as honest as I can be in anything I post in this series. Let’s start with the easy stuff.

What am I reading right now? Dorcas Good, Diary of a Salem Witch- I just visited Salem, MA, and I am totally obsessed with the Salem Witch Trials now. I’m also reading The Gifts of Imperfection (more on that later) and listening to Snow White Must Die and The Sociopath Next Door.  I have a number of books in queue and don’t know what I’ll start next. But stay tuned for updates on all of these.

What else?  Well, still in the vein of reading…. I’ve always found it hard to completely walk away from a book I don’t love.  But I’ve started doing that lately.  Sometimes I’ll come back to them. Sometimes they just aren’t for me.  But time is too precious to slog through a book I’m just not interested in.  I’m also coming to terms with (gasp!) giving away books. Although I frequently donate to charities who are more than happy to take books, I still feel a bit guilty getting rid of a book. I want to make sure it goes to a good home, so to speak- another bibliophile.  But there just isn’t enough space in the house to keep ALL THE BOOKS.

Back to The Gifts of Imperfection. Why did I choose this one? Here’s where that honesty part comes in.  I have a milestone birthday this month. I’m still loath to admit the number, but I am working on saying it out loud without cringing.  It’s one of those birthdays that forces a degree of life evaluation.  And I’m coming to terms, slowly, with the fact that my life is turning out nothing like I had planned. That’s not to say I don’t have a good, happy, and very fulfilling life.  But I always pictured myself as a wife and mother, and both of those are looking distinctly less likely each year.

It’s hard, sometimes, always being the lone person at a table of couples.  It’s hard, too, to admit that it’s hard- especially when most of your friends married relatively young and haven’t been in this situation and can’t really empathize with what it’s like to wonder what’s so wrong with you that you can’t manage this one thing that everyone else seems to fall into with relative ease.

It’s hard to look at your life and realize how compartmentalized it is. How many facets of yourself you hold back in a number of situations to keep peace, to preserve face, to meet expectations others have set. To stifle the desire to say fuck it all, I’m tired of remembering which mask I’m supposed to wear when.

And it’s hard, when you’ve become so self reliant, so independent, so used to going it alone and doing for yourself, to allow yourself to be open and vulnerable but you’ve read all the books and know that to be fulfilled, this hardest risk of all is the one you absolutely must take.  The Gifts of Imperfection is, I think (I’m not terribly far into it yet) one of those books meant to inspire and guide you in embracing your authentic self and not worrying so much what people think.  Which seems so very common sense, but is actually, sometimes, hard to put into practice. So that’s my goal with this big birthday milestone.  To learn to say Fuck it! To say YES! enthusiastically to the things that make life more full and make me happy. To say a firm no, and perhaps a goodbye to those things that drag me down. To carve a life that is, and isn’t built on what “should” have been.

Stay tuned.