I sit on the deck of an 80 year old ship. On the drive here I realized a cruel truth amidst the most hectic three days filled with work, ear infections in both ears and just a fuck ton of life. I’m ridiculously efficient as I beast mode my way through work challenges that stump most. I take on almost everything on the side to help friends and family, all while asking myself when it will all slow down so I can breathe. I don’t even have kids yet. I should be too young to be this tired.
My culprits are expectations and disappointment. They run hand in hand through both my personal and work life. Worry is a frequent flyer too. Will I be this miserable in my career forever? Will I always find resentment for my partner after coming home to find the dirty dishes in the same place as when I left three days before? Will I enjoy parenthood at all, or will it be another stifling and shackling reminder of society’s unrealistic expectations of me? I’m starting to feel that being a woman (and a brown one at that) is truly a curse. I mean it.
It’s grown cool on the deck of the boat as I listen to live music being played at some fair across the way. I try to guess the songs. A beautiful rendition of Titanium. On my drive I realized that nothing ever evens out in life. It’s a fucking tornado that sweeps you from one place to the other, fooling you with the illusion of control when you get a toe on the ground, only to keep jolting you along. Now there are fireworks.
Did I do it wrong somewhere? Should I have lived at home throughout college? Stayed in my hometown? Kissed more ass? Turned right instead of left? Lost weight so I could sleep my way to the top or at least to being a trophy wife? I shamefully find myself wishing more and more that I was born into privilege with no concept of working hard. Everything handed to me. Not giving a shit about how my existence impacts others as I stomp through life taking what I want and declaring it as mine. Screw all of you. This life is my right, and you are just bystanders.
Sitting on the edge of this deck reminds me how fucking frightened I am of open water. What’s out there? What’s beneath? What will it do to me if I ever find myself in it? The deck is quiet now. All the visitors with loud ass kids have thankfully retreated, leaving only silent couples who walk gently across the old planks. I don’t hate kids. I just despise most of the ones raised outside of my family and families like mine. It’s not a matter of culture or color. It’s discipline, choice and accountability for actions.
The last few days reminded me how much I appreciate my solace. No one around to clean up after, nag, help, entertain or console. It’s just me and my thoughts, which I haven’t been able to get out clearly until right now, on the edge of this deck and my comfort zone looking out over something I fear. I hate my management and the fact that my job chased a good friend of mine into physical and mental instability. I hate that women are expected to work, raise children, take care of their husbands, clean the house and manage every little detail about the family. When the fuck do we get to sleep? Or live? I hate that there are things that I want but feel like I can’t have. The odds are stacked against me, and I’m honestly tired of being a good person.
So there it is, finally all laid out, unadulterated by my attempts to be PC. I’ve typed out nearly four drafts before today attempting to cleverly say these things while still preserving the But I’m OK facade. Because who wants to see an ugly portrait of a life among all the filtered and beautified images? Most of the time I’m not ok. I’m tired, disappointed, irritated, ridiculously overworked and curious as to when the hell I’ll ever actually enjoy life. Maybe never.
The music stopped.