Years ago ~ I promised myself to walk away from everything and everyone who was not right for me.
I’ve decided to not keep my pain secret because I know there is someone out there right this very second who needs to hear that they are not alone; they are not crazy and they are not going to crumble through their recovery from whatever mired bog they are standing in.
No arguments. No discussions. No big dramatic exit. Just ~ walk away.
I didn’t realize how far I had to walk or to what extent.
Life became more of an old Etch-A-Sketch … you know, the scratch pad with the erase mechanism, but after a while, the ghost of designs past, are still there, haunting you w/your mistakes.
I walked away from elitism ~ poverty ~ gossips ~ destructive malignant systems ~ individuals who were more intent on harming people ~ toxic cultures ~ toxic people ~ ignorance ~ petty issues with no significant contributions to the world ~ unhealthy mindsets ~ provincial critics ~ shallow idealisms ~ the grip of the opinions of others ~ the broken arrogant who were blind to their own destructive behaviors toward others ~ systems that hurt, rather than helped those they were paid to serve ~ and all other general jackasses who made the lives of other people miserable for their own selfish endeavors ~ for sport.
I left the room ~ I left the town ~ I left the county, then the state then, I found myself leaving the Northeast entirely. It took me four years to make that decision.
All of this happened ~ at the beginning of the pandemic. March 11, 2020 ~ I was in the middle of a Wegmans, looked around, and said,
“I love this store. Why do I live so damn far from the places and things I love? Fuck it. Let’s move.” ~ I was talking of course, to the giant 18-roll toilet paper. I was alone.
That’s what I bought myself for my birthday ~ a whole cart full of groceries in my favorite store. It was two hours away from my house. That’s how exciting my life was a year ago.
I got a text from someone the moment I got back into my car.
The world fell apart that day.
It took me almost an entire year before I realized something.
What holy hell did I put up with and WHY did I do it for so long? Who were THEY to fuck with my life to that extent?
That was the day I knew I was truly and actually free of them. Of that life. Of that existence.
People are mobile, so that one can also come here to visit.
Developing a new way of life entirely ~ from scratch, now that is a project!
There was of course, push back.
I didn’t care. I still don’t.
I quit my job ~ I sold my house ~ I left the town and the people in it behind and I let Jesus take the wheel.
Do you know how many middle aged women are saying fuck it to the life they used to live?
So many, that when I spoke to an MFA writing recruiter, they told me that I’d fit right into their program because that’s what middle aged women were doing.
Telling their story. Shit. I didn’t want to go main stream or fit in. I didn’t take them up on the offer.
Instead, I bounced ~ south.
So many people are these days. It’s 2021 (time stamping this puppy)
The self help movement is thriving but that chapped the psychology industries bottom … line. So? They created a niche industry that mirrored the self help bougie business, then quickly claimed ownership of it all.
Sorry suckers ~ Oprah beat y’all to it. In the 80’s. 😉
All those people (the sexy ones) are leaping all over beaches in flowing clothes for some reason. In 2020, they had to stay in so decided to flow from their homes onto the internet ~ being all … flowy.
I mean ~ we have spent millions of dollars on seminars, books, blogs, assundries and pre-written journals just to remind ourselves that we’re in our “best lives” … right?
BUT ~ and here’s the rub.
When you look at the lives of the Ivy Leaguers and NYC well connected authors of said life goals ~
You will find that they are:
- Coupled up well ~ in solid relationships.
- They are community connected well ~ in solid friend/fan groups.
- They are financially stable and abundantly financially secure.
- They have successful careers that guarantee them an easy out should anything become uncomfortable.
- These authors of the self help revolution are ABLE to live these fantastic jobs, wear these fantastic clothes, have fantastic editors on speed dial and create the illusion of suffering from some lame story that’s decades old …
Because they … unlike millions of their readers … have no idea what life is like for those people who had to save up the $29.95 to buy the pre-release of the hardcover book …
They have no concept at all what it’s like to walk around in an earth suit of suffering from trauma.
They did the research, or like the Fendi bag my kid bought on the streets of Manhattan, they knocked off other people’s research to gain their golden chalice in the palace.
They have never spent a day in the shoes of someone who lives below the poverty line or at just scraping by living paycheck to paycheck because they never had to.
I know this because I used to be in the thick of their sometimes, well intentioned advice giving.
How can an elephant teach a butterfly how to fly?
The wealthy 1-2% teaching the struggling financially fragile w/less of everything how to be inspirational [while also condescending to them] has become a trend that to me ~ is vial and disgusting.
Alas ~ there is the rub.
How can someone who is celebrating imperfections and authentic human experiences be so damn hard on other people who are doing the same. (Me)
When looking at the actions of others, we must also look at ourselves.
When we speak or write, do so with conviction. Being clear means, there is no question in our goal.
Mine is to help other humans overcome trauma ~ to find peace after leaving for the unknown and to collaborate with other helpers who are doing the same work.
It is not to social comparison ~ or assume I know your story ~ or to judge as much as get the message across.
The thing is ~ that’s what academia is to me.
I loved being an academic. I loved teaching, offering workshops and being proven wrong by students. I celebrated students who had deeper insight than I did and I continue to celebrate those who have succeeded.
I didn’t love the back door political game playing. I didn’t know those in power, crushing those who were there for the love of the game. I didn’t love being where I was.
We can abruptly change at any given moment ~ a meme quote I read somewhere, but the backstory to that … ah, the backstory is ~ you have to move mental mountains in order to get to that point.
I mean seriously, didn’t anyone watch the Karate Kid?
Wax on. Wax off.
Practice and passion make perfect.
I for one, am energized by the mass exodus of people moving into living their best lives ~ or at least trying. I’m excited by the good people reclaiming the world ~ shows like Ted Lasso (I could write a whole love letter to that show, now that my binge is almost over) where his indelible optimism is infectious hope in a bottle of adorable.
Until tomorrow, I’m off to reflect, ponder, take action and write. Also do a little more Ted Lasso Apple TV binging ~ if the cats would only let me.
For now ~ 2021 so far ~ has been a hell of a ride for so many of us. It’s weird to wake up after a 30 year coma to find what I was looking for all along ~ my own voice.
Something I hope you’ve also found this year.
To peace and personal clarity,
(c) @happinessnoir @inkhoneypub @K.ArenHenryMiller
p.s…. my goal is to one day go leaping on a beach. I just have to make sure not to hurt something in the process. 😉
Follow me & my cat clan on Instagram if you want to. And if you’re nice. Hopefully, also supportive of rescue cats ~ and dogs. I’m very convinced that I was a cat wrangler in another life. We have enough sexy leaping ladies on the beaches. Let’s go save some strays.
Cats that is … not ladies. Though, it would be nice to save them too.