Rick ran me up one side and down the other about this blog. He feels it’s too one sided…and it is. He says it paints our lives like June and Ward Cleaver, stumbling through life with no greater problem than keeping Eddie Haskell from getting Wally and the Beav into hot water. The truth is our lives are far from the placid 1950’s image of the Cleaver’s suburban utopia. We don’t have a sitcom existence, trouble free and destined for happy endings. Our reality show, the unedited version, is filled with trauma and unresolved conflict. When I write I choose not to include all of our dirty laundry. My objective has been to find a way out of the pain and the only way I know how to do this is by focusing on what anesthetizes the ache. I wake up most mornings knowing that bills haven’t been paid, taxes are looming with the possibility of dire consequences, and as hard as I try I can’t find a way to help alleviate the burden this puts on those closest to me. Our path of communication has become so narrow we sometimes go through weeks of not talking. I worry constantly about how this will effect Emmy’s grown personality. What kind of example for a productive life are we setting for her? Does she close herself off in her room because she’s a teenager exercising her young wings looking for her privacy or is it because she wants to avoid our searing silence? There isn’t a day goes by I don’t contemplate walking down to the garage and going to sleep to the toxic fumes of the running motor, my escape from the constant mental anguish only a turn of the ignition away. I feel doomed to parade my failure in front of my family. I fear the day I end up bussing tables for former high school classmates who made fun of me when I was an aspiring “artsy”, the ones I tried to escape from, leaving their taunts and snickers of “queer” a far off echo. The battle in my head runs even in my sleep as I struggle with my failure as a provider for the ones I love most. At times it’s so lonely I find the only friend I have is this blog.
So that’s why I try to write with humor. If I can edit out the pain and focus on the moments of joy that make life a little more bearable, then the blog is doing its job and I can hold on. I can feel a sense of accomplishment even if my reward is only the words I’ll leave behind. It’s my therapy. It’s my gift to myself. It’s what lets me sleep for more than a couple of hours a night. It’s what restores my dignity and allows me to smile at myself. It’s what gets me to another day. It’s what gives me hope.
So enough of this self-indulgent crybaby tirade, the pity party is over. Reality has been duly noted. I get to choose what I put in here and how I choose to open the curtain on the play of my life. A good play needs conflict and dimension. I’ve now put that in act II. It’s time for act III and the play’s resolve. I am choosing to put on my rose colored glasses for the final act.
There's truth in letting a smile be your umbrella