Tuesday, March 29, 2011

straighten up and fly right

It's morning. You're running late, again. You always do this, don't you? Hit the snooze button fifteen times, let the alarm clock play alternative music intermittently for over an hour. But you're tired, of course you're tired. You didn't sleep again last night. Same as the night before. And the night before that. The nightmares, the anxiety, the fact that your brain never stops racing, the fact that your body stops breathing when the anxiety gets too bad and you wake up, panicked, gulping for air that you don't even let yourself breathe.

The commute's not too bad this morning, sometimes it can take over an hour to drive down Santa Monica Blvd from one side of town to the other, with you sitting in the car, trying to not wonder how much the stop and go traffic is gleefully murdering your car's engine, trying not to get hit by SUV's full of one person, reading their iPhone and steering with the hand holding their latte, who ends up swerving in and out of your lane. You try not to think nasty thoughts about people who can't be bothered to just focus on driving. You try to appreciate the fact that the radio is playing the same ten songs it always plays. You try to appreciate the fact that your iPod plays the same ten albums it always plays because you don't have enough money to buy new music, because any extra money you're earning these days is going towards filling your gas tank to get you to your job that gives you the money to fill your gas tank so you can get to your job. Because life is cyclical like that.

Work is okay, nothing special, you sit in front of a computer all day long and do what it is you do, the sort of menial task you get paid well for but it's not like you majored in it college and want to do it for the rest of your life. The window view is nice, your boss is kind and not that demanding and lets you play Pandora in the background, the clients are polite and respectful and things could be a lot worse, you could be one of 14 million unemployed Americans who would kill for your job, but you still wish you were out there, auditioning for acting roles and feeling like you were actually getting somewhere with the career you actually want, the thing you DID major in college for. But then you remember that you've still got time, there's always time, and things can change in a day out here in bright and sunny Los Angeles.

You get home, and your cat, whom you swore was a cat when you adopted it, has turned into a dog, a whiny, needy dog that shrieks if you don't pet it immediately, and you think to yourself, I swear I thought cats were supposed to ignore you, and your boyfriend, your wonderful, sweet, kind boyfriend is already making dinner, even though he's made dinner the last eight nights and it's probably been your turn to make dinner for at least a month now. He's making dinner, and he's twirling around in the kitchen doing eight things at once, and you drop your stuff and come into the kitchen and he stops whatever he's doing (unless he's carrying something hot to the sink) and pulls you into his strong arms and he smells like home and everything you've ever loved, and the cat twirls between the feet of the two of you and begs for food. Because she's actually a dog.

You sit on the couch, eating another amazing dinner compiled mainly from random things your boyfriend found in the fridge (you do not have this gift, alas) and you wrap your fingers around his as you both watch a funny television show that takes your mind off of the fact that your career isn't where you would like it to be, and the late afternoon sunlight dips through the window and hits at just such an angle that it feels like you are actually witnessing a memory or a photograph being created before your very eyes, and you look over at this boy, who makes you so completely and fully happy, and you look at the food sitting in front of you, that you had enough money for in your checking account when you bought it, and you look at the apartment that you love and have decorated with love, and you look at the cat that is now ignoring you as all good cats should do, and your heart fills with warmth and love about how every single thing in your life is amazing, even though it wasn't a particularly amazing day, because you realize just how truly loved you really are, and something expands in your lungs, and it's hope, hope that things will get even better, hope for the future, hope, hope is the thing with feathers, hope floats, hope springs eternal, hope hope hope hope hope....

27 comments:

Miss Sweet Tea said...

love this, it's beautifully written and how i feel on a daily basis. thank you for posting!

Lira said...

beautiful, beautiful, beautiful

Jo said...

I hope, too. :)
xox

Robin said...

I swear I heard Dido playing in the background while I was reading this blog. This very smart girl I know is a big fam of the art of appreciation. Something about appreciating what you have so that more good things keep coming to you. Sounds like you and she think exactly alike:-)

Anthony Duce said...

I so enjoyed the writing here, and thinking about when it was similar in younger days. After accomplishing most of the dreams the stuff I worked so hard for, I look back and wish some of the moments during the struggle could be relived again, some of the moments you just described. Thank you

JJ said...

Lovely Phoenix: Thank you for taking me through your version of Dante's ninth level of Hell. I NEVER experience what you describe. I refuse. I do not believe in time. It is an arbitrary concept invented by human beings to measure stress. May you and all your friends realize it is a choice! I know, I know, I know. Don't yell at me! It does not happen overnight. However, nothing is impossible to the willing mind. It does require more than hope.

Two Tigers said...

So moving, so true. Parts of it achingly familiar, as I imagine it will be for many who read it. There's another thing to make one feel appreciative - knowing someone like you with enough emotion and intelligence to apprehend these kinds of human situations and write about them with such a deft hand, and resist the urge to wallow in self-pity overmuch, and end on a note of hope. You rock, girl. Thank you.

Catherine Jagos said...

I love this post! So beautiful! It reminds me a lot about what I go through as well...thank you for this wonderfully written post!

rosaria said...

Honey, everything we do prepares us for the next. But, you say, this is not what I want to do! Trust me. You are learning something today for the job you'll have tomorrow,

When I was a young mother and wanted so much to have a settled life, a husband out of school, a home with a picket fence, etc.., I was having a hard time enjoying the day to day friendships, the closeness of our encounters, the rythm of that life.

Two decades later, I was hiring people who were young mothers and unhappy with their lives, feeling unfulfilled, and I was able to mentor them, to show them what they were missing by not being in that life of theirs.

That boyfriend of yours who cooks and makes you feel at home? That life you think is so boring? All these people, all these emotions are teaching about people, about yourself, about the yearning we all have to dream. When you write that script, about this life, the script that you will act out, you will know the meat of the problem, the crux of the situation,

Your script will be brilliant. Your acting will be nuanced and layered with so many detailed that you would never have thought of if you had not lived this life, today.

Lori ann said...

wow rosaria, that was beautiful. and your post too tracy. have i ever told you what an amazing writer you are?

Marion said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again and again: "You are a true bodhisattva (enlightened being)." The Poet in me bows humbly, lovingly & respectfully to the Poet in you.

Love & Blessings,
Marion, with Gir-cat upside down in my lap whopping at my earphones...

"I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It's not. Mine had me trained in two days." ~Bill Dana

Gwen said...

I think you are one of the most talented writers around!!! Not to mention one of the most beautful souls also. This post is awesome and so true for so many. Love it and you too!!!

NeverNude815 said...

well done

Barbara said...

I was getting so depressed as I read but then you ended with such love and affection that I was smiling.
Yes, hope always has to be there, otherwise how could we put one foot in front of the other every morning?
You are loved. You have a job. Nobody is ill. You are fortunate, it's just perhaps not all you want.
Keep hoping, my darling friend!

drollgirl said...

you have a great perspective on things. and a very good attitude. and keep hope alive. a little tweaking in the job/work area and you will pretty much be golden in life! :)

Kris said...

This was LOVELY. I can relate to everything... except the driving. Nope, I have someone's stinking armpit in my face! HOPE

Dionne said...

This is so poignant. I can totally relate - and I love how this reads like such a work of art. You have a way with words, my friend.

Joker_SATX said...

See? This is what I like about you. You take nothing for granted. You absorb it all. And this is a good thing.

Do you know how many people take that as your day to day life and not look back, reflect and see it for the day of perfection that it really is?

I have at least two people that are on that list of folks that take it for granted. Lucky for me that they are now my ex wives......

Bathwater said...

I'm so glad this story had a bit of a happy ending because it was a bit of a downer there at first. ;)

I hope they continue to get better and I'm glad you enjoy what you do have so much.

g. fox said...

good good good for you, girl. hang in there with the insomnia.

Heather Taylor said...

Everything about this post is love which I, in turn, love :)
Tracy...I have the solution to all of your necessary new music for your ipod needs. Don't buy anything. Download it all for free on mediafire. It's safe to use on PCs and Macs and all you have to do is type in the name of the artist and/or song on google and add "mediafire" after. If you want to find an entire album, add "zip" after mediafire. Trust me, you'll be swimming in the good songs before long!

Terresa said...

Yes, I know this, how hope fills and the knowledge resonates that every single thing is amazing, even if the day was rather ordinary.

Thanks for reminding me of these moments, they exist and carry us through.

Eric W. Trant said...

Nice turn there at the end! My day exactly, except my dogs really are dogs, and I have kids in the mix.

My wife is a creative cook, too. Funny how you mention that about your B-man. There's something amazing about your lover cooking. It's why I always picture my girl nekid when she's in the kitchen. I do that lots of places, though, most everywhere in fact. Right this very moment, even...

- Eric

Noob Mommy said...

Lovely post! I enjoyed the honest day-to-day. Isn't it crazy how one moment you feel so tired and fed up with how things are going and some little spark can spin you off in a totally new, but much much better and productive direction.

Jo Schaffer said...

(= Glowing. Hurray for hope!

The not sleeping is a bad thing. You need seratonin to NOT go crazy or get depressed.
Why the anxiety and no sleep? =( Take melatonin (all natural) and do your yoga breathing and meditaion before lying down. That's my worried--over-mothering-busybody-know-it-all-two cents. (;

Your man sounds like a slice of hunk heaven--I am lucky to have one of those too. (=

ed pilolla said...

this is so wonderful.
good to see you again:)

Darcy said...

first i read the poetry above this post, i breathed it in,

and now this,

more poetry.

thank you for the walk down gratitude lane.

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