Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Cup Half Full? A Life Half Empty....

Let me introduce you to Love Monkey, or Sturdy Girl as she's now calling herself (for reasons best, I guess, kept to herself.) She is my new BBF, best blog friend. More than that, I want to be her when I grow up. Sturdy Girl is the reason the internet in general and blogging in particular are so fucking fantastic. How else would I know her, if not for our blogs? She knits, she bakes bread, she cans, she writes like a demon and, man, can she say exactly the right thing that I so needed to hear but didn't know it.

She also is one of several people this summer who made me see that, hey, I'm not such a happy-eyed child after all. I used to think, quite proudly I must confess, that I am the eternal optimist. I always think life is going to go my way. I never question whether I'll get the job, the promotion, the whatever. My mother brought me up with a mantra--if you want something, you'll work hard for it and you'll get it. I believed her. And for a long time it was true. Or so I thought. In fact, one of the major bones of contention between D and me is his predilection for seeing failure looming while I allow myself to envision nothing but utter success.

I'm now beginning to question myself, however. Am I really such a perky Pollyanna? Then why the following:
  • Sturdy Girl wrote in yesterday's post that she is now
    "very productive in my knitting of late. I am making great strides in the toddler pullover (cardigan) and the socks and working on two scarfs, one classic and one lacy. I am starting to "get the hang of" the yarn shops and I have decided just to pick yarn I like (to make small things like scarves) and in this way learn the way different yarn knits up. I think this in itself is an education in knitting. Besides, I can now understand why knitters have a stash. We love the feeling of security it gives us - all these yarns we have to look forward to knitting."
Whereas I say: I cannot stick with one knitting project long enough to complete it. I bounce from scarf to sweater to purse to fill in the blank. I have Knitting ADD (along with the other kind) and I am riddled with guilt over the projects I have on needles from FUCKING YEARS AGO....THAT NO LONGER EVEN FIT ME!!! And my stash, my stash, my stash! like my bra cup, it overfloweth.
  • Item #2: when reminiscing with my BFF1 a couple of weeks ago, I was struck that our memories of our early years in school were so different. She remembered the teacher she loved, the playground (okay, I'm making this up because I can't remember all the good stuff that she remembered), while I remembered every slight or failure or bad day I had in Elementary School. I remember that I used to come home from school crying every day over some tragedy or other. I remember my mother telling me that I had to get a "shell" and not let people hurt my feelings so much. I remember the teachers who didn't like me, the kids who made fun of me, and the signal traumas that are with me still today.
  • Item #3: There is the stuff I know for sure, and the stories I tell myself about the stuff I know for sure. Those stories inevitably posit me as the victim. I became aware of this as I have worked at various times this summer to pull myself back from the brink of whatever. I will stop the story and pull out of it just the stuff I know for sure. When I do that, I see that inevitably I've chose the road not only less travelled, but the one that leads off the cliff.
What is this about? Is it a Jewish thing? Some say that part of our DNA is a perennial feeling of never fitting in, of seeing the world splintered in pieces, in need of healing. Or was I a depressed child, even back then in the first grade--and I've been more or less dysthymic all my life?

I don't know the answer, and I'm not sure it's really relevant. What does seem important to my present and future sense of well-being is that I CUT THIS SHIT OUT RIGHT NOW.

Oh, now that's a positive way to begin, Jane....


  1. Well, now that just made my day! Thank you.

    I have a theory. (actually I have a million of them.) I do think you are a positive person, you are just going through a shitty time. Interesting it involves "D" who as you said tends to be much more negative than you are. I truly believe exposure to negative energy results in becoming more negative.

    Anyway - my friend "Bunny" once went through a horrible time - husband's alcoholism, infidelity, divorce, surgery, the death of several family members. And she went a therapist because she feared she might be depressed. The therapist listened and then said - "You're not depressed! You're sad and you have every reason to be. You're life sucks right now!"

    And I think that the same goes for you- you are sad and have every reason to be. But I think you are truly a positive happy person and you will eventually feel that way again.

    PS..sorry I will explain Sturdy Girl in my next entry!! (it's kind of a running joke.)

  2. see, now you did it again.....

  3. ...but, at the risk of it being said I want to hold on to my negativity: I think what I'm noticing about myself has a longer history than this period when I do have a right to be sad, etc. But I'm not rejecting your theory out of hand.
    I wonder what other readers think...

  4. I echo Sturdy Girl. I don't think that anyone going through a divorce is going to necessarily be "up" all the time. Or even most of the time.

    You just have to be aware of it, know when to express your anger/sadness/depression over it and when to force yourself to stop.

    Ha! Like it's that easy. But at least it will get better. ;)


So--whaddaya think?