Despite his heartfelt request and my fervent attempts to comply, I didn’t smile all the way home.
I don’t know how much smiling he did, but I didn’t smile and I only laughed when I did because I had the good fortune of having a novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman with me.
In fact, I cried. Though I managed to at least hold off until the plane went up and Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist’ blared through my new headphones with the horrible words “Tell me you love me, come back and hold me” and I stumbled to the bathroom and bawled for the rest of the song and a little more.
After that I alternated between distracting myself with mediocre inflight entertainment or the afore mentioned novel and staring blankly at the seat in front of me, lamenting that all my music was either
a.) songs I had attributed to him
b.) songs that we’d done something together while listening to or
c.) just regularly depressing.
The man next to me on the first leg was an Indian immigrant returning to London who had odd smelling breath and didn’t know anything about personal space and kept talking over the top of me to his wife sitting in the next row. I got some respite after that experience though and managed to have my pokemon pal in the seat next to me for the long haul (I choose you, bellossom!) The wifi on all of my planes was mysteriously unavailable, as if to thwart my attempts to actually hold a meaningful conversation with anyone other than myself.
The cookies were at least, very appetizing.
So, I was stuck on this 29 hour journey with so little to do that I thought it would be an apt time to start conveniently planning the rest of my life, starting perhaps with writing something, seeing as that is what I’ve been saying I want to do for the last 10 years.
I could have started writing some lovely fictional story with a healthy dose of mystery or fantasy or pseudo-science but instead I decided to indulge my narcissism and write about myself. I got told by someone pretty cool at the start of this year that I was the most interesting person they had ever met, I won’t lie, a compliment like that goes to you head a little bit and I thought “Hey, maybe I really am interesting!” So I decided to start this thing… It is sort of like a little series of anecdotes, life lessons learned, and an investigation of the inescapable sense of irony which I often feel pervades my existence. What better place to start it than right now? The lowest of the low points in 27 and a half years of life. After all, do regular people get divorced after only 7 months? I mean, I know Katy Perry does, but I’m just a short Australian girl with a big mouth and an inordinate love for music, cats, liquor and good books. I’ve got a temper, but I am pretty sure everyone does. My heart is in the right place, I’m a hard worker, I think a lot, I never forget a name or a birthday and I work so hard to please people that I should think the flaw of being able to shriek like a banshee when it is my time of the month can be overlooked.
So what is it about me that he didn’t find worth loving? I mean, I did everything for him, kept him comfortable. Told him how handsome and smart he was, how strong his arms were, how safe he made me feel, how much I needed him. I cooked and cleaned and encouraged, tried to acquiesce to all his whims. Sure we could have had more sex, I would have liked to actually, but I am really shy about sex. You wouldn’t know it from hearing me talk because I am not shy about talking about anything. But I am pretty shy about sex and initiating it. I’ve always had this silly romantic idea that the person I was with would just know I wanted to have sex and do all the initiating thanks to the intensely intimate and spiritual connection we obviously have due to like, being in love and stuff.
It is kind of like the silly idea I have that if I think hard enough about someone they’ll know I need them and call or text or email. Or that if I want something badly enough I’ll get it because my desire will shape the universe.
Does anyone else have these really childish ideas 2 and a half years shy of 30? Or do I still have more growing up to do? Maybe I am not cynical enough yet. All the crap the world has thrown at me so far hasn’t jaded me enough. Every time I get depressed and I think of kicking it all in like a glorious quitter I think of my bloody Mum and how her kids are shit heads who have made her cry enough and I probably shouldn’t contribute to that cycle with a permanent tragedy.
So there I was, stuck on a plane going nowhere with no idea where it is I really want to be any more, or what it is I really want to do, or even what it is I want at all. Seems like most other people my age have got a good grip on things. Jobs, kids, houses. And here is me, with just about nothing to show for all this time on earth but a really comfortable pair of boots and a cool hat I bought for 10 quid in Camden. I mean, I have a lot of stories, and a lot of friends. Both I count as blessings beyond belief, but I am still struck with this overwhelming feeling that I haven’t accomplished anything, and I didn’t have that 4 weeks ago. 4 weeks ago I felt like I had accomplished a lot. I had a husband who I had traversed the globe to be with and loved with all my heart, a green card I had worked bloody hard to get, a brand new Queen size bed and a pocketful of dreams for a beautiful future that involved dogs and cats and maybe even kids. Now I just have a big span of emptiness. A yawning abyss of uncertainty that I’m forced to battle across.
Is this what I get for my leap of faith Kierkegaard? I named a great dog after you once, that is pretty honourific, couldn’t you have thrown me a bone for that? Is this what I get when I gamble everything for love?
Great advice Ben Lee. You said it’d be alright. Well it isn’t. I paid $1.99 on itunes for that advice. I want my money back.
I always said there were only like, 7 stories in the world and we just told them over and over again. Well the truth is, there aren’t 7 stories in the world, there is only one. Every story ever written is just a story about someone trying to find their place. Discover who they are. Uncover what they were put here for.
This is where I’ve chosen to start mine.