Shouldn’t I Have It? Shouldn’t I Have All of This and Passionate Kisses?

I have never been an overly ambitious person, so to hit my thirties and discover that there’s just some shit I must do has been a little jarring for me. I do believe the message my parents were trying to teach us when we were growing up is that God will provide whatever it is you need and wanting earthly things misses the point; focus on Godly things.

I think the message we all got was something like “don’t want things and you won’t be disappointed when you don’t get them.”

But, so, here I am, wanting some things, which is weird, but I’m trying to be cool about it. Ha ha ha ha ha. No, seriously, this is me trying to be cool about it. Imagine what it would be like if I were to just give into it.

But I still get sidetracked by “MIINNEEE!” at weird times. Like I saw this morning that Jack White is our first inaugural Music City Ambassador and I was like “Fuck Jack White! I should be a Music City Ambassador.” People. I am not even a musician. But I was all “I’d better be our second inaugural Music City Ambassador or heads are going to roll! God damn it, I will redefine inaugural to make this shit happen!!!”

This is not going to cut it. I’m all for striving and wanting things, but I’m not all for losing all common sense, which appears to be my case at the moment.

Still, it’s odd. And speaking of thoughts that go nowhere good, I wonder, too, how much of it is just finally getting a doctor (or team of doctors) who could fucking help me, you know? My chemical stew was one way that was not good for me and now is another way, which is. Would it have made a difference if all my cells were stewing in this chemical bath back in grad school? In college?

You see what I mean? No good can come of that. I’ve been thinking a lot about my uncle’s willingness to believe that my cousin’s kid has a tumor to send a message to my cousin. And the truth is that I understand that impulse–that people, even I, want to believe that things happen for a reason. Like I’m sitting here wondering if there’s some reason, some purpose, to trying to do these things–like write a book and get it published–that I’ve always wanted to do, my whole life–now instead of in my 20s. Hormones? Mid-life crisis? The gods sending me a message?

But the truth is, and I believe this is the whole truth, some shit just happens. Good and bad. We don’t have as much control over things as we’ve gone to elaborate lengths to make seem like we have. There is no message in most things. Some get lucky, some do not.

Which is not to say that I don’t believe in messages. Shoot, I’m as superstitious as fuck.

I don’t know. I guess what I’m saying is that I recognize my uncle’s impulses in myself–that impulse to put things in order, to understand that there’s a way you do things and, if you do things that way, good things will happen and if you don’t, bad things of course come to you. And he’s kind of trapped by that, in ways I think he sometimes sees. My uncle is like my dad in this regard. They can be viciously mean, but it is almost never, if ever, about the people they are being mean towards. They are almost always reacting to feeling vulnerable in some way by making it so you can’t hurt them (which is not to excuse them, but just to point out how it works).

But, like I said, I feel this tendency in myself and I don’t want to be trapped in it like they are.

But I also want to want things and to figure out how to get them. So… yeah, it’s tricky.

5 thoughts on “Shouldn’t I Have It? Shouldn’t I Have All of This and Passionate Kisses?

  1. God did not give you intelligence, talents and drive as, uh, dinosaur bones, placed there to confuse you into imagining they might mean somehting. The spitit is not that mean, small and cruel. You were given these gifts to be used to the furthest extent possible. and to make a contribution. And, the story goes, to those not bent on entirely distorting it to justify tininess and failure, and the worthlessness of humanity, God said of this world, and your talents,”and it was good.”

  2. Some get lucky, some do not.

    I’ve been wrestling with this one quite a bit myself lately. For me, the irritation is that even when I find myself accepting this, there’s always someone who thinks that signs of being unlucky are signs of not doing something right, and will say as much. Because sometimes unlucky and not doing something right look an awful lot alike.

  3. I’ve been thinking a lot about this post since I first read it yesterday afternoon. I feel like there is so much I want to say about it, but I don’t know how to articulate it.

    First and least cerebral is the reaction to this:
    that God will provide whatever it is you need and wanting earthly things misses the point; focus on Godly things.

    That seems to be a common PK thing. Tim declares absolutely that it comes from most preachers being poorly compensated and then training their kids out of that. His parents brought him up to believe that wanting toys and clothes bought directly for him instead of gleaned from the poorbox was a sin. But that was because it’s the habit in a minister’s family to sanctify their failings and their shame. Instead of feeling like crap because you can’t buy your son a basketball, tell him it’s a sin to want a basketball. It seems to be more of that insidious “I work for God and so you do too, and by the way God is a crap boss” stuff.

    Would it have made a difference if all my cells were stewing in this chemical bath back in grad school? In college?

    I’ve been here for a long time. My first real flare of AI disease was between my Freshman and Sophomore years. My second was during the winter term of my Sophomore year and was what compelled me to leave school. I often wondered when I was finally diagnosed if, had they realised back then what they were dealing with instead of writing it off to me being weak or lazy or malingering, I would be some other kind of person today.

    Thing is that I like who I am today and I’m not sure I’d like who I would have been had things played out differently. I didn’t come to that realisation, though, until a couple of years ago. It’s like once I started to get right up against 40 things started falling into place. Even though there is so much about my life that is Not Great right now, I like who I am and the Not Great parts don’t matter as much. Most of the time. I’m hoping you hit that realisation.

    ome purpose, to trying to do these things–like write a book and get it published–that I’ve always wanted to do, my whole life–now instead of in my 20s.

    I am seriously more and more of a certainty that GOOD writers have an innate sense of when they are good enough to actually start writing for real. I’m interacting more with writers’ groups online and they are all incidentally comprised of two groups.

    1. People in their 20s who want to have a career writing workmanlike stuff.

    2. People older than 35 who want to be good writers.

    Some of the #2s also want to have writing careers, but most of them are more focused on doing their best work and honing their craft. I don’t see the same kind of attention to craftsmanship in the younger group because they are at the point in their lives where they’re trying to find their place in the world and they place they want to be is as John Grisham or Terry Brooks. I think that’s what’s going on with you. You want to tell a story, to connect with readers. Yeah, you wouldn’t mind having a writing career but that’s not your first mission, I bet. Your first mission is the craft. And that seems to be a switch that flips in people’s heads around 34 or 35 or so. At least that’s my theory.

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