THIS is my come up.
Not really, my whole life has been “the come up,” but I am going to keep telling myself that is what this is. One of my many mantras. A new habit I have picked up to deal with stress. Every transition and every problem has been an uphill battle. I’m like a walking example of Murphy’s Law at this point. This is not a hyperbole. Anyone who knows me will tell you this is true and some may even say my bad luck follows me so densely it affects them too. That cannot possibly be an easy thing to do, so I will call it an accomplishment. I mean why the fuck not? There is almost an art form to it. I’m so unlucky that it is almost satisfying, like a bad novel. I have always felt I had been right at the cusp of something, but then YANK! Just like that back, to square 1. This time, is different, this time we are only inches away.
THIS is my come up.
I know everyone has their problems and difficulties in life and I am quite sure that mine aren’t that far from anyone else’s. Just like anyone else my life is complex.
I’m starting to sound like a self-pitying brat.
Which I am not. I know my faults and I’m aware of the mistakes that have gotten me to where I am. I do not make excuses for anything in life, but there are most certainly reasons that lead you to where you end up. Honestly, I’ve never felt like I was really fully equipped for this life. In a number of ways. First of all, growing up in the midwest or in the south, is not like anything else. I have now lived in 3 different states and I will tell you that there is no place like the midwest. Once you move from the midwest you feel like you are in foreign land. Depending on which direction you go it might have a different feeling, I’m sure. I went west. It was the best and hardest decision I have ever made.
The west is what I needed it, it was the air I was gasping for. It feels new, progressive and lighter somehow.
Growing up in the Midwest I felt smothered and like I constantly just want to go home even though I was. I used to think it was just because I come from a big family, but it is definitely not. You can’t breathe there. It is a completely different way of life. People are just living to survive. Which is the worst thing you can do for yourself and it’s even worse when an entire community or region has adapted this behavior and given up. My Mom had an 8th grade education, and dropped out of school in the 1960’s in her 9th grade year in University City, MO. A municipality of St. Louis and my Dad had a high school education and some Navy training and grew up in North County St. Louis also, but after I turned 9 he became an over-the-road truck driver and would be gone for weeks and sometimes months at a time. My parents had their own problems that they weren’t equipped for and that never made things any easier. However, it becomes a learned behavior and hard to break. Even harder when society has given up on you because of your health or financial status and your state and local laws work against you instead of for you.
When you leave that environment, it is so very clear how much we haven given up on caring to create a productive society, due to the greed of a few.
The worst part is they make it seem so easy. Like we should just inherently know how to save money, build credit, protect your identity, pay your taxes; or even the most mundane of things like time management.
So you get thrown out there when it is your time and your either dive beautifully down a pathway to a healthy productive life, usually thanks to a a great support system and or your wealth, or you belly flop and you tread water until you are ready to try again.
Well… I belly – flopped.
This time was different though treading water was not quite as easy as before and everything felt heavy and weighted. It was that way for a long time. There were times I was able to catch my breath and there were times I felt myself slipping below the current. Eventually, I hit rock bottom.
I made it out. I don’t mean I just slipped away or ran away. I was exhausted and I could not keep living just to survive and honestly I don’t know if you can even call it that; surviving would imply that you are making it somehow. We were not. Not at all. We had no options and I was not ready to give up, so we took everything we had and we just made it happen. We got out. It was the most difficult part of my life, but I would not trade it for anything.
The west coast still has that new feeling. It is laid back but at the same time much more ambitious and motivated. Nobody here lives just to survive and it just screams opportunity. Opportunity is what we needed. Well, opportunity and healthcare and better schools. It was just a perk that the state was a 420 friendly state.
So, I suppose that’s how a simple Episcopal girl from North County St. Louis ended up in Seattle, WA writing a blog. Hopefully my experiences and activism and art can be a beacon of hope for you all out there that feel like they cannot tread much longer. The truth is you can, we can withstand so much more than what we know and we are so much stronger than we are able to perceive. These obstacles, are just that, you can live and you deserve to enjoy your life and find happiness. Even the largest of obstacles do not define you and you can recover.
So here’s to new beginnings, lessons learned and opportunity.