Well, the agenda for the night was that I was going to have a night of beauty accompanied by a night of grading. I graded approximately 1 and 1/3 papers, and it became clear to me that I could not grade tonight. Lord. Why can't they just do what I want them to do? What I ask them to do?
So at any rate, once it became clear that the night of beauty could not be accompanied by grading, all that was left was for me to have a dark night of the soul, which included:
2) the movie Bridget Jones' Diary
3) some episodes of Sex and the City
4) much writing in my journal
5) Damien Rice's new cd
The night of beauty included:
1) putting a mask on my face (not a halloween mask, though that would have been most fun, but rather a pore minimizing/wrinkle reducing sort of mask. Not that I really have wrinkles, but whatever. Never too early to start trying to minimize them, I suppose).
2) manicure and pedicure (although I did not polish my fingernails, as it's pretty pointless when I've got a lot of grading/typing to do, as I do now. But my cuticles are all nice and the nails themselves are buffed and awesome).
3) Nice hot bath with lavendar-scented bath oil.
4) Shaving. This is such a pain in the ass, the body hair removal.
5.) Deep conditioning of the hair.
But so now back to the dark night of the soul. (Oh, though I should mention that I polished my toenails red. How good does that make a girl feel?) I spent a lot of time thinking about what it is to want. I spend a lot of energy on not wanting things. Or, rather, on not letting myself want things that I want. This is all part of a grand plan to stave off disappointment, my least favorite of all of the emotions. The theory behind this is that if I don't want beyond my station, that I will not then be disappointed, and thus will not have as big of a hurt as if I wanted to the full capacity of my wanting.
But it's occurred to me lately that maybe not allowing oneself to want whole-heartedly may actually leave one open to greater devastation than if I just wanted in an all-in sort of a way. It's sort of like playing poker. I think I may have a habit of checking on big hands, which ultimately leaves me the big loser, whereas if I'd go all in, I could be the big winner. But going all in - that's scary. Especially when one is fully aware of the odds of such an enterprise. It takes courage. Courage which to this point I've not had, not in any area of my life.
What's crazy is that I know part of what makes it possible for me to try all of what I try (whether it's going on the market, sending the book proposal out, whatever) is that I stop myself from believing that anything good can come of any of it. I don't let myself truly want, and so that somehow makes it ok to do these things. The problem is, I think that I need to truly want. I think that by checking my desire, I ultimately foreclose the possibility of achieving it. But how does one free oneself from that prohibition? How does one stop the superstitious checking of oneself?
On the one hand, one has to make attainable goals in order not to feel like shit all of the time. And in order to achieve anything, really. But I fear that perhaps I can attain more than I think I can. And that my attainable goals have ultimately held me back. Ultimately hold me back.
I wish that I could let go a bit. I'm trying. I want to be able to. But I don't know if I can.
I'm afraid to want all of what I don't let myself admit to wanting. I'm afraid of allowing myself to admit those things because if I actually say those things out loud, and then I don't get them, then what do I do?
Remember: admitting is not only fessing up it's also letting in. That's what makes it so hard - that it means both expression and, I suppose, impression. I don't know which I'm more afraid of. I suppose it's the inward part more than the outward part.
All of this may seem strange, given the ways in which I do put myself out there - take what may seem to be risks. But every risk is a calculated and cautious one. A middle ground that stops short of the thing that I really want to happen. I go on the market telling myself all the while that it's just that I want to choose my current job. I do online dating telling myself that I have absolutely no expectation that I'll meet anybody who's worth more than a date or two. What I think I've decided is that this is no way to live my life. But if I admit to wanting more than the provisional thing - the thing that can't disappoint - and I don't get what I want, then I will have to deal with that. And that's a hard thing to take on.
5 years ago