Sunday, August 8, 2010

Be Warned: All My Wisdom is As Seen On T.V.

I live a good life. I promise that I logically know this.

Remember that... because bitterness is sure to follow.

I have a great job -- two great jobs, in fact -- where I truly feel like I make a difference. I know this because people tell me so. I know this because, sometimes, I even get to see the results of my efforts. Because of my great job(s), I make a comfortable living. I'm not rolling in the dough, but I manage to put food on the table, have cable t.v., and the occasional pedicure. I have tremendously awesome friends. Seriously, I have been blessed to know and work with incredible people all my life. I don't know how this happened, but I'm overjoyed that it did. I have a family that loves me -- even when I'm difficult to love. Even when they are difficult to love.

But sometimes (and this is where you need to refer back to my opening line), it doesn't feel like enough. And then, I feel supremely guilty because then I think about all the people in the world who are not as lucky as I. But still...

There are parts of my life that I'm not happy with, and I struggle with this fact. Down in those deep, dark parts of my soul, there is a sadness. A loneliness. A resentment of everyone who seems to have it all together, and lately, that has felt like everyone but me. All around me, it seems, happiness and fulfillment are breeding like mother-effing rabbits. To those people: I'm proud of you. I'm happy for you. I promise. But for real, here's my confession: I'm a bit jealous of you, and that jealousy is a big, fat troll lolling about in my subconscious. And here's my other confession: I don't believe you. At least not all the time.

All of you people with big bank accounts, fancy cars, the perfect love, the best job, the perfectly white, straight teeth... I have something to tell you. I'm calling bullshit on you. Your life isn't perfect, and the whole world knows it. How does the whole world know it? Because they're not perfect either, and face it, we can always smell our own.

Then there are those people in this big, imperfect world who have all the answers. They piss me off more than all those who keep up their perfect pretend play. Those people who tell you that the answers to your problem reside in a pill bottle, Jesus, or a boyfriend/husband. I call bullshit on you too. You're no better than the dude on the infomercial promising an easy fix to all your "problems".

Tired of always having to shave? Try this! Want your baby to learn how to (freakishly) read himself his own bedtime story before he can walk? Buy this! Need to trap yourself a man (subliminal message-- whose love and attention is better and more fulfilling than a hit on the crack pipe)? Call now for this shampoo/tummy tucker/diet pill!

Now I love me some late-night infomercial products. Love. Them. But I'm no dummy. That shaving solution? It will remove your leg hair... along with several layers of skin and most of your soul. Your genius baby? He doesn't want to be a genius who can read. The best part of being a little kid is having someone who loves you enough to read the same fairytale no less than 500 times and still make all the different character voices. The "get yo'self a man" solution? Don't even get me started.

If you buy those things, might they help? Yes. Your legs will get smoother (and hopefully, eventually heal), your kid might have an advantage when they start kindergarten, and yes, most men are, in fact, more attracted to women with a flat stomach and voluminous hair (and smooth legs... don't forget the smooth legs).

But they're not the answers. They're aids. Just like that pill. Just like that prayer. Just like that boyfriend/husband.

Just like my job. Just like my friends. Just like my family.

What I think is the only real way to fight that sadness, that loneliness, that resentment is to live. To wake up everyday, take a hard look at myself, and work to get to the root of my life. I have to cherish all the wonderful things I do have while still giving attention and thought to the ways I want my life to be better.

But it would be nice to never have to shave again and yet have impossibly smooth legs, no?

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