I don’t know what Hendrix song it was, I was so tired, but as I lay on the couch in the middle of the day listening to my children prattle and the guitar cords soar and swing on the air, I fell back into my earliest summers out of high school. These were the years of wanting, there is no other word that describes them better, except hunger. Everything in the wake of being grew from a tiny pit buried deep within my gut and burst forth with emotion and desire. Those early summers are the hardest to visit, but as August walks steadily toward autumn, the right song at the right time forces its own recognition.
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”–Beautiful Boy, John Lennon (and various other sources)
Everything then, when I was eighteen-nineteen-twenty, was a plan. To get away. To buy a car. To move to the coast. To travel in a VW bus. To be with this guy who firstly and finally got me. Sometimes, things happened (got an apartment/chilled in a coffee shop/ wrote poetry/ took a bus to Colorado/ didn’t know what to do then/ bought a car/ broke down a car/ took a bus home/ watched t.v.). Sometimes, it felt like nothing was ever going to happen (watched t.v./ worked a factory job/ watched t.v./ lived with his mom and little sister/ watched t. v./ gave up/ watched t.v./ cried a lot). Sometimes, he didn’t get me at all.
After those summers, things changed, and we moved and I found a job with folks like me who wanted to experience something and gave me the courage to meet myself, alone. He moved out. I paid my rent and bills and bought a pick-up truck and read books. More importantly than that, I discovered a truth I had been blind to my entire life: Happiness is not a gift. Happiness is not something another person can give you. Happiness is not a relationship, unless it is a relationship with yourself. I always thought–such a little girl I’ve always been–I would be happy when I (Oh-so-Cinderella-like) found True Love. But that’s not how it goes, because unless you are totally down with your own desires, goals and person, you’re not going to be happy no matter what anybody else does. No matter when they do it.
to be continued…