May 18, 2010

halfway to sane.

Man I'm glad being a human being doesn't involve psychic static cling. If it did, I'd still have biscuit bangs and you'd find me on any given Friday night desperately chasing men who'd spend a lot of time afterward convincing me not to say anything publicly or press charges. 

I keep (sporadic, which is how I like my writing life) hand-written journals. I have these going back 20 years. When I look back through them, I can always tell which weeks, months, years of my life were most crazed and filled with wishy washy inner angst; all I have to do is find the journals with the most frequently updated and long-winded entries. Years that were relatively drama-free have no journals, or journals that are quite empty, often unfinished. Years that would make good reality TV scripts have produced journals with overflowing, bizarre rants and occasional entries like this 1996 classic:  I HATE YOU RALPH I HATE YOU RALPH I HATE HATE HATE HATE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I HOPE SOMEONE BREAKS YOUR HEART WITH A (expletive deleted in case my mom reads this) CHAIN SAW!!!! I HOPE YOU DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  ......I mean, dear god. Clearly all I lacked at certain points in my life was a damp, dark basement and an alter, a lot of candles, and a dart board with Ralph's face tacked to the middle surrounded by a lot of crazy affirmations cut out of newspaper letters, haphazardly glued to pieces of ripped up bar napkins.**

And I can virtually FEEL all the craziness, all over again, because I can see where I go from positive and productive in one journal entry to cursing the Universe and begging God the next. Trying to be all cool and non-chalant-who-frickin'-cares one day to please God I don't understand why this happens to MEEEEE the next. I read like a middle schooler on meth. It is not attractive, but a good lesson in humility.

It's the beauty of being a human being. Someone who knew Amy 1995 very well and then met Amy 2005 wouldn't even have recognized her. Way hipper, more ironic. And Amy 2005 is completely foreign to Amy 2010. Less ironic, more faux Zen. I simply don't see the world the way I saw it 1995, I have a different sense of humor than I had back in 1985, I write differently than I wrote in 2005, I like different colors than I liked back in 1975 (I actually don't remember what my favorite colors were back in 1975, I just needed another year with a 5 at the end) (in 10 more years, I predict Amy 2020 will not even care about flow in writing or will laugh haughtily about how there WAS no writing flow by using years ending with a 5; what in the world was Amy 2010 even thinking?).

I once had a therapist who told me: Life is about progress, not perfection. 

That's one of my life mantras; I feel a deep soul debt to her for sharing it with me. So I keep that in my head, and all my journals with the most cringe-worthy moments in the back of my closet just to remind myself: Remember, Amy? You were SO crazy in 1997! You're, like, 25% less crazy now. In another 10 years, you'll be halfway to sane

And I think halfway to sane is good, don't you? It's certainly a lot farther along than some of our well-known conservative politicians and talk shows hosts are right now. And it's definitely a lot farther along than those Westboro Baptist fringe people; I bet not one of those crackerjacks even bothers to keep a journal marking their life progression.

**Seriously. His name was Ralph. I was going mental over a man named Ralph. My entire 20's were spent operating without bolts on my nuts; I really have no idea how I made it to my 30's.


  1. I was never good at keeping hand-written journals. The blog is keeping me honest. You're the second person today who talked about talking to your younger or older self... :-)

  2. Well, E. Clearly it's Spring then. This is what I do in the spring: take stock of myself, younger and older. (and clean out my bedroom closet--which is what I did on my personal day off last Friday, which is why I ended up re-writing about this, because I think I've written about it before but I'm not really sure because it's not written down in a journal for me to find while cleaning.)

    I did try to keep a journal while pregnant in 2008, and it turned out badly. I was just too content and happy; I have 3 journal entries in that one and by the 3rd one, I've already lied and changed the date to make it look like I was better at keeping up with the journal than I actually was.

    See? Only drama prompts me to write everything out by hand.

  3. That's the way my journals are too, Amy. I often curse myself and think "I wll be better about recording the good things- I will write about m husband and my wonderful children..."

    But I don't.


    I guess because writing is processing for me, and I don't HAVE to process the good things. Sucks for them when they find these umpteen books in some Bridges of MAdison County moment after I'm gone and think-- "God! Who KNEW Mom was sop full of thirty years of angst?!?"

    Oh- BTW-- you PEID someone to say, ": Life is about progress, not perfection?"

    I'd have told you that for free.

  4. ARGH!! proof, Margy, PROOF!

    Official excuse: It's dark out here.

  5. Margy, you make me SMILE. I totally forgot about your good advice regarding the necessary examining of the inside of one's psychic trunk of valuables (and not so valuables) in the great car of Life. Had I remembered, I would have called you up instead that day.

    Arizona has crazy people running it right now. I know I'm currently blaming them for all my typos, and I encourage you to as well. It feels good, like the Universe is smiling. :-)


Related Posts with Thumbnails