Boy, am I in need of a rant. I feel like I could rant for days. As if the calm, patient, zen-like mood attempts around Ava could quite easily be at one end of the spectrum, with big shouty rage like rants at the other. Sometimes it is so good to blow off steam. Righteous indignation and all that. And anger has its place and its necessary outlets. Anger can be a good thing. Especially when, like now, you’re not angry at one big thing, but at several little things that keep adding up inside you until you feel weighted down by the big bad current of grrrr-ness that has been storing up inside you.
I wouldn’t have thought of this blog as the best place to vent, perhaps, but I haven’t really been blogging all that much lately (guilty head hang) and now that I have a brand new unused writing corner it seemed like a good time to polish off the blogging hat. I hate that I don’t write (and blog) as often as I intend to. It’s nothing but self-destructive procrastination and, I suspect, my, ‘well, that’s not quite beautiful enough to blog about’ inadequacies. I have to get rid of that. So, the vent.
What I am really cross at at the moment is how judgemental people can be. And that seems to just about triple when it comes to your children. Everyone, from family to strangers, has an opinion on what it is you are doing and should be doing, how to do it better and how to avoid doing what you absolutely should never do. Which basically means, how to do it my way. There are times when, of course, advice and opinions are welcome, but most of the time I think people should leave you to get on with it. Or, at least recognise that there are always several ways to do something. When it comes to child rearing, admitting that your way might not be the best way for someone else is a little to close to the bone of admitting it might not, therefore, have been the best thing for you, either.
I enjoy a good bitch with close friends as much as anyone, but at least an outright ‘bitch’ is just that – outright, open, straight to the point. What I just do not have time for is passive aggressive, the I’m-not-going-to-put-myself-in-it-enough-to-be-blunt, bitchiness. The eye rolling, the special tone of voice, the insinuations. And worse of all, emotional manipulation. These are all qualities which I actively avoid in people now, and if they exist in people I can’t avoid, then I do my absolute best not to engage in it with them. Really, who has enough time now not to just get on with things, to be around the people you want to be around, and not to be around the ones you’re not so keen on?
Being with people, though, engaging with them – this is so important to keep an open mind. Putting yourself in different situations, assuming roles you may not always be comfortable assuming, seeking adventures that don’t necessarily seem like your kind of thing – these are the things that keep the mind open, that remind us that each one of us is so insansely similar to one another, and yet, so completely, bizzarelly, unimaginably different.
And the faults that we may find easy to pick out and hang people for, are always the faults we dislike most about ourselves. Like my judging all judgemental people to be schmucks. End of vent.
What has been on my mind more than I would like it to have been is what it means to miss someone we don’t even like very much. It’s hard enough to let people go when we don’t want to, but when we do, when we want to shake them off like dust, why do they cling so tightly? Admitting we miss someone we have perhaps chosen not to have in our lives anymore is something I’m finding hard. I think this person was and maybe always will be such a big part of me that it is still (and maybe always will be) hard to not have them near. Remembering that there are things about her I like, even love, is like admitting she is not quite as villainous as I have painted her in my head. And although sadly this alone does not make up for the other things that often hide these qualities, it does make me sad that they weren’t enough. And sad too that the many good memories I have of her are hard to find behind the more recent hurtful ones.
Above me, on my ideas board, is a poem written out by a dear friend on a brown envelope. ‘Assurance’ – read out by said friend at my wedding.
‘You will never be alone, you hear so deep a sound when autumn comes’. Summer is too much, I am ready again for autumn, when everything good happens. My little autumn baby will be one. Her hair like a new autumn leaf before it darkens and falls. I think my somewhat unfounded love of New England comes from the sense that it is always autumn there, or at least, that it is really Autumn there.
We want to move to America and somehow hope it can happen in at least the next five years. It has been such a long time coming that it seems about time to take the plunge and find a way to make it happen. The possibility, at least, of such a thing being able to happen, gives me a feeling of hope and excitement that I too often forget to find in things these days.
H laughs at my feeling old, but I do. I have always felt too old for my age, and with an admittedly unreasonable sense of this oldness, always felt like I was too late for one thing or another. This is my Capricorn moon rearing its too-practical head. Everyone needs adventure. Newness. A hard thing to come by sometimes.
The shock of a tiny baby suddenly being everything – this was a lot of newness to take at once. But now this baby is not so tiny anymore, now she is as expected a part of my everyday life as anything, the newness of what she is becoming is spectacular. Quietly, intimately spectacular. And it doesn’t go away or become ordinary. I find myself, at least once a day, staring into her impressive blue eyes and being so overwhelmed with love, real, banging, loud love, that it feels like I’m too lucky.
I love being around my mummy friends and their little ones, all covered in this gooey baby spell, this kind of infant magic, all tired and exasperated and undone a little, but more or less on top of the world just to be doing this. And it’s so nice to be able to be with them, faulted, uncaring, ungaurded and not worry about being perfect or being someone’s idea of perfect. The risk of being imperfect is a reality, and a warm, easy one to accept when you are doing it in the company of amazing, imperfect people.
This troubling idea of perfection, of a standard set out by those who have gone before us is destructive and completely false. Which reminds me of this, by Anais Nin:
And then the day came
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk