Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Just Answer The Question, Claire

In September, someone asked me what I want out of life, relationships, etc.

I kind of blew off the question. Because how the hell did I know, right?

I've been asked that question ... let's see ... six times between then and now. By six different people, in six unrelated conversations.

So, yeah. When life hands you lemons, make martinis. (Dry ones, with a twist.) And when life makes sure that you get asked the same question multiple times? FIGURE IT OUT, I say.

I mean, really.

The thing is, I don't really know. It turns out that for all of my "look at me, I'm togetherish" posturing? I don't have a handle on it.


My natural tendency is to bounce the question back to the person doing the asking. "What do YOU want?" This is an excellent technique, by the way. It fills the airtime, which is outstanding because there's very little that makes a conversation more uncomfortable than dead air.

It also lets me weasel out of answering -- an excellent feat, I confess, but one that gets me no closer to figuring out the puzzle of "What Yellie Wants" and one which also points out that nearly everyone else has a roadmap and I only have vague directions written down on a napkin in handwriting that's barely legible.


Or, not really? Or, actually, maybe.

(Can you tell that I'm conflicted about this?)

The problem (and yes, I know I have one) is this, I think: I used to feel like I knew where my life was going. When that fell apart (or, you know, exploded into ugly and sharp bits of shrapnel) I stopped caring where it was going and concentrated instead on surviving. It was necessary.

I haven't really had a plan -- or even an idea of a plan -- since.

My best friends have (gently, kindly) been pointing out that this lack of a plan is kind of a bad plan, because you can't get what you want if you don't have any idea of what you want. That's not how things work.

They also (equally kindly, but a little less gently) have pointed out that by refusing to articulate (or even know) what I want, I'm never disappointed. When things fall apart it's totally fine, because I never had expectations that they'd go anywhere anyway. "You're like the queen of self-fulfilling prophecy" I was told recently.

On one hand, YAY I'M THE QUEEN OF SOMETHING! HAIL THE QUEEN! On the other hand? Oooooouuuccccchhhhh. Valid, but ... ow.

So, in the interest of finding an answer to the question:

I want to laugh. Frequently. I want to be able to sing James Taylor's Up on the Roof in the car, with the windows down, as loudly as possible without getting the side-eye. I want to be able to have difficult discussions without anyone getting pissed off. I want people in my life who come at things the same way I do, politically. I want to feel like it's okay to be smart, it's okay to be goofy, it's okay to be super opinionated. I want to be able to chase some dreams that are highly unlikely, but are fun to chase anyway without being kicked around for it. I want to feel like what I do matters, to myself and to other people. I want it to be okay that "career" isn't my reason for doing things, but that making a difference is almost always the reason. I want it to be unexceptionable that I talk to my mom almost every day. I want someone who knows what colour my eyes are, and who doesn't freak out when I cry over soup commercials or sad movies or those ASPCA commercials. I want someone who thinks life is a fun, collaborative project and that every day is a cause for celebration and that getting older is a reward for having a successful 365 day stretch between birthdays.

I want to be able to answer the damn question.

Maybe I'm getting closer.

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