With every passing birthday, I find myself thinking more and more about my mother and how much I miss her. At a time when I feel I need her most for guidance and support, I can’t help but question my reality. Would I be in this position had she been here, all of these years, to help me through? It breaks my heart to imagine because it makes me miss her all the more.
So, on important dates and holidays, I visit her grave site. I spend my time staring blankly at her headstone, trying to find the words to speak, but always falling short of what I truly want to say. I’m not sure why I participate in this half-hearted ritual, other than to appease my inherent Catholic guilt. I don’t pray. I force myself to open my heart to a spiritual experience, in spite of my skepticism. But nothing. It is as disappointing to not receive a mystical sign from my mother as it is to realize the lack of direction I have in my life. She would be disappointed, as well. I’m sure of it.
So, at 27 years old, I am battling the demons of shame, all while trying to create a life for myself in which I will be happy. A tree with extended limbs, each one representing an interest I would like to explore. I don’t know how to juggle everything, so I am attempting to focus on each, one at a time, but I am really struggling. How do I pursue a particular industry if no one will give me a chance? So, I volunteer to get my foot in the door, but that does not seem to be enough. It feels like I have reached an impasse and I feel like a failure.
My sister believes, wholeheartedly, that everyone is doomed to hate their “jobs”. How is this possible? I am naïve. I believe that you should (for the most part) love what you do. Your work is an extension of your identity and I am privileged enough to have the luxury to choose my path, but choice does not dictate opportunity. TRANSLATION: It’s hard out there for a pimp. And that is all I want, really: I want to be happy in my work.
I have titled this entry ‘On Surviving the Year’ because I have done just that. I have muddled through; I have gone through the motions; I have waded waist deep in the river of shit and come out marred and sullied, but alive. I am no better or worse off than I was, one year ago, which is both embarrassing and encouraging. I am happy to not have allowed everything that has happened this past year to completely ruin me, in spite of how trying it has been, but I am also mortified by the fact that no matter how much effort I put forth, I am moving three steps forward and twelve steps back (give or take a few stumbles). I am exactly where I was, one year ago.
So, in honor of my 27th birthday, let’s celebrate by taking a shot for health, happiness, and pursuing your dreams! And when you fail, drink some more! Because it doesn’t get any better! Cheers!