Fits & The Starts.

My writing for the past few months is best described as in fits & starts.  The week leading up to Mother’s Day, I was all over it.  I wrote a 9-page letter to my mom.  It’s not even finished.  I reread it today.  It’s garbage.  I think I put pressure on myself to write something for Mother’s Day because that is how this blog began last year.  I’m not sure last year can be topped, which is undoubtedly what I was trying to do.

I am often writing scraps here and there.  I have several Word documents saved that may never see the Interwebs.  I like to revisit them later to find out if they have any teeth.  It’s kinda fun.

While at work today – desperately trying to write – I decided I would share my recent fits here.  The letter to my mom deteriorated and got into some very personal information, so I will only share part of that.  Not that you would know that without me telling you.  In general, I wish I was writing more that I found worthy of being shared.  I feel weird going so long without posting an entry here.  If it’s any consolation, I am reading my ass off this year.  Still not good enough, but much better than last year.

Welcome to the fits & starts of late Spring 2018:

 

PART 1

Dear Mom,

Mother’s Day is this weekend.  It’ll be the first Mother’s Day in years that I haven’t felt obligated to fake it.  Dad gave me a pass for the first Mother’s Day after you died [….] I’m off the hook.  Finally. 

It goes without saying that I wish you were here.  I need advice and support.  Since you aren’t here, I can create a fantasy in which if only you were here, everything would be just right.  I would share openly with you about my troubles and my feelings.  You would listen without judgement and guide me right into the best, most appropriate decision.  Aside from this being completely impossible, even if you were here, it reminds me that I don’t know you at all. 

You were a human being; a woman.  You were also a wife and mother.  Were you completely devoted to those roles?  Would you be horrified to find one of your daughters rejecting motherhood so emphatically?  Would you feel disappointed?  Maybe you would be supportive, either out of love for me or in agreement with [my perception of] motherhood as a bottomless pit of demand, work [….].  Motherhood isn’t even the problem.  That conviction, thankfully, is firm.  I wish I could pinpoint exactly how I figured this out.  I sure could use some clarity. 

It’s the strangest thing. [….] I am guilty of being unrealistic.  I am guilty of confusing assumption with accuracy.  I am guilty of believing a very difficult thing is actually easy and simple.  We all begin as children, though, right?  We all begin empty and fill up over time – hopefully.  I’m nowhere near being full, I hope.  There has to be so much more to learn.  I want more knowledge and more time….

++++++++++++

PART 2

When your mom dies you’re the best memory of her.  Everything you do and say is a memory of her.  –Alice Oswalt

By these standards, I am never doing enough.  I am not actively making my mom proud.  I say “bad” words, I gossip, I judge.  I have a dry sense of humor.  I’m sarcastic and I have been known to laugh at crude jokes, violent jokes.  I am not especially nice or cheerful.  I earned this resting bitch face.  Not unlike Daria Morgandorfer, I only smile if I have a reason. 

While I am worrying about not being a positive memory of my mom, I have to consider that I’m an accurate memory of her.  I believe Lindsay (my sister) is an accurate memory of our mom.  A very important part of our mom is still here because of Lindsay.  She’s a mom.  She’s nurturing, she bakes cookies, she keeps my secrets, she has my back. 

Last week, I wrote a letter to my mom.  I never actually finished it.  It was meant to help me process some things that have been rattling around in my mind.  I’m never able to answer the question, What would mom do? Or What would she tell me to do?  Sometimes getting close to that question is fun.  She’s isn’t here, so I can assume she’d tell me to do what makes me happy.  Or would she tell me to do what I think is best?  That’s different….

++++++++++++

PART 3

When your mom dies you’re the best memory of her.  Everything you do and say is a memory of  her. –Alice Oswalt

I haven’t written many letters to my mom.  They typically transition from some kind of explanation to an apology.  Sometimes the lack of her presence in my life can be seen as an advantage (it helps if you tilt your head when you squint) because I have no idea what her expectations were for me.  Without that, I can pretend that she just wanted me to be happy [….]

The other side of not knowing her expectations for me is the inescapable feeling that I haven’t met them.  I can’t know if/when I’ll meet them.  That means I need to be a truly incredible and good person at all times.  That is pressure.  That is failure.  Already.

More often than not, I consider what I’ve learned about motherhood and mother-child relationships.  Surely she just wanted me to be happy and safe….

——————————————————————————————————————————-

And the next thing in the notebook is about the potential dangers of viewing pornography.  No kidding.  As a quick note: I don’t think viewing pornography is dangerous for everyone.  More on that….some other time.

What to take from this entry:  I have been struggling with writing for the past couple of months.  I wanted to post an update.  I wrote these pieces weeks ago, and I couldn’t shake them.  If you’re feeling disappointed, just remember there will eventually be an entry about pornography.  I’m sure you want to stick around for that!

1 thought on “Fits & The Starts.”

  1. You are brave and strong. Thank you for being vulnerable, thought-provoking, and honest even when it might be painful. I think your mom would certainly be very proud of you.

    Liked by 1 person

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