Marika Malaea

faithful marauder + fake royal

Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy. —Louis C.K.

with 2 comments

It seems my life, up to this point, has been seasoned with the frustrating flavor of cliches like ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Why me?’ Cop-out questions with no real answers were something I brought out on special occasions, when accountability wasn’t an appealing enough option. (It never really is.)

Then I dove into a question that felt smarter somehow, by instead wondering, ‘Why am I?’ Getting to the source of why I was consistently, regrettably, hideously myself felt like something a grown-up might do, but it only resembled self-assessment. So I figured out what to blame — drugs, men, money, luck, the mean skinny girls in high school — and surprisingly, nothing changed. Finger-pointing does nothing except give the second digits a job.

Recently, I’ve been pondering other questions, like where do questions come from? Why are they important? How do I ask the right ones? When will the answers do something other than keep me confused while I stall for more time?

I’ve always felt displaced on this particular planet, like an amnesiac extra terrestrial awaiting further orders. Even when I’m doing life The Right Way — paying taxes, eating right, getting sleep, contributing to society, keeping my nose drug-free and my shitty tweets clean — I still feel like I’m doing it Your Right Way. Many of us have been conditioned and encouraged (or maybe programmed and pushed) to seek a 1950’s American dream: school, job, marriage, house, kids, retirement, death — plus a vague and boring afterlife, somewhere in the sky.

I never felt affected by this mainstream pressure until I found out I was pregnant at 21. Older women would look at my left ring finger for that sparkly sign of legitimacy, and when they saw I was woefully (immorally!) alone, the tone went downhill fast. I started lying about being married at the start of my second trimester; it was easier to be a liar than to be doing it wrong.

I thought a Monday-to-Friday job would make me somehow normal, despite knowing unhappy office monkeys who abhorred the daily grind. Still I envied them their health insurance — that was the gold star standard in the eyes of a society I felt was judging me. Health insurance directly translated in my mind to invisible protection from things one can’t control

…and yet I got married anyway. I hoped it would be the catapult into normalcy I craved. How eager I was to declare my sameness to everybody else. Fuck being a special and unique human snowflake, I couldn’t wait to settle down into the average American struggle. Look at me, doing stuff that other people do! I’m married! I’m miserable! I’m finally one of you!

All it did was magnify my greatest character flaws, and inflate the insanity quotient in my life. Like ten times over.

I’ve left a lot of schools, held too many jobs, been married and divorced, and cheated death a dozen times. Doing it The Right Way hasn’t panned out so far. Molding yourself like resistant putty into the shape of something “acceptable” never has and never will. That’s something I struggle with every day — that and maintaining a reasonable daily carbohydrate dosage. (P.S. Potato chips are the devil.)

Looking back on the struggles I’ve had, the previous questions don’t seem so important. It doesn’t matter who or why I am, because I am, regardless. Now I ask myself, can I recognize the truth in every disguise? Can I stay curious when I want to shut down? What would it take for me to change direction? How can I include all of myself, all of the time? These are questions that actually have answers — they don’t exist just for themselves.

Worrying and answer-hunting look like different animals, but they’re fraternal twins and lifelong roommates. When we worry, it’s because we’re concerned — fear of the worst, of what’s to come, of not really knowing — but it’s also an action step. When I worry, it feels like I’m doing something… but the truth is, I’m not. I’m just dancing around in a circle of pain, making things worse.

When I seek answers to open-ended, self-serving questions, I get open-ended, self-serving answers. I’m just spinning in a trapezoid, spewing out question marks, never getting anywhere. It’s just another version of doing something without moving forward.

We’re so conditioned towards the Doing, Having, Being mindset. It’s highly American, and previous generations have subscribed to it wholeheartedly. If we DO DO DO, then we’ll HAVE HAVE HAVE, which should later on lead to BEING. The truth is, most people stop at Having; that was their only goal in the first place. ‘Why go further, what’s the point? I own things now, life is good! Look at all my STUFF!’ Stuff burns up in the blink of an eye. Stuff doesn’t fulfill.

For me, life works better — and I’m a happier person — when I strive for Being first, Doing next, and Having last. I can have all the shit I want, but it won’t make me happy. (Okay, it will make me happy for a bit — I’m as materialistic as the next Imelda Marcos — but Owning Things and Having Stuff only guarantees a need for more storage.)

I’m just trying to learn and have a less-complicated life, one I actually have a hand in shaping. I’m striving to be more compassionate, and I want to get good at being. By the way, I’m also levitating! It’s easy to do when you’re spiritually superior to everyone.

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Written by sn0tteh

December 2, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. you’ve out done yourself. exquisite. this should be a book. Here’s the incentive: it would make writers everywhere insanely jealous. you rock. keep it up.

    Arthur Rubenstein-Marcos

    December 2, 2010 at 10:04 PM

  2. I like knowing people that are trying to get better at being… and being content and enjoying the current stage in their lives. I struggle a lot with wanting to get to the ‘next’ whatever, whether that’s getting married, getting insurance, having kids, whatever… and I find often that I don’t take time to appreciate the amazingness of now. So… enjoy being! I’m all for you being awesome at that, and well, everyone being awesome at that 🙂

    Beth

    December 2, 2010 at 11:34 PM


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