Saturday, March 16, 2013


This has been one of those mornings where everything went right, then wrong, then right, then wrong again, a seemingly impossible discourse of constant inconstancy.  I think sometimes the universe just creates a day meant to challenge and test one’s resolve.  I have been hanging on by a thread for some time, waiting for my house to sell and wading through the fall out left from my divorce, both socially and financially.  The fall out financially is easily categorized and calculated.  It amounts to the loss of some 200 points on my credit score, an exam I have in the past always passed with flying colors and the knowledge that I can no longer walk confidently into a store, apply for a credit card to get my instant 20% off and walk out with yet another revolving debt that will be paid off within the allotted six months same as cash.  
I was a wiz with credit.  I established it back in college and by the time I graduated, I had a solid enough record to qualify for a mortgage.  Of course I also had the bank on my side; back then, they gave out loans like lollipops, not like today where you need a blood sample and family tree dating back to the Mayflower.  My ex-husband was not brilliant with money, brilliant with many things but far from thrifty.  He had a habit of living well beyond his means, a fact of which unfortunately I did not become aware until we were well past the point of no return.  I am not blameless; I didn’t have a spending habit but I did have a family always in need of money and not the greatest at paying it back.  So here we are today, with a house still in both our names which is worth less than we owe and a mortgage we cannot pay.  

Every couple argues about money, it’s a fact.  Take a survey from an audience, “Give us a topic you might argue frequently about” and 9 times out of 10 it will be money.  So what’s the solution?  Give up money and live off the grid, off the land?  That seems impractical, especially for someone who’s job demands an audience.  Give up my job and I give up my dream; who I am.  It’s funny, because that was something I considered.  I could have given up this, at times, fruitless pursuit of art for a steady 9-5 which would have paid enough to live more than comfortably.  And had I done that, I probably could have saved my marriage, carrying on as friendly roommates until one of us broke.

The fallout socially is a far more insidious and difficult entity to nail down.  It is a river of lies, deceits, misconceptions and smiling falsehoods.  The end result of my desire to stay friendly is that I am friendless, well, friend less as in less than before.  The great irony as I discovered was that because I chose not to publically lambast my ex that the general assumption was that I must be at fault; if not, why would I hold my tongue?  Such a strange reaction.   My father said it best, though he too was somewhat guilty of this, he said, “Why would you work so hard to destroy someone you spent so much time trying to love?”  And it’s true.  We have created a culture where cruelty is rewarded and kindness, tolerance, even grace goes relatively unnoticed.  It is an unfortunate trend.  But now as I crawl from the darkness into the light, I discover many of those who I thought had left, simply retreated into the shadows, and seem happy to return to my light, which shines a bit brighter with each passing day.  I suppose the lesson is, be patient, but be vigilant.  Be consistent.  Be constant.  I’ve been called out as having changed, that I’m not the person I profess to be, but I think the truth is, I just don’t fit into the mold anymore with which so many had grown comfortable, but that isn’t my fault.  People don’t like change; they don’t like others to change because it upsets their understanding of their own world.  Some will resent you for changing because it makes them question their own complacency, others will bolster you because it inspires them.   

But I know, had I stayed, had I chosen to remain as I was, I would have died, in small, slow increments.  The natural world is a world of change; seasons, tides, weather patterns, birth, death- nothing in nature is static.  The truth is it is unnatural to remain immobile.  The result is slow death.  And that is what I was experiencing.  In trying to remain static, I was dying in little pieces, bits of the soul growing necrotic with each passing day.  And that is the reason for change.  It was life and death, so if that is selfish then so I must be.  But a day like today reminds me of the need for change, the need to be like water, like the reed, like the wind.  Their presence is constant, their impact, immeasurable. 

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