I haven’t be writing because I feel I have zero answers, nothing of value to say. There it is, I’ve admitted it. A sentence ripping the towel off my psyche, or neurosis, whichever. But here I am….more to vomit the swirling mess in my head today, than to entertain anyone.
I mentioned a while back that my darling brother didn’t like the title of my blog, Appalachian Refugee. He claims it doesn’t encompass me. In a way he’s right. It might not broadcast all that I am. Something about that conversation and his assertion that I am more keeps nagging me.
In the past year…well maybe even longer than this…I have made many new friends. Largely due to what I can only term as a complete subversion of everything I thought I wanted in this life, everything I thought this life could potentially hold for me. And, the adoption of a new dream of simple living, homesteading, and spiritual pursuits. I feel I’ve gotten way back to my roots, in so many ways and most importantly spiritually. These new friends know the “new me”, the grounded, practical, earthy me. I like that me, even if she is still learning and sometimes unsteady on her feet. She feels like home.
However, when I let slip pieces of my past paradigm, I often bewilder these new friends. Their surprise and subsequent parsing of these tiny revelations at once amuses me, pleases me, and makes me sad.
“You used to dance….like seriously?”
Yeah. At one time it was all I could love, all I ever wanted to do. I can feel my friends’ eyes on my physical form – not in a malicious way, more amused…like they’re peering through xray glasses, trying to make out my previous form…hiding behind cake (which was the original title for this blog). And hiding behind frumpy clothes, and an air of “who-gives-a-fuck”.
Where did she go, that little dancer? that tough little bird? that girl who sparkled?
I ate her. Quite simply. I ate her.
I had been told on several occasions and overheard someone I loved dearly say “she’s pretty, but that’s about it”. I had been deemed flighty, ornamental at best. It didn’t matter that there was an ocean underneath, a universe behind the curtains of my lashes. With those comments, and later a sexual assault, I decided no one would ever see me as penny candy again. I got mean, I got tough, and I went to get as educated as I could manage. I fought so hard, I argued and debated. I wrote and read my ass off. I wanted to dump who I had been under a pile of “serious” credentials. I found other women like me in the Women’s Studies department. We were all good and pissed. Many of us had similar stories. We were going to make people pay. And though I thank Goddess for those women and that degree daily, there was a culture and a norm in which the sparkly me could not be permitted. I had to kill her, or at the very least bury her. And I did.
So here I am, not resembling a former self who I had deemed frivolous, unworthy, silly, weak. I fight so hard to be intellectual, practical, grounded. I knock her out every time she dares to proclaim her continued presence from inside her little cellar. I am a grown woman, a mother, a soon-to-be physical laborer – - that’s noble. Not some fool who thinks she’s entertaining, or a good writer, or a great chef.
The truth is, I want ALL of those things. The truth is, I am terrified to dare to dream of them. Failure is a sharp little bitch and she is always waiting for me….and for some reason she hurts me more than she hurts other people.
My mother has this notion that I am to be the next Rachel Ray. She mentions it weekly. She wants to know why I don’t have my own tv show. She wants to know why I don’t open my own bakery, or start writing cookbooks. I tell her over and over again, that’s not my wish in the slightest. Or is it? Definitely not the tv part…definitely not at this size. The books and the bakery – yes, I’d love that…along with many other things – milking cows, tilling gardens, selling organic lavendar, learning to shoot a gun. Do I want to reach a level of fame she’s talking about…are you crazy? I already criticize myself enough for ten women. I don’t need the world at large picking me apart. There won’t be anything left.
I am a garland of fabric flowers…right now I am trying to decide which blooms should be strung, and which are destined for a drawer. I want to string all the pieces of me together. I want to let sparkles out of the cellar and put her right in the middle with the calico print from the farm. But they might clash. What do I do?
Am I just an Appalachian Refugee?