April 30, 2008 by 8junebugs
I have started over before.
Looking back, I can see different versions of myself struggling, sometimes with new situations and sometimes with perennial issues. The “fabric of my life” is all of one piece with scatterplots, tessalations, and places worn thin from stress.
Does “fabric of my life” come from a fabric softener commercial? Either way.
Not all of these iterations manifested at the end of relationships, though those were some of the most drastic. (Break up: July 1998. Pierce something: October 1998. Scoot drunk across a wood floor on a pillow: November 1998.) Some were more gradual, like the shift from east-coast preppy to west-coast…something else. I kept some of New England, but the change was pronounced. I like to think California gave me some perspective; I find my overreactions, gross misinterpretations, and other excesses are frequently tangled in my northeastern roots.
I feel less like I am reinventing myself than like I’m rediscovering who I had started to become. Along the road I made some really poor judgment calls without fully evaluating the consequences. After that, I didn’t trust my instincts anymore. Rather than being the independent woman who would move herself across the country on a dare, I became more willing to believe that something was too much, too complicated, too high to reach.
(Yes, I drove a truck full of crap and towed my car from California to Vermont on a dare. I believe the key phrase was “My other ex-girlfriend used to do it all the time.” I assure you, it was funnier than it sounds.)
But I lost my inner calm and the lifelong belief that I could do anything I set my mind to. For all their faults, my parents really did raise me to think that way. I come from a long line of DIY, tinkering, dawn-’til-dusk farmers of limited means…which explains my Puritanical work ethic, surely, but also my faith in my own abilities. Without that, it’s pretty easy to get swept along in life, especially if you’ve been making your own decisions since you were 16 (for better or worse) and you’re just really freaking tired of it.
Getting drunk didn’t fix it. Getting angry made it worse. Tuning out got me to this point–uncomfortably numb.
So, hello. Welcome to Jen v3.0. A kinder, gentler Jen than v2.8, I hope. Undoubtedly, there will be bugs. But everyone’s patched — why would I be any different?
(Dear God: Prompt patch deployment would be greatly appreciated. Amen.)