Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Born to be unremarkable

So I’m realizing that life is really, really boring unless I work at making it interesting. I feel bored with my music, my love life, my weight VIGILANCE, my job, my hair and my blog. Bored, bored, bored, bored.

There is nothing inherently exciting or cool about writing songs and then singing them where others can hear. There isn’t even anything remotely interesting about writing songs and then singing them where others can hear. Anything can be a rut and this is mine: I write songs and then sing them where others can hear. Bor-ing!

And anything can be interesting, even - as a math teacher once taught me - the dullest of subjects like algebra (even this blog). It just depends on how you look at it, how much enthusiasm you have for life in general, and how well you’re able to find the fascination in any particular subject or activity.

I am almost 39 and realizing that life doesn’t get any more interesting than this. The process of discovering completely new things (how sex works, what a sprained ankle feels like, heartbreak, etc.) is pretty much over for me. There are no more natural beginnings and endings (like school years) or climactic life arcs (like starting and finishing college). If I never get married or have kids -- and that’s pretty much how it’s looking at this point -- there will be no more major rites of passage or life changes for me. I have to take this and make it interesting for myself.

There will be no perfect job (or even career) that will keep me satisfied for the rest of my life. No perfect friendship to forge or perfect band to recruit (not to mention no perfect boyfriend to find). There is no perfect anything to achieve, attain or (on the bright side) lose. There’s just this, there’s just me, there’s just what I have to work with at any given moment.

I’m probably one of the worst people at building expectations that can’t possibly be fulfilled. Where I got my completely unrealistic expectations about life I don’t know. In elementary school it was summer vacation that was the nirvana we longed for all year long. Then for a while it was the perfect job that I and my friends tried to figure out. And now, of course, one of my main driving reasons to ever leave my apartment is to search for the guy, the “one,” the man I was Meant to Be with. Crock of simmering shit, it turns out he never existed in the first place.

And neither did my Garden of Eden, marriage. That perfect state of one-ness and bliss never was and never shall be. Marriage just doesn’t exist like that.

So what am I holding out for here? In the absence of Mr. Perfect and the never-ending honeymoon, what is it that I am reasonably searching for in all these dates dates dates dates? And given that there’s no golden record deal or perfect performance to attain, what experience of happiness or even okayness am I trying for with all this singing?

I think there’s a a reality of ordinariness that I’m going to have to accept, even if it means my most gleaming and cherished dreams have to be discarded. The reality is that I am not exempt from ordinariness and there is no experience of exquisite bliss that I am particularly worthy of and entitled to. There will be no shimmering morning on which my life will suddenly shed its every-day-ness and emerge fantastic and absolutely unlike any life anyone has ever led before. I will never outgrow the laundry and the indigestion and glide into some state of perfection and peace that will leave me happy for the rest of my days, not even if Johnny Depp himself shows up at my door tomorrow with a pink engagement ring, not even if Gloria Estefan discovers me and begs me to open for her, not even if my stomach disappears and I finally reach and maintain 115 pounds for the rest of my life.

There’s a reality of ordinariness that I’m going to have to accept.

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