Friday, January 30, 2009

Live Life Out Loud

...for some reason, that phrase popped into my head early the other morning when I finally went to bed. I googled it and discovered it's a fairly oft-used phrase and I'm not that brilliant.

I'd had a midnight conversation that night with an old friend from HS, and he was telling me how he checks my Crackbook page on a regular, cuz it's interesting and all about real life. I post all day over there, from my phone usually... and am pretty honest there as much as I am here about how I'm feeling, but because it's a "status update" it has to be one or two sentences. I'd do it here on the blog, except for some reason my phone doesn't post to Blogger all that well. I should investigate Twitter. But I need another web addiction like I need a hole in my head.

Anyway.

A spaghetti-like train of thought started when another HS friend told me he had been talking to yet a third friend about me and the third had remarked that I had always been popular.

And that's hilarious cuz I never felt popular. Not naturally, anyhow. As I've mentioned in other posts, I throw lousy parties, folk don't often travel out to the Rock to see me ("It's faaaar" "I don't feel like driving", "It's faaaar") and I spend the lion's share of my time by myself or with my kid. It's so bad that whenever I'm NOT with my kid, folk in the neighborhood do double-takes and ask me where my tail is. Even the bus drivers ask me... "going to get The Sun?"

To truly be "popular", at least by my definition of the word would be work for me... it takes calculation. And as far as I'm concerned, that takes away from what being popular is all about... I think folk gravitate towards certain people because those people are easy with themselves and easy to be with. And usually, people who make them feel better about themselves. I think I'm easy with myself but I don't think I'm all that easy to be with... if I were I wouldn't be alone quite so much. I also think my tendency to be honest about what I'm feeling--about anything, including the person I'm with--can be a little hard to take.

What I'm good at is being honest with myself, although that took a long time to happen. It took me getting kicked in the teeth by life. A few times. Cuz I've realized over time that in order to be honest with people, you have to be really willing to be honest with yourself. And that can be painful as hell. And being honest with people is no picnic either, cuz folk have an AMAZING resistance to hearing the truth uncut and raw. Especially when it's about them. And particularly in this country, in our society.

That thought came to me later on that same morning, after I'd put the Sun on the bus with the Moon and Shoefly, and crawled back into bed for my morning hour nap before I had to go up the street to the factory. I'd left the TV on, so I wouldn't sleep too heavily, and in my half-sleep I heard the Today Show do a piece about the "Commodification of Hope". I thought to myself that Candidate Obama's initial message of hope and of change swept the nation and into the hearts of little folk everywhere but if he hadn't gotten elected, it would have become some kind of a joke. The Gollums would have been sneering at it for ever, taking great pride in bashing the hopes of people.

But the message worked; largely because it was perceived by the rank and file, the poor and the desperate and those who were just plain ol' tired of the same ol' ish, as being uniquely honest. And the Candidate Obama made people like themselves, liked their own potential for change and greatness. So now that he's President, it's fast becoming a branding strategy. I already see that rawness and honesty becoming the shiny, plasticized and sanitized version, the packaged version, to be spoonfed for the next few years until we take it all for granted again. (The Pepsi logo now looks even more like Obama's campaign logo... and I'd thought his logo looked like Pepsi's to begin with. When we went down to DC with Opus two weeks ago, the word "TOGETHER" was emblazoned across a building wall, with the Pepsi logo replacing the "O". I had to do a double take to realize that it wasn't Obama's logo. Kinda pissed me off, not for nothing.)

It seems we can't accept the raw, emotionally naked and truthful need that humans have for hope and for change for too long. We cannot be honest--really honest--with ourselves that our lives suck, that things need changing. To be honest like that requires too much self-introspection, too much calling ourselves on shit, too much pain.

People don't like the real. They don't like to see people really cry, they get surprisingly uncomfortable at someone belly-laughing. Especially if someone is doing those things alone--they MUST be crazy cuz sane people don't laugh or cry like that. Think about it... when you see someone sitting by themselves laughing their ass of, what's your first reaction? Although I'll allow maybe it's just a big city thing... cuz I can tell you in NYC that person would get a really wide berth.

Folk don't like to see real pain or raw emotion. But we can deal with the sensational... because when it's sensationalized it's not real anymore--like an overblown caricature, larger than life. So large we don't have even try to wrap our minds around it, so we relegate it to the unreal.

Like the man who killed himself, his wife and his 5 children the other day. It's an awful story; I just happened to see it as it broke on CNN.com. It sort of hit home for me, that initial news story before the sensationalism set in... because of a small thought that had entered my head the other day, as I rode the bus into the city to pick my Sun up from school...

My phone starts blowing up at 8:30a with the debt collectors. The phone calls often overlap or come in back-to-back. And about every hour and half, the same thing happens. All day. I don't like it. But at the moment there's not a lot I can do. I can't make payment arrangements if I don't know when there's going to be money. So I just don't answer the phone... but I don't like it.

I have a health insurance policy now... another high school friend suckered convinced me to buy one, to protect my kid in case something happened to me. And it occurred to me that I am indeed, worth more dead than alive. Suppose I were to do something about that? Hand off my child to his father, and make myself go away.

There are several reasons why that would never happen; one is that I fought so damn hard and so damn long for my kid that even though SD and I are getting along now, there's no way I'd hand over my kid to him. And if I left my Sun to my family SD would fight them. Also... if I disappeared and it was found out I disappeared on purpose, no money for the Sun.

But the biggest reason is, overall life isn't that bad. There's stuff I don't like about it, stuff I don't like about me... stuff I wrestle with, things I need to fix, but I can't imagine not wanting to be here.

Poppy and I had been talking about this the other day, cuz Poppy's hurting right now. A lot. His back is out. And I finally told him that we had all been pretty worried that he'd decide to check out. And he was vehement about having things left to do, to say, to learn. He also said that he doesn't believe in heaven or hell, and just thinks things will go "black" when it's his time to go, and he's not ready for that.

While he was talking, I was thinking about how I felt about that. I'm not sure we go black... but it doesn't matter cuz I'm not at all ready to find out.

I'm far from suicidal. But I do explore the darkside... I will let my mind wander to the darkest regions and some of the scariest places. Usually I can pull myself back. Sometimes it's a lot harder to pull back than other times... sometimes I do get caught in the darkness. Sometimes it's hard for me to watch certain things on TV or the news because I can go too far into the darkness. I've learned to avoid certain things.

But most of the time I go there. Because I've felt for a while now, that there are some people that need retrieving from the darkness, and sometimes the person to do that is me. I think I posted here that I'd once had a dream that I had gone into hell to bring some folk out; it was dark and scary with scary people... and there was a big bonfire out in the distance on a stage and a bunch of people dancing around it. The people I was bringing out were scared; they huddled together afraid to be caught. We passed too close to some people and so we hid behind a big bush, watching the fire, waiting for our chance to escape. I knew that I was going to get them out. I woke up before I did... but I knew that they were going to get out.

Yeah I know. That's a tad narcissistic to think that this is my mission; even I think so. But I had another dream similar to that so I've sort of accepted it.

Not everyone wants to come out of the darkness, though. Not everyone wants to step outside themselves, outside of their comfort zones. Sometimes I get too close the core inside a person and I feel the white heat blaze out; I know I have to let them go... they don't want me there, they don't want to go inside there themselves. Sometimes it's really sad when this happens cuz I can see such freedom from themselves if they would. Other times it's just really dark and black and I know I can't pull them out.

But sometimes, people do come out. They turn off the white heat, or allow me to pull them out of the black, and those are the ones that make it worthwhile.

I take those experiences and I apply them to myself. I too, used to be very defensive of my core, and my issues. Deny, deny, deny. But it didn't do me any good, really. I ended up making a lot of the same mistakes over and over. I felt unfulfilled. Boxed in. Lonely. So I decided I wasn't going to do that anymore. And I decided that I can't very well encourage folk to let go of their cores and heal their inside or follow the light if I wasn't doing it myself. Because they would detect the dishonesty... and that in turn would only feed the beast inside.

So... I decided to live my life out loud. I go to the scary places in my head, and I write about it, and I'll talk about it you get me going. I allow myself to go where Ervin Lupoe went in case I ever run across someone I can pull out of the black before the black gets them. I allow myself to be angry, or crazy, or hurt because in doing so I feel joy and happiness so much more. Looking at what I wrote it sounds downright bi-polar... except that if you're in control of it it's not quite as crazy as it sounds.

But it's hard sometimes, and lonely. And a little scary. I feel I lose people sometimes because I am this way. But as I told the Fabulous a little while ago, it's a wonderment to be able to love wholeheartedly, laugh loud, cry hard. It's very freeing, and I highly recommend it....

3 comments:

Tha BossMack TopSoil said...

I like you Babygurl, Good Flow and Glow.

Sista GP said...

You are indeed a person who feels life, not just live it.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

do live your life out loud, and truth to me u have always been honest

happy black history months