along comes a song by Aretha that I have zero memory of. As in, I seriously don’t ever remember hearing this song. The timing of hearing this song is practically perfect, as often times, music by Miss Franklin is.
Soul Serenade? Have you ever heard it? Originally recorded by King Curtis and the Kingpins. Stopped me in my tracks this morning as I was doing my normal Sunday morning pick up the house schtick.* Of course, being me, I went down a long and windy rabbit hole at 715 this morning, listening to the Allman Brothers version as well as a clearer version of Miss Franklins. Damn, this is a good song. You can listen to it here or here (Miss Franklin’s version), or well hell, what I think is the original…
“I want to be free to fly away and sing to the world
About my soul serenade, my soul serenade
When you’re not around there’s a lonely sound
In my soul serenade, in my soul serenade”
Why I’m writing about this:
I want to be free. Free from living in the past constantly carrying around this “shoulda/woulda/coulda” mentality that is frankly causing me to be a pathetic asshole.** Ya, I said it.
This week has been, well, interesting. I’m learning about the joys (ahem) of RA***, or rather how it can kick me in the boobs completely. This is the first morning, in literally a week, that I’ve been able to get out of bed, before 7:30 and function. My hands are at 75%, and the rest of me feels like I’m catching up quickly. As it often happens, when one is knocked on your ass, you have time to think. For me, thinking is no good, very bad. I start playing “but what if?” with myself and let me tell YOU, that is no fucking Bueno.
What if I had done x, y, or z? What if I had been more supportive? Been able to ignore more? What if I would have been more of what was wanted or needed? Holy Christ on a Cracker. Yes, I did. I’ve spent the better part of my non-working hours, trying to reimagine my life had I made myself more acceptable to someone who just wasn’t worth it. It’s been 5 years since the last good weekend. It’s mindblowing to me, that it’s been 5 years, but it has. Literally 5 years ago today, I left knowing that it was never going to be what I needed it to be. It took another 6 months to finally be done, and then another 3 months to get angry, and then a year after that, I finally was able to hang up. But what I’m saying to you is bullshit****. Total and utter bullshit. I have a love/hate relationship with that relationship. I hate the way it ended, but I love holding onto it. Holding on to it allows me to be able to NOT engage in something real. Something that could actually become more than a list of memories, adventures and really bad moments.
Holding onto it allows me to live my life in some fucked up limbo, because, in a way, I kept thinking that maybe my Fairy Godmother was going to wave a magic wand and make all of the bad stuff go away and help me figure out how to have the happily ever after.
“How did we get here?” Was a question posed to me in a text message, earlier in the week one night, while laying in bed, trying to make my arms hurt less. I immediately had a flippant answer, but the more I thought about it, I realized the answer wasn’t that easy. It would be easy to blame it on a behavior, an action, or a thing, but in reality, there were two people that gave a lot of shits a long time ago, that just ran out of shits to give. I could church it up and try to psychoanalyze the real cause, but in reality, people grow up, grow away and if there isn’t a good foundation, that shit is never, ever, ever going to work. You could be me, and try to figure out who broke it, but really, it was broken before it ever started. If I were to be 100% honest.
There is a lot of my life that I keep to myself. Shocking, I know. But, really, there is a lot that I just keep to myself because it’s my shit. It’s my story. Laying around, all week, five years later, I have come to some hefty size realizations about my own life that are pretty embarrassing. I’ve created this life, this story. It’s up to me to get where I want to be. I can NOT entertain this ongoing narrative in my head any longer. At some point, I began to normalize and excuse an unacceptable story.
Again, what the hell?
I’m not very good at getting rid of things. Problems, people, shoes. I like to give all of the things a chance to redeem itself. Maybe those shoes will suddenly get more comfortable. Maybe that dress will finally not make me look like a whore with my boobs hanging out. Maybe she will be proud of what I am doing? Maybe he will wake up and say “damn, I fucked up?”*****
Nah, it doesn’t happen that way.
So, today, 5 years later to the last good day, I want to set my soul free. Or something like that. Clearly, I am not a poet or a songwriter. I can’t quite nail the necessary rhythm of thought, but I think you get the point.
I need to be done and over with that chapter. I need to settle into the reality of what it is, versus what I was hoping it could be. I need to just be OK to say #byefelicia once and for all, and mean it.
Life is entirely too short to settle for less than what truly fills you, makes you happy, gives you satisfaction. At some point in every persons life, I have to believe we have those oh shit moments, when you realize that you are not just bullshitting everyone else, but you are bullshitting yourself. At some point, and sometimes it takes a while, you just have to realize, it’s not going to change, it’s not going to get better. It becomes a when versus an if.****** Once you realize it’s a when, you just have to determine when you are ready for your real life to begin, as opposed to playing in a role in the one you are living at the moment.
So, I’m going to go take a long hot glorious bath and try to get these joints working a little better than they are right now. Then, I’m going to get out of the house and live a little today. I should probably clean my hovel of a house, but for right now, I’m going to focus on the day.
*holy shit, my house is disgusting. two people came over yesterday, and I’m mortified. I should be cleaning instead of writing.
** seriously, i’ve been a bit of a pathetic, simpering asshole. I’d slap me around if I could.
*** rheumatoid arthritis. curse of the mother. total bullshit.
**** i need a new word besides bullshit.
***** i need to work on cleaning up my pirate hooker vocabulary
****** yep, i went there.