I am consistent in one thing: my absolute changeability from second to second. Maybe it's the Gemini in me, or the 2nd born screaming for attention and independence. Maybe it's the repressed, über-controlled former cult member who never was any good at following the directions. Whatever unhealthy thing is it that motivates me, I am seldom of the same frame of mind for more than a few hours at a time. Maybe that is why I have worked in 56 different job fields since I became the age that should count as adulthood. Maybe that it why we have moved 7 times since 2008 and it took me 12 years to finish an ever-evolving college degree. I have had it flung in my face that I don't finish things, which isn't true - it just takes me a little longer than the average bear and I like to take the scenic route. A friend of mine called me predictability many years ago, when he told me the only thing consistent about me was my instability. It's true, but my changes are small, and they roll in and roll out like storm clouds. The thing that I want, the things that I finish - they don't change as much as my responses to whatever it is that stands in the way of those things does. Some days I am tough, I am strong, I am forgiving and kind. A lot of times lately I am angry and brooding and bitter and frustrated. It drains me and leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth and my muscles aching from the hard work of resent. God help me find the will to get over and around the obstacles and make my way with joy.
I think people confuse my whiplash way of doing things with indecision, or not knowing what I want at any given time. They call it discontent and ungratefulness, and while I am certain that I have all of Those Things, I would have to insist that I know EXACTLY what I want at any moment in time, but it happens to change Very Suddenly And Without Warning. And also, quite often, EXACTLY what I want is EXACTLY what I can not have. I am not sure if that is so much my temperament and personality as it is my human nature showing through. Every morning I wake up, determined to CHOOSE to love the life I have, and everyone in it, and everything about it, but usually within 17 minutes I forget my resolve when someone uses all the hot water in the shower or makes a comment about me having too many clothes... a subject very sore to me right now since only 5% (and the most recently acquired 5%) of my wardrobe fits. And if that doesn't happen then certainly within 17 minutes I remember that 95% of my wardrobe is too small. And oh yeah, I am fatter than I have ever been, and it doesn't feel good. And all of my muscles hurt from working out, and my stomach is growling from counting calories the day before, and my back is Just. Plain. Broke. And nothing seems to help. And even though everything in my head knows how very much worse I could have it, I find a way to block my well-meaning conscience and feel sorry for myself.
Nobody ever promised that life would be a long timeline of everything-you-ever-wanted, but somehow I watched enough Disney movies and read enough bible verses to actually believe that all of my dreams would come true and I would have the desires of my heart. And truthfully, I have. Some of them. They are wedged in between failures and frustrations and moments of Absolute Despair, which fall at strangely coincidental times of the month... or what used to be times of the month until I lost certain internal organs and now I have no idea when I am being irrational or when The Other Party is just being a total poopface. I have come to assume that if a crazy fit of sweating and chills accompanies the Absolute Despair, it's fairly safe to say that I am being irrational and I should let my hormones heal before I make any life decisions. But if there are not hot flashes combined with the mood swings... Well, let's just say The Other Party feels like he's living in a lot of uncertainty, which maybe isn't as uncertain as he's hoping it is. With any luck (for both of us), I will mellow back out to a monotone lasséz-faire take on life and the living of it.
It will help when I am not spending a large portion of my time every month for a $400 paycheck. I mean, even for a high school kid, it's kind of a ridiculous slap in the face. Even if I did miss two weeks of work. $400? For a month? Jeez. No wonder my self-worth is crying quietly in the corner. I don't mind my job. Some days, it even resembles something that could be rewarding, in an I-changed-the-world kind of a way. But other days, when parents of Very Difficult students hand my rear end to me in a tongue lashing for something that was either A)nothing I did, B)something I did do with the BEST of intentions or C)something I plan on doing because it's the thing their gosh darn kid needs to survive the week, and I just want to hand them my four hundred dollars, kidnap the poor kid and hope the parents get lost and starve to death in their own pot field. It is surreal to me how un-parented some kids are. I know that we are there to teach them, but some days I swear it's also the only place they are loved. For all of my lost mom-of-the-year awards, after seeing what I have this year, I will be the first to say that not only do my kids have it pretty frakking good, but they probably ought to swap roles with some of the students I work with for a week or two before they tell me again how I hate them and I am ruining their life.
I don't even know what I am complaining about really. Again, I have it good. Really good, depending on the hour, and the day. And who I am hanging out with. Or NOT hanging out with sometimes. And if the sun is shining, or it's raining like Olympia in October. I am predictably inconsistent. But I am always that way. I always have been. I DO know what I want, and eventually, I will get it. My goal is to get there without killing anybody. Or hurting anybody. Or heck, maybe even helping a couple of people out here and there. Maybe leaving behind the world a better way. Maybe a few more smiles. A laugh or two. I remember when I was a teenager and I was "witnessing" to a heathen that I worked with and I posed the poignant question to him of what he wanted people to say about him when he died. I expected a somber and confused response, as it dawned on him that he didn't have the Light of the Lord to share with people that they could proclaim from the pulpit at his death. But instead, he looked at me, without even pausing, and he smiled a big goofy smile, and he said, " I hope they say that I made them laugh." I think that I was the one saved that day, a thousand years ago behind a subway counter late at night. It became my goal too. If I can't revolutionize the whole world, maybe they can laugh at my instability and predictability. Lord knows I do.