Behavior sits on this strange tightrope and spills its drink all over the floor and wanders up and down aisles asking people to see each other eye to eye, face to face, and to imagine for a second that we can all read each other’s minds. And that we don’t have a thousand and one strange impulses ticking at any given time. And that we have control over how our body meets our brain meets our mouth meets another person. Behavior gets sticky and lacks eloquence. Intentions are nearly almost always good. At the heart of the heart of the heart, you can sympathize with anything if you have enough patience and scope. Everyone has the capability within themselves to commit every act, horrifying and beautiful. Everyone is in flux. Everyone is spinning in orbit around a largely unimpressive star in a remote part of a galaxy in a strange universe we can barely see. Everyone has everything inside of them. And yes, it’s what they choose to act on. But sometimes, you do not even make the choice. Sometimes your feet walk on their own and your muscles tick in their shells and your mouth carries vipers you never knew sat on your tongue. The control, the mind-body connection, the awareness of self and the patience, wisdom and grace to make the best decisions at the right time to fulfill what another person needs standing in front of you…that is a terribly complex thing. An abstract thing. A thing we are never taught in school.

There are so many things that NEED to be taught in school that aren’t. And so many things that don’t need to be drilled into the heads of every passing 16 year old that are. That embitter learning for some for a lifetime. That make others toss their hands in the air and give up. And there is so much to know that is never taught. How to relate to one another, interpersonal relationships, basic psychology. World, comparative religion. Nutrition. Sustainability. Basic philosophy. Child rearing (at least the basics, at least for sympathy and understanding…I know not everyone needs to or should have kids). These are things that should be mandatory…and the sciences and math if you excel at those….you should follow that path…take THOSE as electives. Because there is only a select group of people that end up as mathematicians or physicists or engineers…but EVERYONE needs to be fundamentally prepared for this fucked up world we enter. And let’s just be more efficient with our teaching/learning time, shall we? Not just fucking memorizing shit by rote and just wallowing away hours on useless things and standardized tests. I guess this is why I’m going to be a Waldorf teacher. It’s not perfect by any means…but it gives me so much hope. And so much healing.

I was always kind of amazed that no one was keeping tabs on me and the fact that I was going to bring another human into this world. They test you a thousand and one times for a thousand things in life. They fine you for speeding, they pat you down at the airport, they judge your little graphite circles in a scantron, they draw vials of blood and test them. The world watches you and watches you and it’s never when you need them to. And then anyone can just get pregnant from anyone else and just bring another human into this world that is a citizen of this country by birthright. What I’m saying is incredibly obvious and trivial…but that strange sense of complete autonomy with something that will continue to affect the population at large with the creation of another human being was such a unique feeling. I mean it’s also incredible how UNOFFICIAL it all is…I always thought it was the opposite. I guess as a child there was some imagination that there is this big silent watcher on the wall, some highly organized center to everything…some one algorithm that was “government” and they would know if you changed your name or didn’t pay your taxes or had a baby. It’s all quite a bit more chaotic and unofficial than that. I thought being married would just click in to some database and the legality of it would be stored somewhere deep in some official file folder inside this “government”…but I had to do everything myself. I don’t even know where I was going with this random thought. It’s just a funny feeling. Being given the right to just have a baby. When and where and how you like.

In some better future…I certainly don’t imagine any restrictions on motherhood…but perhaps more reverence. That it is a journey you aspire to. That there is weight to it. And power to it. That you only do it if you have all the right intentions, if you question those intentions and continually walk a path trying to understand why and how you want to do it. If you understand what it means and you prepare. And others too, respect you in a different way for it. Respect, not disdain. No judgment. The simple recognition that it is an immense job, a vitally important job, that it takes a great deal and that if you choose to do it (and it has to be done by someone, after all)…then you are honored, revered and thanked. And provided opportunities to learn, to discuss what is best, to commune and socialize with others in a positive way. I get “Lean In” I get it. OK. I get it. But what also about the idea of returning power to the holiness of motherhood. The fucking goddess that ruled this earth for the 8,000 years in pre-history before patriarchy swept in only a few thousand years ago. The fucking goddess. Portrayed all over the fucking world as a pregnant mother. Fucking mother earth. Without motherhood there is nothing. Mother is everything. And it is power. Full. And now I’m getting really woman-righteous and that is not what I mean. I mean RAISING a child. No gender discrimination. Fatherhood. Motherhood. Whoever is primary caregiver. Having that be incredibly meaningful. And only those who feel that is really, really, really right for them. I hate how many people are so unhappy and disillusioned with it. And please, please let’s let more people off the hook. I’ve met so many people who carry such guilt and shame about the fact that they don’t want kids. Maybe it’s so ingrained in them that they should want to have kids that perhaps they do just to assuage this guilt. We need to stop telling this narrative that every woman should want to have children and being motherly and nurturing AND we need to stop telling this narrative that you just pop out a few kids and it’s no big deal. To bring another human into this world is a big deal. It is an important deal. And if we had more reverence, less flippancy…less people doing it…it would help our massively out of control population problem. I mean, seriously.

And….that was another random rant.

I think all people need all things. Some in different measurements, but all need some measure of all things. People need community, socialization, the magic that comes from a collective…the swell of a city, the hum of streets, the dizzying music and light that comes spilling out of sidewalks and down alleyways…the mystical maze of a city that continues to get you lost, continues to get you found, continues to trace your path up and down in endless circles where time is always chasing just behind you. And people need nature. People need fresh air and the expanse of the sky to clear their head. Space. Grass. The swell of the seasons. The perspective of humility against nature. Cities get so insular, so self-important, so self-involved. And I fear they are not conducive to the real, soul-clearing work that adults need to do to breathe out. To hear your thoughts against the sky. To rattle out your madness to the ground and to the trees and to be renewed in the swarm of the earth. I fear too many people are banging their heads against too many concrete walls wondering why they can’t escape from their own thoughts. I fear too many people’s thoughts keep bouncing and bouncing in circles off of all the brick and mortar and steel that their bodies are encased in and are not swirling in the atmosphere, dowsing themselves in the dew of the morning, shooting themselves up the trunks of trees and dissolving like oxygen back into the air. The earth always takes my worries from me. And I wish everyone could find this healing.

I don’t know what a future looks like that makes way for some full life. That is sustainable. That is rich and that provides all of what life has to offer – the sublime solitude, the riveting songs of a city, the silence of the setting sun, and the twirl of blinking lights and raging buses. Maybe if transportation was simple, easy, fast, efficient, clean. And I mean VERY fast. We would all be able to appear and disappear in all of the fantastic elements of the world. To meet in the city, to pound the pavements, to dance, to sing, to laugh together as a group, and then to fall asleep to the swell of insects and the buzzing of stars through a thin, gauzy roof. To travel fast and in a clean way – might this change everything? Could we get everything? Would it inherently take away from the mystical aspects of traveling? From the appreciation of all of our ancient spaces and our sacred treks?

And how would anyone stay in one place? Perhaps that’s what we do need, to be nomads. For everyone to have the real honest opportunity to see the whole world. To gain the whole perspective. And to settle where they may. In cities, on secluded mountain tops, in sweet smelling meadows. But to have be able to move quickly, immediately. Teleportation sounds good. But does it ruin the world? Have we not moved with the strange and fascinating story we have as humanity because of these innate constraints on our movement? Did so much of who we are not develop out of our innate necessity to take root, to keep hold, to grow WITH a piece of land? So what would we lose and what would we gain. What have we ALREADY gained and lost? Hasn’t this already happened, in all reality?

I don’t know what the future holds and I have been reminded about 10,000 times that it is pointless for me to try to tie it down.

And my life. Is the same way. I am just waiting for something to come and tip the scales and help me make this decision. I am just waiting for something, anything…any something that will help me decide whether to leave him, or stay and have another child and get a fucking mortgage and la dee da. I don’t know how to make this decision based on only the information I have now and I don’t have very much time. I’ve got to decide. I can’t get pregnant again unless I know it is a good thing and my timeline is running out. And he’s going to come back very soon and I need to know what to say. I can’t keep him at bay for much longer. Oh man oh man oh man.

So I had an interview today. For my first real job opportunity at the Waldorf School. First Grade Assistant. And I got Jamie to sleep. And the house is clean. And for the first moment in a long, long time…I don’t actually have anything to do for this moment. And I am so exhausted. And Jeff hasn’t been home in 6 days. And I just want to go out tonight. And I just need to breathe.

The sunset speaks in sounds beyond words.

I’m sitting inside a bunch of maybes and watching them swirl around me on fire. I don’t know what my life is going to be or where and I just have to breathe through that.

I’m still having a lot of difficulty with Jeff and with how to move forward…but hopefully something will become clear soon. I’ve been sitting in this pool of confusion for far too long now…and I need things to settle. I can’t waste any more time just wading into the unknown and pounding my head on the table.

There are negatives to this moment in time, absolutely…but there is also growth. And opportunity. And a sense of transformation. And that is always a positive.

I just…don’t want any of the things I thought I wanted…a year ago, two years ago, four years ago. It’s blowing my mind.

Right now I just feel like this wide open wound and I could see my life going in about 10 thousand different directions. Nothing feels stable at all and I don’t have a clue where I’m going.

What I’ve learned from Max and from Jeff is that I’m really fucking independent. I need a lot of time by myself and I need to be able to do my own things at my own time. I’ve never felt so controlled before…I’ve never felt like my time is being controlled before and I don’t know how to respond.

And jealousy…over every aspect of my life. Jealous of my relationship with my mother, jealous of my relationship with our son…it’s all so overwhelming. I’ve never really dealt with jealousy before and it’s really quite bizarre.

And now I understand something that I have never understood in others. This shutting down. This numbness, this lack of anything to say, this just wanting to not deal with it rather than push through it. I just want this to all dissolve. I have never been the one to put up a wall, to close down my heart. It is the strangest feeling and I certainly don’t have any control over it. And now I feel sympathy for all those people who have done it to me in my life. I don’t know how to respond. I don’t have any energy for this back and forth. I just want space and no, I don’t have any answers. At least the clarity of that understanding is more clarity than nothing at all. And the understanding of some piece of humanity I have never understood before. So many people have done this to me and I always thought it was some hardness in them…and it’s not…this is just honestly too much for me to process and I can’t. I don’t know how.

The idea of being single is bizarrely exhilarating. I just wish I could start over. I would never lose Jamie, never, not ever. But still…the desire to start over is strong. Just go back to May of 2013 and be at that clean slate again. Maybe I’d keep acting. Maybe I’d have taken the chance to actually live in Philly or what have you.

I don’t feel trapped anymore. Not at all. I feel like my life could go a thousand different ways and that is unbelievably incredible. He’s been gone for 4 days now and I have really loved the clean house, the sense of autonomy, the freedom to do what I want, when I want. The sense that my life is my own. I haven’t turned the TV on in 4 days and that has been awesome. How come after all this time…what I never figured out was that I want space? Why on earth did I think that Max and I needed to do all of those things together? We could have just co-existed. Co-existing sounds good now. What the fuck was my problem? People should just co-exist. I don’t even really see what co-habitation really has to do with love at all. Just because you love someone has no bearing on whether or not you’d like to be their roommate. And track their every move and make sure you spend every possible waking minute together. In fact that seems like the surest way to kill love. To remove all sense of intrigue, desire and romance. Loving someone has absolutely nothing to do with dominating their time and space. Of course you should hope for a fair bit of attentive overlap, but for the most part…how could I ever expect to find someone who wants to do all of the things that I want to do when I want to do them? Or who would like all of the things that I like and would want to watch all of the same things on TV that I want to or would want to listen to all of the same music that I would want to. It’s an insane standard to hold yourself to. No, I wouldn’t even expect that of the BEST, most well matched roommate. SOMETIMES you want to do the same thing at the same time…but A LOT of the time my roommates in college and I were just fucking doing our own shit. And respecting each other’s space. Then suddenly you’re involved with someone in a romantic way and there’s just totally different rules. It’s a crazy idea. It’s oppressive and old fashioned to assume that our desires are so simple and one dimensional that we will just ALWAYS want to do and watch the same things at the same times.

I don’t want negligence, no. And I don’t want to be ignored. But there is a way of showing that you are interested, showing that you care, remaining connected and letting each other live. Co-existing. And that sounds like a fucking awesome balance I’d like to be able to strike with someone. And I think it would foster MORE mutual respect between both parties. That you genuinely respect the other person’s complexities and dynamic intricacies enough that you can just buzz around each other in a delicate and caring dance. Giving love, giving support, showing affection, watching each other grow in your own separate ways and acknowledging the ways that you can grow together through watching each other. Senior year of college was so great…just knowing Max was there, getting support, keeping in touch, hearing about the day or week and yet living and growing in our own totally free ways. And missing each other. There is something awesome about missing someone. That makes tension and love and desire. And makes the moments of being together meaningful in a way that they could never attain if you live with someone. But of course, there are endless things you gain by living with someone that you could never attain either way. Obviously there are pros and cons to each. Absolute and solid benefits and negatives to both. And I don’t know how to ever perfect co-existing. Especially with someone as jealous and controlling as I am dealing with now. And maybe I am only feeling this way as a counter to his behavior. And maybe I only felt the way I felt with Max as a counter to HIS behavior. Who knows. But I do recognize that things don’t have to be the way we always paint them to be. Humans are complex and I have always been faced with the enormity of my complexities and contradictions and felt overwhelmed by the idea of ever meeting a match that would really allow me to breathe in all the ways and different facets that I want to breathe. In a thousand ways at once. In a thousand strange hypocrisies. Maybe co-existing is a good way to frame it. All at once letting go more and holding close more. Allowing someone all of their complexities – all of their hypocrisies, nuances, their space, their room to breathe and grow and do things at their own pace and not patronizing them by standing over their shoulder and making sure they are doing the right thing. And then at the same time…Being actually genuinely committed and connected in the soft, meaningful moments that matter…and finding ways each day to bring those meaningful moments into your daily life ….that is certainly something that is missing. And something that sounds really, really good. I want more and less at the same time.

It’s almost exactly like what I imagine good parenting to entail. Not holding on too close, not letting go too far. Not being neglectful, and not being overbearing. Some magical stroke right in between that gets down on your knees, looks a crying child in the eyes and tells them exactly what they need to hear to be reassured, to be comforted and to feel confident enough in THEMSELVES to return to play and to return to growth in an independent and real way. Not coddling, not abandonment.

Everything I am always talking about is finding that magical ‘AND’ in the center. The magical balance where we can actually be the fully bizarre, complex, nuanced, contradictory, emotional, intelligent and heart-filled beings that we are. Some middle ground that is more beautiful than the word peace – it is not just peace or balance I am always looking for. It is everything all at once. It is universalism.

The great ‘more’. More life, more love, more freedom, more faith, more hope, more light, more dark, more complexity, more strength, more fire. Less fear.

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.”