Rabbit hole

Where have all the years gone? I keep thinking I’m going to find them at the bottom of a closet under a pile of shoes, some abstract piece of art representing the time that has passed. Because although I’m wiser, more sure-footed, I don’t feel the distance that I thought I would feel at this age. Distance from what, I don’t know. But the absence of that feeling makes me feel like life and death are closer friends than they’d like us to believe. Like I’m being tricked.

……..

My best friend Christy lived next door. I spent the night at her house for two straight years while my mom and dad fought in their bedroom twenty feet from her garage. We’d put on our pajamas and lip sync to Wham! in the bathroom mirror until her mother marched upstairs and wagged her finger a little too close to my face, her New Jersey accent as heavy as booze on her breath.

“Yous bettah get in bed!”

Her father, a former professional football player, served in the Marines. They moved to Japan a few months after my parents divorced. I saw her once, 16 years later, but my memories were colored differently than her own. We didn’t have anything to talk about.

……..

I was reading a passage in a linguistics textbook, junior year of college, when for the first time in my life I let myself disagree with my parents. It’s not a tenet in the Mormon religion to believe everything your parents believe, but my brain was wired to make that connection. I sat alone in my room underneath a wall covered in posters of Oasis and Blur, rolling over that disagreement in my head until I got dizzy and my life started to unravel. Again.

What else did I believe?

……..

This whole post started with this thought: Thank God I never had to call my boss and tell her I couldn’t go into work because I woke up in a bed with Andy Dick and I was afraid someone would see me leaving his house.

  • tokenblogger

    Well. There you go.

    ɹǝƃƃolquǝʞoʇ

    It feels good to know I’m not the only one.

  • alana517

    Someone has finally done lost her fool mind. In a good way of course.

  • kymmi

    Posts like these are the reason that I read your blog. Why else would I follow someone that had Oasis posters on her wall?

  • lcarilo

    Right?

  • The Dalai Mama

    Life is the Rabbit Hole.

    So totally aren’t alone.

  • zan

    I’m going to sit with this one for a long, long time. Like I’m being tricked. Damn, I loved this.

  • dianemaggipintovoiceover

    wth linguistics textbook was that? i think they use it in kindergarten now.

  • mybottlesup

    :) i like it when you write like this.

  • HiImChloe

    Long time reader (found your website while you were pregnant with Marlo), first time commenter. I made this account just so I could write this.

    Everything’s going to be okay.

  • HiImChloe

    Long time reader (found your website while you were pregnant with Marlo), first time commenter. I made this account just so I could write this.

    Everything’s going to be okay.

  • Pandora Has A Box

    Where have all the flowers gone?

    I have more but typing forces me to look at my old lady hands, and that’s truly depressing.

    Beautiful post.

  • Kristanez

    Thank you for this post. I was instantly reminded of this quote from one of my favourite books and wanted to share it with you.

    “Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud”
    -Life of Pi by Yann Martel

  • Kristanez

    And another from the same book:

    “… there is always a grinning skull at my side to remind me of the folly of human ambition. I mock this skull. I look at it and I say, “You’ve got the wrong fellow. You may not believe in life, but I don’t believe in death. Move on!”

  • mtb0001

    > It’s not a tenant in the Mormon religion to believe everything your parents believe

    *tenet*

  • StefanieLCR

    Sometimes we have to look back in order to move forward.

    Memories are what make us “us.” The good and the bad.

    You’re going to be okay, Armstrong.

    On another note, I wrote this yesterday: http://www.raisingfuturehippies.blogspot.com/2012/01/okay.html

    Part of the reason I wrote it, and well, had a reason to write it is because you have given me the courage to share my story and seek out some help.

    I’m going to be okay, too.

  • jendemonium

    A tenet is a belief or doctrine considered true.

    A tenant is a renter or occupant.

    Just sayin’.

  • LinKelley
  • HeatherSop1

    I love this post. It reminded me of the first time I realized I could disagree with my parents and my Catholic upbringing. I was reading the DaVinci Code and while I know it’s a work of fiction, I believe there’s truth in it and it made so much sense to me. I could turn the pages fast enough.

  • J. Bo

    I once wore my pajama pants to work by mistake, and decided to pretend it was “a look.” But another time, when I worked really late (2:30 a.m.) and realized on the drive home that I’d left my punishing bra on a chair in the break room, I turned around and drove the 40 minutes back to the office to retrieve it. Panda jammie pants are one thing; a dingy underwire Maidenform (complete with safety-pin strap repair) is quite another.
    The day we find our highest acceptable embarrassment level is the day we become grownups… and that’s a GOOD thing.

  • OrangeLily

    I like this whole post, but especially the first part about time. It’s like how you thought you’d feel so mature when you hit 25, 30, 35…. and the things that bugged you when you were younger, the insecurities and behaviours, well some of them you’ve gotten over, but some are still around. It seems to take so much longer to grow up than I’d thought.

    This line was spot-on: “I don’t feel the distance that I thought I would feel at this age.”

  • booner32

    Really like these kind of posts… Keepin’ it real!

  • Jen143

    MKay then. Too much Words with Friends?

    What I really wanted to say was that you need to read this. It will make you laugh HARD. It’s an ode to running.

    http://bitchinsisters.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/an-ode-to-running/

    You’re welcome!

  • doudou

    Hmm. I definitely feel the distance, huge expansive distance.. not sure which is better.

  • M. Butterfly

    This is the best post you’ve written in a long, long time. Kudos. And, thanks.

  • Bea_OT

    You survived it, but it still seems like yesterday. Me too. Some happier older women in their sixties told me that it’s the fifties that really rock. That’s when the past truly seems far and the present more joyous! I’m 39, so I’m counting down to fifty…just can’t wait!

    Until then…I’m focusing on living more through the eyes of my son…whose current passion is opening and closing the door. Shouldn’t life be that wondrous? When everything seems amazing and the simple things makes us explode into unrestrained laughter?

    So metaphorically, I’m closing the door to my painful past and opening the door to my future…where change is possible.

    May that happen for you too!

    Beautiful writing!

  • sweetney

    “Because although I’m wiser, more sure-footed, I don’t feel the distance that I thought I would feel at this age. Distance from what, I don’t know. But the absence of that feeling makes me feel like life and death are closer friends than they’d like us to believe. Like I’m being tricked.”

    The two are entwined, I think. We like to believe there’s this continuum, with Birth on one end and Death on the other, and Living filling all the in-between. That’s comforting, and uncomplicated. But the truth is more complex – that throughout our lives we experience rebirth many times, and also a hundred deaths. One does not negate the other. They’re both a part of the same mechanism, which *is* life.

    At least that’s how I’ve come to think of it. [shrugs]

    (Also? Beautifully put.)

  • jlolb

    I spent a good chunk of time last night in bed crying on the phone to my best friend. I was trying to explain this lost, confused, falling, flying feeling to her. Eventually, I went to sleep.

    Today, I watch the snow dump from the sky. I struggle with a question of identity and a need to be doing and giving so much so that when I die, I’ll have lived a life I’m proud of. I get so wrapped up in thinking about my legacy that I think I’m forgetting to craft my life. In fact, I don’t even know who the hell I am, so why I don’t focus on figuring that out instead is beyond me.

    I’m dizzy, too. I’m in a real hole. But, I’ll dig out. I always do.

    And, I’m also glad I never had to call my boss to tell her I’d be late since I woke up in Andy Dick’s bed.

  • allison

    You articulated how I’m starting to feel about time in general — how life and death really aren’t far apart at all. Time keeps trucking along and never stops, even when we’d like to take a pause. The only place it’s ever frozen is in our memories, and those even seem to fade over time. Yikes. Kind of depressing, but the reality of being a species able to contemplate its own existence I guess?

    I love the asshats correcting your spelling, even going so far as to leave you definitions. Seriously.

  • workingmom22

    I can relate, except my world unraveled when I was newly married and thought I had life all figured out. Then suddenly, I had a miscarriage and began to slowly descend into a sadness and depression that only worsened when I finally had my son, which is what I had thought I wanted most all along. Why wasn’t I completely blissed out with my new baby? Why did I have no connection to him? Why did I feel so physically ill that I almost passed out when I discovered I was pregnant again when he was only 9 months old?

    Even now, after being in therapy and on antidepressants for 2 years, I am still feeling like I’m at the starting gate. What the hell do I even really believe? I don’t know. All I know is that, even though I love my parents and they love me, I grew up intrinsically knowing that disagreeing with them on anything meant I was wrong. Still does today. And that’s a huge struggle for someone like me who wants everyone to be pleased with me and most of all wants her parents’ approval!

    Thanks for this post, I love your blog.

  • seven2seven8

    This captures beautifully what happens when some friendships are stretched by time and distance:

    “my memories were colored differently than her own. We didn’t have anything to talk about.”

    Then there are the friends for whom time and distance don’t stand a chance. With these people, you will always talk as if your last conversation was yesterday.

  • LeenyDeeny

    Sometimes the tenets you learn from your parents are like tenants. Very hard to evict tenants.

  • Scott-5×5

    “I don’t feel the distance that I thought I would feel at this age.” Brilliant. That’s a truth, THE truth, about aging that you can’t know when you’re young.

  • Qathii

    We’re never who we thought we’d be.

    Amanda Palmer, “In My Mind.”

    http://youtu.be/Q9WZtxRWieM