From Now On, I’ll Do Me
I haven’t had much time to write for the last few months. I’ve written, just not on my blog.
Still, I hadn’t realized how long it’s been since I checked in with you guys until a couple weeks ago.
My daughter was playing a for-fun tennis match with a friend, and the friend’s dad asked me: “so, have you been doing much writing lately?” My response was plainly “no,” and then I remembered I had written the obituary for my husband’s grandfather (who recently passed away at the age of 90). So kind of.
But I couldn’t remember the last time I had written on this blog, so I checked and it’s been …well, a while.
I started making my usual excuses, the ones I always make when it’s been a while. If you read through some old posts, you’ll see them. I’ve been busy. I have three kids. My life is crazy. Blah blah blah.
Those things are all true, but in the past no matter how busy I have been, I have always found the time to write. It has been a few years since that was the case, though. For years now you could scroll through my blog posts and see little spurts of zany, fun, self-deprecating Heather, broken up by large swaths of absence.
The real truth is that I haven’t written in those voids because I’ve been living someone else’s life.
That someone else was so worried about what everyone else thought about her, she’d make herself sick over little things like what someone thought of her eyeshadow color, or whether she wore make up at all for that matter.
She handmade every Christmas gift for all immediate and distant family several years in a row, because she didn’t have a real job, so what else did she have to do?
She made her family go for an entire 18 months without eating a single meal out of the house. Because mom’s cooking is better, and better for you (spoiler: it’s actually not, on both counts).
For a brief period of time, every free moment she had was spent volunteering in the community for organizations she didn’t give a care about, doing volunteer work that she had no interest in; fully immersing herself into the belly of the beast of each organization as if any of it had any bearing on her own life whatsofuckingever.
Every party was a blow-out Pinterest party. Every corner of the house was spotless.
Everything about life was exactly the way other people wanted it to be. I was living a life that was not one for me; rather someone else carrying out her life, which was entirely for other people, in my body.
What a bunch of shit.
This person that worried about what everyone else thought about her was the biggest shit of the shit. I’m certain that this came about as a result of years, now, of being berated and bullied by people in my community and immediate surrounding (that’s a nice way of saying “family”), but it also is the complete antitheses of who I am to always worry about what others think of me.
Especially over some of the trivial shit I worried the most about.
I’ve actually been so concerned with what other people thought that I’ve intentionally written blogs containing no swear words. I censored myself to be more palatable to people that don’t like words like “hell” and “damn.”
Then all of a sudden, I heard myself say aloud about a week ago “language please” to my dad, and I didn’t even recognize my voice.
Handmade Christmas gifts are shit too. Like literally and figuratively.
Really, who wants some crappy, homemade DIY gift when I could just as easily give them a gift card to Hooters?
And I’m not even good at making things either, like I would knit a scarf and it would unravel while I wrapped the piece of crap in a DIY Christmas gift bag, whose trimmings also fell off before Christmas came.
Seriously, fuck that DIY Christmas crap. It’s like ten times more expensive to make things you could just as easily buy anyway.
I won’t even get into the thing about the 18 month eating out hiatus.
Okay, yes I will. This one I am proud to say faded fast when I got pregnant with Andrew. Between being too lazy to peel carrots, and way too nauseous to consider eating any of my crap cooking, the eating out hiatus got turned on its head quickly.
That doesn’t erase the memory of those terrible, and costly, 18 months, though. I got this idea that it would save money to make things at home, but that’s a total and complete lie. It’s only cheaper to eat at home if you have one kid and eat Hungry Man TV dinners every night. Fruits? Vegetables? Lean proteins? That shit’s expensive, and newsflash a salad at your local salad spot tastes a million times better, and is considerably cheaper, than throwing it together at home.
Moreover, my cooking is about as predictable as Trump’s Tweets. You know they’ll be there, but how good/bad/volatile the reaction is always a gamble. One of my kids one night looked at the meal I made, shook her head, said “mommy no, mommy no” and straight up threw her dinner – plate, silverware, and all – in the trash.
The volunteering was pretty bad too, because it spoke to that larger issue I have had over the past few years, that need to justify my existence to other people by doing things and impressing people. As if raising two kids, or just being Heather, isn’t enough.
Unlike the 18 month eating out hiatus, I actually don’t want to get into this one, because – frankly – I’m ashamed of myself for going there.
I will, however, say that to make up for those couple years of doing so many things I had no interest in doing, I plan to spend the next few doing absolutely nothing. Not. A. Got. Damned. Thing.
Pinterest parties are shit. Seriously, you spend like tons of money on food labels and dessert tables, for what? People to make comments about how fancy it is, or to not even notice any of your hard work. I’ll never forget the time we had my uncle over for dinner, and I made some fancy table layout, and he kept going “what’s this?” like oh my fuck why did I spend so much time personalizing napkin rings when I could have just ordered pizza and everyone could have eaten off of paper towels?
I get having a cute little layout, whatever; but at least buy things you can use again.
Keeping the house cleanish is still a sticking point for me, but this idea that when people come over I have to remove every speckle of dust from my shutters upstairs, in rooms no one will even go into, is for the bees. My home is the condition it’s going to be in. If you came to see it and not me, well then you are welcome to leave.
If you are in to all of this stuff: into the volunteering and the Pinterest parties and the house cleaning and the impressions and all – that’s totally cool. It’s just not my jam. No matter how much I tried to force it to be, I just couldn’t.
As the saying goes: you do you. From now on, I’ll be over here, though, doing me.