Tuesday, July 22, 2008

WWJDFPBP? (What WOULD Jesus Do with a Fried Pickle and Boiled Peanut?)

It's no secret that I'm not fond of the south. I've been here just over 2 years now, and it's more clear now than ever that I'll never completely like it here or fit in for that matter. And I'm ok with that.

First of all, I'm WAY too opinionated for a woman in the south. The plumber who'd never seen a man, let alone, "his wifey," follow him into an attic to check on his work thought so. The toothless mechanic (I'm not exaggerating here, he had one tooth) who I followed into the repair bay to examine the improperly installed brake pads thought so. And every mother at my daughter's community preschool who overheard my complaints about their insistence that Hostess cakes or some deep-fried object qualifies as a healthy and nutritious snack thought so. I'm just too damned loud and opinionated for these people. And I'm ok with that.

Second, I have yet to, "find Jesus and accept him as my Lord and Savior." I do not pray and go directly to my Bible without passing go or collecting 200 dollars every time I have to make the smallest decision like what length of skirt to wear. I do not proudly display a, "WWJD?" wrist band and spend hours meditating on the course of action that a man, dead 2,000 + years who wouldn't have the slightest clue how to navigate the modern world anyway, might choose. I can figure out what the, "right thing to do," is for myself. And I'm ok with that.

And third, I cannot accept the excuse of regional dialect for poor grammar. "Ya'll" is NOT a word. And it is not cute. And any combination of, "you," and, "all," however abbreviated, when referring to a group of people, is not the optimum choice of words either. I will not be, "gittin' to," somewhere, nor will I be, "fixin'," to do anything. If I fix anything, it will likely be in my home and result in months of inconvenient displacement and thousands of dollars in repairs. And while I'm not ok with the never ending home repair, I am ok with good grammar.

And I do not agree that frying a pickle makes it more edible. Furthermore, boiling peanuts does not make them tastier. It just makes them water-logged and frighteningly translucent. Some things were not meant to be fried or boiled. And I'm ok with that.

See the thing is, I've spent the last 2 years of my life in revolt. I've been fighting an existence that, at least for the time being, is my reality; an existence that I, as one loud, odd, and opinionated person, am powerless to change. So, rather than resent my current cultural geography in life, I'm learning to celebrate it....in all it's awkward glory. I'm on the outside of their churches and their fish frys and their craft fairs and their scrapbooking clubs. And rather than waste my time and energy voicing my disgust, I'm going to be content to be the girl on the outside for a while. I'm going to find peace in my place. And frankly, I'm ok with that.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Shaky Ground

Do you ever feel like you should be asking for help, but you're not sure for what?

I'm there. And it's uncomfortable. Those who know me know that it's not like me to be so unsure....so overwhelmed....so lost. And I know that I need help getting out of this funk, I'm just not sure what kind, or how to ask.

And so, days progress into weeks and so on....and I continue to wipe and clean and read and teach and whatever else it is I know that I'm supposed to do for all of them. But inside me, this anxiety grows....an anxiety that my life is passing me by. I'm losing my days to groceries and renovations and junk mail and potty training and schedules.

And every time I think life is handing me a lifeline, it always turns out to be just another fruitless path riddled with obligation and regret.

It's been 5 months since I've been here. In that time, I've watched my foundation literally crumble. The house has been torn apart from the ground up with the discovery of one building disaster after another. And the list continues to grow with today's discovery. Despite our desperate attempts to repair and renovate, it no longer feels like a "home."

I've watched my daughter fall apart at the seams time and time again, helpless to do anything for her little crumbling spirit. And while she harnesses the exuberant energy of youth to recover from her anxiety attacks, my own resilience crumbles a little each time with the knowledge that this roller coaster ride we're on is far from over and the damage it has done is yet to be seen.

I've watched shadows of past hurts flash across this screen, reminders of the one missed step between me and his faltering vows.

My body is rejecting this life. New ailments cropping up. Infectious parts having demanded the attention of surgery and time that I did not have to spare.

But the floors are laid. The walls are freshly spackled and painted. The cracks are sealed. The joints are reinforced. And the check is in the mail.

Why then do I feel like I'm on such shaky ground?