Once, my life was normal. Now I'm an artist. Join me on a journey into the wilds of motherhood, marriage, bipolar disorder, foreclosure and self-employment..trust me, it's fun!
Friday, April 20, 2012
All I Want
I'm sitting at my desk right now, watching as my ex-husband drives away with our daughter. When he and I first met, he was in love with his car. An Acura Integra, he bought it new, it was the car he wanted and it made him happy. He spent hours in that car, just driving. I can't see an Acura Integra on the road without thinking about how much he loved his. Years later, after we'd married and divorced, he bought his next car - a Mustang. If there was ever a car he wanted more than his Integra, it was that Mustang. He worked hard, his job paid well, and he got the car. He got what he wanted. A few years later, it was totalled in an accident. Another driver ran a red light and smashed right into him - my daughter and his stepdaughters were in the car. None of them were hurt, thankfully. By then he was remarried and it wasn't practical to get another Mustang. He got something more sensible, something more suited to the needs of his family. It's a cute car, it looks like a toy. As I watch him drive away, I know this car will never feel like the Acura or the Mustang felt to him. It's not what he wants, but it's what he needs and what he can have.
I'm really not sure where I'm going with this. I guess I'm thinking about sacrifice and acceptance. Sometimes you give up something you want because there is something you want MORE, that means more to you than what you're giving up. Sometimes that's worthwhile. But other times it just feels like you can never get what you want. I'm watching him through the window of a rented townhouse. I'm not where I want to be. We (my current husband and I) wanted to keep our home, and we didn't get what we wanted. There are a lot of things I want - material and not, and so often these days it just feels like I will never get them.
But does it even matter? I remember how much I wanted my ex-husband (before he was my ex, or even my husband for that matter). That was a hard-won battle. I wanted a relationship, I wanted marriage. I got what I wanted and it eventually became something neither of us could bear. So we parted and are both better off for it. Is there any satisfaction in getting what you want if it's ultimately something you maybe shouldn't have had? That's not to say I regret it, I would never have had my daughter if I hadn't fought for what I wanted, but I DID campaign pretty hard for that relationship. Maybe if it was meant to be, it wouldn't have been so hard to get. It's sort of like our house - we wanted it, really wanted to keep it. At the same time, it was on the verge of needing major, expensive repairs that we can't afford. We can't afford them because we're trying to live life the way we want to, as artists (which equals not a lot of income just yet). If we'd gotten what we wanted, it would have come with a heap of worry and frustration.
I don't think it's possible for me to completely refrain from wanting certain things, but I'm trying to accept that there are some things I just shouldn't have. I might still get them if I fight really hard - but if I SHOULD have them, if they are things (or situations) that will truly bring me happiness, maybe there shouldn't have to be a fight. Maybe my single-minded focus on the thing I want so much is causing me to miss out on lots of things that are ultimately better. Maybe I should just stop wanting and see what comes.
Right now, though, I want a cocktail. And that's something I can have. Cheers!