I am feeling very sclerotic about my life lately. Like I am in my own way, I know this, but stubbornly refuse to move. Kind of like a mule might refuse to go any further on a trail...it is a lovely trail and loops back around to food and home, but the mule, is like “Um, this feels far and I don’t want to go this way anymore...” This is how I feel with my current life, and what is being asked of me.
Sclerotic means to grow rigid or unresponsive especially with age : unable or reluctant to adapt or compromise. Merriam Webster.
I think we usually hear the term in related to hardening of the arteries or other tissue. But in this context, I am describing my own sclerotic tendencies lately to be pretty rigid and inflexible as my age increases and I feel a fairly strong resistance to change. Mind you I am not really happy with the way things are, but I am blocking my own passage into whatever the hell is next...
Perhaps part of my rigidity is just me settling into what is expected of me at my age. I have a routine, a schedule, a habit and I don’t want to change it more than I want to change it. I would prefer to have a more flexible mind, one that is open and receptive to new things. However, I would be lying if I didn’t see the ways that it has hardened. It is getting harder and harder to believe in the things of youth: love, passion, connection.
One of the attributes that seems to accompany hardness is bitterness. And I am not down for that at all. I do not want to be bitter even more than I do not want to be sclerotic. But there are moments (and right now they are only moments) where I feel a defensive despondency about love and life and I have to immediately deal with those feelings, lest they harden into something else that is altogether unsavory.
So what am I to do?
I can’t start anything new.
I can’t stop doing what is already in progress.
I am not allowed to call.
I am not allowed to text.
Fuckity, Fuck, Fuck!
Now, some of you are going to say, “why the hell are you going along with what this spiritual advisor has to say? Aren’t you a grown ass woman who has been pretty much self directed the entirety of her being?”
Because I am out of answers. I have done it MY WAY and from where I sit it has been a pretty dismal failure. Love has been illusive and mostly come with a great deal of loss and pain. So clearly, I do not know how to do this whole love thing. I get it wrong. Repeatedly. In fact, I would offer myself up as a case study for what NOT to do. If you do not want to have a lasting relationship, be me. Problem solved.
So I am taking direction because the pain of going on as I was became too great which is the only reason that I ever listen to anyone. I want something different and apparently, very inconveniently, I am going to have to do something different to get something different.
Dammit it to hell!
I don’t want to do any of it. I want to keep being the rat and hitting the lever to get the reward. But just like those junkie rodents, I am standing on the goddamn lever and nothing is coming out anymore. God, like some evil scientist that got me hooked with some pretty dope intermittent reinforcement and now I not really living a life anymore, doing rat things, I am just standing there hitting the lever over and over again knowing that any moment now, the reward will come.
But I have learned something that my rat friend did not, I have learned what every gambler knows in their heart - that I was only playing to lose.
So I have to take the guidance I have been given as some sort of spiritual blood thinner to clear out the sclerotic blockages in my heart and life. I have to use the advice I am being given by a person who loves me (really loves me) and doesn’t want anything from me (seriously she really doesn’t get much from me anyway). I have to stop the behavior that is causing the blockage...even though I want so desperately to believe that the blockage is being caused by something other than my own stupid conduct.
I also have to allow that time is not on my side anymore. I am not getting younger and my body and its related tissues are not as flexible or tough as they used to be. If I don’t make changes now, suffer I will later on. Hope based on delusion is a powerful drug that I have been using for years. Hope that THIS time, it will be different. Well, I have gotten my ass kicked sufficiently this last go round to see that it will NEVER be different so long as I am in charge of this circus.
So here I am in the middle of my self created big top, the animals running wild, the circus performers quitting or throwing prima donna fits, with no leading man in sight. And the common, recurrent theme is that I am the common denominator. It is me with my sclerotic heart that has caused it all to run amuck.
So I am letting the lion tamer take over the show for a bit. Allowing someone who is brave, authentic and capable of taming savage beasts to take a turn at the shambles of my love life. Lord knows, I have really fucked this circus up six ways to Sunday.
So I leave you with my very jumbled metaphors: sclerotic living, gambling, psych experiments and a circus big top...quite a cast of characters...welcome to the dumpster fire of my mind. Perhaps, today the only thing I can offer you is someone for comparison that you cannot help but feel better than.
Regardless of the clusterfuck of my love life, I am happier than I have ever been. I am not getting what I want and that is turning out to be the best thing ever. Who knew?
So I am going to keep listening to this wise woman who keeps telling me shit that I do not want to know...about myself that I would prefer were not true. I am going to keep doing shit that I do not want to do because I want something different for my life. I know that nothing I do today will ensure that I get a loving partnership with someone I desire that desires me similarly, but I believe that following the new course will stop my arteries from hardening to a point where if I did ever meet “that guy” that I would be so jaded and stoic that I would completely miss the opportunity.
This is all I have got today. Sorry and you are welcome!