I’m back at the laundry mat.
The familiar hum of dryers spinning round and round. Tumbling t-shirts and button ups, sweaters and sweat pants. It’s interesting when you think about it…
How many of these items were handed down by family members? Are some of them the lingerie of a lover? A mistress? Do these items belong to a mother of 5 squeezing in the wash during her two-hour break before she goes to her second job? Maybe somewhere in there is a shirt that belongs to a young woman who wears it whenever she needs to feel sexy again. Regardless, it’s another reminder how big the world is around me, and how small I am.
I don’t mind being small. In fact I prefer it. When I’m amongst a crowd, I don’t feel the need to stand out anymore. Rather, I long to blend in. Not to be unoriginal, but to be a part of something greater than myself.
I’ve stood alone. I’ve stood by myself, and fought the current. Now instead of struggling through the waves, I simply look for a stream that’s going the same direction. Something that isn’t so aggressive and difficult. I search for those who are like-minded in my beliefs.
I still run into those who are different. I find discomfort during conversations with conservatives and religious extremists. I’m still questioned and belittled, undermined and disregarded. I even still find myself the butt of a discriminatory joke every now and again. I’ve realized by now that I’m not going to change the mind of everyone I speak to. Often I won’t even leave a mark. Occasionally however, I will.
The thing that I struggle with the most at this point is patience. It’s a virtue that I’ve never really possessed. This patience that allows me to understand that some people have known no other way than hate. I see it everyday. Even here in California I will overhear a conversation that is racist or sexist, even if it wasn’t intended to be.
I long to feel at ease in my own skin. To breathe deeply during an attack.
Lately, I’ve found myself in a place very unlike my usual temperament. I’m not depressed. Not even sad really. I’m in pain.
Literally. My heart aches. I long to feel, and to share those feelings. I’m sure some of you are wondering what I mean by “feel” when I just clearly stated that I was in pain. It’s difficult to explain. I often find inspiration through art, music, life, the trees, sunshine, a blue bird… etc.
For some reason, I haven’t felt that in a while. I’m not sure if it is my increasing level of stress from moving to a new city, working two (sometimes three) jobs, maintaining friendships, questioning which ones to maintain, and still trying to be creative during this entire process or if I’m simply numb to life at the moment. I hear stories all around me of passion and anger, love and devotion. I hear of achievements and failures, pick me ups and let me downs. Now, God willing, I would love to be on the positive side of all of those… But I’m just ready to feel again. To be inspired. I’m ready to create.
Even as these words fall across my screen, I wonder if writing in this blog even counts really? I’m sure most would debate that it does, but the truth is that anyone can do what I do. Anyone can pour out their heart. In fact I encourage it. It’s liberating.
What I’m waiting for, I suppose, is more. That’s very selfishly “first-world country” of me, I know. Having so much and yearning for more. I can’t help it. Emotionally I’ve found that I’m never satisfied. Maybe the patience might be good for that as well?
A friend asked me earier what I was writing and I explained that I can’t write anything right now other than in this blog. I’ve tried. I’ve looked over some of my old scripts that I’ve started I’ve looked into the fictional novel I began. I even looked at some of the poetry I forgot that I posted years ago on poetry.com. I’ve searched for some sort of inspiration anywhere, and can’t find it. I do the only thing I can. I write here.
The best way I could describe it was, “I’m looking for an answer as I’m writing. I feel like I’m close to a breakthrough, but I can never tell really. Life itself is a revelation… Isn’t it?”
And then it hit me.
Patience IS the answer. Nothing has to come to me today, or tomorrow. As long as I am breathing deeply, and living fully, the rest will come in time. If by some off chance I never make it quite that far through life, then I was never intended to in the first place.
Life is a revelation. Every moment is that “Aha” in which you realize you know something more than you did moments before. This moment, I know that I am in desperate need of patience, so I will close my laptop. And wait.
I’m not sure what for. I suppose it will come to me when it is supposed to.
I’ll be waiting. Patiently.