I am certainly finding this is true. My life has been a series of careening in and out of destinies I leaned toward and away from, but never fully planned. When I was young I knew I wanted to come to NYC to be near music, but I never imagined I’d front a band. I thought I would spend the rest of my life with Drew and that has altered. Opportunities and change get tossed at me and I catch or drop like an overwhelmed geek in gym class, with much insecure ducking and complaint, dread and fear. I know I’m lucky, but it’s a messy, crazy kind of luck.
So thank you everyone for your concern. I am doing great. Well, except, you know, the whole Deatheater takeover of the Ministry and our imminent doom thingie. That’s a big fat bummer. But personally, everything is cool. A big thank you to Mr. William Higinbotham for sending me a book through Amazon. It was a very nice gesture from a stranger. Second, thank you to friends who sent lovely messages. I am so grateful for all the kindness I regularly receive.
I heard from a couple of people who weren’t feeling good, and the connection and discussion felt rewarding. I very much believe that while the experiences may differ from person to person, the emotions we feel are universal. And that the more we share, the less alone we feel. So I was happy that my initial purpose for writing openly was met. And now that I finally feel clear and positive and ready for a new chapter, I want to continue to try to bridge that gap.
Last night I had dinner with a longtime friend (not Storm, oh rabid fans). She is a performer, dancer, model and actress–a legendary beauty who photographs like a movie star and moves with a mesmerizing sensuous grace. She is one of the sexiest and smartest people I know. She wrote and performed a beautiful show that brought me to tears. I love watching her dance; if she wasn’t my friend I would be terribly jealous.
She’s also a complicated, wounded soul with a tendency, much like myself at times, toward self-destruction. We have had moments and adventures and bad times that would scare some people. Hell, they scared me. I’ve been dazzled by her glamour under the spotlight; I have picked her up from crawling drunk on her hands and knees on a sidewalk.
We ate salads like good girls and drank wine like middle aged ladies and spoke of the last couple of years, since it had been that long since we got together. The running thread through much of it was how much self-loathing we carry. I just released quite a bit of my own; she is still struggling with it. And still struggling to make her way as a performing artist, the world is not a soft bed for women who have the audacity to want to continue acting past a nubile age.
Speaking of nubiles, she informed me that the millennials who have taken over the clubs and streets of our neighborhood call us, the old-timers still hanging out, playing in bands, working in bars, etc., the “Leftovers”. THE LEFTOVERS. Roll that around in your brain for a moment. It’s hilarious. And terrible. And hilarious. And awful.
We talked for a long time about fears, energy blocks, sadness, love, and specifically what I had just come through and how, at times, she feels that she is still stuck and destructive and frightened–about aging, about loneliness, about lack of success, about addictions, about how to earn a living when the only things you’re really good at are not respected or required of a mature woman. We talked about regrets and pain we’ve caused and felt. She wonders if she should have had a baby. We talked about the deafening silence that comes when you go home after a night under a spotlight that causes people to drink and drug.
These are first world problems, I realize that. But it seems important to me that people know that even the people they envy and desire can be struggling.
I told her that she’s second-guessing herself and the baby regret is simply about feeling lost in her current state. Her creative core is her child and she will wither and die if she is not allowed to do what she was born to do, which is entertain people on stages. I told her she remains one of the sexiest people I’ve ever known and will remain that way until she dies of a ripe old age. I told her she was lovable, that I loved her, that many loved her, and to understand that that voice, that godawful voice that we all have sitting in the back of our brain always ready to pounce, to tell us we’re fat, we’ll never get that project finished, we’re terrible at what we want to do, we could never run our own company, we’re past our prime, we’re not smart enough, and on and on, is not the truth of who we are.
I am also finally wrapping my brain around the idea that we don’t have to stop being sexy and alive and juicy, at any age. It is our thought process that deadens us–media images, cultural skewing. The opinions of dorky teenage boys about what is hot and what isn’t. It’s still there in full blaze, but it’s holding so much less power over me as I gain my bearings. My boyfriend is decades younger than me, and it’s been an insecure place for me, while he just doesn’t care. We were out one night and a woman around my age wanted to talk to him, as they always do. He introduced me as his girlfriend and her demeanor changed drastically. She got visibly angry. She asked my age repeatedly, I told her old enough to know better than to tell her. She stomped away and he laughed. That energy often comes at me when I’m with him, and always from older women. It’s as if I’m breaking some deep rule of ego. We reach an age and we are not allowed to take more than our share.
Fuck that. I want us all to be the girl with the most cake.
I’m not saying that youthful partners are some kind of answer. They’re messy and you’ve gotta pick up the tab too often. I’m saying that my age is becoming less of an issue for me as I accept that the past is gone. I just don’t care as much. In more practical terms, if you are female and not feeling well, go get your hormones checked and do something about it. Get a little botox here and there. Love and move your body, feed it with quality food. Listen to everything Dr. Christiane Northrup has to say on aging. She’s a revolutionary. Men– you can have babies and baby girlfriends until you die, so I think you’re probably set. Bastards.
Thoughts become feelings, and most of us have bad brains with bad thoughts. I wonder how many come flying at us per day? My new thing is to let the thought come into consciousness rather than repress it, and respond, “Thanks. I got this.” I don’t know what the science is behind the negative thoughts about ourselves but they are there for a reason, and ignoring them seems to make them louder, the anxiety greater. Giving the thoughts space and then agreeing to disagree works better, at least for me. And as I’ve been doing that, I’ve been able to see how ludicrous it is. It’s like that one Debbie Downer at a happy brunch, everyone is joking and drinking mimosas and ordering eggs benedict and they’re droning on about how they’re constantly being wronged and how crappy life is…again. You look at them and think, “Really, girl? This same old tune?” That’s the true personality of that voice.
So that’s it. I have a snow day and I want to play video games. I just wanted to let everyone know these things:
1. I’m doing great, thank you.
2. Even the people we think look perfect and lead big lives are feeling the same things as us.
3. There’s no reason that the third portion of our life can’t be as vital and interesting as the earlier two.
3. That pecking voice isn’t the truth of who you are.
Oh, and this:
4 thoughts on “Leftovers”
You are more wondrous then you are broken.
That read was rather ravishingly ravishing……like you!
My mindset is, and always has been the same……if you don't like me for who I am, then fuck you! I've forgotten more than they'll ever know anyway, again, like you!
“Leftovers” ha,ha! You are soo cool, so am I! Love your writing, just discovered you!