Angst re-examined

I’m thinking of writing a literary critique of my life.

I mean, things on the surface look normal. Very normal. Frighteningly so. Did you know, for example, how many people have responded to me telling them that CH and I were having issues and were in therapy, by nodding their head knowingly and saying “Yes, we did that last year”, or “we’re also in therapy”, or “we’re on the brink of divorce ourselves (*spontaneous eruption of weeping*)”?

Answer: Lots and lots, that’s how many.

I mean, all this “get married, make a home, have kids” thing. All my life it was presented to me as the ideal way of life. Actually, the only *real* way of life. A proper work ethic (however you are occupied, whether you are paid at an external place of employment, or whether you are a full-time SAHM), a mortgage, children…

I wanted that because all my life everyone wanted that. When I thought about having children, my decision was almost entirely based on emotional misinformation, provided me by others who had been unknowingly brainwashed into feeling the same.

I was never mature enough to think out of the box at the time in my life when I needed to most. In my early twenties, the most forward-thinking thing I did was to emigrate — which was, on reflection, pretty damn forward thinking and out of the box. But beyond that, my ingrained values remained the same.

Why didn’t I question more? Why wasn’t I smart enough to not accept the societal norm as the object towards which my life was headed?

I don’t know.

Not that I don’t love, adore and cherish my children. I do, with all my heart.

But I can’t help feeling that I was cheated. Not by fate, or my parents’ collective and blinkered way of seeing the world. I don’t lay the blame at anyone’s feet other than my own.

(Currently wearing a particularly pretty pair of cowboy boots, brown leather with patterned stitching.)

What if:

  • I hadn’t done my A-levels
  • I hadn’t gone to university?
  • I hadn’t emigrated (exactly 13 years ago today, since you ask)
  • I hadn’t gone into IT
  • I hadn’t gotten married
  • I hadn’t had children
  • etc etc etc and so forth….

I have no idea if I would have been happier or not, as there is no discernible way to gauge what on earth I might have ended up doing. Or where I’d have been. Or with whom.

But what-ifs serve no purpose other than idle speculation.

Let’s just say that it would have been very very different, and move on.

Because — and here’s the revelation, folks — my life expectations have changed enormously over the last year. I mean, it wouldn’t be the first time that such changes have happened. However, it is the first time that they have happened in such a noticeable and epoch-like fashion.

For 8 years, much like my pal Wendy, sex was very very low on my list of priorities. Almost non-existent.

YES. I KNOW. (Please pick yourself up off the floor and keep reading.)

And now, look at me. Here is something I wrote a couple of weeks ago:

I could cope with anything, renew my marriage, raise my children, be the perfect working wife and mother, if I knew that I’d be able to sneak away once in a while for a forbidden cuddle.

Can I just say now, for the record, that this is bollocks. All of it. It’s just not true.

It all comes down to calm acceptance of the fact that us being together at this particular point in both our lives was an unreal and impossible expectation. No-one goes through life alone, it’s true, but once you set up your family — however you chose to do it, in the currently accepted manner as dictated by society (and by “society”, i mean my mother), or on a Yurt on a hillside in darkest Peru, with a particularly friendly llama for company — you are not alone, and you can’t do the me me me me thing anymore.

Not if you have a conscience, or if it’s important to you to be able to look yourself in the mirror without ashamedly turning away. And it is to me.

I now want to have a warm and affectionate relationship with my husband, as I feel that (when he makes the effort) he is capable of being an amazing life partner. We’re still working through a ton of stuff, and I hope things will work out between us. There’s no guarantee, but at least I know that I really am making the effort with all my heart.

Sex is now extremely important to me.

(Did you hear that? That was the sound of a collective “well, duh!“)

Independence has always been important to me, but now I have found a voice for it, and an expression to lend it, and similarly it has found an appropriate niche in my life. And CH has to accept that.

I look so much better now than I did a year ago. Strangely enough, for one as vain as me (and i am extremely vain. I can’t walk past a reflective surface), it was only after I’d started individual therapy that I managed to harness the required willpower to alter my eating habits and lose 35 lbs (so far). It really is all in the mind. Before it hits the stomach, thighs and butt, that is.

As I said a few weeks ago:

I [am] the Evil, wanton, voluptuous and sexy Minx of old. That Circean creature….”

And I’m dealing. With stuff. Expectations change, I think it’s simply a fact of life. But it’s our ability to roll with whatever life hurls at us (often from a great height), that will decide eventually whether we sink or swim.

And minxes always swim to shore. Just in case you were wondering…

Shaking water from her ears, your

Minxxxxxxxxx

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6 Responses to “Angst re-examined”

  1. What a strong, life gut wrenching post.. You sound so ‘together’.
    Minerva

  2. Minx darling, you forgot smart, fun, witty, sexy and courageous.

  3. mmmmmmm cowboy boots mmmmm.

  4. Evil Minx Says:

    Minerva:
    Thank you… I know how i sound… i’m just not 100% sure whether i’m convincing. Myself, that is.

    But i am trying. (Very. Gah!)

    Amal:
    What lovely things to say. Thank you for being so wonderful.

    Pursuit:
    Rawrrrr. A man who loves my boots is my kinda guy. Purrrrr…

    Minxxxxxx

  5. Deadly Female Says:

    Minx, you are amazing xx

  6. Minx, Many of us make decisions based on conventional norms, and societial expectations – though we often don’t discover who we are as people until much later in life, and by then, what we have and what we want may no longer be the same as they once were.

    What is true happiness? Doing what your heart tells you, though we often have to sacrifice for the bigger picture, or greater good.

    There is nothing more painful than making these sacrifices, but we all have to make them from time to time.

    Unless you have the strength to not only think outside the box, but to break it completely.

    Does this hurt those around you? Yes… sometimes… but it is the only way to be happy.

    Something I learned some time ago; to go against one’s nature is the quickest path to misery.

    I’m rambling… sorry.

    All my best…

    – Jeff

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