Friday, September 30, 2011

Well, OK, F It

I just posted a comment on The Bloggess’ latest post and this time decided to put a link to my blog, but I forgot her comments thang puts up the name of the commenter’s latest post, so Fuck It is right there in bright neon pink for everyone to see. I’ve calmed down a little since my F It post, and I’ll admit to being a little embarrassed about my expletive-filled rant when I’d made it a policy not to use the full F-word on my blog, but, well, fuck it, that’s just the way it goes sometimes.

But maybe I’ll dial it down a little. Or not. See, that’s the great thing about being a Gemini, because then you have a built-in excuse for having split-personality disorder without having to go on medication or see a shrink. And you get to change your mind a lot. Consistency has never really been my thing, you know?

However, we can blame my flagrant use of the F-word on a lovely little book I recently came across called, appropriately enough, Fuck It, or F**k It (when it’s being posted on polite web sites, bleeped out in podcasts and discussed in mixed company). It’s basically an irreverent take on Buddhism’s maxim to let go, accept and detach from the stuff that’s driving us batsh*t crazy. I’ve read a lot spiritual stuff in my life, including stuff on Buddhism, but this is quite unlike anything I’ve ever read.

British author John C. Parkin deliberately choose the title because “Fuck It” is so in your face and really grabs your attention. I mean, who the hell would expect a frickin’ spiritual book to be called Fuck It and have the term "Fuck It" liberally sprinkled throughout it? Despite my supposed policy not use the f-word on this blog, I’m not really that offended by the term, and often use it liberally myself. However, I know that some people, even people who use the term, can be offended by its use (so I guess people who use it and are offended by it are offending themselves), so I try to be a little calmer in my use of it on a blog, but I’ve already crossed my own line, so fuck it.

Anyhow, here’s a brief summary of the Fuck It book, as described on Parkin’s web site,

“Saying 'Fuck It' is like massage for the mind - relaxing you, releasing tension, giving up on things that aren't working.

John C. Parkin argues that saying Fuck It is a spiritual act:

That it is the perfect western expression of the eastern ideas of letting go, giving up and finding real freedom by realising that things don't matter so much (if at all).

This is The Fuck It Way.

It works very simply: if you're feeling stressed about something, say 'Fuck It'… you feel instantly better.”

Since I’ve been so pissy lately, this cheeky little book has really resonated with me. I mean I have tried frackin’ everything in the spiritual canon: repenting of my sins and accepting Jesus into my heart, praying, talking to my angels and my spirit guides, being mindful, meditating, healing my chakras, putting white light around people who annoy me, feeling my feelings fully, invoking Law of Attraction, and seemingly everything in the Judeo-Christian, Buddhist, Taoist, Hinduist, New Ageist, advaidaist philosophical gobbledygook. And it seems to just be the same old me trying various techniques to be enlightened and more loving, peaceful, and kind, and more successful at living and finding I’m still the same old grumpy, pissy, frustrated, scared, inconsistent, disorganized, wacky me. So I finally said "Fuck It," and suddenly I really do feel a lot better.

And now I’m saying "Fuck It" everywhere, including on my blog, when I said I wouldn’t say it here. So, if you’ve come here from my Zippy’s Garden blog or one of my comments on Itty Bitty Kitty Committee or Cute Overload, or The Bloggess (but saying "Fuck It" there is something of an art form) I sincerely apologize, but this is where I am at the moment. And that may be where I remain, or not, we’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ll be happily saying “Fuck It” to everything that tries to put its little slimy tentacles into me, whether it’s some rule I’ve been told all my life to follow that makes no sense, a fear that rears its ugly, multiple heads, or my job (although, I’ll admittedly say it low enough not to get myself fired).

If you like the sound of Fuck It and the Fuck It Way, go check out the book (and I promise I’m not getting a dime from plugging it). Soon you’ll be saying “Fuck It” like a real pro.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fuck It.

“We just want to devote ourselves to art.
We’re all dragged at increasing speed towards the grave.
Any picture we don’t make will be not made by somebody else."

--George Passmore, half of the Gilbert & George art duo

Fuck It. Yes, I'm violating my own rule on using the F word here, but it's my blog and I can change the rules. This is also my life, and I can change the rules here as well. Fuck the rules - all the rules I've listened to all my life, all the rules I made for my own life, consciously or unconsciously. Fuck It.

This afternoon, right after lunch, I opened up my personal email (yes, at work, fuck it), and read the above quote in an email from John Williams, author of the book, Screw Work, Let's Play and it hit me over the head like a g-damn 20-ton steel mallet.

Life is short y'all, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna sit around any more and wait for "my time" - my time to do what I want, live how I want, my time to make art, my time to write and publish, my time to make music, my time to live like the joyful, creative, loving being that I am. Fuck It. Fuck the rules that say I have to wait until I'm more experienced, that I have to wait until I have enough money, that I have to wait until enough people like my work, that I have wait until even anyone likes my work, that say I need more time, that I have to wait until I'm old and retired, that I have to wait until I have certain people's approval, Fuck it. I'm doing this NOW.

No more fighting against my self-made obstacles. No more making excuses. No more wasting productive time on surfing the internet at work and at home because I'm all angsty about whether I can actually accomplish my dreams so I'm procrastinating. No more feeling like I can't steal some time at work to do some of the things I love - I'm stealing that time anyway on angsty internet-surfing anyway, so it might as well be stolen for things I really want to do.

I've had it with wasting my life - wasting it on fear about what others might think or do or say, wasting it on fear about whether I'm being "selfish," wasting it on other people's rules and concepts, wasting it on what others think I should or should not do. I'm ready to break out.

I'm ready to live the creative life I've always wanted to live and to as fully as I can dedicate it to the creative avenues I want to pursue - art, writing, music, and more. I'm ready to get unstuck and really live this life. I have no idea if it's god's design for my life, has the seal of approval of my parents or society or the government, if anyone will think I'm talented or find any value in what I have to say -- all I know is that I have always had a burning desire to express myself, to be creative, and that it is killing me to deny it any further because I am so fucking afraid to fail.

But now, the pain of not doing this is stronger than my fear of failure. If I fail at my creative efforts, I fail, but at least I will have gotten them out there instead of sitting on them. And even if I fail, I'll keep doing them, because this is too important to me. I don't care if the world recognizes or values what I have to say and express, what's important is that I get it out there, because no one can say what I say in the way I have to say it, and if I don't ever say it and say it the way I do, no one ever will.

So fuck it. This is my life and not anyone else's, and I've spent 47 years trying to live a life that others have said I should live, and I'm not going to do that any more. It is time to live my life, and not waste another drop of it.

More to come.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Not Where I Want To Be, Don't Know Who the Hell I Am

Geez, y'all, after my first post, I just sorta went downhill from there, didn't I? Really, my every intention was to post something right after that, and I must have started three posts with the intention of posting at least one of them, but that didn't happen -- why?

Well, truth be told, I've been in sort of a funk, an existential dilemma, a mid-life crisis of sorts. I realized here I am, 47 years old, and I'm not anywhere where I want to be. I also went on a lovely one-week vacation with my boyfriend to Washington, which should have refreshed me, but only made me more irritable with the life I have here in Texas when I got back. I mean, geez-louise, who wants to come back to a hot, dry, firey hell-hole after being in a place that's green, cool and has plenty of water?

But it's not just the climate here that's bugging the s**t out of me; it's that I'm just not happy with my life, damnit. I never married, never had children, won't have any grandchildren, haven't had much career success, can't seem to manage my money or make more money than just enough, can't seem to become enlightened, or organized, or clear-headed, or able to even pull my head out of my fat ass.

I've tried being a born-again Christian, a semi-Buddhist, a mystic, a new agey healer, a counselor, an enlightened being, and I still don't know who the hell God is, and I find that most of the time I act as if I'm agnostic, cuz I can't seem to trust that God will help me, cuz I'm not even sure if God is there, though I believe that God is. I'm told God and I are One, and while I've had those brief moments of transcendental bliss, of course it never sticks, and I'm left alone again. I'm angry, I'm frustrated, I'm angry, I'm stuck, I'm not where I want to be, I'm not who I want to be, I'm scared s**tless, I'm angry. And I'm tired. No much seems to have worked according to plan.

Last night I watched a clip on the Huffington Post of an ad George Clooney did for a bank in Norway where a woman wakes up from what is probably an alcoholic blackout and finds she's gotten married to George Clooney, of all people. To me she has a look of horror on her face. I'm sure most people think it's more a look of a shocked, OMG I'm married to George Clooney, how fabulously lucky I am!!! But to me it's a look of horror - like, I don't even know George Clooney and now I'm not going to be a private person, everybody's going to try to find out everything about me, I'll have the paparazzi following me everywhere -WTF!!! At least I think that's how I'd feel, even though I was married to gorgeous, hunky, fabulously wealthy George Clooney.

And I started to imagine about what this would be like. I think if I woke up and found I was married to George Clooney, I'd just tell him that whatever happened that made me decide to marry him, that I didn't remember meeting him or agreeing to this, and could he just quietly divorce me please, and maybe just give me a couple of million dollars in alimony so I could quit my job and live the modest, quiet life I want to live doing what I want - have my tiny house in the country, paint, write, garden, raise goats. A couple of mill would be a bargain for old George, right?

But then I had a stranger fantasy: what if I woke up in a parallel universe as me, the soul I am now, but in the body of a Zippy who had accomplished all she'd ever dreamed of and more, who'd met George Clooney on the set of a movie based on a famous book she'd written, fell in love with him and then married him? But I would wake up the morning after the wedding with the soul of the Zippy I am now because I'd traded souls with the other, more accomplished Zippy, so I had no memory of this, only of my life in this particular universe I inhabit now.

Yet I'd wake up and find out that in this alternate universe I'd become this famous novelist who was also an accomplished poet, singer-songwriter, artist, and successful businesswoman. AND I had naturally red hair (instead of having to dye it from my natural mousey brown hair), a great toned body, and naturally perfect skin (because I'd also discovered a natural secret to maintaining a wrinkle-free complexion). And George Clooney fell in love with me, even though we are close to the same age, because I was different than any other woman he'd met, and I was the one woman (besides his first wife) that he realized he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, and apparently I felt the same way. But I had no freakin' memory of any of this, whatsoever, and in the life I've been used to inhabiting (this one), even though I thought George Clooney was a handsome man, I've never had the least inkling of wanting to date or even marry the guy, nor have I even fantasized about having sex with him (and yes, I know most heterosexual women are now thinking either I'm a lesbian or asexual, but I am assuredly hetero).

Anyway, so I woke up to this dream that many women long and lust for, and I didn't want it, even if it meant breaking poor George's heart. Since I had accomplished a lot on my own, I didn't need his money whatsoever. But I find that I'm supposed to be this incredibly busy, in demand woman who is in charge of a multimillion publishing, health and beauty empire, far more than I ever dreamed of, and I'd find that I didn't want it. I didn't have the stamina to deal with it. I'd find that even though this me in this alternate universe had accomplished all that she'd ever dreamed and way beyond that, and I didn't want that. I'd still want my quiet little life in the country.

So, in the meantime I've broken George Clooney's heart, caused a big scandal by deciding to sell all of my empire, give away all but a few million dollars (I'm not a total saintly ascetic here) and get my tiny house in the country and live like a hermit, except I'd want to track down my boyfriend and see if he could still fall for me and if so then we'd live together in the country - well, maybe he'd have his own tiny house - and we'd live happily ever after.

Meanwhile, the alternate Zippy has entered my body in this particular universe, horrified and disgusted with where she's ended up, but she's gonna fix it up, by god! She sets off, finding a novel I started and totally rewriting it, making plans for her empire and to get back to George. She's very unhappy at where she landed, but she's going to make it right!

And then, suddenly after some big event, like a tornado or earthquake or something, she comes back into her own universe in my body, where I am currently inhabiting in her body, pissed that she had to come to my chubby, gray-mousey-haired body that hadn't accomplished a damn thing, and now pissed that she's come back to her world to discover I'd divorced George, given away her empire and was shacking up in a little place in the country with my boyfriend who'd she'd broken up with in the previous universe because he wasn't George. (And this is not to say that there is anything wrong with my boyfriend - remember I divorced George in the alternate universe to be with my boyfriend, who is worth a thousand George Clooneys, but he seems not to be the other Zippy's cup of tea, thank god - and he wouldn't be happy with her either).

And she'd point her finger at me and tell me what a sorry-assed loser I was, and how she had to try and salvage my life and make it into something. ("I found a half-assed attempt at a novel you'd started about some pathetic poor soul like you trying to get it on with some young geeky guy after her husband left her, and I was just cleaning it up and making it soooo much better when I came back to see what a freakin' wreck you've made of my life, you lazy bitch). And I'd just look at her and say, "Meh."

Anyway, it'd make a great movie, so maybe I should write a screenplay and maybe I'll sell it and make a zillion dollars and they'll make the movie with George Clooney and I'll finally get to meet him (but I still won't want to marry him). Anywho, I am seriously getting off point here. The point is, even if I landed in the life of my wildest dreams and was successful far beyond what I could ever imagine, I'm not sure that I would be happy there, either. It would be too damn stressful.

Today the Bloggess wrote a great post about her shrink telling her she needed to figure out who she was and what she wanted, maybe try that old 5-year plan thing. This to a woman who has a successful blog, several succesful online columns and a book coming out next year! Not to mention a picture of Wil Wheaton collating paper and Fred Armison photographically approving of her "Put a Bird on It" merchandise after the Portlandia legal department got all carried away with her using a line from their show! Anyway, I and about 5 bazillion of her closest friends could definitely relate to the dilemma this request threw her in. I mean, who but only 1/10th of a percent of type A people manage to make a 5-year plan, AND STICK TO IT??? WTH, people?

Nothing I've ever tried has come to plan. I was going to go to Washington, DC, become a famous journalist and write the Great American Novel by 30, get married at 25 and have kids by 28, and NONE of that happened. Then I went to grad school to become a famous counselor who became gloriously enlightened, figured out a way to save the world, wrote best selling self-help books that changed everyone's lives and led the way to World Peace by the time I was 50, or maybe 60 at the latest. That isn't happening either. I do exaggerate a bit - I wasn't trying to become a world famous counselor who saves the world, but I did have the intention of becoming a counselor, and that hasn't panned out either, and I'm not sure it should (more on this at another time). (And well, maybe in the back of my mind I was hoping I'd become a world-famous counselor who saves the world).

Instead I'm sitting here in a soul-sucking job, writing in this blog when I really should be working, but it's so damn BORING that I can't bear to do the work, and for the life of me I can't seem to get my employers to lay me off. Yes, I'm grateful to have a job, especially in this economy and I feel bad that I have such a sucky attitude, but that's sort of the way it is right now. No, I'm not where I want to be, no sir.

Don't really know who I am either. Some might say a loser, but I don't want to dwell on that. Confused, perhaps. Wacky, yes. Half-Baked, of course! I did name myself the Half-Baked Gardener, didn't I? Well, then this posting is perfectly in line with my blog theme! Who knew? Maybe I should just revel in that!

The Bloggess also posted this fabulous video of a song by Amanda Palmer (below). I never heard of Amanda Palmer, or this song, but it pretty well describes how I'm feeling right now, and I just love it, particularly near the end when she says, "Fuck yes! I am who I want to be!" Basically it's about thinking that you want to be one thing, feeling bad that you're something completely different, and you come to the realization that you've been who you wanted to be all along, and that's fabulous. This is a damn revelation for me, people. I'm gonna have to meditate on this for a while.