I am listening to a novel in which the narrator, a mother of preteens, is at a a party where, for the first time in years, she gets stoned. She tunes in to the conversation the other stoned mothers are having around her, and is bewildered that the conversation doesn’t seem to have changed. They are still talking about their children, and their teachers, and the ups and downs of their lessons, sports, and other activities. She is feeling disaffected and dissatisfied with her life, and wonders, “where is the yearning?”
No one ever talks about that. It’s as if we all hide behind superficial conversation and call that friendship, when in fact we almost never reveal what we really think, the things that are too scary to talk about, the things that, once spoken of, would require actions we don’t want to admit we need to take.
Looking back on my own life, I see now that when my toxic first marriage was taking such a toll on me that there were times I though just driving my car at high speed off the road would solve my problems, I never said one word to women I considered my best friends. I look back on those times and I don’t even recognize the person I was, and the cowardice of my lack of ability to be honest with myself, or to hint of my reality to others.
We are so good at hiding. If we should start an sentence with anything as daring as “I yearn for…,” would it dissolve into something hip, or shallow, or silly, like wanting a fabulous massage, or our all-time favorite cocktail or glass of wine? No wonder we feel adrift. We don’t even have the words for what we want, because we have dumbed down our vocabulary for feelings, or maybe we never really had more than a few words to speak for the gamut of our emotions to begin with.
Since this is my blog, I wish I could say, “Look at me! See how I have worked through this and I have this sage advice to offer.” Well, I don’t. I think only that I need to be able to complete a sentence that starts with “I yearn for,” and once I can complete it privately, to say it out loud to others and, in doing that, make a commitment to turning it into reality, whatever I am brave enough to determine that is.
This is a form of living traveling too.