I like working on a news program. I feel like I have a front-row seat to all the madness of the world. And I get to comment on it. But it’s through someone else’s voice and someone else’s name. The scripts I write may partially be what I’m objectively feeling, but it’s not like I’m getting credit for it. That comes in the form of my salary, yes. But there’s no credits after each and every program to show you, the viewer, who it is behind the scenes. Who is in the engine room to make it all kick off. I’m not mad about this, as it’s the career path I’ve chosen. But I cannot ignore the feeling that I’d like to make a name for myself soon. To have my voice out there. To be influential in my own way, and steer us toward a path where real progress could be made.
And sometimes it feels like I’ve missed the boat entirely.
I’m not in therapy anymore. But when I was, we’d talk a lot about my feelings of frustration as a kid. I’m still working through them on my own, but they’re starting to be present more in my adult life. I’m grappling with this feeling of being an independent only child while wishing someone, anyone, would just take me or my word seriously. I didn’t have brothers or sisters to help chart the unknown waters ahead of me, and I wasn’t able to guide anyone who was rising in the ranks after me. I was left to fend for myself, ask my own questions with my War Baby father and Baby Boomer mother at the helm. It was a much different upbringing than what my peers had. I feel like an old salt who’s weathered beyond her years, impossible to connect with or connect to on any level.
It just feels like no one ever just lets me say my thing and leaves it at that. I always seem to get pushback on any one of my thoughts or ideas. Someone has already decided the right course of action, therefore any idea I may have is cast aside and dismissed as incorrect. I’ve thrown my hands up so many times that I may as well throw in the towel. I can’t mop up any more of my disappointment as I watch voice after voice get platformed and legitimized. Meanwhile, I’m over here waving my nautical flags, hoping to God they notice and send a crew to save me.
I don’t have the collaborative skills one learned as a child to interact properly. I’ve been told to go it alone, to be independent, to not rely on anyone else but yourself in order to make it in this world. While I’m glad I have myself to fall back on, it takes a team effort to batten down the hatches to prepare for the upcoming storm. I just may be on my own little rowboat, praying I make landfall soon. No one will notice, no one will care. And I have to start being okay with that. The tide can always turn in an instant.
We all desire a comfortable life. I have that right now. If I want or need something, I can go get it. I’m not worried about traveling, nor do I need to go out to expensive dinners or events. I can’t go to any of those in New York City without my vax papers, anyway. So I’ll just be this, alone in my rowboat, wishing and hoping and praying that one day I’ll crack the code and find a way for those to hear my siren song. Although I don’t ever wish for a shipwreck. Just smooth sailing on placid seas and someone who chooses to listen.
It all seems so attainable. And perhaps I’m not as silent as I think. Perhaps I’m putting the lid on myself instead of heading to the bow to chart my own course. I’ve got all the tools I need. I’ve checked the weather, I’ve identified the danger zones. Who cares if “they” don’t give me the chance I think I deserve? Is is up to them, or am I the captain of my own vessel?
I think I know the answer. But right now, I’m an admiral crewing a fleet of one. It’s been that way my entire life. I can handle a few more solo voyages. Like I said, the tide can turn in an instant. And we’re gonna need all hands on deck to fight what lies ahead. Past feelings are one thing. Paying attention to what’s in the present will keep us from running aground.