(28) sometimes it hurts


What I’m Letting Go

I’ve been on a rocky road all my life. I feel like I’ve always struggled, even though circumstances around me would point to anything but that. I had a good home life growing up. Both my parents worked together from home before it was cool, so they were always around. I did activities, I always felt encouraged, I never felt a lack of love anywhere. And yet I always felt like I slogged my way through life. Everything was a burden, everything was hard, I always just didn’t wanna do the things they were making me do. Is it my nature? Rebelliousness? Or just plain old laziness?

Up until recently, my company offered to pay for employee Uber rides up to a certain dollar amount. This began ‘during Covid,’ and is only continuing for a few more months. I used to take advantage of this, even if I had to pay the driver’s tip. I never minded, as it was a convenient and kind thing to do. But somewhere down the line, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I became absolutely done with wearing masks, which New York City had a lot of trouble letting go of. I got a few narc emails from Uber saying my driver had tattled on me about not wearing a mask (I’d put a scarf on instead). One morning, the app asked me to take a photo of myself in a mask to prove I had one on, and that was the end of it for me. I don’t care if people think I’m overreacting, but that was the line for me. I said ‘absolutely not,’ and vowed never to take an Uber again. So I switched to cabs. Yes I had to pay out of pocket, but there’s no earthly way I was about to let that app take over, no matter how enticing a ‘free ride’ seemed.

I’ve been cabbing it to work for a long time now. Overnight workers get a daily stipend so it’s not that big a deal. In fact, they’re increasing it. But my co-workers never understood my logic as to why I just wouldn’t take a free ride. They even said that today. One pointed to her head like I was oobatz and said, “I just don’t understand your mindset.” I just smiled and said, “It’s fine, I don’t care.”

Another chimed in. “You make things so hard for yourself.”

“Yeah, I do, I’m good at doing that,” I smiled again, pleased at my double entendre that thankfully flew over everyone’s head. But they were right. My co-worker even said it’s good to be self-aware, but will never understand my logic. I don’t blame them. It does sound weird. But it’s all part of my principles. I’m not going to use a service that required me to mask for so long, just like I don’t need to take a perk from my company that’s entirely unnecessary. There is no emergency, therefore you don’t need to pay my way. I’m there to do a job. Pay me for that, and I’ll be on my way to pursue what it is I really want to pursue. I don’t feel like having a consolation prize from a place that required me to forcibly mask and get a stick up my nose every day for six months anyway.

This is the ‘painful’ path I’ve chosen. It’s my version of Easy Street, and it’s littered with shards of broken glass. I have a push-broom in my hand, but I keep trudging along, hoping all the pain is worth it in the end. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. I’d like to win one of these days, though. Might be nice to feel like I’m positive about the track I’m on, versus setting it up as seeing storms ahead in need of weathering. Is it possible there’s another way? I don’t even know where I’d begin, but I’m looking forward to finding it, and letting go of this old, teeth-cutting way of life I’ve lived for the past thirty-six years.

What I’ve Discovered

Sure are some difficult times we’re going through lately, aren’t there? While part of me isn’t surprised by a single thing I see, I also don’t fully understand why it’s all happening. It’s as if people are intentionally saying things that contradict with the truths the average person can see before them. And for what? What is to be gained by pretending you’re making a difference when all you touch just makes it worse?

I have completely lost faith in ‘government’ as it were. I feel like I can’t trust a single person who, for all intents and purposes, has authority over me. They’re an entirely different class of people who, for some reason, we revere and lionize for their do-nothingness. Sure there’s some leaders who truly want to help, but it feels so few and far between. I think they’ve all got to have a screw loose at this point to put themselves in the limelight, to stand up to such scrutiny when their job description is only to make lives better for those they represent. Unfortunately these days, that representation is only meant for themselves.

I’ve been extremely vocal on Twitter about my dislike for New York City Mayor Eric Adams. I want him to resign as soon as possible, because in his short tenure, he’s managed to make this city far worse. Crime is up, we have a District Attorney who releases criminals on a whim, the city apparently stinks, there’s garbage on every street corner, he masked toddlers until the summer, he only just lifted de Blasio’s bullshit vaccine mandate for the private sector while keeping it in place for the public sector. He went to ‘offer support’ to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona, but as of this writing has not mentioned the devastation in Florida from Hurricane Ian. And every single bloody day, he posts a posed-assed photo-op of himself doing some bullshit the city does not need, at least not high on the priority list. And he’s not the only person in power pretending like he’s doing something. We’ve got a whole-ass federal administration that checks every box on the incompetency scale. But I don’t have a thousand years to go over all my gripes about the system.

Seeing things like this makes me really hate these people in power. And I don’t want to hate. It’s just getting harder and harder not to. I don’t understand why you’d lead a city if all you were going to do was be out for yourself. And it’s not like we can’t see what’s going on. Even Commie Big Bird de Blasio wasn’t this bad. But I’m still living here. I choose to live in a city where I’m governed by this moron. And the itch to want to do something about it is getting stronger and stronger.

I mentioned to my father that my anger is making me want to take a stand in some alternate way, like hold a sign in Times Square demanding the Mayor’s resignation. My dad got so mad at me for even suggesting such a thing. “Why do you want to put a target on your back?” he fumed at me, “Do you really think your one sign is going to change things?”

Sometimes I do. And I’ll never know until I try. However, I do see his point. I don’t need the eyes on me right now. I don’t need to put that kind of pressure on myself, and I’ll be damned if I would ever show up to Times Square alone as a single woman. But there’s such incompetence at the top rung of the hierarchy that I feel like my voice is needed in order to start the revolution. Is that arrogant? Hell yeah. But when you realize the pain is the point with these people, sometimes I feel like all bets are off when it comes to fighting for what’s right.

For now I’ll lay low. My sword is my pen. I’ll wield it in life-changing ways one day. I’m sure of it.

What I Hope to Find

It was a rough morning. This hurricane in Florida is hard to watch, and we’re incredibly short staffed. I came in with a sucky attitude because I’m just feeling so restless about news lately. It’s getting so crazy to talk about, as I sense a real implosion happening. Not nuclear war as everyone keeps talking about, just something that will make ‘all this be over soon.’ As I lined the show, I knew I was being a Sally Sourface about it, and part of me didn’t even care if I happened to be bringing down the rest of the group. It makes me sad I couldn’t just get over it, because I stepped into the control room only to find the pandemic-era plexiglass that had been up since 2020 was finally taken down. It should have been a moment of celebration, instead I made it about personal devestation.

I’m no stranger to self-sabotage. I do it when I don’t want to deal with something. It feels easier to let it all erupt in my face rather than face it head on. It’s a bad habit, and sometimes feels impossible to stop when I click it into high gear. I may harm those around me with my bad feels, but ultimately I’m just hurting myself over and over again. I don’t know what’s so appealing about setting myself up for failure, but I keep doing it as though hurting myself is the only viable option.

As I come to a close on this writing challenge, my focus is on my story more than ever. I don’t see that self-doubt I once did on the horizon. I really do see myself finishing this. Because I’ve found the importance in it all. Just like I’ve not once strayed from my carnivore diet, and losing eleven pounds in two weeks speaks to that. So there are glimmers of hope for myself. I don’t have to be such a downer or a dour note on this never-ending music scale. One day, I hope I can find the proper way to heal from my self-inflicted wounds, and give myself a chance to let the scars take hold. They may still exist, but they won’t hurt anymore. And they’ll always serve as a reminder of what I’ve gone through, what I’m capable of moving past, and the better place I’ve discovered in the future.

1,771 words written

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