September 23, 2011 § 27 Comments
See I’ve caused a bit of a stir these past couple days; one commentator suggested I must be so depressed I should consider pills; another that all my problems stem from still loving my ex-husband.
No, I don’t do pills (with the exception of the odd paracetamol). Yes, I do still love him. I loved him for many years. You don’t just switch that off; don’t particularly want or need to, even though it’s different now. I am fine with it and have moved on but I’m allowed still to like him. Nothing sinister about that. It’s very straight-forward: new circumstances, not always a picnic, but same old respect and lasting affection. Imaginative. Modern. Civilised. Generous. Seems to me to make perfect sense.
I so do not need therapy; I am so NOT depressed. My oldest best friend, and another friend also, told me last night that I ought to be careful about making myself out to be a plankton and living it because I will then become it all the more and they know there is more to me than that. They are absolutely right, of course but, as I said to one of them, there are two vital, redeeming factors.
First, hello everyone out there, the Plankton is a persona. Whilst everything I write is true, as I write I am only presenting myself as I am during the actual process of writing a post. None of it is a lie, but some of it is heightened a little through the conduit of writing, I am toying a bit, playful, perhaps to create an effect which is either humorous or poignant. Just as divorce, as I discovered, is not black or white, nor, of course, is a person. I may rant about this and that one minute, and the next feel quite the opposite. I am full of ambivalent or conflicting feelings, and thoughts that are at odds with each other, as are we all.
I think, for example, of my attitude to solitude. With my Plankton hat on, I write about the downsides of being on my own when knocking fifty, because that is what I am here for, after all, to flag them up, to say the stuff that so many millions feel – sometimes – but no one ever seems to say. But as me, with quite another name, going about my daily life, there is so much about being on my own that I relish. I live with the good and the bad. My spirit is energetic and full of vitality and every day I am aware of this tremendous sense of excitement; that anything might happen. My erstwhile married happiness has gone and been replaced by something different: still happiness sometimes, but with an edge. This type is less stable but can bring on extraordinary joy and the jitters, as well as give way to moments of tremendous loneliness and pain. I touch on all this in my blog, but what I focus on is the plankton side of things because it is a blog about the plankton side of things.
Second, I told my lovely, concerned friend, probably rather defensively, that I know I am so much else besides the Plankton and I am not losing sight of that. I go up and down – doesn’t everyone – but the ups and downs can occur day to day, hour by hour, even minute by minute. I am lucky in as much as my ups and downs – NB. frantically counting my blessings here! – are all within a healthy, stable range and never verge on bi-polar. Everyone is a kaleidoscope; move a bit and the intricate patterns and colours somewhat shift. So it is, I am a plankton, but I am also a hundred and one other things. I am repeating myself from an earlier post, I know, but I am a mother blissfully bound up with my children and their extensive, full-on lives. I am congenitally gregarious and so make plans to go out to things that are nothing to do with meeting Mr Right, but promise to be great fun in their own right. There’s a festival coming up; something else with about 500 friends enjoying themselves one night soon, wouldn’t miss it for anything; a concert which I loved last year to which I bought myself a single ticket this year but will meet up with loads of other friends when there; a big, cheerful school event one day soon. The list goes on. Professionally, I work hard and love it. I have a cultural and (admittedly rather slack) spiritual life too. I travel (not a great deal, but enough). It has to be said I don’t do much (fuck all) in the way of exercise, but, hey, we can’t be perfect. I feel an uplifting sense of optimism on a bedrock of stability and – BLEARGH! – I have “belief in myself”. I think I’m going copiously to throw up at this last piece of touchy-feely bullshit, but you get my meaning.
In a word (or two), and as my children have the unfortunate habit of putting it, I’m good.
I could go further. This second, and I’m enjoying it while it lasts because far be it from me to be complacent and assume it’s a runner, but right this second, I’m really good.