Sunday, October 16, 2011

Need Not

I need not be perfect.
I need not be flawless.
I need not criticize myself to inevitable death.
I need not be 5'10 and 130 pounds.
I need not be blond.
I need not be blemish-free.
I need not get everything done on time.
I need not please everyone.
I need not remember everyone's birthday, make the best dinners, be the funniest person in the room, or be--as much as anyone else--incredibly sane.
I need not always have a clean house.
I need not have a clean and vacuumed car (note: must check oil).
I need not always remember to check my oil.
I need not eat a perfectly balanced diet.
I need not be the best, most efficient teacher to walk the face of the earth.
I need not be the epitome of time-management and productivity.
I need not have the "perfect" body.
I need not have the most cooperative, smooth hair.
I need not have the future figured out.
I need not know what I want to be when I grow up.
I need not fully understand student loans, mortgages, bill payments, health insurance, and how to do my taxes, right now.
I need not be the best student teacher my colleagues have ever seen.
I need not be the hottest, most supportive, mind-reading, fun girlfriend.
I need not win the award for being the most compassionate, giving friend.
I need not feel bad for not responding to that text, that e-mail, that Facebook message.
I need not lay on guilt that isn't actually there.
I need not always be brave.
I need not beat myself up when I don't call my parents every few days.
I need not flip out when life doesn't into my boxes or go my way.
I need not look in the mirror and hate what I see.

I need not.
And I want not.
Yet, I do.
And I'm not sure what to do about that.

I don't know what to do with myself when the list of things I shouldn't want (but I do want) pushes down on me like this invisible veil of expectations and things I'm failing at. It's heavy. And oppressive. And when it pushes down on me I want to throw up. Or eat. Or scream. Or ugly cry. Or throw things. Or clean. Or run. Or ugly cry. Again.

But instead, I'm sitting here writing. Because it was the only other thing I could think of (besides cleaning) that might actually make me feel better.

Two years ago I would've had a different, more destructive response.
This is good.
But I wish this felt more gratifying.
Because instead it feels like drowning.

4 comments:

Carley Brown said...

Life is a strugggggle. Your doin good at it. You need not worry

Carley Brown said...

Life is a strugggggle. Your doin good at it. You need not worry

Emily Star said...

"We write to expose the unexposed. If there is one door in the castle you have been told not to go through, you must. Otherwise, you'll just be rearranging furniture in rooms you've already been in. Most humans are dedicated to keeping that one door shut. But the writer's job is to see what's behind it, to see the bleak, unspeakable stuff, and to turn the unspeakable into words—not just into any words but if we can, into rhythm and blues. --Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

Keep doin it!

Kylie said...

Just remember, however, that you do have a team and we're going to make sure you don't drown.

Two years ago you might have said, "I need not throw up." Saying that, two years ago, probably seemed hard, unavoidable. But look at where you are right now. These "need nots" may seem tricky and constricting and plain old hard right now, but you'll make it. I know it.