I don’t make resolutions.
I have trouble enough keeping my head above water without a list glowering at me, smirking at my inability to achieve any item scratched there on a late night in December.
Once I made a vision board. Five years ago. I still have it. I realize now, this isn’t a good supporting paragraph, as I actually achieved most of the things on that piece of cardboard. My whole thesis could be flawed and maybe I should shush, stop writing this and make another vision board.
The paint on my living room ceiling is peeling. Has been for a while. I haven’t fixed it. I don’t know how to fix it. One of the troubles being the only grown up in a house is that shit breaks and you’re the only one doing the fixing. Another of the troubles, is when you don’t know how to fix shit, so you just try whatever comes into your brain for whatever YouTube says and those results range from fair to middling to disastrous.
My ceiling debacle is no exception. I’ve never repaired paint. Painted, yes. Repaired nicks in a dorm room wall that we covered with a homemade fix of Colgate and mid-spectrum foundation, yes. Actual wall repair in a room where actual people might sit?
That’s for adults who know things. Capable, stalwart, accomplished humans. But, none of those live in my house.
I tried. I scraped. I mixed. I dripped. I dripped some more. I blended. I swore. I managed to get paint everywhere in the room, including my mouth.
My mouth. I got paint in my mouth.
I’m learning to draw. (The verb learning is a stretch. Despite excellent instruction and demonstration, I now am responsible for a handful of skull stretches that could only have a place in an Itchy and Scratchy episode.)
It makes more sense after that comparision that those skills did not translate to the ability to paint a ceiling.
I tried. I failed. I didn’t cry. (I really, really wanted to.) I didn’t send a self-deprecating text where I flagellated my self and ran myself over with my truck of personally directed hatred. (I really, really, REALLY wanted to.) I didn’t break.
That’s what I do. I get upset. I direct that sadness and disappointment back onto myself. My anxiety builds. It crests and relaxes. Then the depression gets its boots on and I deal with that for a while. Until the next metaphorical ceiling needs painted and I do it all again. It’s gleeful fun for everyone, I assure you.
The new year is made-up. Completely random selection with no consequence delegated by a pope. Probably slapped on top of a pagan holiday to ease the transition and soothe some disenfranchised group. I’m guessing. But that seems to be how these things evolve.
Old layer of paint off.
Let’s try something new.
Yes. I fucked up the ceiling.
But, it’s not broken. There’s not ice rattling down onto my couch like a freezer-built living room. I learned something. Someday this week, I’ll go back to the store and try something else. Maybe I’ll learn something else.
What I don’t want to do, is keep this pattern of bruising my spirit and drowning my soul with my own kicks and hands. It’s not fair. Not to me. Not to the ones I love, who sit under this fucked up roof with me.
If I can do that–a single choice of kindness and forgiveness to the little chubby-cheeked blonde-haired girl that turned into this bigger, chubby-cheeked, blonde and brown and streaks of white-haired girl– a single step away from the instinct to hurt and instead looking to learn– a single instance of giving myself a god damn break…
That’s better than any resolution.
Want more stories of peeling away and looking for a better layer? My novel Drowning Above Water is available at Amazon.