Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I started knitting this month.  I thought it seemed like a good idea to unravel the skeen of yarn into a ball.  I thought it would be easier to work with that way, and it looked cooler.  I didn't seek any advice or watch anyone else, I just went to town.  I yanked at the thread until it was in a big pile on my lap.  I started wrapping it (after I watched a "how-to" online) and realized that I had created a huge mess for myself.   It was a tangled-up knot-infested disaster.  It reminded me of what's been going on inside of me.  I started out with a clear (naive) vision of what I wanted my life to be, neatly wrapped like the skeen of yarn. 
My fairytale vision of my life.  All the threads even in perfect little rows. 
I wanted be a novelist with a wonderful husband and children and golden retriever.  I wanted live by the ocean in Bar Harbor, Maine.
What did I ever do to make this dream come true?  Was my fairy godmother going to give me a whack with her wand and it was going to materialize before my eyes?     
Somewhere down the road my thoughts became twisted up and tangled.  I lost my focus, and the passion I had for writing.  My heart was broken over a decade ago.  I tried to attach myself to someone else's dream and ride the wave.  After that I tried rescue an addict, and ended up with panic attacks.  Soon after that I learned just how little you can trust strangers, especially when you are an intoxicated college student.  Knot after knot, I pulled farther away from the girl who had a dream for herself.
I tried to pretend that my feelings and my heart didn't matter as much as everyone else's.  I tried to run away from my hurt.
Somewhere along the way, I lost my self.  My heart became blurry and confused.  A big tangled-up mess, mixed in a lovely array of anxiety and depression.
For the past several months I have been trying to pull it back together. 
As I untangled the thread I found that I could only work on little sections.  One tangle at a time.  It is the same process when sorting through your thoughts. There is no quick fix.  There is no easy way out.  Smooth out the knots with delicate pulls and tugs.  Gather and regroup.  I got frustrated and tried to yank as hard as I could at times, and failed to make any progress.  I worked on that yarn for over three hours, determined to make it all better.  I couldn't fix the very core, it was too knotty, and I had to cut my losses and leave the rest behind.  I started out with something perfect and ended up with something better, that I worked out for myself.  I left the massive tangles in the trash. 
It took me three hours to unsnarl the yarn.  It has taken me years to unsnarl my self image and my self respect.  I don't expect my fairy godmother to make my life happen, and I don't expect to ride on anyone's shirt tail through life.  I couldn't hand over my tangled yarn and expect anyone else to get the knots out for me. 
I am the main character in MY story, not just a minor one in someone else's.  Time to pull out my own fairy wings, get out my wand and do some whacking.  No one said this life was going to be easy, but now I know I am strong enough to face what tangles may come.

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