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2006-09-03 @ 5:00 p.m.
rebuilding from the ground up

Yesterday as I was driving to work, through the remnants of Hurricane Ernesto, Mick Jaggerís ďI Canít Get No SatisfactionĒ came on the radio. I knew joining in was inevidible, since I was trapped in my vehicular tube, hurtling through slashing rains and flooded street corners. So providing back up to Sir Mick seemed the right thing to do. And besides, I truly understand the lyrics to that song. I mean truly.

I can't get no satisfaction
I can't get no satisfaction
'cause i try and i try and i try and i try
I can't get no, i can't get no
When i'm drivin' in my car
And that man comes on the radio
He's tellin' me more and more
About some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination
I can't get no, oh no no no
Hey hey hey, that's what i say....

I had once brought up the topic of the lyrics of ďSatisfactionĒ to Married Guy during a massage. I had just told him I really liked the song and the beat. Naturally, he had to give me the REAL meaning of the lyrics, i.e., Keith Richards inability to ďget it upĒ because of drug use. Way to go, huh? Bringing up sex while I was getting a massage. Was that the first time? Hell no. He had a proclivity to talk about sex during my massages....especially when he was massaging near the naughty bits. And whatís strange is that Iíve had numerous massage therapists since then and not one of them have ever talked about the two characters in ďSix Feet UnderĒ fucking in a storage locker at the airport or the Soprano character having anal sex with a stripper from the Bada Bing strip club. Not one! Funny how that works, and yet, perhaps it was really him who helped me understand the lyrics.

But now Iím trying to realign my life. Trying to jettison all the things that bring me down. First it was Married Guy. Although I still feel have emotions for him, he got kicked out two years ago this month. Hard to believe its been that long, huh? I used to write about him so much and its been hard, but Iím doing it. Yay me!

Next was my extrication from my Survivor Group. While I was in it, I truly felt it was my refuge. Meeting with 4-5 women a week to bitch about everything under the sun and say ďRight on!Ē to all the wrongs done to these women. The only problem? Other than one person, none of these women ever tried to get better. All they did was bitch and complain and do 8 million ďpoor meísĒ and I finally realized how tiring and draining it was. At the time I was angry about how my departure transpired, but now Iím just here to say, ďThanks Diane. You did me a favorĒ.

Next was getting my current job. I hadnít worked for almost 4 years because of my bipolar illness. I didnít know if I would ever work again. I was agoraphobic. I felt like a failure. I lived for two things...therapy things and my massages and ďfamily timeĒ with Married Guy. But the job got me out of the house and made me be a responsible adult again. And even though it was only a P/T job, it taught me that I could work and fit in with ďnormalĒ people and be accepted. Because believe me, there is a lot of stigma attached when you have a mental health diagnosis. People think youíre going to be drooling or running around naked with your hair on fire or something. It just isnít the case with me. I have anxiety problems and am working on anger, but I take my medication, see a therapist, exercise, get out of the house and am not much different than you....except maybe better looking. :-)

And what was that other thing? Oh! I realized that other people existed!! I learned to not be so self-centered and that interacting with other people felt really good. Imagine that! I mean, Iím still working on my social skills, since Iím really shy when Iím not tossing out smart ass remarks that make people think Iím outgoing and lively when Iím really not. But at least Iím starting to learn how to interact with people again.

And of course, I could write a whole entry about what art has done for me in the last three years, but Iíll try to trim it down to 1.6 million words. I always knew I was artistic. I was a writer from the 7th grade on. But actually the first thing I ever published was a drawing of a kitty under a Christmas tree in the sixth grade. I was so proud of it, and I still have it somewhere. Getting involved in art three years ago, has literally turned my life around. It has given me purpose and provided me an outlet for my feelings. It has also given me a social life and a place to go where Iím accepted. Iíve never had a place like that before. Itís like I finally found my tribe. Sure, I had worked as a graphic artist for a newspaper for 8 years, but I never felt like an artist. Our Art Director was a ďrealĒ artist. She had gone to ďArt schoolĒ. I was merely an interloper. But now Iím in the club, man! And I feel that my work has improved steadily since I started. Iíve taken classes, learned technique, looked at artbooks, watched documentaries (one about Andy Warhol today, as a matter of fact) and even observed how other artists draw. Its the only time Iím truly at peace and Iím glad I found it. And a shout out to ďAĒ who paid for one of my first art classes out of his own pocket. Thanks for believing in me ďAĒ, but I know you do anyways.

So what is left in my life to make better? Well, the new job is forthcoming. I went to my auntís house yesterday for cakie lessons. About 5 minutes in I was like, gah, I think I made a mistake having my aunt giving me lessons, since sheís a perfectionist, and I already had a gob of frosting on my boob. I was putting the stress on myself though. I wanted to please her and be EXCELLENT the first time out. Wrong. I think she sensed this and did back off a little bit. But she was slightly taken aback that I didnít know how many ounces were in a cup. Hey, I donít bake or measure fluids for any reason and I probably havenít had to answer that question since high school math quiz 30 years ago. I did frost and decorate two single layer cakes she had made already. And then I made 2 dozen cupcakes and frosting from scratch. Me! Artsy girl who barely knows what a pan looks like! My aunt also said my hand lettering of words was exceptionally good for a first time. And this from a perfectionist!

After that I brought one of the cakes to my momís, since it had her name on it and if I brought it home, the probability of me eating two cakes by myself on Sunday while I was watching DVDís about Andy Warhol would rise dramatically. She liked it. I then headed over to a different branch of the yuppie store where Iíll be working. I just wanted to see what their department and cakes looked like. Theyíre considerably smaller than my store. I checked out their cakes. Iím thinking, once I get the hang of the frosting bag, Iíll be able to do it. What I liked while I was working on stuff at my auntís house was how engrossed I was. Just like when I do art. I kept saying to her, ďI bet the day will go really fast, if Iím concentrating this hard.Ē She laughed.

I guess the Last Frontier is my love life. If it seems like I talk about it a lot is because I think about it a lot too. Its #1 on my agenda. Iím tired of being alone. I long for companionship and now that Iím feeling better emotionally, I think its time to put it on the front burner. At work we read a lot of articles about self esteem and emp0werment, and Iíve actually learned a lot from them. Things like daily affirmations, standing up for myself, side-stepping negative people. I even have post-it notes all over my fridge with words or phrases like: ďRelaxĒ. ďAccept people as they areĒ, ďYouíre worth lovingĒ. I figure its sort of like subliminal messaging, and at least if Iím going into the fridge for some evil, cholesterol filled witty-cake, at least some good will come of it.

I guess Iím doing this all, because according to someone I trust implicitly, your life runs in seven year cycles. So when I hit my 49th year in February Iíll be heading into a new seven year cycle. A happier one hopefully, because the last seven have been total crap. Poverty. Illness. Toxic relationships. Bad cars.

And what was that other thing? Oh yes, I lost my Dad...the most important person in my life. In fact the very last time I hugged him and told him I loved him before he was whisked off to the Philippines where he subsequently died, was five years ago September 5th. I miss him so much. Words canít even describe. There isnít a day that goes by that I donít think of him. And I know he would have wanted me to be happy. So Dad, Iím doing this Life Reconstruction for you.

...And I guess, for me.

me and Dad, circa 1969, at Disneyland.

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Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty