You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
There's gotta be a lesson in here somewhere…
This Tina Fey book is all at once inspiring me and killing me. She is so much funnier than me when she writes about her insecurities that all the comedic iconic women in her life are funnier than her. This is not me trying to write a joke. This is just the truth. She also seems to be able to work harder and sleep less than me. Like 2 hours a night cause she’s writing jokes for SNL, come on- there is no way I could get up after 2 hours to go to work. NOTHING in the world is that important to me and a stone over is just too hard to fight. Her husband and child also don’t seem to need her, when does she have time to give blow-jobs and breastfeed?
When reading her book I want to rush out and do whatever it takes “to make my dreams come true” and on the exact other hand I want to keep sitting on the couch reading her book. All these amazing stories of working alongside blah blah and hoo ha, and ding dong and how cool they are and how lame she is and how lucky she was to be in the right place at the right time and I just don’t understand how it happens, This perfect “dream come true” that she has. Did she want it as bad as me? Did she, like me, imagine being on her deathbed, disappointed that her life was wasted because her talents we not properly distributed. And I know that this must sound so central and embarrassing, that I think I am smart enough, talented, have something interesting enough to say that it could be noticed by the world.
Tina Fey’s book is making me feel like shit almost to the point of getting myself off the couch to do something about it. I want someone to write a book about how hard it is, the details, the worry, the years of being pretty sure it’s all not going to work out, the poverty, the pot addiction, the hateful body image, the credit card debt, the shitty jobs that had nothing to do with her dreams, and the step by step analysis of how she came to inner peace with exactly who she is- right now, perfectly, in this moment. I want someone to write that book.
Tina Fey seems not only kind and harsh and feminist but also plagued with the same foot-in-mouth disease I have. Like the time I shortened the word package to paki when I was dropping off a package for a theatre festival I really wanted to be a part of and the person I was trying to convince to take my play was Indian so I handed him the package and I said “Here’s a paki for you.” Tina does stuff like that too and even if she cares what people think and even if people hurt her and even if she fails she keeps doing what she loves at all costs and I think that is the coolest.
I went to a new yoga teacher today. I had been hearing about how popular her classes were for a long time, which was precisely why I did not go. Eventually I did go and her class was good, she was a really good teacher and I couldn’t help but like her and I could see why she was so popular but there was just this one little thing. She kept calling us her friends. ‘Friends, rotate your hip to the sky”, “Friends, inhale together and hold for 4, 3, 2.” “Really?” I found myself thinking “Really, am I your friend? Can I count on you when I’m down? Can I call you and be full on dark as shit and my worst self with you and you will listen to my wailing? When something important is happening in my life will you call me and ask for tiny insignificant details?” No, because you don’t even know who I am. In fact, if I did call to complain about how my man made this weird sound when he kissed me this morning…you may call the police.
So I am not your friend lady.
I have very high caliber friendships and you have not made the cut. I will take you in fast and furious but you must be willing to reciprocate. I will bare my soul and at times treat you like shit and you must hold fast and true. I will sometimes lose it for no good reason and think my life is over and you will have to be good and ready to listen to all that bullshit.”
I am finding that as I get older (funny typical general sentence) my friendships are weakening.
I had very close and tight friends my whole life. I remember being 18 at this personal growth retreat and vowing that I would cultivate only the deepest of friendships. And from that moment on-I did. As my best friend used to say “there are the kind of fish that are on the surface and hang out up near the top of things and there are the bottom dwellers, down in the dark, we are those kind of fish, the fish that swim deep.” Now I agree with this woman completely but even she is not my best friend anymore. We are all starting to really do our thing and put ourselves, our jobs, our partners, our parents, our dogs, our own time in front of spending time with each other.
And it’s easier to email and text than call. And things get misunderstood, and sides have to be chosen.
For the first time in my life I lost a friend. I have a womans group and we have been having monthly intentionally gathers for over 10 years but in the past few years- it has been drying up. Gatherings don’t happen easily anymore. It’s hard to find the time and when it happens, there are babies to contend with. I try and try again to make it a priority but I’m getting sick of being the instigator of the visits. I guess I have this underlying fear that my friends are not as devoted to me as I to them. Or I don’t think they would have my back anymore if I needed it. Their focus is elsewhere. Honestly if I could live in a Big Love family compound I would. We don’t have to share husbands but a bunch of us all living on some land, fighting and laughing and working together sounds like heaven to me.
So last year, for many different and long drawn out but very air tight reasons me and another member of our womens group had a deep and for real falling out. It was heartbreaking for me to learn that a friendship, a sisterhood could actually be broken for good- and with the person that you think this is least likely to ever happen to and then it does.
Too much hurt.
Too much anger.
Too much places rubbed raw.
And knowing that love and forgiveness is ultimately most important and trying, really trying to let the hurt go, there is still too much pain. There will always be a glaze between us because when you know it can be broken it’s never really safe again is it? I love her deeply, but we don’t talk on the phone, we don’t go for walks. We don’t seek each other out. We are not really friends anymore. This is still a total shock to me.
Ya, so friendships are fragile. This is something I have just learned. So I guess that’s where the space comes from all of us now, because if you know that things can go wrong, you are a bit more careful aren’t you? The entanglement of two women is so strong that if separated, afterwards there can only be a huge feeling of distance.
Which is okay I guess. I get that things change. And I’m not hard done. I am just a bit tougher.
And when you don’t call as much as you used to, or you miss my birthday, or you cancel our date again because the kids are sick again or for whatever reasonable reason- I find myself rebelling because I long for it to be the way it was- when we were in love with each other and we would go out dancing together and we would take off our tops and howl at the moon and we would dream big and spend time talking about the bigness of our dreams. When we ruled this town!
No more abandonment into pure love.
That time is done. And we are in our houses, with our spouses and if I had to choose it wouldn’t be you in first place anymore. At all. And the earths axis tilts.
So yoga teacher, I thank you for wanting to call us friends, but we are not friends. It takes a long time to make that word and a lot of effort to hold that word strong and neither of us probably have the energy for it. As my dear pal Beyonce once said “I don’t think you can handle this.”
Let’s just stick to backbends shall we.
I hate yoga. I try to do it every day. I do it so that I don’t kill myself or my friend, or my mother, or the shitty downstairs neighbor. I very rarely find exquisite inner peace (I should say I have never found it). It has made me calmer, it helps me not to feel so fat. It gives my ego a boost because although I cannot do lotus, I’m very flexible in my back bends. I like to look around the room and see that I am in the top half of the class. I got a boyfriend by going to yoga, most of my friends do it. I have taken multiple certification programs to teach it, I know a fair amount of the foundations you can learn from North American teachers but mostly I dislike practicing. I’m okay with that, cause there are brief moments of peace, of climbing off the edge, of release. Once I ate a pot cookie and went to class and honestly I was totally fucking ripped happy to be there. That was fun.
But I have to fight, like my lifestyle and personality are not conducive to the Ommm I expect, so I have to work to be cool, to be equanimous, to be level, to be placid, to be happy.
Here are all the things I do that are not really yogic:
But I keep practicing. Everyday if I can. And it keeps me sane, alive sometimes. It is my militant teacher and my deepest comfort. I need it and I know that.
So now I will revert back to the trailer I grew up in, looking out the window, over the hot water tank at the chicken coop, as I unlock my diary, fling my hair over the pillow so I look like a maiden in a romance novel and pretend that my classmates are watching me from a camera in the roof.
Dear Yoga… Are you there? It’s me Emelia.