Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ghostwriting, midlife crises and twirling titties

I know it’s been a little gloomy here on the Box, but, well, that’s just how I roll. I mean, as much as I might try, I’m no Martha Stewart and the world’s simply not made of cupcakes.

I’ve been having a mid-life crisis for a few years, especially since JJ and I stopped trying to have a baby. And I’m here, sitting inside a cosy country house, the TV’s on DIG and I think they’re playing Ben Folds right now, so I’m pensive, wistful even. JJ’s out at a party – they have them here, in the country, and people here still take mushrooms. I’m staying in tonight but last night I went to see some local ladies in a saucy Burlesque show (photos below). My gorgeous galpal, Momo, is back in town. I’m ghostwriting an inspiring memoir for a holocaust survivor and I have a few story ideas in my back pocket, not to mention a little tale that was recently published in Litterbox Magazine. Work is busy and gives me a decent salary and security. The meds seem to be doing their job. We’re not lacking anything, really. Things seem pretty good, right.

So why am I so uneasy? Why am I still looking for more? I’ve said it before, one of my biggest fears is realising that this is it. That there’s nothing else. When I was an unruly kid at university, I remember saying that I had no regrets in life – no matter how stupid things got, whose car I threw up in, whose boyfriend I fucked, I knew that there was nothing to regret. Make a choice and believe in it, even if you’re wasted, make a choice and completely buy into it.

I’m starting to wonder if the problem with getting older is that we start to have regrets and that’s why people tend to become jaded and cynical. You see, the longer you’re around, you experience more highs and lows, tonnes of lows, so jumping into the next thing frightens the crap out of you.

It’s funny how I had no regrets in the past, and yet I did so many regrettable things. And now, I’m starting to have regrets and I’m not actually doing anything. But hang on, you say, look back on paragraph 2, you’re doing heaps. And therein lies the freaking conundrum. It’s a busy life, but where’s the substance? Why don’t I take big leaps anymore? I was talking to an old friend, Voodoo, last night about this very thing. He lives up here in the bush and JJ and I desperately want to leave the city and head down here permanently. But it freaks me out. What happens if we fail? What if we don’t like it? What if it’s just like being in the city, except here? 

I never used to worry about these things. 

“Hey JJ, let’s  quit our jobs and go travelling.”
“Hey JJ, I’m going to run a magazine.”
“Hey Betty, I’m going to open a record shop.”
“Hey JJ, let’s get a dog.”
“Hey JJ, let’s try IVF.”
“Hey JJ, let’s get another dog.”
“Hey Betty, I’m going to become a marriage celebrant.”
“Let’s buy a place in the bush.”
“Hey JJ, I’m going to be a life coach.” (yes, don’t laugh)

And this is what I think the midlife crisis is all about. We become afraid to make big choices. When we do, we buy sports cars – that’s how we expand ourselves when we’re too scared to make any real life choices. An expensive car is a safe way to show how much we’re moving forward.

I enjoy life’s slow pace these days, but I can’t help wondering if, should I live to 103 as I plan, will anything change along the way? Or is this it? Will I take chances again? Or is this the end?

And now for something a little less gloomy. Beautiful, in fact. The local ladies have formed a Burlesque troupe – Ripe – and they performed at The Convent Gallery on Friday night.

(sorry about the image quality – taken with my crappy phone)

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