“There’s a ship arriving too late to save a drowning witch…” Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa released the album “Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch in the early 1980’s. It’s most notable song was “Valley Girl” which was a parody of a stereotype during that time period. “Like totally” as well as “Gag me with a spoon” were heard so frequently it was almost nauseating. I’m pretty sure my parental units were grateful when those phrases went out of vogue. But on the album’s flip-side was the title track “Drowning Witch” which the past six months has felt on and off like my theme song.
The lyrics that especially speak to me are: “As the light goes dim and she’s trying to swim… will she make it? (Boy we sure hope so.)”
The upside of life: I’ve finally settled in to my Metroplex apartment and have been working on getting a routine settled into place. I can actually drive around the area (thanks to the GPS on my phone and in the vehicle) and I am learning to be more independent as it’s just me and Yoda here. I’m still learning about the area and it doesn’t yet feel like home, but I’m homesick for my peeps, not so much the city where I used to live.
But a few things have happened over the past two months that have really started putting life into perspective. I took a writing hiatus to clear the head and really start thinking about what I’m writing, how I’m writing it and most importantly, WHY I am doing it. I’m doing it because I love the written word and the power behind language. When I am writing, I create entire universes on a blank page and while I’m not yet in league with the best of the best, I feel I can take you to another place. Writing is the air I breathe and the time off has given me a much needed perspective on taking those deep, deep breaths.
I also realized that the job I got when I moved down here is not the stellar expectation I built up in my mind. (Haven’t we all done that a time or two?) I had plenty of time to contemplate this fact after an on-the-job injury and spending time in bed at home. I figured out while recovering when you get up out of bed each day and dread going to work and then come home too exhausted to even be human, there is a problem. Seriously, some days I felt like the anti-christ as my mood and behavior changed so dramatically.
What was I doing? Why was I doing it? Who was I doing it for?
Since the accident these little life questions have been haunting me and it all came to a head one day when someone at work called into question my character and integrity with such venom it took me aback. This person doesn’t know me and what little interaction we have had has been tense even prior to this. It brought out feelings of anger, resentment and frankly, despair. (Basically my middle school years all wrapped up into a couple of days.)
WHAT was I doing? I’m a grown woman and I don’t need or deserve to be treated like I’m worthless by someone who doesn’t know me or want to know me. WHY was I still working there after a couple of months of progressive misery? The grass was literally greener on the other side, but laying underneath the grass was a cold, dark place. I was working there for the wrong reasons and there are no right ones to really keep me there. WHO was I doing this for? The epic question of the day wore on my heart and I realized I was doing it JUST for the money and not for anyone.
Money is an evil task-master. The Beatles were right. It can’t buy you love and at the end of the day, it only buys a fleeting happiness.
So as I write this, I’m a little more than 24 hours out of the epic showdown that will occur on Monday. I can’t look back on this time with regret like those who consistently say, “if I knew then what I know now.” I have learned a lot about me, what I believe in and where I’m going in the future.
The ship is arriving and I’m swimming to shore, but it’s not too late. Not too late at all.