Story of my life. Story of my motherfucking life! I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve tried. But I just can’t get no satisfaction.
I’ll be 40 in a few months, and I’ve noticed myself simultaneously becoming more mellow and less willing to put up with bullshit. Some shit is more serious than it used to be, and some shit just isn’t. I don’t care about how white my shirts can be and not being a man because I don’t smoke the right cigarettes. I could not care less about that the media or advertisers or society tells me. I don’t give a shit if anyone likes me. I don’t want people to think I’m an asshole, but if they do, oh well. I don’t care who thinks I’m attractive or smart. I don’t care if I run errands wearing the same sweatpants I have worn for five days, and if my hair is unwashed and I’m not wearing makeup. It doesn’t matter if I’m single. It doesn’t matter that I would rather stay at home and watch the same few movies over and over and over. I know who I am, and I have to say that I am pretty satisfied with myself as a person.
What I am not satisfied with is my economic situation. And that’s because I am not satisfied with my job situation. And that is because I have always worked shitty jobs, and have never really had the opportunity to work towards an actual career. And I cannot really blame anyone but myself for that. So maybe I haven’t tried that hard. I always had high aspirations. But I fucked around a lot in my 20s and early 30s, preferring to party over pursuing a career that would satisfy me. The party life is about living in the moment, sensory pleasures, fun and excitement and sexiness. In essence, it’s about the pursuit of physical satisfaction. And I was very satisfied for many years.
But. Yes, there’s always a big old but. As I went about my life as a woman of pleasure, I denied myself any intellectual, economic, or romantic satisfaction I might have achieved had I otherwise occupied my time. Whenever I write about those days I try to do so without judgment or anger or disappointment. I was who I was. And I did have a lot of fun. But I do often refer to that time as being a waste, when in fact I was learning about myself and the world and who I am and where I belong. So that is not a waste. I was fucked up in a lot of ways, but I also had my head on straight in a lot of ways that people around me did not. But I look back at the ripe old age of 39 and think about what a dumbass I was. Holy shit, did I do some stupid fucking shit.
And here’s another big old but to add to that: As much of a party girl as I was, I wrote a lot. I always took the time to write about what was going on in my life, or I would write poetry, novels, short stories, whatever. When I hit 30 and my life was more drama than fun, I spent very little time writing and more time drinking and whoring around. I thought I was living the glamorous and scandalous life of a writer, only, you know, without the writing part. When I was younger I thought I had nothing to write about because I had not experienced anything, yet I wrote constantly. As my experience grew my desire to write didn’t really go away, but I just, I don’t know, I guess I was just too much of a mess to do anything important.
So now that I am pushing 40 and have given all that up, I am reflecting on how I got here and who I am and who I was and all that fun stuff, and I feel like writing all the time. But now I work 6 or 7 days a week, so time and energy are not always available. Since I wasted all that time when I was young, I am now stuck in these shitty fucking jobs that don’t pay enough to allow me even a full day off a week to enjoy myself and relax, let alone write a bestselling memoir. I am absolutely not the only person in this situation, of course, but I just get frustrated because I had such high expectations for myself. I fucked everything up. I see that now, and I am writing so I can get out of this. I am not meant to be in this place. I am supposed to be satisfied. I am happy with who I am, but not been happy with myself 10 and 20 years ago stunted my satisfaction. But I am not hopeless. I have a sense of urgency about things that I never had before. I kind of like it.
If I could be Mick Jagger for a day, I’d know what it was like to be completely satisfied with life. He did everything he ever set out to do. Wow. Who in the mortal world can claim that? Rock stars do whatever the fuck they want. Why can’t I?