It’s Groundhog Day. I’ve been repeating, repeating, repeating the same patterns for a while now and not achieving. Hmmm.
What is my happiness? What is The American Dream?
Is it writing all day long? No responsibility? No man? No work? No money? No children? No friends? Death? I am dead right now. But I am still breathing. Does anything fulfill me anymore? What comes after death? Is life meaningless?
My downfall began when I left a man who loved me because I thought he didn’t love me. Does that make any sense? I left, thinking that I would find greener grass elsewhere. Then I started digging a hole in the new grass. I bought a condo. I incorporated a business. Got myself into a deep hole of debt, American style.
Can I just get through one day without feeling like it should be the best day of my life?
Why do I feel like I should be busy, running around to achieve this or that?
The pursuit of happiness.
I really did want to own real estate. So I do now.
I really did want to have my own business. So I have one now.
I really do want to earn an MFA in creative writing. So I am applying for it now.
I really do want to pay back my debt.
So I am working jobs that will pay me to do what I know how to do.
I really do want to have an art show during Art Basel. So I am creating something…I don’t know what.
I really do want to have a husband. Who is he? And do I first need to be a worthy wife? I wasn’t a good wife to any of the previous men I had. Why? I guess I wasn’t ready. Am I ready now? No. One thing at a time. Take a deep breath. You are not dead. You are still alive.
My father said he didn’t find his place in the world until he started working for the NYPD in his late 20s. Shortly thereafter he met the woman of his dreams. Forty-one years later they are still together. And they still love each other, for better or for worse. They have an amazing story in my eyes. Against all odds, they wanted to be with each other.
“When I saw her, I just wanted to be with her,” he says to me sitting across our kitchen table in the house of his dreams on a four-acre property in Central Florida. My parents’ American Dream.
What is mine? I bought real estate and it doesn’t seem so much like a dream. I am alone. My work has dried up. What is the American Dream in the 21st century? Is it dead?
Life was easier when I had one identity. My name was Melanie Feliciano. I grew up in Long Island and became a writer and a traveler. When I came to Miami, I met an artist who had changed his name from Jason to Clutch. He told me he was attracted to me. The man I had fallen in love with on a bus in San Francisco was ignoring me and didn’t seem interested in being with me anymore. His eyes were constantly wandering toward the many fine asses in My Ami.
So, I latched on to the bone being thrown my way. It was fun for a while. But then the fun ended. This man’s values were different from the ones I learned in my sheltered Long Island home. So now I am alone. There are no bones for me to latch on to.
So, I look in the mirror. Who do I see? I come to no conclusions. Should I eat a mushroom like Alice in Wonderland? Or is this false? I need a spiritual life-line.
How do I practice patience?
The Bible. I read from the Book of James.
⁃ “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”
James: Chapter 1; versus 2-8