You know what ruminating actually is, right? It’s hacking up stuff you’ve already chewed and swallowed, so you can chew it all again.
I’ve been ruminating a lot lately, I guess because I’m scared and angry. We all know that “if onlys” are not only lacking in nutrition, they’re bad for the soul. But there we are. One bad week, and I tumble back down the rabbit hole.
It starts with my health problems, because IF ONLY I hadn’t pissed away more than a decade on a shitty, self-destructive relationship, I wouldn’t be so physically wrung out right now. I can tell you for a fact that the sheer stress destroyed my health – and of course it’s my own damned fault. For that, I could kick myself. IF ONLY I hadn’t ignored the hundreds of clues “because hey, everyone has flaws!” IF ONLY I’d taken my then-thin, cute and well-employed self out onto the market then, instead of hanging around waiting for this asshole to have his Eureka moment and see what a prize I was, maybe I’d be with some nice decent guy right now – a guy with a good job and really good insurance.
Or maybe not. Maybe the really nice guy would have lost his really good job and the insurance, but still. At least we wouldn’t be going through this alone. Unless he died. Whatever.
IF ONLY I hadn’t taken jobs that interested me instead of sticking to some nebulous “career path”, I wouldn’t get these questions about my spotty resume and I’d have a job right now. IF ONLY I wasn’t so disorganized, I’d have written three books by now. IF ONLY I’d caused a scene, and made my parents let me take that college scholarship, I’d be on a stronger financial footing right now.
IF ONLY I hadn’t sprained my ankle. IF ONLY the doctors hadn’t been so incompetent, for so long. IF ONLY I didn’t read so much, I’d be happier. IF ONLY I didn’t need to be right.
IF ONLY I wasn’t me, I’d have more friends. I’d fit in. I’d be more successful. And rich. Instead of alone, anxious and poor.