Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better

There’s nowhere in the world like Manhattan to make you feel inadequate. Even the stay-at-home moms are immaculately groomed, well-educated, witty and they all sport resumes longer than the trains on their wedding gowns.

I lived in pajamas for the first four months of Zoe’s life. Just sayin. And try having a conversation with me when Zoe has been up screaming at four AM every night for the last month. Really. Try it. I dare you.

There’s the one friend who is a fashion designer who just wrapped up her successful Kickstarter campaign, the other friend who is a foodie and whose brain is a veritable encyclopedia on everything about everything in the city and just started blogging about it, the other friend who has mastered every homemaking activity from sewing, darning, and embroidery to crochet and baking, and the other friend who somehow manages a family of five in this city life.

And that’s just my close friends. I haven’t even mentioned the world class violinist that I met, or that Olivia Palermo and Woody Allen live on the Upper East Side. Okay so maybe I’ve never met those two, but atmosphere, man. It breathes success and talent.

It’s always easy to be jealous if you decide to, but the city makes it really easy.

You know, when I was twelve years old I tried to read every book in the Classics section of our local library and it only took me about a month to recognize the futility of striving for perfection. I still read– but because I enjoyed it. That meant that I put down Faulkner three pages in and just passed by Hawthorne without so much as a twinge of guilt.

I have long since thrown in that towel.

I’ve been trying to write a memoir about the sheer crappiness of my life and about how all that crappiness– through a combination of miracles and divine mercy (and some slight effort on my part)– somehow turned into wild happiness.

Let me just say, I’ve been trying to write this memoir from before I even stopped attempting suicide. Like, for the past five years. All the writing that I have was done in the first and fourth of those five years and I pretty much haven’t touched the thing since then.

I try to blog consistently. I’m doing better with that one.

I started knitting a sweater last summer. Still working on one of the sleeves. Figure I might be done after Christmas.

I wanted to become Real Love coach two years ago, before I was pregnant with Zoe. Figure maybe in ten years after my family is complete, maybe then I’ll get around to it.

Because you know what? I’m okay. I’m great. Even if I read all of the books in the library, the library would get more books next week. There would be another branch a ten minute subway ride away and I wouldn’t have even put a dent in their collection.

Every time I think to myself, Gee, I really should work on that memoir, I take one look at the big doe eyes on my baby girl and the memoir, frankly, can go to hell. Really, go screw yourself, Book That I “Should” be Writing. I think I will spend the next three hours entertaining my daughter with this stupid plastic giraffe. And we will be happy. But a lot of people could really benefit from hearing your story, Veena. Yeah, and right now Zoe and I are going to benefit from me making funny noises and moving around this plastic giraffe.

I’ll probably still choose to do some of these things. Maybe a lot of these things. I am blogging, after all. But if and when I do, it will be because I want to, not because I am trying to impress some invisible audience that is keeping score of my life and not because I am trying to one-up the wonderful and talented people that I care about. I don’t have time for that crap.

I am eternally a work in progress and there are some things I will just always suck at. Reading Faulkner and being gracious in the morning are just two of those things.

Welp. Guess I’ll have to get used to being human just like everyone else.

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4 thoughts on “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better

  1. I love your blog and the way you write. And being gracious in the morning is highly overrated (although Michael is so good at it it’s almost mean).

    But you are so right. We are all terribly human, prone to feeling inadequate or less than enough because there is always, ALWAYS something to be chasing. I was reading this thinking, “Man, don’t I know it…” And then I recognized myself among your list of friends. First, wow, gee, thanks! Second, it made me realize that sometimes we get so busy chasing after what we think we should be doing that we don’t recognize that what we are doing right now matters. So you spend that quality with baby girl and her beautiful eyes and that awesome plastic giraffe.

    1. Hahaha thanks Kels. Yeah, we all have our gifts and talents and you certainly have yours. What’s the point if we don’t enjoy them and use them to serve other people, to bring us closer together? So I will go do that and I will look forward to reading more about Manhattan from you.

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