I hadn’t realized just how long I’d allowed myself to stagnate. Maybe I had and just hadn’t wanted to realize it, I can’t be sure. But the process of purging most of my closet forced me to really stop and take a look at just what it was that I was holding onto.

The answer is: nothing.

When I “became a grown-up,” I tried to live my life the way that I thought a grown-up should live. I never bothered to take into consideration that despite my age, the number of crotch parasites scampering about my feet, and my mortgage, underneath all of that, I was still Your Aunt Becky. The product of two alcoholic parents, I’d never had someone to teach me how to be a grown-up, how to live a life where I was responsible for anything beyond a fish tank, so I made a mash-up of what “grown-ups” did in my mind and I did that.

It never worked for me.

I’m not the person that can hold onto twist-ties “just in case” because I’ll end up storing them in the toilet tank. Extra crap stresses me out. Always has. And yet, because holding onto “just in case” stuff was one of those things I thought that I should do, I did it for years.

Undoing that has reminded me of all of the other things that I’ve been doing simply because I felt that I should.

Every single thing that I remove from my house reminds me that I’m moving on to start my own new life as Your Aunt Becky, not as who I think I should be. While it’s undeniably a positive step, there’s a lot of grieving I’ve been doing along the way.

I suppose this type of purge removes stuff from your mental closet, too. I’m pulling out all of my skeletons and teaching them the motherfucking tango. My skeletons, in turn, are teaching me the waltz. It’s a fair trade, I think. I have to learn from my past or I can never move on.

And I must move past this Waiting Place; this stagnant place I’ve found myself in.

So much of what I want to do with the rest of my life relies on outside forces and while I’ve set the wheels in motion, I have to simply sit back and wait. I’ve been waiting for so many things for so long. I’m ready to move on with my life.

The Waiting Place is a terrible place to be sometimes.

I’m ready to move on with my career, or at least, make one for myself. I’ve got the tools at my disposal, I’ve got the dedication and Lord knows I have the drive, but I’m stuck waiting on outside forces to allow me to move forward in such a manner that I can do something with it.

The Waiting Place is exhausting me.

So instead of focusing on the negative, I’ll see what other tricks my skeletons have to offer me; what else I can learn from them. Something will come to fruition, it always does. And if the past is indicative of the future, it won’t be anything like I’ll expect.

I hope that The Waiting Place soon turns into forward movement.

It’s what I want. It’s what I need. It’s what, eventually, I’ll get.

Once, I’d guess, my dance repertoire is complete.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

66 Responses to The Skeleton Waltz

  • Skeletons are expert waltzers. It’s the age, and the repetitiveness.

    Learn a new goddamn step, I tell them.

    Waiting feels like outside looking in. It feels thin and like you need more oxygen.

    Take a few big bites of something. Something delicious. Something new.

    Lots of awesome stuff can happen while Waiting as long as Waiting does not force you into never ending spectating.

    Because you never know when you might discover something you didn’t even know you were Waiting for.

    Like tap-dancing poltergeists.

    Those babies can cut a rug.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Fuck YES. You’re right. I’ve been waiting a long time. Too many years to list here without sounding melodramatic, so I won’t. Suffice to say that it’s time. It’s been time. Or maybe not. We shall see.

  • Katherine says:

    What’s making you wait? Who is holding you back? What do you want to do? How can we/I help?

    • Linz says:

      Ditto to this. What can we do to assist in the development of the real Aunt Becky? (Will the Real Aunt Becky please stand up, please stand up, please stand up?)

  • Kristin says:

    Beautifully written. It reminds me that I need to move forward as well. I too have been stagnating trying to realize what I want to do with my life. You inspire me to be a better me by being you and writing about it. TY Aunt Becky my BFF LOL. I guess it’s time I learned to dance.

  • Ah, the waiting place. I call mine ‘the in-between’. In between marriage and divorce. In between graduation and new career. In between tired adult and new & refreshed adult. It’s hard to grow up. It’s hard to figure out what to keep of the ‘old’ married me. I’m cheering you on as you clear out your closet. *hugs*

  • Emma says:

    Oh the places you’ll go? We love that book- I also really identify with what you’re talking about here- after living in a house I hate for two years we moved to a wonderful house this weekend. Now when we moved previously I was suffering from post natal depression and didn’t clean anything out at all- we brought all the crap along with us. This time I Purged big time- sacks and sacks of crap went to the tip (four full carloads worth) and I feel amazing! Sure, I could have put a lot of it on eBay and made myself a few quid, but the truth is I’d never have gotten round to it and if still have all this junk. A good clean out is truly good for the soul. I feel so much better now!

  • Gen says:

    I feel like I learned so much about you from this post. Thanks.

  • James says:

    I know exactly know how you feel. Waiting is a thing i have been doing as well but my waiting has been more out of fear of what everyone else thinks and fear of not being accepted. Also my skeletons keep me back as well i know i should move for ward do what your doing be my own person but i feel i will lose everything … Well at least your moving on which is awesome. I cleaned the other day as well but didn’t find anything cool

  • Choleesa says:

    Congrats. Its awesome that you are dancing with your skeletons. Im envious that you are in the waiting place, I am on the phone – on hold- trying to get an appointment to GET IN the waiting place.
    You are full of the awesome!

  • leanne says:

    Um, I have a baggie of twist-ties. I could totally share mine if you ever need some.

    Yeah, I keep ‘em ’cause my mom did and I’m sure her mom did as well. Back then there probably was some logic to it.

    Though hanging onto the twist-ties isn’t nearly as bothersome to me as all the other crap I need to go through and probably get rid of. I NEED to do that. Occasionally the twist-ties come in handy. (Really. Don’t laugh.) All the other stuff… just takes up space and weighs you (me) down.

    Hope you can leave the Waiting Place soon. But until then, know that you are doing great things already.

  • “Come on in, take off your skin and rattle around in your bones.” That’s what my skeletons taught me. A waltz sounds more impressive.

  • Tracy says:

    Someone else mentioned the Dr. Seuss book “Oh the Places You’ll Go.” Also my all time favorite book….

    “The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

    Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the
    mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow
    to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair
    to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

    Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or
    waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their
    Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of
    pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
    Everyone is just waiting.”

    But remember after this part, the most important part…

    “No! That’s not for you!
    Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find
    the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-
    flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under
    the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a [gal]!”

    Now I must go dig out my copy of the book (that I stole from my brother) and read it.

  • Roccie says:

    Old ghosts take a long time to shake. I find new ones still surface even after all these years.

    Consider an attempt to covert The Waiting into Living In The Moment? Easier said, I know…

  • Roccie says:

    Old ghosts take a long time to shake. I find new ones still surface even after all these years.

    Consider an attempt to covert The Waiting into Living In The Moment? Easier said, I know…

  • Anna marie says:

    Ahh, purging the crap. I used to consider myself a packrat-I EMBRACED my stuff. Reveled in it. Then, one day recently I got fed up. Started throwing shit away and donating it and calling guys with trucks to haul it away and it feels GREAT. I haven’t taken my skeletons out to play yet, nor have I found a bag of diamonds, but I feel lighter, more ready to face life head on and DO SOMETHING. This post resonates so loudly with me that my head is bonging like a bell in a tower. You are kicking ass and bringing Aunt Becky back! I love it.

  • Anna marie says:

    Ahh, purging the crap. I used to consider myself a packrat-I EMBRACED my stuff. Reveled in it. Then, one day recently I got fed up. Started throwing shit away and donating it and calling guys with trucks to haul it away and it feels GREAT. I haven’t taken my skeletons out to play yet, nor have I found a bag of diamonds, but I feel lighter, more ready to face life head on and DO SOMETHING. This post resonates so loudly with me that my head is bonging like a bell in a tower. You are kicking ass and bringing Aunt Becky back! I love it.

  • Jessica says:

    I’d never had someone to teach me how to be a grown-up, how to live a life where I was responsible for anything beyond a fish tank, so I made a mash-up of what “grown-ups” did in my mind and I did that.

    ^^^ Weird. I only have one alcoholic parent, but the other parent was just as incapable at times of setting a good “grown up” example. Hell, they still act like children. I try my hardest each and every day to do better and be better by my own children.

  • Suzie says:

    Well, while you wait… Check this place out.

    http://www.blingznthingz.com/catalog.php?category=10

    At the Holiday Mart here in KC over the past weekend, they had an ALL RHINESTONE cash register, stapler, and … something else. It was all I could do to not take a picture. LOL

  • You. are. awesome! It takes guts; guts to say fuck it, I am going to live the life that’s right for me. It takes guts to say I am going to wait and not give up on my dreams.

    You continue to inspire me.

    We are all cheering you on!

    XOXO

  • Kristy says:

    Oh, no, now I feel like I need to clean out my closetS as well. That is a scary thing.

    http://www.pampersandpinot.com

  • magpie says:

    Shit. I know this feeling. My skeletons are all in the closet though.

  • cathyjoy says:

    learning to be a grown-up sucks ass. like you, my shit defined who I was as a grown-up. if you didn’t have bucketloads of shit? you were not a grown up. if you didn’t spend shitloads of money to get the bucketloads of shit? you were not a grown up. and even worse? if you didn’t keep every piece of paper your crotch parasite scribbled on? you were a shitty parent. it is SO liberating to purge and become the grown-up YOU want to be.

    Bravo to you Aunt Becky! You are my hero!

  • toywithme says:

    You’re not just waiting, but growing and learning at the same time. So clean out the mofo closet, dance with the skeletons and become who you always knew you should be – yourself! And you my fair lady are an absolutely amazing person :)

  • Sam says:

    As a wise man, or Tom Petty, once said, the waiting is the hardest part. And now that song is in my head. I’m there too, marking off days, and doing push ups, just like a lifer hoping for early release although it’s highly unlikely the parole board will be friendly. God speed, Aunt Becky, on your own waiting. There are a lot of us out there! :)

  • Kristin
    Twitter: dragondream
    says:

    Becky, I think it’s you that is teaching the skeletons to dance…and you are making them dance to your tune.

  • Dot says:

    Maybe the Waiting Place is also the healing and growing place, so that when thnigs are ready for you, you’ll be that much more awesome for yourself. At least, that’s the way it has happened for me when I’ve been forced to wait.

  • a says:

    Make it the “While I’m waiting” Place, where you do all those things you always say you don’t have time for… I think that’s just a preparation time, so your life is in order when the right opportunity comes along. Good luck.

  • Alicia says:

    Here’s to you leaving the Waiting Place and moving into the Positive Place. I know what the waiting place is like. Not necessarily fun! Hope you move into the positive place soon!!

  • Deidra says:

    Wow. Nothing like personal growth to really put things into perspective.

  • Halala Mama says:

    Sometimes the waiting place takes a long, long time, but I find when it is through that I have learned more in that space than I ever dreamed I could. It’s always been a time of preparation for me. I hope it is for you too.

  • The Sweetest says:

    I love a good purge. Unfortunately, I seem to need one like, once a week. Maybe I need to be in therapy more often, because I do agree the mental and material purging goes hand in hand.

  • Kim says:

    So well said. I’ve divided my life into these chunks – school, goofing off, marriage, kids and then the real pursuit. I just finished (having) the kids part and I need to really think about pursuing the things I’ve always wanted (more education, writing, etc). BTW I’m enjoying reading through your archives.

  • Cindy says:

    Aunt Becky, I had a mother who taught me how little “things” meant in the end. And yet, somehow, I manage to accumulate “things” time and time again. Perhaps because I am an addict, and “more” is better? Having moved into a class A motor coach, also known as an RV, I have no room for “things” in my home anymore.

    I, too, grieved at letting go of some of these “things”. I grieved at letting go of the person I thought I was, the person who had thought these “things” were necessary.

    I feel so much lighter now, without the added psychological weight of all of those “things”. Now I am starting to learn about the woman behind all of those things. I am starting to kind of like her.

    • Kerrey says:

      I’m in the process of clearing out crap to move into a RV soon. 3400 sq ft house to a 39 ft 5th wheel. 4 people. I’ve never been much of a pack rat, but we still have managed to accumulate an astounding amount of crap. Now we are down to the crap I’ve held onto through other purges. It’s fucking amazingly liberating! I might stuff the husband and kiddos into the next truckload headed to Goodwill if they don’t watch themselves!

  • Michelle says:

    Kudos for cleaning out the closet, Aunt Becky! Lightening the load (esp in the “emotional closet”) really helps “free” you up to explore who you really are. The interesting thing is that you note having two alcoholic parents interfered with you knowing how to become a grown up. I had one alcoholic parent and was a grown-up at the age of 5. It wasn’t until I “cleaned out” my emotional closet of those wretched skeletons that I learned how to be a child…and to realize that I didn’t always have to be a “perfect little grown-up.” Good luck on your journey!

  • Diana says:

    It’s like you read my mind. I’ve been waiting to get into the RN program at my community college for the past 2 years and the office just told me I would have to wait another 2.5 years due to the budget cuts. I feel like I’m not going anywhere with my life and I should already be where I want to be.

  • Brahm (alfred lives here)
    Twitter: alfredliveshere
    says:

    Good post, thoughtful.

    I call that space and place THE GAP (not the damn store), which is what my dad used to call it. Is the hesitation, the waiting, the unsure of myself so wait and do nothing or worry space.

    As I get older, am getting bolder, and spending less time there. Still a work in progress….

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      The Gap makes me sad. Until I’m out of it. Then I’m happy that I was there, because I realize that it was there where I’d learned so much. But while I was mired in it…it was torture.

  • karen says:

    “Something will come to fruition, it always does. And if the past is indicative of the future, it won’t be anything like I’ll expect.”

    Ain’t that just the exact truth? And had I have known then what I know now (my new favourite word: holyfuckwads) I would have said it.

    I’m very grateful for the life I’ve lived, and the skeletons that cheer me on. And you, Aunt Becky. Always you.

  • TheTameOne says:

    There is always a waiting place and always a purge. Without those two things, we may as well be frozen. Thats not good. Purge, hold, repeat often.

  • Mwa says:

    I get that. I’m in the waiting place, too. I try to remind myself that I should just enjoy the phase of being a mother to small children, and a lot of the time that works, but then sometimes I just want to scream and have a different life.

  • Molly says:

    I love this. Absolutely. LOVE this. I especially love the image of teaching skeletons the motherfucking tango. It both cracks me up and totally makes sense.

    Also: I despise the Waiting Place. I feel like I’ve been in it for EONS, even though some of that is my own doing. But then I read awesome posts like this, from awesome people like you, and I get inspired so that the Waiting Place? Is not my fault. Nor is it my fault that those fuckers don’t even give you a Highlights for Children to read while you wait. I mean really.

  • It’s the journey, not the destination, right? Surely that holds true for skeletons, also. As well as the owners of the closets they rattle around in (diamonds? motherfucking bags of diamonds you find in your closets? you know what I found in my closet this weekend? lint. lint and a fugly flip flop from three years ago. diamonds. Jesus.).

    Aren’t you supposed to take pit stops on the journey? Pee? Get a slurpee? Gas up?

  • At least your skeletons are limber and willing to waltz. Mine are just bags of bones that gather dust. Hiding in the back of my mind, waiting for the perfect time to rattle and keep my in my place. To keep me stoned.

    Good luck with clearing them out. They are tricky little buggers.

  • Jessica says:

    Crotch parasites is my new favorite phrase.
    It sucks being in the Waiting Place…sometime I feel like my whole life is just a big line I am waiting in, for something to happen.
    It is great that your skeletons tango. Mine huddle in the corner like little emo kids.
    Jess

  • slouchy says:

    damn. i get this. oh yes i do.

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