Admitting Defeat

Checkmate (The Prisoner)

Checkmate (The Prisoner) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s true, much as I hate to admit it, I’m never going to be King.  Not Virginia Woolf, not Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Not even a princess.  And really, that’s just fine. A quiet life is appealing.  But a silent one?


When I first began thinking of putting a blog together, my original idea was to have a collaborative blog, women of somewhat varying ages and perspectives, focusing on the differences between what we thought our adult lives would be, and what they are.  That idea never got beyond early planning stages, and eventually I started Mrs Fringe.

But due to some recent happenings in the lives of friends, and the never ending brain crunching non-happenings in my own life, I’m thinking about those early ideas again.  Specifically, the life I’m living and the Grand Canyon that separates it from the life I thought I would have.  While I won’t deny I have a vivid imagination, not all of my scenarios involved a crown and scepter. I never actually thought I would become rich, never thought I would live in a  palace, never thought I would lie on a bed of thornless roses.  Of course, I’m allergic to roses, so that one might not be fair.

Rose & Crown

Rose & Crown (Photo credit: Sam Howzit)

But I also never imagined having to worry quite this much about finances, when I’m not living a life of extravagance.  I never imagined not having a little area for myself for writing (I think I weaned on A Room of One’s Own).  I never imagined I’d be living a life at 40,000 years old where I would never, ever, ever have a day off.  I never imagined I would be trapped in New York, between finances and familial obligations.

I never imagined a family of five where each of the five would have such totally, completely separate needs.  I know, we’re all individuals.  I value that fact, Husband and I were never the type of couple that were on the phone 58 times a day when we weren’t together, I’ve tried to raise my children to value their individuality.  But I didn’t think, in the twenty first century, with all the societal and personal awareness, that I would lose my own self in the process.  Sheesh, I feel like a damned ’70’s cliche just re-reading that sentence.  Should I go find myself?  In a consciousness raising group sitting on someone’s shag carpet, drinking dandelion wine.

So now what?  I write, and that’s good for me.  It feels good, and part of me still believes–or at least wants to believe– there’s hope of publication at some point.    But I can’t live inside my head all the time.  It isn’t productive for any of my roles, and frankly, it isn’t all that fun.  I’ve thought about drinking more regularly, but I’m not very good at it.  One drink and I’m buzzed, in between one and two and I’m looped, useless;  a full two and it’s get-out-of-my-way-I-need-my-bed!

I’m a grown up.  I have a family, I have obligations, I have a budget.  There is no magic answer, magic solution.  But there has to be a way to make something better, at least try.

Virginia Woolf said, “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.”  Is it still true? I don’t think silent lives are truly silent, they’re sirens and songs no one hears.

"Who's Afraid fo Virginia Woolf?". 1966

“Who’s Afraid fo Virginia Woolf?”. 1966 (Photo credit: thefoxling)


  1. Ah. Sirens and songs no one hears. I believe that is exactly the case.

    And, maybe this is a trough of a big wave and the next surge is just not quite formed yet. I don’t believe you have to bow under to a life of limited creative expression, in any case. The creative expression may be wanting some different outlet than it has had, perhaps.

    There’s an interesting relationship between the words Real, and Royal. There, everyone is King, or Queen.

    And, I’m in your corner! 🙂


  2. I thought you were going into an apology for being rich and living in a palace. OH MY GOD…a royal…and she writes words at me !
    Then, you became a neighbor, a head-liver. (Sounds like some horrible food, no? Hagas, Kidney Pie, Head Liver) Too bad about the drinking…it’s solved many a literary problem, and makes for tragic finality for so many. Opium? I know…Laudenum ! I just saw a post titled DIY IVs and Dreadlocks…got to go read. Keep making words for me.


    1. YES! Surely Laudenum will cure my wimmenz problems.
      Head Liver, like head cheese, only richer :p

      What was that movie with Nicholas Cage, deliberately drinks himself to death in Vegas in a very finite period of time?

      Come to think of it, I always loved Barfly. Ahh, Mickey Rourke.


      1. Barfly…Bukowski got me with Factotum. Don’t know the Cage movie, but Factotum…Matt Dillon goes down sloooooow. You might get a buzz on watching it, Mrs. Dreadlock Chopper.


  3. It’s crazy that we grew up in a time when we believed that technology would give us more time – now we are slaves to time. You’ve got great and lyrical and profound things to say – and there are those of us who want to read those words 🙂 I work a crazy grind – I feel like I have no options. I love my life, don’t get me wrong – but I long to get something of my own making happening. For now I create, not because it will make me succeed, but because my life is better when I do.


    1. ” For now I create, not because it will make me succeed, but because my life is better when I do.”

      Beautifully stated. ❤

      Thank you for the generous words and the understanding. I don't love my life, but I'd like to like it.


  4. My sister used to say about me, “you never wanted a little life.” I never understood why anyone would. Somehow I begin to think the answer is in accepting that I have/do/will and yet it’s still hard to swallow.



  5. I would make a list of what has to change and brainstorm ways to change it, the more radical the better. Then make it Happen. No ifs or buts
    Acceptance of a situation you find untenable is the true drowning.
    My own life has massively exceeded my expectations, it’s what you would call a small and silent life but I beg to differ. I wanted love, a home, a family and to be an adult calling the shots. I didn’t dream of all the other wonderful experiences I have had and the little girl me whispers I am unworthy.
    I think the path to true contentment is making complete and utter peace with the small, ordinary, insignificance of our lives. Then marveling in the joy and trying to spread love and joy to others. That’s what I do anyway. I am excited by life and the future. Who knows how far I will continue to exceed my hopes and dreams 🙂


    1. Lovely. I don’t think your life is silent at all. It’s yours, you want it, you own it, you have joy and much love. That is not what I term silent. ❤

      Yes, ready for brainstorming over here, excellent thought.

      Thank you! 🙂


  6. Silence is golden to me. I have to have it so that the voices in my head can talk to each other without being disturbed. Technology has given us the tools to scream out to the world, and that’s what we’re all doing. We have each other. 🙂


    1. As I read and reply, I’m listening to the same jackhammers I’ve been hearing for 6? 8? weeks now. “Silence is golden” has never sounded so profound.:D

      I do love your image, the voices in your head being able to talk to each other without being disturbed. Thank you!

      And welcome to Mrs Fringe, I’m glad you joined the conversation, and hope you’ll come back 🙂


  7. I can relate, truly. I’ve also come to realize that there are things in life that are also better than I ever imagined they could be. In my early twenties, I got my first computer, but I never could have imagined this wonderful playground that is the internet!

    So maybe I didn’t become a millionaire by thirty. Maybe I’ll still be paying off my student loans in my eighties, even. 😦

    Life is still good. (Although I have to admit that I don’t have jackhammers outside my windows as I write this. Here’s hoping they’re silent soon!)


    1. Love the internet, couldn’t wrap my mind around the concept when I first heard about it from a friend–and now, I can’t imagine living without it. 🙂

      I don’t think it’s unusual for life to morph into something very different than we imagined, why is it so hard to have an open discussion about it?

      Welcome to Mrs Fringe, thanks for joining the conversation, I hope you’ll come back! 🙂


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