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10:28 a.m. - 2012-12-13
eat this, Matt
I realized yesterday that (quite unflatteringly) probably my biggest motivator for doing well in school is wanting to stick it to Matt.

That's not my biggest reason. My biggest reason is that I want to do something to keep a few kids from dying from hunger, thirst and basic medical care someday.

But as far as what lights a fire under my ass, well, that would be my douchebag, workaholic, thinks-he's-hot-shit soon-to-be-ex husband.

I want to graduate at the top of my class, I was confessing to A yesterday, because I have this whole fantasy I like to play in my head where I get to make a graduation speech. You know how graduates -- especially adult students -- always thank their family for support and motivation? Well, I want to thank Matt, but not for paying for (some) of my classes and watching the kids at night so I could go to them. Well, maybe I could do that. But then I'd say,

"And I want to thank my ex-husband, Matt, for screwing every syphylitic whore in western Connecticut, because if you hadn't done that, Matt, I'd probably still be sitting home ironing your shirts and keeping track of your cuff-links. Thank you for motivating me to be so much more than your faithful, loving wife."

And then I want to go out and make more money and be more successful and influential than he'll ever be, although really, he has enough of a conscience that he'd probably feel one-upped by my actually going out and making a difference somewhere while he chases the almighty, and empty, dollar.

I realize that there are still a lot of things that I've come to believe are true about myself that came from him, and our relationship, that I am still passively accepting the way I accepted that he was the more important and talented person in our marriage. I still tend to think that I'm flaky, bad at taking care of myself and my responsibilities, and just generally prone to a life of aimless chaos. I'm not sure really where this came from, or how I evolved into believing it. For most of my life before I met Matt, I had my shit together more than anyone I knew. Matt is actually less organized/disciplined/responsible and I sort of relaxed my standards when I was with him -- and beat myself up about it all the time. Then at some point Matt discovered this weakness of mine and jumped on the bandwagon, and started critizing me too.

Over the years, I guess, I've started living according to my remodeled self-perception. It's hard to explain, but it's what I do. I always leave things till the last minute because I tell myself I am the sort of person who leaves things to the last minute and doesn't have the discipline to do them ahead of time. I don't force myself to write on a daily basis because I tell myself I don't have what it takes to write a novel. Yada yada.

I think what I need to do, instead of trying to get his voice out of my head, is to use his voice to motivate me -- ie instead of believing the voice, I need to recognize that he's really describing himself, and stick it to him by doing things far better than he could ever do them. By that I mean, sit down every day and write until I write a book. (He will never write a book.) Be super-organized and do things ahead of time because he will never do that, etiher.

Maybe this isn't the healthiest motivation, but I think it will help me prove to myself that I am NOT the weak, messed up, helpless, pathetic person that I was seeing in the mirror after eight or nine years with him.

It is really a great irony that I was attracted to Matt because he was the only guy I had ever met who was my match in brains, motivation, work ethic, etc. I thought he would be a great partner and we would enrich each other. Instead of getting enriched and partnered, I basically got bigfooted and steamrolled. I guess there's only room for one dominant Type A in a marriage.

Live and learn.



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