Zelda’s Cut, by Philippa Gregory
I’m reading this book called Zelda’s Cut, by Philippa Gregory. It’s about this middle-aged, somewhat ordinary-looking, frumpy even, albeit intelligent women who is the author of equally intelligent novels. However, the publishers aren’t paying what they used to for her writing – the public demands something interesting, more cutting-edge. So, against her better judgement – and her pride – she creates a second identity based on her nom de plume and ends up becoming this person. When she reverts back to her old identity from time to time, she finds she has become dissatisfied with her life.
Last night while reading I came upon this paragraph, which I think describes me well. I’ve sort of thought of my feelings in these terms, but never quite worded it this way. (pause) One of the other characters in the story who is close to the main character notices that “[She’s] tired.” Her reply:
“‘I’m unhappy. It’s different…’
‘It feels the same to me now,’ she said slowly. ‘Tiredness and unhappiness feel like the same thing now. I often feel as if I am tired, and of course I do work very hard; I work and I drive myself to work harder. But this feeling of weariness, of being beaten before I’m started, of having too much to do and no ability to do it all – this isn’t real tiredness at all. I know it because I feel the same when I wake up in the morning. Even if I sleep all night from ten at night till ten in the morning, I still wake up feeling tired. It’s not that I am tired out, it is that I am worn out. I’m not exhausted by effort, I am exhausted at the thought of effort. I don’t want the morning to come. I don’t want the day to start. I want to sleep the rest of my life away. If I could go to sleep and never wake up at all – I would.'”
Maybe that’s why I’m always tired.