Saturday, June 5, 2010

If Only I Knew Then...

that duct tape was meant for actual ducts, things would have made more sense.

that sushi actually tastes good, I would have eaten more of it.

that one day I wouldn't be able to bask in the heated glow of the sun, I would have appreciated it more when I could.

that I would sell myself short, I would have upped my price.

that one day I would fear that I wasted too many years, I would have made the most of every day.

that one day I wouldn't believe in myself, I would have given myself more of a chance.

that sometimes as much as you try to love someone they make it really hard for you to do so, I would have tried harder instead of giving up.

that I wasn't really ready for major life changes, I would have given myself more time to prepare and mature.

that life sometimes really does give you lemons, I would have offered life a trade, perhaps some prunes, or an avocado.  

that motherhood was this freakin' hard yet the best thing I ever did, I would have enjoyed it a lot more, even the vomit, sleepless nights, tears and boogers, because one day they might not need me anymore.

that I would gain weight, I would have bought some bigger clothes and ate more dessert!

that sometimes you really do have to know when to say when, I would have said it years ago.

that other people would try to tell me how to live my life, I would have told them to go to hell.

that you can't please everyone, I would have tried more to please myself.

that I was important, I wouldn't have let anyone else forget it.

that other people's problems, insecurities, jealousies, hatred, bias, possessiveness, doubt, shame, guilt weren't my problem, I would have cut them out of my life and enjoyed myself more.

that no one has the right to tell you who they will allow you to be friends with, I would have had a bunch of friends.

that no one owns me, I would have owned myself.

that no one has the right to treat me any way they want and expect me to take it, I wouldn't have taken it.

that I really didn't want to be by myself so much, I would have enjoyed company more. 

that hugging, a caring caress, a warm smile, holding someone's hand for comfort, a pat on the back, and a kiss on the cheek is okay, I would have opened myself up and given more to those who truly need it.

that it's great to be crazy, I wouldn't have tried to appear so sane!

that normal is overrated, I would have been myself--and liked it.

that I have a purpose, I would have accomplished more.

that all I really wanted was to be loved by someone first, I wouldn't have accepted being loved by someone last.

that some people won't let themselves be happy and will never appreciate the good in their lives because they focus on the bad, I wouldn't have allowed them into my life.

that life isn't painless, you will hurt and be hurt and you will learn from it and grow and change, then I would have learned a long time ago to forgive--myself and others.  No one can expect you to never hurt them, and you can never expect to not be hurt.  But you can choose to forgive and move on.

that I would find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place, I would have stayed in the field full of wildflowers!

that I really am a good person despite the bad things I have done/will do, I would have loved myself more.

that when someone treats you badly, you should leave, I would have left.

that happiness really does make you feel better, and being nice gives you peace, I would have always been that way.

that laughter really is the best medicine, I would have laughed every day, and given someone else laughter, instead of letting someone's frowns run my life.

that that little itch could be telling me something, I would have bought stock in Head and Shoulders.

that it's okay to be me, I would have been me every day.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Teaching an Old Dog

My voyage of self-discovery hit turbulent seas, uncharted waters, and sharks circling the dinghy (By definition, a dinghy is a type of small boat, often carried or towed by a larger vessel.  In this reference, however, the dinghy could refer to my mind, or consciousness, being towed by the larger vessel of my body.  However, I could have used dingy--commonly confused with dinghy for those not current on their aquatic vernacular--which means  to be a little bit ditsy, not all together there.  Usually refers to a shallow or not too bright person.  Both would be perfectly acceptable when referring to me and my mind.)  I can barely tread water, forgot my life jacket, and there's a hole in my life raft.  Plus, I sunburn really easily.

Okay, let's head to the beach for a minute, swab some zinc on your nose, grab a fruity drink with dangling paper umbrellas, and watch as reality hangs over our heads like a dark storm cloud, thunder rumbling and lightning bolts ready to strike.  I've discovered lately that the cumulonimbus is always ready to descend, always threatening to rain on my parade, always whipping the seas into a frenzy tossing my poor ol' dingy into the rocks.

I realized that the more I learn about myself the more questions I have.  That could be construed as valuable; it means I'm always learning, always growing, always changing, always willing to see a different side of things with an open mind.  But it can create chaos, utter confusion, and actually cause me to look in the mirror and not recognize the face staring back at me.  I might perceive me to be one way, and someone else sees me in a totally different light, and a third person sees someone else entirely.  How can I say that I am just me, when there are so many mes that different people see? (Okay, now I sound like a Dr. Seuss book, perhaps called How Many Mes Do You See? with a three-headed traumblebot on the cover...I made that up.  There's no such thing as a traumblebot.  No, not even in a Dr. Seuss book.  Seriously, I'm not a traumblebot...but you have to admire that it's a mythical three-headed creature and I used its name three times.  Yeah, I'm clever like that.)

So anyway, who am I, really?  Why can one person think I'm all that, while another thinks I'm no good, when another thinks I'm quiet while the other person thinks I'm too loud?  How can I be all that and still be able to say I'm just me?  Just me?  WHO IS JUST ME?  And which me is right?  The one I think I am, or the one he, she, or they think I am?  Maybe I'm a chameleon, a different person to different people depending on who that person needs me to be, while remaining true to myself when I get home and shed the exterior of what the world believes me to be.  Can I be a sober drunk?  A lazy jogger?  An ugly beauty?  A thin fat person?  A messy maid?  Can I be June Cleaver, Marge Simpson and Roseanne Conner all rolled into one?  Or can I simply just be?

I have learned some interesting things about myself in recent weeks, some I've had a feeling about, others I pretty much knew already but certain events removed all doubt, and others I never even had a clue about.  But age brings wisdom, and with it a deeper understanding of our human complexities and simplicities, our machinations and our divine enlightenments, our morals, motivations, thought process, consciousness, habits, tendencies, values, dreams, goals, and failures.  Each of those discoveries helps us to be a more complete person, able to be who we need to be to whomever we need to be that way with.  That will keep us on the right path in life, seeking answers to the questions about who and why we are.

Someone once told me that I am the hardest person to live with.  Am I?  Aren't we all?  I've never heard anyone say "So and so is the easiest person to live with."  But take it from someone who has lived with me for 43 and a half years and has reveled in her dingy dinghy--I ain't so bad!