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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Revelations in Weird Places...

It's been a  few days since my last post, but that's what happens when the Real World gets a little crazy. Life in the RW will always take priority over anything I do in the digital world, and there was plenty of life being lived this weekend.

Friday night I saw a couple of bands at a local bar, the headliner being Company of Thieves. I'm no great critic of music, so I will say that I liked them and their style switches up enough to keep me interested. Other than that, you'll have to listen to them on your own to decide if you like them.

The night ended as most good nights do, with a group of friends and I sitting in IHOP at 2 a.m making the waitstaff and other late-night patrons laugh with the random shit that comes out of our mouths. None of us were drinking coffee or smoking cigarettes, and not a damn one of us was being ironic. So foist off the image that only hipsters sit in pancake houses during the wee hours of the morning. It's the great experience that every 20-something living in America should experience. No pressure to be cool or be hard, just good times with friends, fried foods, and pancakes.

Saturday was much more mellow, the highlight of my day being time spent with my little sister. And when I say little, I mean it. My sister is more than a decade my junior, so it's almost like hanging out with a niece or nephew, but much harder because she is my sister and there are certain things sisters do that we just can't. We can't swap clothes, we can't share gossip, and there is no way in hell that she'll come to me for boyfriend advice. But she is my little sister and the time we spend together is always enjoyable. And while I was out and about with her, a shocking revelation came to light. Well to say that it was sudeen would be a lie. It was more like little bits and pieces of information had been floating around in my brain and finally came to rest together in one spot. An esoteric coral reef had been growing in my head:

I'm actually becoming the person I want to be.

When I was younger I would look at my mother and say "gee, I wish I could be more like her." As I got older I became more like my mother at the same time that I realized my mother was not perfect and maybe, just maybe, there were certain ways in which I wanted to be very different. Adding to that conundrum was the inevitable comparisons I made between myself and others my own age. Am I as smart as they are? Am I as socially graceful? Do I look as grown up? More often than not the answers were all no, and I felt like an immature ugly duckling annoying all the swans as they turned beautiful and became important. This feeling plagues me even now, that not nearly as strongly as it once did. Most of the time I feel that I am doing alright. Not an ugly duckling by not a swan. And then there are days like today, where I get a glimpse of my life beyond the moment I am living in and I realize that I am on the right path.

Little things usually provide these insights, things that most people would consider stupid and trivial. The discovery of my personal decorating style, the completion of a rather arduous novel I promised myself I would read, even the successful creation of a new recipe. None of these things seem world-changing and I doubt that most people would put nearly as much value on them as I do. I place so much value on them that I look for any opportunity to try something new. And it has paid off. While I was out with my sister I thought of the sweater I am about to start knitting, my first attempt at a sweater. I thought about the gorgeous blue-green pine color of the yarn, the classic "off the shoulder" neck line, the thick wool I was knitting it with... and I realized that the sweater was not something a teenager would knit for herself. It is not something a child would knit for herself. It is the garment of a young woman who wants something warm and just a little sexy to wear during the god-awful winter months in the American Midwest. Something to brighten up her day when she wears it... I had been thinking like a women when I chose that pattern.

This realization had rocked me enough that I sat down. One of the reasons I am so often unsure of myself is because I feel like I do not think like a "real" adult, but more like an overgrown teenager. DH has argued with me over this more than once, asking me what qualified as a real adult in a world where eighty year old men and women can do the most juvenile of things. I can never explain it to him, most often leaving him frustrated and me perplexed at my own inability to explain the world view in my head. But today was different. Today, had he been awake, I could have explained it to him. A real adult does things for themselves, not because other people think they should. That is not to say that real adults are selfish bastards. On the contrary, they have a moral set that includes their actions' impacts on other people and they weigh them accordingly. But for years I have judged even the smallest things in my life according to what others would think. Should I wear this, should I use that slang term, is this something too dorky to spend my time on... the bullies I faced throughout elementary and secondary school were always in my head, reminding me of the loser they thought I was.

But not any more. Today I forgot they had ever existed and I lived in a moment that was all for me. I made a choice and applied my energies to something because I know I will love the way it turns out, the way it makes me feel and look. Today I healed myself of at least one old wound I never thought I would be rid of. It might reopen, it might not, but for now it is closed tight and I am at peace.

Who ever said self-reflection didn't work?

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