When I’m feeling blue and my energy is seeping away through every pore, my mind drifts in seemingly random directions… Outside my window, a scrum of unruly teens all engaged in distracting an ice-cream truck driver just long enough to make away with the frozen contents of his freezer – The bluest of skies plays host to two remarkably poodle-shaped clouds which I am fixated on until they join together to become one far less interesting wooly blob. Aimlessly, I begin counting and then recounting the grey and white tiles on the floor that appear to have faces embedded in their splatter pattern. I snap back to earth feeling out of sorts. Nothing is wrong but nothing stands out as a game changer either. The feeling is grey and foggy, shrouded like a mid-March morning. Stephen Hawking suddenly makes his presence known. WHAT? He recently died after a fifty-year battle with ALS. Truly unheard of… He’s looking straight at me. Piercing intelligence darting from his eyes. He is snaggle-toothed, shriveled and deformed and so much a part of our collective memory. He’s a genius, plucky and resolute to go beyond the body that has been determined to thwart him. He is a true seeker. A puzzle solver and door opener, never a complaint, just acceptance and indefatigable determination. Why is he here? Why is he so focused on me? Is he an angel? Is he my angel? Is he here to slap me upside my head? How dare I feel sorry for myself? How dare I think I have any real problems? I have four functioning limbs, a strong spine, along with a relatively good head on my shoulders. Nothing compared to the great and brilliant apparition looking into my very soul. My revelation comes like a blast of wintery air. He is here. I am to look at him – really look at his shriveled body and see that my problems are not problems. They aren’t even challenges. They are the bumps on the road of life. That’s it. That’s all. I have everything. I’m just low on gratitude for all the gifts I already possess.
Thank you Mr. Hawking for reminding me.
I am a bold faced resister. I march for human rights. I stand for anti-war, anti-violence, the right to choose, equal rights. I push back against cruelty, abuse of power, bullying, senior care, poverty, and injustice of all kinds. Resistance is in my DNA. I am proud to take a stand for the principles I live by.
There is however another kind of resistance. It’s the one that lives inside me and it is far less admirable. This resistance is the kind that doesn’t stand up but rather slinks around the dark corners of my psyche. It creeps to the forefront when it brushes up against all the things I don’t like or understand. Things I am clueless about routinely get shoved deep into a dark, cobwebby part of my brain. If I can’t easily dismantle a problem and Google has failed to illuminate me, I shut down. I feel that resistance creep up my spine into my head and virtually turn off the lights, leaving me so in the dark that the problem can no longer be seen. These problems are never moral matters. They are often the most basic of needs that elude me. A fuse goes out. I am inept at locating which one therefore I sit in the dark until the cavalry arrives. Christmas lights that have become impossibly tangled causing me to fling them across the room, inevitably breaking them beyond repair. Computer issues that create head banging frustration. Being kept on hold, only to be disconnected and thrown back into the loop owned by the most evil of dark lords leaves me close to weeping. Bills mounted up that have taken up residence in a drawer of denial. - A metaphor for passivity, bordering on coma-like resistance.
It’s in those times that I pray for a brawl between two six years olds that I can insert myself into, or catching an irate driver unjustly picking on a defenseless crossing guard for slowing down his commute to let an old woman make her way across the street. That’s the resistance that calls out to me…
I am the CEO of me, the COO and the CTDEE (Chick That Does Everything Else) I’m not complaining. But wait, that’s coming…
I like being in charge of me…Its my life. I know what I want. I didn’t always but I have been around long enough to have taken bad advice and not always taken the good stuff because I didn’t know the difference. I didn’t yet know me. I was Plasticine in the hands of others, being molded one way and then pulled apart and reshaped over and over again until I was a muddled and misshapen.
I know this, being clear about what it is you want to get and give back to this life, takes many stumbles, many dead-ends until a path becomes opens up before you. That’s what happened to me. I dipped my toe into so many pools that I became confused. I have been a dress designer, an actress, a writer, a producer and an entrepreneur. I loved it all. I took on everything. I was pretty good at so much of it but I discovered to my shock and horror that I couldn’t be brilliant at everything. That old adage began ringing so loudly, Jack-of-all-trades, a master of none. It’s a humbling moment. As a natural born multi-taker I thrive on creating. But there were hard lessons to learn and my battle on giving up anything was in fact holding me back. I couldn’t understand that I couldn’t do ten things at one time without more than few of them suffering from my split-screen attention span. A watered down talent is not much of a talent. My ephiany was learning when to say yes and when to say no and accepting that some things had to go.
It was the best thing to happen to me. I stopped trying to be everything to everyone and decided to find out what mattered the most to me. Now I do no more than three things at a time and don’t take on anything else until I have finished one making room for another.