Posts tagged quotes
Posts tagged quotes
I have an ongoing battle with myself.
I love to be busy, working on projects with purpose that require attention to detail, focus and pushing beyond what you’ve done into something new. Challenges are essential to my happiness since striving for better and more seems ingrained in my DNA. It is a default setting where status quo is not satisfactory and striving for better is obvious. The people around me at work and most of my friends are the same way - Type A through and through.
And yet, the high school stoner in me just wants to chill out, take it easy, let things be as they are and accept life as it comes. Take a minute, or a few hours, and let life wash over you as you sit on a couch watching Mad Men, drinking cocktails and conversing with friends. I love doing that too, and often wish life was an endless string of days with nothing on the agenda that I’m required to do, that the world is my oyster with nothing but time to read and write and explore at my own pace.
When that time and space does present itself it doesn’t take long for me to return to Type A mode, requiring me to align my self worth with a project which has structure and a goal. As soon as that takes hold of me again, I wish for the other side of the fence, where I just was, where the grass was greener.
The grass is green on both sides of my fence. Is that a problem? It seems to be, at least right now. If I can’t know how tall I am, so to speak, until I’m in over my head, in the weeds on one side of the fence, how will I ever be happy in the wide open meadows on the other side?
I’m pretty much the only person in the world facing this conundrum, to feel this contradictory push and pull from life. Or maybe (definitely) not…. I realize others share this internal battle, that I’m not alone in feeling torn, not able to thoroughly enjoy and immerse myself in the journey, instead often only seeing the destination. I know I need to improve in this area, and it is not easy. I need people around me to help with that, encourage that in me, show me how it’s done and support me when I attempt balance which I know will feel off-balance to me. But most people are consumed with their own journey and similar balancing acts, with even more things pulling on them. And yet, I feel I can’t do this on my own, that I do need support to make my way through the discomfort of the work it will take to balance the elements of my life.
I’ve been aware of this issue for a while - at least since high school meltdowns when I wanted to do it ALL and could not, just could not, try as I might. The stakes felt crushing then, and now that I’m a responsible adult they haven’t lessened, only increased. And I want to add more to my plate, but need to get better at making room for it all and enjoying everything as I do it, in the moment, and give myself permission to be where I am. I do know how tall I am. I check that all the time, but I don’t need to every single day and I need to understand there is more than one way to know how tall I am, there are many ways to measure one’s self.
Our upcoming trip to Europe will be a good palate cleanser, allowing me to reset and refresh. I need to be dedicated to making a life change, a conscious shift, in how I approach things when we return. I need to stop talking about this problem I have, asking other for advice and allowing myself to feel a victim of my own plethora of wonderful options in life. I need to know how tall I am because I KNOW, not because I’m measuring myself against something. It won’t be easy, but let’s see if I can prove this T.S. Eliot quote wrong and be my own measure of myself as a woman. And who better to learn that from than Europeans with their afternoon siestas, eating baguettes by the Seine and lingering in cafes watching the world go by. I am ready to be taught, and to teach myself, learning as I go.
It has recently been suggested that I should work on the way I present myself. I come across as, well, negative. Because one rarely gets constructive criticism presented directly to their face, especially the kind you know is being imparted from a well-meaning source, it is important to seriously consider.
As the wise words on the paperweight above suggest, you should always be yourself. One should really focus on finding success as themselves because, as the Oscar Wilde saying goes, everyone else is taken. But is there a place between being your authentic self and presenting that self in a way which is palatable to others, as a means to an end?
In thinking about my alleged negativity, I returned to my childhood dinner table where in order to stand out you needed to share one heck of a story. I recall crafting my news of the day as the tale of an underdog success. After a challenging time studying for a Spanish test, tons of other work (who assigns three chapters of Moby Dick in one night?!) and spending hours at an away basketball game we didn’t even win, I still achieved a C+ on that evil Spanish test: my best grade yet that semester. My C+ news would never compete with the achievements of my siblings sharing the table, so I spun a truth highlighting my triumph against adversity. This was hardly necessary all the time (I had my own successes), but wasn’t good news that much better when it came after an explanation of obstacles overcome?!
I wonder if it was then that I got in the bad habit of making my actions look better by contrasting them against the potential disaster that might have been. Over time maybe I felt my successes, which did not come as a result of pulling off a feat as amazing as leaping tall buildings while being chased by Godzilla, but rather genuine skills I acquired from hard work and practice, still could not stand on it’s own. I wanted the situation to almost fall apart only to rise again from the ashes to great success - giving chapters of my life the arc of a movie. It makes sense that someone as obsessed with movies as I am would unconsciously link her own life to a typical film structure.
Or maybe I’m over thinking it all. Maybe I just need to learn to read the room better and not be so jibber-jabbery (as my husband accurately describes me sometimes). Maybe there’s a way to focus on the positive and let the negative go, releasing the qualifiers. Maybe in doing that I will reveal a more authentic me.
I want to get this and frame it for our bedroom so we can always remember that the love we share with one another makes us who we are.
I am concerned about many of the political issues being examined in this, and every, presidential campaign. While not a very political person, I do want to be informed and aware of what’s happening in the government that leads the country I live in. I accept that I will disagree with many choices our president, congress and justices will make. That’s all part of the system; you can’t win every argument and other points of view are valid.
If I were to vote on one issue, it would be a woman’s right to choose. That issue is the line in the sand for me. I do not want the government to tell me what I can and cannot do with my body. I don’t want them to dictate what my sisters or the high school student I mentor or my niece can do with their bodies. Period.
The issues goes well beyond the women’s right to choose. It is an example of how our health and medical matters are managed in this country. Reform is needed and women’s health is one item on a long list of issues to be addressed. It also directly relates to education. Anyone who chooses to have a child should be able to have the opportunity to educate them, well. Let’s start with these and other reforms to take care of the people who exist and who need their government to support not merely their existence in this country, but support their right to a successful, healthy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Feel free to disagree with me. That’s fine. I’m not trying to convince you of anything, but merely want to share my personal opinion. It comes from my knowledge and experience of the real world around me. Thankfully many people have said what I am thinking better than I ever could and today I share their words with me.
If I ever choose to have a child I hope she or he will have the full rights any American, any human, deserves to have. This is a two way street - all people are created equal. I will vote for choice and equality on November 6, 2012.
"As I reached the crest of the hill, a rap-rock band was playing. The justification for rap rock seems to be that if you take really bad rock and put really bad rock over it, the result is somehow good, provided the raps are being barked by an overweight white guy with cropped hair and forearm tattoos. The women from those few little farmhouses had gathered at their fence; they leaned and mumbled and dangled their canes. One of them was one of the oldest-looking old people I have ever seen, with stiff white hair and that face, like the inside of a walnut shell, that only truly ancient women get. She and her friends were actually listening to the rap rock, and part of me wanted to run over to them and assure them that after they died, there would still be people left in the world who knew how horrifying this music was, and that these people would transmit their knowledge to carefully chosen members of future generations, but the ladies did not appear worried. They were even laughing. I’m sure they remembered traveling circuses in the field in eighteen ninety something, and what was the difference, really?"
“It’s no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently or if your favorite films wouldn’t even speak to each other if they met at a party.” —Nick Hornby
“Women don’t want to hear what you think. Women want to hear what they think— in a deeper voice.” —Bill Cosby
“Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go its pretty damn good.” —Woody Allen
“Sex is like air; it’s not important unless you aren’t getting any.” —John Callahan
“Seems to me the basic conflict between men and women, sexually, is that men are like firemen. To men, sex is an emergency, and no matter what we’re doing we can be ready in two minutes. Women, on the other hand, are like fire. They’re very exciting, but the conditions have to be exactly right for it to occur.” —Jerry Seinfeld