You know those few moments of clarity that happen somewhere between being awake and asleep? Like when you’re dropping off to sleep and suddenly realize that you’re being a little too needy lately, or as you’re waking up in the morning, you realize someone boldly, unapologetically lied to your face yesterday?
Today, as I was waking up and starting my day, much like other days, the first thing I did was read Kate McKinnon’s Journal. Kate’s positivity, raw honesty and perseverance of life and her craft/art/medium, whatever you prefer to call it, have been some of my bright spots for several years now. In one of yesterday’s entries, she says:
It’s so beautiful outside that I have to be careful not to be overwhelmed with some sort of Spring Fever. I want to dive into the garden in a frenzy, take a hike, fall in love, eat a cupcake, and dance in a ball gown, all at once. With sparkles.
In today’s moment of waking clarity, as I read her words, I realized just what a cynic I am. I didn’t say to myself “gawd, what a frou-frou” like most dyed-in-the-wool cynics might say, but rather, “why can’t I feel that way about life?” I feel too exposed when I go outside, I’d never wear a ball gown, and I’d be too guarded to fall in love ever again. (The sparkles sound good, though.) Granted, it isn’t 70 degrees here. Perhaps I’d feel differently if it were. If I could open the windows and hear the birds and see the cats’ tails twitching at the windowsills, yes, I might feel differently, indeed. Meanwhile, back at the end of February, not in balmy Arizona… the other night, for MY blog, I wrote a long, 3 paragraph diatribe about how irritated I am by the Olympics, but ultimately opted not to post such unbridled blasphemy about one of the world’s most favorite things. And since I’ve been particularly cynical/negative/realistic lately, (most optimists find those descriptors to be interchangeable) I figured it wouldn’t hurt to keep those thoughts to myself.
Yesterday, I took a quick trip to the mall to try a perfume that smelled so fantastic on someone that I actually stopped her and asked what it was. (turns out it was Calvin Klein Euphoria, and it’s definitely a keeper – that says a lot, since I’m incredibly picky about perfume. I’m saving my pennies for it). On my way out of the mall, I stopped by Bath & Body Works just to see what they had in the way of lotions and EDT sprays, since The Body Shop has discontinued almost their entire line of EDT and perfume oils. Which is really silly, since The Body Shop’s were some of the best, and about the only EDT’s and oils I could wear. People would stop ME and ask me what I was wearing, and generally, it was a combination of Patchouli and Spirit of Moonflower, or Patchouli and Lemon Tea, or Woody Sandalwood and Spirit of Moonflower – all from The Body Shop. Anyway, at Bath and Body Works, the lady asked me if she could help with anything, and went on to tell me about their special on candles. “Do you like candles?” she asked. I looked her right in the face and replied “Hate ’em. They cause fires.” I guess I was so direct and deadpan that she did a double take, and so did the guy standing a few feet from her. I wasn’t rude, I never am, but she DID ask, and I’m not going to lie and say that I Love candles when I don’t. Once she composed herself, her reply was “aww, that’s sad.” Seriously, though. How many times have you turned on the news and saw a story about a horrible housefire caused by candles? THAT is what’s SAD. Best case scenario, the wax ends up everywhere and they reek when you blow them out. No thanks.
So why am I such a cynic? I’ve always been that way, even as a kid, but I’m far worse in recent years. I don’t really have a good excuse for it, I’ve had an easy life. Nothing traumatic has happened to me. Nobody I loved ever wronged me too terribly, including my parents. The worst complaint I could possibly have about growing up is the fact that I was constantly grounded during high school. I probably needed it, because I could not have cared less about school and maybe mom’s reasoning was that if were at home more, I’d be bored enough to do my homework. Mom and Dad divorced when I was about 2 or 3, and I was definitely upset about it for a while, but it didn’t scar me for life or anything. My step-dad and I didn’t get along when I was young, and I didn’t realize why until Grandma Wood (mom’s mom) pointed out to me that I might have had a hard time adjusting to him because he was just so different from my dad. (Dad mumbles gently and Bruce is loud and emphatic.) So I can’t exactly understand why I have such a hard time trusting anyone, besides basic common sense. The closer they get, the more ensconced in my life they want to become, the less I trust them and their motivations until they’ve proven themselves innocent. Not worthy, but innocent. Working at home and doing business by email and web sales is perfect for someone like me, but then again, I have to wonder if I’m more this way because I’m not around people as often, and simply have a lower tolerance for humanity’s BS?
So, right after I read Kate’s journal, I checked Sarah Hornik’s blog, The Glass Slipper, for the first time in a couple of weeks. I really should read it more often, because whenever I read Sarah’s blog, I always feel perfectly okay to be me – my cynical, negative, unapproachable self. Not that she’s cynical, negative or unapproachable, per se, but I could certainly imagine her not lying to that clerk at Bath & Body Works, either. Sarah Hornik possesses a different kind of raw honesty that I admire: a straightforward “I REFUSE to read a Harry Potter book or see the movie Avatar” that leaves me wanting for nothing but brutal honesty and abrasive sarcasm, and feeling the courage to go ahead and meticulously outline my own refusal to get sucked into the hype machine. (And, yes, to release my tirade about how much I can’t STAND the Olympics. Let’s be honest now. I’m not just irritated by the Olympics. I absolutely cannot STAND them.) I feel like I have a few things in common with Sarah – people get an eyeful of our bright, happy and colorful beads and an earful of melancholy nitpicking about life and stuff we don’t like. That contradiction confounds some people to the point of scaring them away permanently. Again, I’m not saying Sarah H is a pisser or a moaner, in fact, I’m not sure how she’d feel if she read this, but hey, I’m just being me: honest to the point of tacky. I’ve got nothing but love for Sarah Hornik.
Look. I love beads, obviously. I love animals. I love good art, Andy Griffith, and stuff that doesn’t suck. And Kate McKinnon and Sarah Hornik, evidently. I really do LIKE and LOVE a lot of things. I do care about people, but prefer to do so from a distance so that they can’t get close enough to tromp all over my life. People DO that, and with wreckless abandon, and if you stand up to them, you’re a jerk. I’d rather just forget the whole thing and be happy. For reasons I don’t understand, I tend to be a more emphatic and opinionated about the stuff I don’t like. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, or understand me, or even like me, but at some point, I would like to find some agreement, liking or understanding within my own self.
Spiritual Dudes, grant me the maturity to cheerfully accept the stuff that sucks, the ability to better appreciate the stuff that doesn't suck, and the werewithal to make it out of here without going completely insane first.
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