Thanks for being here.
I’ve had a bunch of new posts churning around in my mind for several months – new posts for this new blog. I’d given thought to starting out by writing something shiny and motivating and positive. As much as I’d like to focus on that side of me, it’s just not where I am every day.
At least I’m honest.
I tend to gravitate to the intense or the darkly funny. (I avoid scary at all costs, if I can.) Sometimes I get on Pinterest and pin to manifest a new life by the beach with a stack of books and a beverage. When I read, it’s most often about how to sort out the human drama and make sense of why things happen the way they do.
Recently, Jen and I were discussing the fact that humans are riddled with contradictions. I’m no different.
I do like motivational quotes, but we’ve been force-fed those for so long that we become desensitized to them. Maybe that’s just me? Take a rock, a babbling brook, add a quote from some guru and magically your life will change. I don’t think so.
I do know, that every day brings an opportunity to learn something that helps us along our way. Maybe it’ll be something positive. If we’re lucky, it’s an exchange with another who might be working to make progress along his or her own path.
Sometimes we’ll be presented with something funny. Yesterday, I used the restroom at the ski hill. A mom was helping her four-year-old use the potty and wash her hands. Her daughter was resisting the process. Each time her mom urged, the daughter replied by meowing. The mom was clearly frustrated, and the daughter replied to her mom’s frustration by saying, “Meow, meow,” which clearly made the mom more frustrated. As they turned to walk out of the restroom, the girl looked at me and meowed. I meowed back.
It occurs to me that I could use that approach with more things in life.
This morning I read this line from J K Rowling’s, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:
“He only knew that he did not want to see their looks of horror; that would make the whole thing seem worse and therefore more difficult to face.”
Immediately, I thought of children.
I thought of all the things kids might experience, and the hard decisions they make when figuring out which of those experiences they might discuss. Whether they choose to discuss with friends or family or their teacher, doesn’t matter. If only they’d bring that stuff out in the open, they might get the support they need, or they’d learn that others are frightened by the same thing, and that they aren’t weird for being afraid.
And I thought of adults, who are really just kids with responsibilities. I thought of the things adults refuse to discuss because they are afraid that if the light shines on what they have to deal with, they won’t have the strength to continue dealing. How many are buried under the weight of stuff they think they can’t handle? Of course there is risk in bringing their stuff to light, but if they don’t, how can they ever be met with understanding, or an offer of help?
Maybe we need to be the vulnerable girl in the restroom who doesn’t care what anyone thinks. We need to risk meowing to see if anyone meows back.
And, perhaps more importantly, when we hear a meow, we need to look up from our phone, put down the latte, and acknowledge the person brave enough to meow.
On that note, I’m going to meow at this messy house, and go back to reading Harry Potter.