Monday, November 21, 2005
Being SmallI just need to get this off my chest.
I am fucking tired of being small for people. I am tired of slowing down, waiting in the wings, slowing my pace.
I'm about to fly to Europe with my kids. I will be brushing elbows with fellow travelers, people who speak multiple languages, have navigated through space, who take multiple perspectives in politics and life and love as a given. They are comfortable in the larger world. I like people like this, who travel in the world, who travel in their thoughts, who walk with large long strides.
I am excited beyond words that I can introduce my children to this world, this larger world, this world where they, like me, are allowed to breathe and expand and grow and exalt.
I like London and Paris and New York. They are cities that makes me feel small in comparison. I feel awe there. I marvel at the art of Paris, the majesty of London. I can aspire to New York. I can feed off its energy, rather than the other way around.
I hate waiting around just because it makes people feel more comfortable around me. I hate seeming uncreative, unbrilliant, unsmart, just because it may make someone uncomfortable. And it's not that I'm always creative, brilliant and smart. It's just that keeping it small becomes a habit, and I hate that. I hate ratcheting my personality down to 10% just so people can feel less intimidated.
Everyone has heard this quote, but I'm putting it in this blog because it says it so so well. Mariane Williamson, from "A Return to Love" . . .
'Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we subconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.'
So there. I'm officially, publicly, sick of this shit.
# posted by Katherine Doughtie Nolan @ 2:02 PM 1 comments
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Badly Trained DogMy friend Carol is coming over in about an hour so we can go for a walk and breakfast. I was telling her to give me some time so I can write a blog. Help me, Carol, for I have sinned: it's been 20 days since my last blog.
I told her to give me a word, anything, to get me started. I don't have a clue, I said, on what to write about. So she gave me a list of suggestions:
(1) My deteriorating relationship with my ex and his girlfriend. (I'm intentionally calling them by their archtypal descriptors, since the disintegration between the three of us is, I'm pretty sure, archtypal in nature, and not personal).
(2) My mom's harrowing week in the hospital and the day I spent in the Hospital Zone eating cafeteria food and talking to people about their aneurysms and gall bladders. My relief (and trepidation) that she's going to be fine; with returning health comes all the anxieties of our normal relationship. Yes, there has been healing going on -- both internally and externally -- and now we're back to the same challenges, the same fears, the same possibilities for hurt and anger and pain.
(3) My upcoming trip to Europe with the boys, our excitement, my intense need to get out of town, blow up my life for ten days, get some perspective, some rejuvenation, some change. The visceral yearning I feel for that acceleration down the runway, the huge airplane hurtling so fast towards a new adventure that the wheels lift off and we're detached from this city, these people, the work, the gravity of it all.
(4) My life without a male partner, and how I seem to be grieving at a cellular level the demise of my last relationship, and (while I'm at it) every relationship I've ever been in. Mourning not because it's over but mourning because every coupling between two people is so fraught with sadness and joy and danger and uncertainty. How it seems that no pairing is ever successful, or (if it is) how it's temporary and fragile and intrinsically very weird. How nothing is what it seems, and how people hide between a facade of one thing while underneath they are swarming with irritation, frustration, pent up needs, secret lives, hideous consuming anger.
It's not like I have nothing to write about, I told Carol. There are so many things happening all the time that I've had no time to process. And nothing's coming up and grabbing me by the throat and forcing me to get it out like it sometimes does. Sometimes ideas assail me and I feel like a shaky hostage, writing the ransom note with trembling hands, hoping I get it right enough that it will stop breathing down my neck and taking over my life. These days, the creative tyrant within me is sitting back and pouting. It's like a badly-trained dog, I told Carol. I've ignored it for so long that it's refusing to jump through hoops, refusing to do any of the tricks I've come to rely on for so long.
I went out with a group of friends last night. We went to Old Town -- the skid row of my childhood -- and hung out in a loud crowded salsa bar. It was filled with huge video screens, a great sound system and people dressed for a night of dancing, drinking and romance. It was not a place I'd be in these days, except for by suggestion of someone else. I don't have a guy to squire me around the night life. I don't have the clothing to swish and sway in. I don't have the energy to do anything with my hair except keep it long or throw it back in a... something. I don't even know what it is my hair does when it's back. I'm completely out of whack with all those niceties.
I think I managed to get out of my sweats. But that was about it. I met up with a group of friends... and some of their friends. Everyone seemed smart and interesting and funny and creative. I had just come from (more) feeling bad about my ex and his girlfriend, (more) grieving about lost loves, (more) work at the office, (more) bookkeeping hell on the book and (less) creative endeavors on my own. My friends introduced me to their friends as someone who was "super cool." Someone who had just written a book. I slumped on my trendy little low stool (chairs with backs were not part of the decor) and nibbled at the designer tapas and strained to hear the things they were saying about me and wondered... who the hell are they talking about, and how the hell did I get to this place?
My badly trained dog is out wandering in the world. I don't have the grounding of writing the book anymore. I don't have the safety net of a boyfriend. Things are happening to me with such rapid-fire intensity that I just long for the safety of my bed at night.
Yes, the bed is empty and large. And of course I look forward to some nocturnal adventures again. And yet I look at my relationships with my girlfriends, whom I love more with every passing day, and I look at my life which is still consumed with more work than three people should reasonably be expected to undertake, and I look at the things that are still all in upheaval, and I realize that no, the next set of adventures are still yet to come. They are still in the future. We have no room right now, my bad dog and me. We are still coming to terms with each other.
The dog bites strangers these days. The dog doesn't want to obey me. The dog is itchy and can't relax into its proper place.
I am going to foreign lands. This will make that bad dog happy. I am going to see new things and think new thoughts. That will calm us both down.
Sometimes things are just in upheaval, I guess. Sometimes life moves too quickly. I want to take that dog on a walk this morning as I stroll towards breakfast with Carol. The exercise will do us all some good.
# posted by Katherine Doughtie Nolan @ 8:20 AM 0 comments