There are no ordinary days.
|Mr. T. doing his thing on an Extraordinary Evening.|
I bet you're wondering how in the wide blue sky am I going to tie up the loose ends of that last schizophrenic rant of a post, dueling voices in the head and all. I'm not even going to try. Que sera, sera. I just hope this post provides some sense of a satisfying resolution and/or a couple of good chuckles. That's the best I can do today. I'm running on fumes and I've been crying most of the morning about a childhood cancer called DIPG. Facebook. What are you gonna do?
So, the voices, yeah. These voices are the disembodied single phrases (or sometimes even soliloquies) that we either heard from others or said to ourselves that somehow got stuck in our craws, if you will. They sat without an exit or perhaps very little competition and sort of took on momentum and volume. I think of them as the hand sanitizer of the thought world. They kill all potential pathogens except .01% of the strongest and most virulent strains. These freaks of nature can then reproduce and spread without the mitigating influence of their natural (and some could say) symbiotic rivals. Some such that I have wrestled with my entire life include: "I am not good at math," "I'm a flake," "I'm not ____ enough, smart enough, interesting enough, accomplished enough, etc." BTW, questioning one's fundamental worthiness basically ensures the list will be infinite.
Do you have any floating around your head like free radicals just tearing the place to shreds? Do your kids?
Really what perfectionism does is that it shuts out hard work as a strategy for improvement. So your stuck in sucky town. Hell, if you're defeated going in, there ain't no point to killing yourself with a great deal of effort now is there?
I'm just starting to really, deeply and seriously question a lot of information that precludes me from having a nice life. I'm taking to task a bunch of memes that I carry around. Like only pretty is good. Only smart is good. Only the best deserve good. Real crap. Seriously. The reason I share this private stuff so freely is that I know I'm not alone (and not just because of all the company inside my head). I have noticed that as I do this and write about imperfection--in my imperfect and grammatically murderous way---I spark ire (unintentionally) in people who think that I am writing about, to or at them. I assure you, I am not. I am writing about my experience of being human, kind of OCD, a little broken, a lot lost---half a bubble off plumb, as they say in the trades. But I can always tell when I hit a nerve because the critics come out swinging.
So, anyway, when I spark ire of any kind, I always want to first ask myself if I did it subconsciously somewhat intentionally. If the answer is 'no', then I ask, 'what really got at the people? What was the rub, the sliver, the poke, the irritant? Where did it catch them?' Most often the reactions happen when I hit people square in the "ordinarys."
The war on ordinary
I want to make it okay for myself and others to just be myself and themselves. I would like to offer up a space to be ordinary. I know when I read that I think ech ordinary. That sounds like fake vanilla pudding. (But have you ever had fake vanilla pudding with nilla wafers? Delish). Everybody wants to be extraordinary and everybody seems ashamed to be plain.
I saw a beautiful sight last evening in the parking lot at Plum Market. It reminded me that there is no such thing as ordinary, not really. There were these two women, tallish, big boned, late 50s early 60s. They were talking by the cart return area out in the middle of the parking lot---really talking intently. I watched them from my side view mirror before exiting the truck because they were so...so...so incredibly beautiful! Yes I said it. Two large-boned, heavy set, unadorned, unmade-up women of a-certain-age were stunning and exceedingly compelling to behold.
They both had longish mostly silver hair. One wore it up, the other down. One had a skirt and one some capri pants. One had a turquoise purse, one had broken-in turquoise crocs. The other had a deep red purse plopped down in the little seat of her cart. They looked as if they just came out of their respective gardens as they chatted over the one lady's shopping cart. Perhaps it was about the football sized dahlias they had found at the farmer's market or the day lilies about to bloom. Only they know the subject. The color of their clothing coupled with the colors in the sky and the colors in their cheeks told a refreshing story that our culture of boobs, bikinis, billboards and Kardashians so often overlooks or drowns out: The story of ordinary beauty of people going about the ordinary business of ordinary lives.
It hit me that you can't really be extra-ordinary until you master the ordinary.
And that is no mean feat.