Things I’d like to see in 2015

  1. The end of white people claiming with desperate earnestness, “I don’t see color.” So many things wrong with that statement, I dare say, I can’t even.
  2. Jumpsuits. More jumpsuits. Everywhere. Except the kind that implies penal incarceration.
  3. Smut written by skilled, feminist writers. (Note: the gender and sexuality are not specified intentionally.)
  4. Whiskey rain storms. Preferably Woodford. Get on that, Jesus.
  5. The end to the necessity for lists on dating website profiles saying obvious things like, “Do not contact me if you want me to be your mom” or “Do not ever tell someone you have packed an overnight bag just in case.”
  6. Less “I don’t give a fuck” and more “I give the appropriate level of fucks most days because I’m a decent human being”.
  7. A study done to determine how cats make themselves 100x heavier when they are laying on a blanket you are “sharing”.
  8. For someone to call me a “mega babe”. I would also accept being grouped in with some “super babes”. I happen to know a lot of super babes so this seems more likely. Though none of them are in their early 20’s, so perhaps not.
  9. Any politician who makes blatantly incorrect claims about, say, climate change and does not within a few hours correct themselves publicly will immediately be removed from office. Kid President or Ellen Degeneres can take over until someone suitable replaces the former putz.
  10. Art trades that don’t involve me apologizing a million times for being such a slack ass about it. (I’m not going to start by apologizing again, but I will say that I have not forgotten those I owe work.)
  11. An orchid that survives.
  12. More singing. I love to sing. Did you know that? Probably not. It’s a secret. I don’t want it to be a secret anymore.
  13. For people to actually read their emails instead of skimming over them and making the whole effort at communication ineffectual for both parties.
  14. To come up with answer to “what do you want to do?” that is more than just “be a mermaid”.
  15. Three C’s: Curiosity, Compassion, and Courage. From me. From you. From everyone.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Birthday Thoughts

I’m skipping the Art Domestic post this month because today happens to be my birthday.

Quite unexpectedly, I woke up sick this morning and spent half my birthday in bed. Also unexpectedly, this did not particularly upset me beyond the physical discomfort of expelling bodily fluids a little over-enthusiastically. I did what one might do for their birthday anyway — I read, watched something entertaining, napped, and pet my cats.

I also spent a lot of time thinking about my relationships, perhaps because my Facebook page was blowing up with messages and well-wishing comments, or because my husband bought me a really moving album that makes my soul tingle like its about to be struck by lightning, or because my dad called and I received flowers from my in-laws. And about 10 minutes ago, I received an email from a very dear friend of mine.

It tipped me over from thoughts without shape to word-shaped thoughts. Thoughts that reflect a wealth of feeling I am most often incapable of expressing. A sincerity that I am often questioning into exhaustion, and for the moment I have decided to follow without reservation.

While reading Hicksville this morning, I came across a passage in which the character Grace is described: “I thought her strong – hardened, wiser. But now I think it was fear: the appearance of strength people have when they’ve grown accustomed to fear.”

It struck close. I paused and then kept reading.

As it often happens when something is haunting your thoughts and feelings, other external situations and moments point back to it.

When I think about my relationships with people that I love, it seems that primarily what may make them difficult to love or to feel loved by is the prevalence of fear. Fearful people are difficult to love, find it difficult to love. The performance of unwavering strength and control is too exhausting yet self-sustaining to allow much spontaneity.

And what is love if not spontaneous?

I didn’t really know how afraid I was until my life stabilized and I was with someone who loved me fearlessly, recklessly. The tools I had sharpened during a decade or so of fear and uncertainty culminating in painful explosive bursts were not needed with him. I still tried to use them, and he pointed out the failings of my self-designed certainty, which also reflected the issue in friends and family. I found myself in a new context and it was, at first, crippling.

Only at first.

I have a lot more love in my life than I used to, in part because of psychoanalysis and knowing some truly amazing people, but also because I have come to want to be more than just strong (read: fearful). I want to be brave enough to love. I want to be brave enough to be sincere.

No one can give that to me. I can’t buy it for myself. And having it once does not mean I will have it always. I have to work at it, constantly. Thankfully, the shifting context in which I shape myself allows for more bravery and sincerity. It has to. It’s dark and uncertain.

And I have never felt a deeper appreciation for other people in their nuanced, weird, uncomfortable, unknown, fearful, vulnerable, courageous beauty. I won’t be able to keep this moment, but I have it now.

Thank you.