Saturday, December 18, 2010

Writers write for all kinds of reasons...

I write because it clears my head and helps me think things out rationally. I am not as good speaking what is on my mind as I am writing it. I do what I know how to do and I know I do it well. What I write isn't always rational or reasonable but it is honest. If I can't be honest, then what is the point? I'm doing this for me, it's good therapy and I don't have to pay for it. One of the fringe benefits is that occasionally I have something to say that actually helps someone else. I find that simply amazing.

Looking out the window right now it is dreary, gray, cold and damp. Given that information you may likely assume that whatever I'm about to write is the result of weather-related depression. I assure you it is not. Or maybe it is and I am in denial. If I say it's weather-related, that implies what I am feeling is not real, just a side effect. I do not know what has provoked today's thoughts but weather-related or not, they are my thoughts and as such, they are real. Very real, at least to me.

I used to laugh and call this thing I'm going through a mid-life crisis but really I don't think it's a crisis. A crisis implies chaos and I've never been a chaotic person. I like "metamorphosis" because that implies slow change. And whatever this is--it is definitely slow change. But it's good slow change so I'm ok with it.  I didn't ask for the change, but I'm certainly not fighting it anymore. I feel like I'm slowly morphing into a better person and what could more could a person want? And fighting it? Phooey! Sometimes in life we just have to realize when and where we have control and when and where we don't. This is one of those moments and believe me I've learned over the years that fighting destiny never works. Besides, fighting it will make me chaotic, going with the flow ensures a smooth transition into whatever being I am about to become. Actually it's kind of fun watching the whole thing unravel. Now, it may be kind of fun for me, but certainly not for others! :)

With this change comes all sorts of interesting discoveries. I have discovered that there are things I once thought were important, are not important now.

Take politics for example. In regards tor political views I've changed quite a bit over the years. I'm not a liberal or a conservative, rather I'm an independent. When I was younger I was an idealistic Democrat, then I became an idealistic Republican. But then I realized I was neither. Oh don't get me wrong, I was always (and still am) idealistic, but I'm not either of those political persuasions. I hate being labeled left or right. I'm an Independent. Labeling myself as such fits my personality since as a Libra I've always been a compromise seeking, placating, centrist. I find that sometimes I agree with my Democrat friends, other times my Republican friends, and yet other times--neither. One thing I stay firm with through all the agreements and disagreements is my values. Those need not be compromised in order to agree or disagree. I have found that politics makes strange bedfellows and I love that I have so many friends from differing political views. I value my friendships and family relationships over politics any day.

I've also discovered that what I am looking for in people, especially friends, is far different. I accept fallibility now much more than I ever did before because I finally realized that there's no way I can be infallible. Human beings have weaknesses and faults, we make mistakes. This unhealthy search for perfection is insane because it doesn't exist. One thing that is important though that I look for are people who contribute to my life in positive ways, not negative. Anyone that brings me down gets kicked to the curb (in a nice way). Life is too short to be surrounded by people who bring me down. That is true, or at least it should be, for all of us. Think of our much better our lives would be if we just set aside the people who cause us the most pain. Not saying it's easy because there are times these are people you really care about. But...nobody is going to look out for you the way you will. And if you get one shot at life, you need to make it count. We all do.

Slowly but surely I am discovering that what I once wanted out of life is not what I want now. I've always had a problem deciding the course of my career path. I'm definitely a Libra, in an attempt to make a decision, we weigh everything carefully. Sometimes we weigh things so often we have a difficult time making any sort of decision. Anyway, I digress. On the "to be or not to be" list  I know now the "not to be" includes a few more things including teaching. I think it would be great to teach high school history but seriously, by the time I finish my degrees, by the time I get certified, I am not going to want to do it. Being a teacher also includes being a babysitter, referee, policeman, counselor and all kinds of stuff I just don't want to be. I really don't want to parent someone else's

Another of the great discoveries, though I don't think I can actually call it a discovery as much as I can call it just plain and simple old fashioned change. It's called speaking my mind, tactfully of course, but speaking it nonetheless. For years, the term speaking my mind was akin to the old muttering under my breath to mom as she sent me to my room (she always heard what we said!).  Speaking up isn't about just muttering under my breath "you suck" it's more like just telling people how you feel about things, about them. I'm no longer intimidated, not that I ever was but there were moments when I was concerned about speaking my mind for fear of retribution or loss of respect. Then I figured out people may actually respect you if you just be honest with them. When I am able to just speak my mind openly to someone about something that is bothering me, I feel like I can put the issue to rest and move on, without regret or harboring ill feelings. Life is too short to let stuff fester because you don't want to piss anyone off.

You know what? This is funny. I was just thinking...what problem was it I was trying to solve when I first began writing this post? I guess I must have solved it and didn't even realize it. LOL!


  1. Anonymous12/19/2010

    This is wonderfully written, Jessica. You have stated what many, if not most, people feel and perhaps do not know how to say or feel it!! If we weren't going through metamorphosis, or change, all the time, we would never become anything but what we originally were. Looking back, that is, to me, far more frightening than any change that might come my way!! I have always wanted to be a wife and mom and I got those wishes in Spades. When I started college in 1961`, I wanted "to be a teacher" with no idea what that meant. And to be truthful, at the time, we were never shown in college classes or student teaching what that really meant. I quit college twice, the second time with no intention of going back. But my Higher Power, however you identify that, had other plans and I ended up going back and graduating AND meeting my husband of 41+ years AND doing the kind of teaching I loved, which also prepared me for other jobs as we moved from place to place. Living in Alaska was NEVER on my "wish list", but it was on my husband's and we ended up living there for 22 incredible years! I am now retired and can truthfully say that, as I look back on my life, I regret nothing! I can see how every choice I made led me to another and so on, until here I am - a wife, a mom AND a grandmom - something I never even thought about as a young woman. Life is good and most of it due to our letting changes occur without a need to fight it!!

    Love you and your writings, Carol

  2. This post was such good therapy for me. I've been wondering why I feel so down lately. Is it the holidays? Is it missing Dad? I've read that people who have lost those they love tend to be depressed at this time of the year. I keep thinking back to what it used to be like having all of us together at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was always hectic, but there was a lot of love as well. I miss that, I miss Dad, and Grampa. I wonder if they miss being with us? I know this doesn't have a lot to do with your post, but you did get me to thinking, and that's good. Dad would want me to be happy, that's all he ever wanted. So maybe the best thing I can do is stay in the present and be thankful that I have my children, my mom, at 93, and my sister. And I'll always have Dad, Grampa, and the memories we made, in my heart.

  3. I've been up and down this past year for a number of reasons. Vin asked if I wanted to put up the Tree this year, I said no. I just have no desire to celebrate. Something is missing, sure dad is part of that but there's something much bigger.

    While we miss dad, we have to go on. It's either "get busy living or get busy dying" and while I hate quoting movie lines, it's soooo true. But it's not dad that's the issue for me, I can't pinpoint it. So I just figure whatever it is will rear it's ugly or not so ugly head eventually for me to conquer. Or maybe I'm doing that now.