Ok, you know how everyone’s doing this ice bucket challenge right now to raise awareness for ALS? Well I got challenged by a friend at work and I was a little stressy about it. I don’t have a backyard, who’s gonna film it if my hubby is working, why did she have to pick me? While this is all stewing in my over cluttered brain, a colleague at work, someone I didn’t knew, got struck and killed by a drunk driver crossing the street to get a cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts, something I do all the time. I decide, instead of ALS to donate to Mothers Against Drunk Driving in his name. So, I film myself giving this heartfelt speech about how I’m not gonna pour ice water on my head and blah, blah, blah, and I think I’m off the hook. Oh no. You cannot believe how many people called me chicken!! I’m being all heartfelt and meaningful and…chicken? Now, I know I’m being teased with a lot of love, but there is a kernel of truth. Everybody wants to look good, accomplished, beautiful, interesting. Social Media ratchets that up a thousand percent. Look how great I am, look at what I do, who I’m with, where I’ve been. No cracks in the facade. I hate being made to look foolish. Hate it. It’s the reason I was a good actress, not a great one. I believe the talent was there. The ability to let go 100% and possibly make a complete ass of myself was not. So maybe there is a part of me that just didn’t want to look like a big drowned rat on Facebook. But as I watched one of the loveliest young women I know get doused, I was dazzled by her huge smile and I thought, ‘chicken, huh?’ So I grabbed my husband, corralled our super to hold the phone and made an ass of myself. But as I watched myself get soaked, I also saw the big dazzling smile. The cracks in the facade? Beautiful.
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. I should be locked up. Seriously, how many times am I gonna order a free trial of something and not pay attention to the fine print that says I have 14 days to cancel or I will be charged a zillion dollars. How many times am I gonna threaten the customer service guy with the Better Business Bureau because I just didn’t pay attention? As I sit on the train quietly sobbing because I really can’t afford to lose a zillion dollars, I wonder, is this it? Is this the time I’m gonna figure out that just because I don’t see the fine print, doesn’t mean it’s not there? And that nothing comes for free.
I learned recently that a dear friend from college lost her husband after 35 years of marriage. I never knew her when they weren’t married. When I heard I was understandably struck with sadness for her. But what is less definable is the low grade terror I’ve been walking around with since then. $)%# happens. And as we get older, the chances of scary, $)%#-y things happening increases. Our parents die, we lose our jobs, our health declines, our spouses die. I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit. How do we balance the joy and adventure and life we still have yet to live with the scary, $)%#-y, inevitable stuff of getting older? We just do. We just hold out our arms and keep our balance as best we can. And have faith that if we fall, someone or something will be there to catch us.
I’m stuck. I started this blog as a kind of therapy. To navigate the paths and potholes of getting older, to find the excitement, the joy, the worthiness of myself, even as I sag a little more, creak a little louder, and really have to stay away from cruciferous vegetables. My jewelry is the physical side of the same self-exploration. I find I love writing. I love the give and take of finding the perfect piece to compliment the blog and writing something that perhaps inspires a piece if jewelry. Along the way, I’ve picked up a few fans, mostly people I know, but a few I don’t, which makes me feel good. I wrote twice a week for several months. And then, I ran out of pieces I hadn’t used, and I started to wonder if I wasn’t just repeating myself. I wrote less often and had less feedback when I did. I convinced myself that I had to write more, create more, or everyone would forget who I am. I got stuck. So. I’m sharing it with you all. And I’m repeating myself. Because, I’m stuck and a little scared and the heaviest expectations we have are our own.