Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Been a Long Time

Around puberty, we start to develop the sense of a "perceived audience." We think that everyone is looking at us, judging our every move, and ultimately making determinations about our worth. It's an extremely stressful time that lasts for most, about 10 to 15 years. At which point, we realize, half disappointed and dismayed, and half relieved, that no one actually gives a fuck. We are much more self-centered, self-conscious, and too busy worrying about our own perceived audience to notice how well someone is performing for theirs.

I remember being yelled at by girls in junior high and high school for looking at them. They would say things like, "What the f**k are you looking at?" "Can I ****ing help you?" It was always extremely startling to hear as I was never looking at them. I was usually looking just beyond them, thinking things like, "I wonder if my mom will let me go out on Friday and Saturday..." "I wonder if I forge a note from my dad saying that I can leave at lunch, if Jade will come with me..." "Oh! I wonder if that cute guy is here today..." When the girls would yell at me and I would wake from my stupor and say something like, "Oh sorry, I wasn't looking at you..." they would become even more agitated, as if to say, "Well, why NOT? We are just so fabulous!" It was confusing. I learned to zone out on inanimate objects instead.

This is all to say that I've been afraid to write. It feels so much like I have an audience again. I get that no one (still) gives a fuck but I can't help but feel exposed. My life has changed a lot, which has invariably changed the lives of those close to me. It feels like people would appreciate an explanation. I'm annoyed by this. Still, when things change suddenly and feelings are hurt, explanations can go a long way. So here goes... my life changed because I was given a very clear choice between two alternative lives. One was not better than the other, but one was more in line with why I was put on the planet. I did my best to ignore the fact that a fork in the road was clearly becoming visible. Still, day by day, the fog continued to lift, events moved me this way and that way, and then eventually, it became clear. So I leapt.

Here's the thing about leaping, sometimes you don't splat. Sometimes, your wings emerge and catch the wind quite nicely. It's crazy as hell. What a ride. Seriously. A moment of pause...because this is divinity.

Now I'm going to talk about my perceived audience again, as if they are real. Thanks for humoring me. First, a justification: I do live in a small town and I am active on social media, so I might not be totally imagining this. I think we are all naturally voyeuristic to some extent. We are curious about other people's lives because we measure our own against theirs, which by the way, is not a great idea but still, we do it. This is what Facebook is right? I don't tend to post pictures of myself raging at loved ones. No, it's pictures of Ellis and I smiling cutely, #blessed, and I leave out the part where she has just informed me that today is the worst day ever because I won't take her to Twirl to buy a toy. So maybe I haven't hurt enough, or maybe I've made it look like these decisions are no big deal, they've been made lightly and without consideration of how anyone else might feel. Maybe that's how it seems.

So, for the record, that's not the case. And also for the record, I don't need to bash anyone else to justify my soul's purpose. And finally for the record, I won't bash myself either, for making decisions that feel right and true.

It doesn't matter what you decide to do. It isn't about the "what." It's the how and the personal why. Go this way, or go that way, it doesn't really matter as long as you do it for the highest good. My decisions have no bearing on anyone else's. Because I chose this way, does not mean I've done the right thing or the wrong thing and therefore you've done the wrong thing or the right thing. You do you. Just don't be an asshole.

So that's what's been happening in my world. Faith is an interesting thing and I'm enjoying my growing relationship with it. Love to all of you.