Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It Is Already Someday

Be the kind of person you’d like to meet.

That’s the answer to the question that has eluded me for the better part of a year.  Becoming the kind of person I’d like to meet.

That’s why I decided to start this blog. 

Kind of simple, really---which is probably why it took me nearly 11 months to stumble into the answer.  The simplest answers are often the hardest to find.

It took me entirely too long to get here---whatever “here” is—but I’m here.  I’m ready to begin becoming the kind of person I’d like to meet.  Better late than pregnant never, I say.

Let’s face it.  When I started this blog, I was more than half-lit and watching bad network television while my family slept.  I was inspired by Beyonce, for f’s sake. At the time, I knew I was looking to accomplish something and that there was some need I was seeking to fill, but I couldn’t precisely define it.  Truth be told, I still can’t.  And that’s okay. 

I just needed to get to the point where I could honestly say that it is okay that I don’t really have an end-game in mind but that I plan on embracing the path(s) I take to get me there.  I think I’m finally there.  It is okay.  I have no idea what the FUCK I am doing.  And it’s okay.

So, maybe I'm now better prepared to blast my thoughts out into the scary world.

I was cautioned that this blog-thing is a slippery slope, and since I NEVER LISTEN, I was blindsided by the responses that would have been utterly predictable to anyone who had actually listened. 

Overwhelmingly, the response was favorable---but the favorable feedback was accompanied by the (dreaded) follow up question that I was totally unprepared to answer.  Kinda like this: 

Honest, well-meaning question #1: I really like your blog.  You need to figure out what your brand is before you take the next step.  What’s your brand going to be? (Answer:  My brand is JCrew.  And whatever RueLaLa is selling that day)

Honest, well-meaning question #2:  I really like your blog.  Have you figured out how to market it to make money from it?  (Answer:  Beats the f’ing f out of me.  But if someone wants to pay to hear the disjointed mess in my head, I guess there truly is a market for everything)

Honest, well-meaning question #3: I really like your blog.  Have you considered using pictures of Little M and her real name?  (Answer:  Yes, I’ve considered and no, I won’t be using her pictures or her name.  Thus far, she has consented to being chronicled, but in the interest of sparing her future problems with boyfriends/evil classmates/future employers/deans of admissions, she shall remain Little M until she is taller than me in 2 years.  Then, I guess she will be Medium M.

And then there’s the suggestion box:

Suggestion box item #1:  You’re really funny, but I only like your funny posts.  I can get deeper thoughts from better sources.  Funny posts only, please!

Suggestion box item #2:   I love when you expose what makes you vulnerable, but you really don’t need to use the f-word to make your point.  And don’t try to be funny- feelings are SERIOUS business.

Suggestion box item #3:  I love your posts about social issues.  Can’t you just do that?  It’s so important to eat organic/ban the TV/support equal rights.

Suggestion box #4:  I’d love your blog more if you stopped promoting the gay agenda.  You’re going to hell along with your little gay friends.

Ahhhh, suggestions.  This is where I have to lie and pretend to love constructive criticism; but, with that in mind, I finally have a response to the suggestion box that I can proudly stand behind.

I’m kind of an actual person here.   A whole person, too.  Sometimes, I’m funny and sometimes I’m serious, and sometimes I spew about social issues, and sometimes, I lie about eating organic, sometimes I fret about nail polish and sometimes I am a complete pain in the ass.  Sometimes, I’m all of these things at the same time and, other times, I am none of these things, and sometimes, I’m a combination.  It would be great for a lot of people, and mostly myself, if I could check one box and just be done with it and be ONE thing to the outside world.  Thankfully, it doesn’t work like that.

I’m kind of a whole, actual person here---I can’t just be part and parceled out for the benefit of world at large.

Insert HUGE sigh of relief here.

I was never a huge fan of boxes.

Oh, and I will always love and liberally use the f-word.  It’s just so fucking versatile.  It’s staying.  And I will never, ever, ever shut up about equal rights.  For everyone.  Without going into detail, primarily because it’s not my story to tell, I’m part of a package deal where gay rights are concerned, and I suppose I will have great company in hell.

There’s something else, too. I want to become the kind of person who I’d like to meet:

Because I have a daughter who watches every move I make and re-enacts most of them
Because my daughter already IS that type of person.

This blog is an open letter to my daughter—a person who is already a girl of quality.  I don’t want it to be my parenting that jacks that up for her.

If the only person who ever reads what I write is Little M, (you know, when she actually learns how to read) that’s more than okay with me.

I want her to get to know ME.  The real me.  The one who has more questions than answers, more opinions than reasonable thought, more doubts than confidence.  THAT ONE.   Not Mommy.  Plain Old Me.

I realized how how cool it was to view your parents as actual, you know, people when I attended my dad’s retirement dinner a few years ago, and I watched him interact---as himself and not as beleaguered dad whose kids depleted his money, brain cells and general sanity—with his coworkers of 40 years.   It turns out that my dad was Mr. Popularity, a practical joker, a huge softy, and more than a little silly.  I never knew.  I knew him as “Dad”—you know, the Dad that had to be responsible and authoritative and pretend to have all of the answers and had his patience repeatedly decimated by his ornery kids.

He did give me some hints, though.  I distinctly recall him once saying that “I wasn’t always mean.  I got that way from paying your bills, trying to get you to behave, and tripping over your shit for 18 years.” 

Right.  I get that now.  After all, I am the person who has convinced her child that the security cameras at Target are satellites on direct feed to Santa AND that we have our own Elf hotline (our personal Elf concierge is the divine Reginald) who can add or remove toy inventory from the sleigh after receiving my phone call.  Luckily for me, Reginald is covered under free mobile-to-mobile minutes.  I’ve been speaking to him a lot these days.

(Side note:  I told a friend the satellite story, and the response to that was “I can’t wait for the day that Little M learns to read and calls you out on all of your bullshit.” 

Riiiiiiight.  This is my blog, and as such, I can post a time-capsule note for Little M.

Older, Medium M who is reading this entry 10 or 20 years from now….I was completely full of shit and I made up all sorts of creative stories to get you to behave/stop destroying property/shut the hell up/free me up for 12 minutes to take a shower.  You’re my daughter.  Be creative.  Take advantage of technological advancements when you invent completely outlandish stories to entice/threaten your own kids.  So long as it involves The Man in Red, kids believe anything.  Oh, and if you need 20 minutes of peace, TV is an awesome babysitter.  All of the Chinese words you know- yeah.  The Magic Box taught them to you. Not me.  I can barely speak English).

So, how does this all translate in my becoming the kind of person I’d like to meet?  I got my answer at a parent-teacher conference, of all places.   At one point in the discussion, M’s teacher indicated that she would normally discuss a child’s favorite activity…their thing, if you will…..only M’s favorite thing is everything.  My daughter is excited about everything and zealously delves into everything head first, without discrimination---and apparently, this is an enviable quality.   If that is an enviable quality for the best little person I know, it has to be a half-decent quality for the likes of me.

Be interesting.  Be real.  Be enthusiastic.  Be willing to acknowledge your flaws and fear.  Be generous.  Be involved.  Be kind.

Be the kind of person you’d like to meet.

Little M is already there.  I will get there….someday.  Between now and someday, I will take each day the only way I know how….one day and one step at a time…and take comfort in that, in some respects, it is already someday.

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