This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stacks of Caps

I heard a deliciously lewd line once that went, "He's so hot, I'd wear him like a scrunchy."

I turned that line on its head in conversation with Hadj once while commenting on all the ladies strutting about sexy in the newly warm air.  I said, "She's so hot, I wanna wear her like a hat" in this fulsome, growly Southern woman accent into which I sometimes spontaneously seep.

All naughtiness aside... one of the things I have "a thing" about is hats.  Literally speaking, I look good in hats.  As you probably guessed I'm not speaking quite literally here.  All my life I've felt split in two.  There's the external me and the internal me.  I've come close, a time or two, to feeling the two were pretty well merged, but there was always the exception, the company face I'd put on at work everyday.  I'm prone, it seems, to taking on too much in my life in terms of personal expression.  Trying on too many hats in a given time period.  Honestly, I admire those who choose a good hat and stick with it until it has truly been worn out.  I saw a piece of artwork one time that had the line,
"I laughed when I realized how many years it took to discover who I first zealously exploring...who I am not."  

It brought tears to my eyes, and then made me laugh too, as I copied the words into my notebook to keep and visit.  Those words came at a time when I was spending all my free time, and my paid time too, zealously exploring avenues, taboos, and experiences.

My best friend is a woman who has a distinct personal style.  She knows what she likes and she finds it in every nook and cranny she travels.  She's an amazing personal shopper because she knows what I like better than I do.  What I think I like changes with the trends, ages, locales, roles, hair color...  She puts a hat on and keeps it, and keeps it, and gives it her scent, her shape until she does eventually tire of it.  I buy a hat and get excited about hats and buy two more only to find out later I don't like one and another one doesn't actually fit all that well.

One of the things I've thought about in my development into the person I most want to be is the idea of "enough."  Some people go through life thinking there will  never be enough.  There's not enough to go around.  Others go through life with the assumption that they will make it happen, one way or another, there will be enough for them.  Why wouldn't there be?  I don't think the fear of there not being enough is set upon actual material items, but more deeply, on love.  I think people who assume there's not enough (and then some) are, or were, lacking love in their lives.  I think they didn't have at least one reliable person to listen with really open ears and really open heart to what was being shared.  I think they, then, internalized that initial lack and unconsciously created a voice within who also did not listen with open ears and heart.  Ok, we could probably change all those "they" pronouns into "I/me," but I do think I'm onto something here.

I have a pretty nasty voice inside of me who tells me really negative, really false, things with such conviction -- but even worse, such repetition -- that I tend toward unconscious agreement.  I tend to believe there's not enough space in the world for me to shine, to take up all the space I want to take up, to breathe all the fresh air I want to breathe and sing all the songs, start all the games, I want to.  I also tend to resist that voice as much as possible and, when I'm really smart, to train it to shut the hell up for good.  So, props to me!  And to all you non-believers of the evil internal monologue!

Even the people who know there is enough, they have anxieties about this or that.  And the people who are afraid there won't be enough; the people who hoard, secret, control in order to keep what they have, they have a side that believes too, a side that knows the universe provides.  We all struggle with the same basic monsters to varying degrees.  Maybe these monsters have hats.

In any given day, up until recently, I was trying to wear at least four different hats.  I wanted to wear the "early bird gets the worm" hat which meant exercise, shower, drink a cup of coffee, and write.  I actually thought I could do all this in the one and half to two hours I had between Salamander's early morning feed and his actually waking for the day.

Tip ladies (or stay at home Dads): you cannot rely on an infant to keep to a schedule.

This "early bird" hat, all I wanted to be in those few, few hours... Really? That sounds like one fine day to me.  Yes, a whole day.

Oh, all the laughing I do at my past self and her brilliantly ambitious and silly plans. Oh, all the hope I have for wisdom, or at least a good memory, in present me...

The second hat I wanted to wear in any given day, until recently, was the "top notch chef" hat.  The one where I do all the dishes, chop all the veggies, prep all the marinade, spice all the rice, and so on.  The one using recipes and researching new ideas for balanced and delightful family meals.

The third hat was the "house frau" hat.  The keeping a regular cleaning schedule so the house never really has a chance to get messy hat.  The sweep the floor before it gets dirty hat.  The dust the knick-knacks at least once a month hat.

And yeah, did I not yet mention the biggest hat?  The over-sized, cowboy, stadium hat?  Yeah that little old thing called motherhood.  Happily being a stay at home mom has some how undergone a renaissance.  Due to the fight for women to be able to work, some other women pointed out that actually, staying home with a passel of kids, if a family is what you want, is quite challenging indeed.  Harder, if you ask me.  For one thing, you don't get the nights and weekends off.

All this came up, in part because my rock of a best buddie came out to visit and wound up being, well, my rock again.  She was like, "pssh, bitch. Please wake up!"  No, I'm kidding we don't usually talk like bad urban impressions.  She did tell me to wear fewer hats though.  She reminded me that being a stay at home mom is a full time job.  She said, "maybe you could remind yourself that you're at work, if you're not having fun."

It's embarrassing sometimes, to be such a fool to my own self.  Luckily these fool phases are always passing, usually kinda subtle, and definitely give way to greater, brighter times of learning, growth, and awesomeness.  So, fewer hats it is.

And if one of you readers with a great memory and/or presence of mind notices in a few months that I sound a bit stressed, maybe you could toss me a rope, a code word.  Just say, "hats!" and I'll go have a cup of tea and remove some of them.  Thanks.


Thomas (& Laura) Hodge said...

Oooff - the internal dialogue. Sucks. Well, mostly it sucks. Very occasionally good can come from it.
But I wanted to address the issue of motherhood. You already have an understanding of the importance of your role - I've read it in previous writing. The world, however, is going to attempt to categorize you and diminish your self esteem as such. I'll try to remember to say "hats" often.
Love from Colorado, Happy Memorial Day Weekend. xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

much love soul sister....xxoo ana