Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Playground for Big Kids

"Yes we are [friends] and I do like to pass the day with you in serious and inconsequential chatter. I wouldn't mind washing up beside you, dusting beside you, reading the back half of the paper while you read the front. We are friends and I would miss you, do miss you and think of you very often. I don't want to lose this happy space where I have found someone who is smart and easy and doesn't bother to check her diary when we arrange to meet."

So I've been feeling particularly happy recently. It's been transforming my mind, my actions, my decisions, and my life in general. It's kind of like living with the Party Version of myself. My rigidness is melting away, like crayons left in the glovebox too long.

It's a wonderful, freeing feeling. Like being transported back to high school, just without the insecurity, the drama, and with much, MUCH cooler friends. (Whew, is anyone else feeling overwhelmed by all the analogies??)

Tonight I played at the park with friends and family. Usually I'm just a spectator, but tonight, in response to Kellar's pleading, I agreed to go down the twirly slide with him. I've been trying to play a little more, now that Dawson isn't so tiny and helpless. After the twirly slide, Nadia begged me to go down one with her. I convinced her to go for the bumpy slide instead, as my uber long legs get bent into uncomfortable positions when I go on the twirly slide. (Is that non-fun of me, or WHAT?) I love the bumpy slide, though. It usually flings me off at the end of it, so that I fly, legs straight and poised, to land like an Olympic gymnast in the shifting stones. But tonight, it was not to be. Luckily Nadia has a pretty good sense of humor, because when we sat down on the slide, we scooted off into the drop zone...and sat there. I wiggled, I wriggled, I screeched forward about 4 inches. We sat there. We giggled. After all, we're girls, and girls giggle. Plus, Edie was behind us and I knew that in a moment, she'd be facing the same problems.

Anyway, we finally all scooched off the slide, giggling the whole way. It wasn't a marathon play session, as it was late and the mosquitoes were making mince meat of our small ones. The thing I felt I'd achieved was a carefree spirit. I'd played around, exchanged witty zingers, pushed my friends, and basically been silly. It was GREAT. Seriously, who knew that adults could have this much fun and still be considered responsible?

And one of the best parts about this big happy friendship is that it's upped my confidence in who I am. Largely diminished are former feelings of needing to act a certain way to please others. Until recently, I had no idea that I went so far out of my way to do certain things just because "that's what you're supposed to do." I feel less encumbered and less stressed. I feel like I can finally be myself, not just with these close friends, but with lots of people. And this is coming from someone who has always striven to be authentic.

Well, as I'm in a quote-y mood, y'all get to read some other people's words now. And as I'm feeling and confident and happy, I must say, I feel darn good about this decision. I hope you feel as at peace about it as I do:

"Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there." ~Henry Miller, Sexus

The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do.

My heart filled with love, flowing over with joy, my own little drum that I like to march by! ~Gunda Fijnje-Nolan

I feel my body, my mind, weighted down - all is heavy - but my blood, my inner fire, my passion, the little unburdened kid in me, patiently wait to burst free. -Drew Sirtors

**My grandfather has been sending me chunks of scripture in The Message translation. I liked this one particularly for the fresh and happy words it uses, and partially for the funny imagery of heaving bulls onto altars. With it, I bid you a fond goodnight. Ciao ciao, brown cow!

Psalm 51:7-19, The Message

7-15 Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean,
scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don't look too close for blemishes,
give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don't throw me out with the trash,
or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
and I'll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
I'll let loose with your praise.

16-17 Going through the motions doesn't please you,
a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
don't for a moment escape God's notice.

18-19 Make Zion the place you delight in,
repair Jerusalem's broken-down walls.
Then you'll get real worship from us,
acts of worship small and large,
Including all the bulls
they can heave onto your altar!


edie said...

I give you words from my most beloved of authors.

"My God has given me these friends that have instilled in me such a refreshment and enjoyment of life. They are very well suited to my personal style of friendship and I am continually amazed that anyone could like me so much."

There are so many intoxicating pieces in this post. I find it impossible to respond in kind. I shall drink them in again and again o'er time. Piece by ever-loving piece.

One of the favorite parts of my weekend has been this. There was a moment when Karen and I shared a look. A look of appreciation. For you. In an instant, we knew why we were together. She and I in our ISTJness. We knew the significance of you. And that it was you that brought us all in one place. A newly cohesive yet kluged unit. It was only an instant. But our eyes danced. In your honor.

edie said...

How is it that two people who are so plausibly different in personality, you my polar opposite, can arrive succinctly at the same place again and again?

"I feel like I can finally be myself, not just with these close friends, but with lots of people. And this is coming from someone who has always striven to be authentic."


Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

I'm loving this... you are living with the party version of yourself??? Oh man... you just make my day. I want to be the party version of MYSELF!!

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

I'll tell ya... if YOU walked through my door, my teapot would be ON, and I'd make you my best tea... oh the chat the two of us would have!!!

Thanks for the sweet bday wishes... you doll, you!!