Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Girls Of My Youth

As a child, I played a game where I wished myself into being other girls, girls I felt were more beautiful and glamorous, the ones that always looked put together and didn't have a million embarrassing things happen to them. A favorite of mine was Kim Blevins (even her name that incorporated the word blemish seemed magical to me). Before I got kicked out of Girl Scouts, I would examine her during meetings, hoping like hell some of her effortless ease would rub off on me. No such luck. I felt a strange nostalgia for things that had never happened to me (the Germans have a word for this feeling; that's what I love about the language -- there's a word for everything!) and could vividly imagine how I would conduct myself in a variety of situations that would never ever happen to me. That's probably why I started writing now that I think about it, to lead other lives.

The irony being that writing has not brought me any further from myself. In fact, I find that my strong suit is not in other magnificent worlds, but in my own demoralized self, a self that cannot be other than what it is. Of course, I change, everyone does, even we stubborn to death types. But none of us get a free pass from the past which shapes us and the decisions we have made or the ones we haven't. The girls of my youth have transformed into women now and upon an outward viewing of their lives, I am glad to say that I wouldn't trade places with them anymore. It's not that I like myself any better, but I realize that no matter what happens, I'm under my own sway, my history like chains, inexorable and haunting, but it's mine, and I can't help but love it sometimes.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"From one thing, learn ten thousand things." Musashi

Cocktail Hour
Drinking song suggestion: "The Bargain Store" Dolly Parton

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!


Brian in Mpls said...

There is no greater feeling then being your own person and being happy with it:)

Kawana Aminata Oliver said...

Cute Pic ;-)

Charles Gramlich said...

There are many times when I'm not particularly happy with who I am, but I do feel comfortable with myself and can get along with myself. I can't say that for many other folks.

paul said...


Lana Gramlich said...

You GO girl! Too many people are so plagued by insecurity that they run in denial from who they really are. As a result, they'll never get any better.

Pat Morita said...

I always wanted to get into Karate.

eric1313 said...

Love the Musashi quote. Zen Buddhism met such a strange juxtaposition within the conscience of the samurai.

Christina said...

Your memories are very poetic, however it sounds like there is a great story about getting kicked out. I was kicked out of a few functions myself, mostly because someone made me laugh at the wrong time.

tui said...

Beautiful post. I know exactly what you mean.

the walking man said...

Yeah getting used to being you is a long hard road fraught with the forging of ever more links, but if you polish them enough they do have a certain beauty to them.



Joe said...

That dress is great. Cute pic.