Yesterday I was explaining to Awesome Therapist that I had literally spent an hour perusing scarves online.* Flattering color + no polyester or yucky synthetics + not $200 = a meaty dig through the internet’s giant scarf pile. I’m tired of haphazardly buying things because I’m stressed or they’re on sale. No more impulse shopping for things that end up at Goodwill. I wanna buy something I love & expect to last a long time–embracing a less disposable mindset, if ya will.
Then I realized à la Cher that if I’m THAT picky about a dang scarf, I should be just as selective about more important shit: relationships, friendships, and jobs.
Because tbh, the opposite mindset has gotten me in a lot of trouble.
I (like a lot of people, I’m guessing) was not taught to trust my own judgment or intuition as a child. Growing up in a hyper-conservative Christian environment, my gut instincts were “bad” and “sinful” and could not be trusted. Thankfully, there were plenty of straight white dudes I was taught to trust instead: my pastor, the principal at my evangelical Christian school, my dad, etc.
This mindset of “other people know what’s best for you” followed me well into adulthood. To some extent, that’s necessary–I wouldn’t presume to know more about my car than an actual mechanic, or try to DIY a colonoscopy. But I shouldn’t be afraid to question the experts, especially if my gut says they’re wrong.
Relying on authority figures to tell me how to live my life–from therapists to the woman who cuts my hair–just isn’t so helpful anymore. It’s a crutch. It became a habit born out of the discomfort of indecision and ambiguity. It’s really hard not to know the answer, not to know what to do next, to feel out of control and lost and alone. Solution? Find someone to tell me how to live my life! (No wonder cults are so appealing.)
That’s why Courtney Carver’s post was so freaking refreshing. SO RARELY do people actually say “I don’t know what you should do. Trust your gut. What do YOU think you should do?” I’m totally guilty of this–I’ve been more than happy to dish out unsolicited advice about just about anything. (Working on it.)
Instead of rushing to find someone to tell me what to do, hopefully I can do things like take time for meditation/mindfulness, or journal, or just give myself permission not to make a decision yet. It’s OK to not know the answer or next step. Hopefully, in time, it will come. ❤
Confession: I am listening to Dolly Parton and reading a Harlequin romance novel about a librarian titled Love Overdue.
WHAT THE FUCK
(Yes, moooost of my blog post ideas of late are just retreads of the same theme: “OMG I just realized I can stop hating XYZ and repressing myself and just like what I like and stop trying to be a hipster! MIND BLOWN!” Yes, this is another in that vein. I WARNED YOU.)
You know what else I like, other than cheeseball books and the Gilmore Girls soundtrack? PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES. WEARING FLUFFY SLIPPERS. GREY’S ANATOMY. YOU’VE GOT MAIL. LIFETIME MOVIES. TOP 40 CHRISTMAS SONGS.*
All of which makes me want to stab myself in the face.
I’m naturally a pretty judgmental person. But sometimes I hate that. I wish I were a Carefree Girl (maybe a cousin of the cool girl?):
Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl…[Cool Girl] doesn’t ever complain.
Carefree Girl Woman has windswept hair and tilts her chin to the sky to blow out a puff of weed smoke and drawls in a Matthew McConaughey surfer voice, “You do you, man! Whatevs! It’s all good!”
That is so not me.
I went to a new book club last night and met someone who raised all my stingy judgmental hackles. A huge fangirl of the chosen book and its author, she disagreed with anyone who was less than complimentary. I made a comment I thought was a neutral observation, and she took it as a criticism she had to correct (based on her assumption that she read more YA than I do). Judgy thoughts sprang up:
Ohhh, so you’re 22 and just graduated from an expensive women’s college? RIGHT. Call me when you have some actual real-life experience.
Turns out Rumi was one cool cat. Evidence: this poem my therapist read me. (Basically everything good in my life comes from my therapist. BOW DOWN, BITCHEZ!)
(Sadly my therapist is not Beyoncé.)
Anyway, take it away, ole Roomz:
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
– – –
Sigh. Thanks for being a tough chewy bite of gristle, fall 2016.