Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Things Your Mother Would Say to You (But Not with This Mouth)

Not too long ago I got into a conversation where I was thinking out loud about what type of personality I had. It's an exercise in the Deepak Chopra Coincidence book I read this winter - you're asked to choose three archetypes that you most closely relate to. You use it in a meditation exercise that's suppose to bring you closer to being who you are, doing what you're meant to do, all that new age jazz.

I could only come up with one image, and I was embarrassed to tell my friends what that one was.

"It's the Rosie the Riveter poster, and I chose it because I feel I'm a strong woman who will do whatever it takes to get the job done."

But I had to choose two other archetypes I related to and was at a loss until my friends overwhelmingly all told me I was a nurturer, which surprised me at first, but the more I look around, the more I realize I am that too.

Just now, as I sat down to type this, I was carrying on a conversation with the snake (a real snake, Benny the boa constrictor - not a trouser snake, come on, people...). No matter how many times I'm reminded that snakes don't have ears, I still talk to Benny each time I enter the room.

"How are you doing," I will ask him. I'll pause to watch him sniff me by flickering his tongue.

I know Benny likes me - I think I'm a calming influence on him, because I'm the only one in the house that really takes the time to make sure he's happy - has enough water, his heat light isn't too hot, etc.

And that's what I find myself doing with other people I come into contact with too - making sure they're happy. Really, happiness is all you've got - to me, it's the only thing that matters in life. If you aren't happy, then life is pointless.

Just tonight my friend gave me a ride home from dinner, and we got into a conversation about her job dissatisfaction.

"Well, what do you want to do?" I asked her.

"I want a job that isn't 'this' and isn't 'that'," she said.

"No, not what do you not want to do, what DO you want to do?" I asked again.

Not many people know the answer to that question, but like I told my friend, I think it's worth some serious exploring if you want to be happy in life, really happy, and not just happy for the moment because you've avoided something you hate. In fact, by avoiding unhappiness, you may only find yourself in the same unhappy predicament 5 years later, because you just changed the problem instead of finding out a solution: what you want.

I was reading an interview the other day and the person said he felt a sense of urgency after someone close to him died. I can totally relate to that. As much as I'd love to have my dad back, his passing lit an inexplicable fire under my ass to do all I can do and create and experience all the happiness and beauty I can, every single day. So, in some ways, I'm kind of lucky to have experienced loss so young. I certainly have more time now than I would have if I hadn't had this experience until I was 50.

And I want for my friends and the people I meet to experience this same obsession with life that I have. I want to see the people I love take control and ride this crazy wave for as long as they possibly can. It's fun. It's fulfilling. It makes you happy.

So, I guess I am a nurturer after all. Fuckin' aye.

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