Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Learn to... be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not. " ~ Henri Frederic Amiel

I suppose, loosely interpreted, that means you can't be all things to all people. I chose the title today for a specific reason, but one I really don't have time to explore right now.

It is nearly 8:00am. I have a lot to do today. I have to shower and drive to Little Rock this morning... a stop at the dreaded WalMart owned Sam's Club, then head over to Belk, with a photo from the internet in hand, to see if I can find a pretty black and red jacket for my mother-in-law for Christmas that "is too expensive to wear." My sister-in-law, Christina, and us will go into together to buy it IF Belk has one. After that across the parking lot to Fresh Market. Then to Kroger on the way home.

When I get home, I have to bake more cookies, wrap gifts and because I didn't get out yesterday for my walk/run, I am hoping I will be doing that today.

But, back to the title of this post. I went to sleep last night thinking about a lot of things, chief among them was a post Robin wrote yesterday on her Myspace blog. I wanted to read it again this morning, but she had changed access to it to only a "preferred" list, a member of which I guess I am not because I couldn't access it. My point is that it was a sad essay about parts of her life and where her experiences have led her and where she fits in. Although our adult life paths have been very, very different, we've had experiences that triggered similar internal responses and challenges.

...."learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not." Growing up, I always wanted to be somewhere else. I never felt like I fit in, even with my own family. I tried so hard for years to be someone else...I wanted to be someone other than who I was; wanted to be part of a family that was the opposite of mine; wanted to be hugged and loved unconditionally for being just me, not because I was "good" or "feminine" or "sat quietly" or didn't argue or, or, or...

I finally, somewhere along the line, gave up wanting, needing to be all things to all people. I thought, at one point, that I finally stopped trying to define myself by what other people wanted me to be and I so desperately wanted to be for them, but I had only narrowed the scope. I continued trying to be all things to just a few people...the people that I loved the most, Tom and the boys. The basic problem remained...I hadn't shed those things that I wasn't.

Whew! A very heavy topic for so darn early in the morning and too much for this one on-the-fly post. It deserves the respect of a well thought-out examination...on another day.

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