Yesterday on Facebook, someone posted a pictures of a park bench and asked "if you had one hour to sit and talk to someone, anyone, who would it be". This is, of course, a question that has been asked in many ways, by many people over the years. If I respond, I usually respond with the name of a celebrity or someone that I would never get to speak to in real life.
My sister and I say on a daily basis, that we aren't like the other kids. We never have been and never will. I can tell that still holds true, by the answers other people give to the above question. I was one of the people that didn't mention wanting to sit with relatives who have died. Of the many responses she got, only a small number replied with someone other than a relative. I'm not criticizing them, I'm simply pointing out that I'm different. I seldom long to talk to those in my life who have died. I do miss them and remember them fondly. I have no regrets, my family and friends knew that I loved them. I wasn't one to hold a grudge and if anyone died having a problem with me...well, I would be totally surprised. In the Facebook comment section, only one person came close to going where I am going to go now. One girl said she would like to sit down with her future self.
After thinking seriously about it, I think I would like to sit down with myself at different ages and talk about things. All kinds of things. All kinds of advice would be given of course, but if I could give myself any advice for dealing with life, it would be this...
"DON'T BE SO DAMN HARD ON YOURSELF"
Don't worry about love so much, that's just your hormones.
Don't hold your tongue so much, speak up.
There is no permanent record, quit tip-toeing around because of it.
Don't be a secretary if what you really want to do is cut hair.
Take ballet lessons if you want.
Take singing lessons if you want.
You are not too fat to be a model.
Join the military if you want, you wont know till you try.
Rock the damn boat, but learn to swim first.
"ADULTS ARENT RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING"
Of course our parents did the best they could raising us, and we didn't have access to the internet back then to challenge their rules, but I was convinced that all adults knew everything and I wasn't to question anything. I don't think anyone ever told me this, I just got it in my head and ran with it.
"TRY IT, WHAT'S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN"
Other than the current phase of taking selfies and getting killed, probably nothing
I didn't try anything new. Activities, food, places...I stayed with what I knew. It may have come from getting hurt or embarrassed whenever I did try. I tried to teach myself to roller skate and fell and was afraid to get back up. Sitting on the ground for an hour before realizing I could take the skates off and walk home. I burned my hand badly trying to help my grandmother in the kitchen. I got stuck in a tree and was so embarrassed because I didn't know how to get down. I fell on a cactus and had to have needles pulled from my bare bottom. Once again hugely embarrassed. As I got older, I think I was stymied by things, because from what I could tell, my mom HATED the unknown. She didn't want me to do anything if she couldn't predict the outcome. I respected her opinion and usually didn't do anything she didn't want me to (that changed at sixteen, hee hee). Seriously though, never once can I remember her saying "go for it". May have happened, I just don't remember it. Then again, my sister and I have different memories of our mother. My sister, Peri, was caretaker of my mom in her later years (and I respect her so much for that) but she saw a side of mom that I never saw. I didn't move away from home until I was almost thirty and mom was already sixty-five and in all those years, I can only remember my mom being upset with me once and it was because I told her I wanted to get a place of my own. It broke my heart that she didn't speak to me for about a month, but that's what I got from her, The Silent Treatment. (Looking back on it she may have been going through some stuff and just didn't know how to talk about it). She never raised her voice to me or anyone else when I was around. Periodically my sister talks about having to verbally straighten someone out about something, she often compares herself to Mom when she would do this type of thing. I wish I could have seen this side of her, I may have been more courageous.
"STOP WORRYING SO MUCH ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE THINK"
I really worried and still do care a lot about what I look like. It's been such a hurdle for me (and ninth grade phys-ed showed me hurdles were to be avoided at all costs) and I still constantly compare myself to others. Maybe it's because my family was always quick to "point out" what someone else looked like (including me). A Sunday ride in Uncle's car was filled with him loudly making fun of the outfits that people were wearing...the hats, the colors, as well as the size of the people wearing them. Maybe our uncle was trying to amuse us with these statements, trying to be a comedian, but it always made me so uncomfortable. I was chubby and everyone knew it felt compelled to comment on it. A visit to the home of my uncle's "girlfriends" left me red faced and ashamed... at nine years old, after hearing the hostess say under her breath, "my God her titties are bigger than mine". Then there was the time that my grandmother gave me $50.00 when I was in high school to make me stop wearing make up, because she didn't like the way I looked. I was fifteen and finding my way, but I needed money too, so for three months I went to school barefaced with a bit of mascara, surrounded by all my friends made up with "cat eyes and twiggies" as if they were Mods and our school was on Carnaby Street. In case you don't remember the 60's, this was the look I craved...by the way, I bought make up with the money.
I still think it looks good and now that I'm an adult I wear whatever make up I want and unless I over hear someone laughing at me, I'm usually happy with it. Anyway, I'm rambling today, so now I'll sit down with my current self and try to reflect on the fact that I've turned out ok. The reality is, yeah, I'm still pretty chubby, but I think I'm finally ready to stop worrying about it.
Seriously, who's damn business is it any way, what I wear? How I like my hair? What my eyebrows look like? Honestly, maybe I am reaching the stage where I don't give a flying flip what "they" think. Maybe "they" need to walk past a mirror themselves, before they snicker at what I'm wearing.
So there. Rambling thoughts on a Wednesday morning...