“We need to talk.”
“I’m busy”, she replies without looking up from her cluttered desk. Paint brushes, pens without caps and pieces of paper covered with scribbled half thoughts; ideas that rush from her so fast that by the time she jots them down they are practically illegible. She is resolve. She is unbridled energy. She is determination, perseverance, and passion…and often enough she is a pain in the ass.
“Get unbusy.” There was no room for argument. She recognized there would be no debating this with me.
“Between you and the kid, I can never get anything done.”
She doesn’t get it. She doesn’t realize she stands in her own way. In her quest to do everything, she wears herself down so much that she would crash and burn completely if I let her. She’s the one with something to prove. Not to others; that’s the kid’s issue to deal with, but to herself. This drive, when put to good use is a force to be reckoned with. Left unchecked, though, it could consume us all.
I crouched down so I was eye level to the little one.
“You too, kiddo. Come on.” To her, I spoke gently. She is always so afraid of anyone being angry with her that I have to tread lightly.
“Did I do something wrong?”, she asked hesitantly.
“UGHHHH I am sick to death of you asking that question. If you did, you didn’t mean it so who cares? Do you want to be defined by that? You are stronger than this!”, the woman at the desk exclaimed as she impatiently pushed back her chair to join us.
“Enough!”, I gathered the little girl onto my lap. She means well. She always means well. She is a loving, imaginative little girl full of curiosity, but she doesn’t know that. She tries so hard but believes she falls short in every way. If she were prettier, smarter, nicer, better then people wouldn’t be so angry. She doesn’t understand why the world is such a mean, scary place. What she doesn’t know is that her heart has a power of its own. She sees the best in everyone. She does not like to see people hurt. She is giving and in her own way braver than than the woman so determined to do everything; the woman who on some level hides behind being busy in order to avoid vulnerability. The kid is open and loves despite her fear. She is empathy. She is light and love. She is fear and hope wrapped in one and she too can be a pain in the ass. This heart, when put to good use has the power to heal and create. Left unchecked though, it can bog us all down in overwhelming emotion and keep us stagnant.
I love them both. I need them both, but it is time to set some boundaries. The two of them have been at odds, pulling against one another. I prefer to work behind the scenes, quietly doing my best to maximize the best traits of them both for a healthy, fulfilling if somewhat unpredictable life. Lately it’s been a bit off tune, hence this pow-wow.
“We have to make a schedule”. I did not think this would go over so well with either of them. The kid still writes her letters backwards with with crayons and the woman with the Wonder Woman complex would rather struggle than bother with anything as mundane and stifling as a “schedule”. I held back the urge to roll my eyes. SO pretentious. Still I get it. Organization is none of our strong points.
“Look. We are all running on empty. It’s no wonder the two of you have been at odds. The lack of sleep alone is enough to throw anyone off. But we’ve got a boyfriend we love dearly getting his feet on the ground, meetings, writing, painting, a full time job that requires mental acuity, friends, sponsor, sponsees and a world to try to make better. You want to do it all at the same time and you, kiddo…you want to hide from all of it. It’s been suggested that we make a schedule. I think it’s a good place to start. The three of us together can enjoy this ride if we do it right. It’s a cake walk, but first things first. We make a schedule.”
I am awareness. I am balance. I am consistency. I am calmness, focus and good sense. I don’t speak up enough. Put to good use, I am a guiding force that unites us as we live life as fully and authentically as possible. Left unchecked, I run the risk of complacency, trapping us in the useless mire of “should be’s” and cynicism.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I have much greater awareness when I am in harmony with myself. There isn’t a single part of me that doesn’t recognize how far I’ve come. There isn’t a single part of me that doesn’t know that I’ve only just begun. I have no idea where my life will lead me. It’s roads have been winding, full of pitfalls and magic and colored with the rich vibrancy of unusual experience. I hope that little girl within never fully grows up. She carries with her so much fear, but also an endless appreciation for life and love. She lives with endless curiosity and wonder. I hope I never lose the fighter either. She refuses to give up; refuses to be defined by anyone else’s standards. She is her own worst critic but she is willing to grow from obstacles. She is tough without being hard and thrives on defying odds. As for me, I’m the observer. I’m the scribe who tells the tale and I will continue to chronicle the journey as I go…and I’ll make a schedule.