Thursday, January 28, 2010

wisdom by any other name

I'd like to say I don't care anymore but that's not entirely true. I don't care nearly as much as I used to is more accurate. Today I threw on one of the 2 pairs of jean I own, a comfy old t-shirt sprouting tiny holes, warm clunky boots, a vintage army navy olive green parka and headed out into the snow. Yes, my hot pink t matched my magenta and orange scarf. Yes, my bronze bag picked up the button colors nicely. Yes, my snow boots are cute as well as functional, but the point is, I didn't care how I looked. I didn't spend time dabbing on eyeshadow, straightening my hair to the point of sheening like glass. I didn't wonder if people thought I looked cool or thought my jacket was too big, or if they thought my body actually was filling out the men's medium I was sporting. I didn't go there. I moved my car, ran my errands, and wore my clothes.

What I did think was this:

Is wisdom a form of not caring? I know, that sounds ridiculous. But think about it for a moment—is letting go of all those internal judgements and expected external ones a sign of growth, of comfort in one's skin, of acceptance? I'm sort of thinking yes.

(Unless I just want justification for dressing more and more like a slob.)

No, really, I think I'm onto something—at least for where I am in life. I've tried so hard, in so many ways. I've spent what must amount to years feeling like a failure in spite of what I do, who I am, all that I've accomplished. I've continued to struggle to get to the next place, the next thing, the next level and for what? Each time I achieve what I've set out to, I'm the same. My life doesn't radically change. I don't feel any different. There are moments of contentment, of excitement, of outrageous pride (those are especially fleeting). But here I am, still sitting in my living room, laundry to do, my desk a mess, debating whether or not to go to yoga, frittering away time online instead of dedicating energy to creative projects.

Only now it's easier to be here.

I'm not beating myself up. Not in the moment anyway. I'm accepting that for now, I'm not brilliant. My creativity isn't over-flowing. I'm not motivated, not inspirational, not inspired.

One day I'll wake up ready to move again. To immerse myself.

To flow.

But that's not today.

Being ok with that sure feels like wisdom to me. And that's something I'm discovering at 45 that I wasn't aware of in the decades before.

Day 8 is looking at my present through a mellower lens.

1 comment:

LPC said...

I was just thinking about this today. Wisdom is that moment when you realize you don't care that much, not in a dispirited way, but in a smile and wave someone to turn right ahead of you at an intersection way.

Found you via a Twitter retweet. Will return.