Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Same Thing I Want From You Today I Will Want Again Tomorrow

So, you're creating the problem out of nostalgia? -Rory

The secret is out.  My office is quiet.  Sometimes music doesn't fulfill the silence.  Sometimes it is so quiet and I am so alone that nothing but my Gilmore Girls DVDs can sufficiently fill the space.  I keep two computers at my desk.  One to work with (conveniently the machine issued by my employer) and the other sits behind me playing Gilmore Girls while I type my reports.  I don't even bother looking at the screen any longer because I have all seven seasons practically memorized.  There are times I find myself talking along with the small task considering the pace of the language.  

I am currently on season 3.  I like season 3...Rory is a senior and for a brief time gets on well with Paris. Lorelai is coming off the pregnancy devastation of Sherry and Christopher (a story line I am actually well acquainted about a suffocating feeling) and allows herself to accept a few dates with a guy named Alex.  He owns an iron works company.  She likes him so much she pretends to enjoy the great outdoors and agrees to go fishing with him.  She tries to become an expert angler in a few days...with the help of Luke, of course.  He brings a kiddie pool filled with fish to her house and teaches her to fish so she won't look foolish on her date.  Luke, of course, is busy dating it's okay.  After impressing Alex with her "fisher-woman" skills she accepts an overnight trip with Alex to New York.  Sookie and Jackson join in and a great time was had.  Sad story line...after that we never hear from Alex again.  His character was written off...too early in my opinion...

As she is preparing to leave for New York she is dismayed that she is NOT having any packing crises.  She calls Rory upstairs to inform her something is terribly wrong.  How can she, Lorelai, possibly not be in the throes of a packing crisis?  Rory responds...."So, you're creating the problem out of nostalgia?"  (It should be noted Lorelai is wearing a Bunny Ranch tee shirt.  For the life of me I have not been able to locate one for myself...and I HAVE TRIED!)  

I have likely seen this particular episode over 20 times.  However, today was the first day this particular line had any significance.  Let's examine it again...

"So, you're creating a problem out of nostalgia?"

I responded, out loud, "Yes, Rory, I, Patty Vela, am creating a problem out of nostalgia.  Not only am I creating one problem, I am creating a number of problems, out of sheer nostalgia."

Don't we all?  Don't we all decide, quite early that X is a problem and so Y is affected, similarly...always?  

I don't know...maybe we don't ALL have this particular exceptionality.  But I know, I've got it in spades.  And, so what?  Well, here's what...I am sitting here...36, hair unpainted, lines on my face, wondering why I was only 21 yesterday but planning my 20 year high school reunion today.  Why does 21 feel like yesterday?  Mostly because not much has changed.  Why has nothing changed?  Because when an opportunity, a possibility, an idea comes up...I "create a problem or obstacle out of nostalgia."  

I allow the past to inform the present....and create the future.  It's a funny thing, isn't it.  It's so safe to keep playing rewind, and rewind, and rewind because you know exactly how it is going to play out.  Didn't Einstein define that as "insanity?"  

I've spent the last month challenging (and resisting, I might add) this pattern.  I've come a long way in even identifying it as a pattern.  I just thought it was "life."  Well, it isn't.  Some people don't live "life" that way...but I thought everyone did.  It's like when you don't know you can't see until you put the glasses on and everything becomes clear.  I "didn't know that I didn't know."  

In the previous post I shared a short video.  I do hope each of you had an opportunity to watch it.  It was my a-ha moment.  You know the one...the awesome one when someone "gets it."  Teachers really know it....they light up, you light's a beautiful thing.  

I had the a-ha moment alone.  Mary saw it....and tried to cradle me in her canine way.  

The moment is this.  In life you either have the courage to be vulnerable or you don't.  The vulnerable are a candle that lights up the space and burns out with splendor.  They live the length and the width of their life with the expert grace and ease.  They play the game of life...they are on the field.   The people who fear vulnerability are a flameless candle.  They are the cheerleaders, the fans, the people on the the parking lot...outside the gates of the stadium.

I know where I've been standing during the game.  And it isn't where I want to be anymore.  I've got a good amount of work cut out for me.  I have a lot of things to re-frame and a lot of living to make up for.  But I want to be done with being paralyzed by fear.  I don't want to create problems for nostalgia's sake.  I don't want to create problems where there aren't any.  This, of course, is a delicate dance.  Problems will arise as sure as the sun will come up in the east.  Discernment is going to be key...and I guess I can rely on "gut instinct" for that.  

I was asked last week to dwell in the inquiry of why I feel I need to live from a place of "safety, pleasantry, agreeability." I think the answer is because I don't do vulnerability.  I mean, I have done it before, but the consequences have been truly unpleasant and dire.  However, I can't let the nostalgia of old vulnerability predict the future possibilities.  I can't convict the future because of the past.  

There's no need to create a problem when you are sassy enough to wear a Bunny Ranch tee shirt.  

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