My grandma is a little like a black widow who devours it’s mates. She can be cruel and uncaring. Sometimes I think there are varieties of rocks that show more emotion. She and my mother are almost always fighting. When she loses something, she frequently accuses a family member of having stolen it.
I visited her today. She left the door open for me. When I got to her bedroom, I tried to not look worried. She looked at me from her bed helplessly – in too much pain to move. Orange and white pill bottles crowded a shelf where a headboard should be. The air smelled like kitty litter. A cross hung on the wall. I had the sudden urge to start picking things up and putting them in trash bags. I leaned over to hug her. I squeezed past piles of clothes and stacks of newspapers. I felt a huge surge of guilt for not visiting more often. I was there to get a birthday check – what a great granddaughter. What stellar priorities. Light filtered in through the blinds.
I hate people who act perfect sometimes. I want to grab the bedazzled IPhone out of their accent-nailed hands, and throw it against a wall. I want to hunt them down in their trendy coffee houses where they’re Instagramming photos of their cappuccinos, and ask them to give the world a break. As they tell me about how wonderful their writing is going, how perfect their lives are – I ask the Universe to smite them – and then I call bullshit. Where’s the messiness? Where are the bacteria-ridden sponges? Where’s your Achilles heel, and since you annoy me, can I kick it? We stumble! People’s legs get crushed by boa constrictors! We miss dental appointments and have to pay $83 for the missed appointment! And they – oh they. With their couple-y Instagrams. Their #twoadayworkout hashtags. Please – some of us have holiday thighs. Some of us haven’t been to a grocery store in two weeks, and so are surviving on cranberries and cans of black beans. I want to poke these practically perfects with their high heels just to see if they bleed. Because I secretly suspect they’re aliens. Anyone who walks out of the house every day in a Pinterest-worthy outfit hails from the Planet Bleem.
What bugs me about these people? Well, other than that they’re Barbie personified, they don’t let you in – they think we’re competing. I am not competing with you, yo. Why can’t we be friends? I’m an anxious, scratchy, hot mess – and I’d prefer my friends were a little bit like that, too. So we can be honest! At least we can tell each other things. Because life isn’t always pretty.
I’ve noticed most of my posts are pretty serious. Like there’s some lesson. I don’t have a lesson today. What I do have is a ton of writing deadlines and two siblings who want to hang out.
I think as we get older, we start to learn that beauty can be found in expected places – like our scar tissue. When a lover becomes a stranger – you know someone will want to kiss you again. When you fall apart, you know you’ll be put back together. You’ll forget about the people that meant so much to you. You’re better able to Mother Theresa the situation – to bless it with “I wish you the best,” type stuff. You were my best friend, and now you’re a stranger, but you’re not the first one. When our days get away from us, when our thoughts start to take over, I think more and more we realize we don’t have time for that. The messiness – the stumbling in the dark – its beautiful, too.
Sometimes my emotions get away from me, but I think I can be braver. I can color outside the lines, and try to be the best of what I am supposed to be. And even though I do fall apart, its my responsibility to be happy. These are our lives – and if we don’t savor them now, when will we? You have to love all life – not just parts. I make a lot of mistakes, but I am glad I am making mistakes, because it means I am trying things. I wish everybody a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year full of mistakes – because that means you’re testing your limits. You’re changing yourself and changing your world – which is possible, by the way. You’re Doing Something then. You’re making your breaths and heartbeats matter.
Surfer Stoke is taking a holiday – for the holiday. See you after the New Year! Woot, woot 2014.