Thursday, March 8, 2012

Heart of the Matter


(awesome design by Maggie Ortlieb......*like* her page, Heart Struck, on Facebook....she's doing wonderful things for children in need)

I am not very good at listening. Or, rather, I am not very good at doing what is expected of me. I am not very good at following directions, going with the crowd, doing something because it is the way it has always been done. I am not very good at blending in, not making waves, not causing a stir. I speak my mind, think for myself, and cut my own path every chance I get. I piss a good many people off. I don’t much care about that. Ultimately, and I know this will be a shocker for some of you, ultimately I don’t live my life to please you.

Not to sound bitter, but sort of I am, I have taken some flack lately for many of my words. They are too depressing, too shallow, too much about me, not enough about him or about her. I am filling in with things that aren’t there, shouldn’t be there, couldn’t be there, were never there. I am revealing too much, revealing too little. Here is a secret, my friend. You are always free to not read me. If I am depressing you, showing you too much, showing you not enough, if I am using language the likes of which you do not approve, by all means, feel free to find another blog. My essays are MY essays.

I have always been a believer in following my heart. This has not always been easy. My head is bossy and thinks it knows what is best for me. At times I have tried to shush it and show it its proper place. It shrugs its shoulders and gets that whiny face and says, “Oh, GAWD! She’s listening to Heart again. Get ready world. Here we go.” Inevitably the listening to Heart part is followed by someone in my general vicinity becoming confused or offended.

My mother made me take a typing class in high school just in case my dreams of becoming a doctor did not see fruition. At least, she advised, I would always have a secretarial position on which to fall back. While I know she had my best intentions in mind, I was in no way interested in taking notes for ANYONE. Ever. I am not the note taking kind. I know this about myself. Refer back to the first paragraph. She was in no way thrilled with my headstrong determination to never sit behind a typewriter pounding keys. (Let’s ignore the irony here and proceed with point.)

As a new college freshman, biology major, and the first in my family to pursue education past high school, I headed out that door with a pre-med focus and a fierce determined will. I was a smart girl who was motivated to move my life in a positive direction. Little did I know the field of psychology would sneak in when least expected. Little did I know I would absolutely fall in love with it. What I could not see with chemistry, what did not seem complete with biology, all came together with the more holistic approach of psychology. What could I do but change my major and follow my heart? I made the call. My parents were shocked. Pre-med to psychology? Wow. I was totally unaware that psychology was nothing but fluff and hooey. Needless to say, the phone call did not go well.

I could not even parent the way others suggested. Put that baby down. You should get him out of your bed. How long do you intend to nurse? You know, he could be interested in the breast forever. I’m sure he will, I said, but it won’t be mine. I carried my babies in front packs and slings. They slept in my bed until they moved themselves out. We rarely used a sitter. I gave birth at home. I nursed three until they were two and one until she was four. Yes. I was one of THOSE freaks.

My head is smart. It listens to research and fact and opinion. It applauds the pros and considers the cons. My head is smart, yes, but my heart gives final answer. I know that ultimately I am the only one who has to live with the decisions I make. Well. To clarify, ultimately I and those who come into contact with those who have been on the receiving end of my decisions are the ones who have to live with the decisions I make, which technically could be quite a huge number when you factor in that whole ripple effect, but let’s just boil it down. Ultimately I am the only one who has to be okay with all those ripples I am sending out. My head has learned that if it does what makes my heart sing, then all will be good.

So, right now, what makes my heart sing is to write as I please. I have learned to leave the bullet points and tips and recipes and reviews to another. I can do those, yes, but they do not bring me the joy that does pouring out what is in my heart. Neither does penning pressed and starched researched crap for crusty old academics. So, I will write as I please and speak as I want. I will flit across the page from one rambling thought to another. I will do it because doing so breathes into my life good vibes and groovy feelings, causes my soul to begin swaying its hips, and makes my heart sing, just sing.

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