Back in August, before I fell off the map, the man and I took part in one of the coolest things I’ve done in awhile.
Diner En Blanc
We dressed in white, brought all our white accoutrement with us (yes, including tables and chairs and dishes and silverware and … well, you get the point) and enjoyed dinner al fresco with new friends in one of the coolest spots in Philly (to me ~ but I’m a sucker for the Ben Franklin Parkway …. and Logan Square situates you smack dab between the Philadelphia Art Museum and City Hall … gorgeous).
The restaurant generously catered for us, and we were lucky enough to have awesome dining neighbors, who shared smoked Cornish hen and lobster salad. We shared some French sparkling rose’, so it almost equalled out (we were the big winners … the Cornish hen was ridic).
Had I had my shiznit together, I would have talked a lot about it … but I didn’t, and life has been trucking by, faster than I’ve been prepared for it.
Here’s the thing. In July, both my mother and I (to a lesser degree) had huge health diagnosis’. And even though I would like to be half the woman my mother is – she who soldiers on with a smile, great attitude and tons of energy to spare – I, woefully, fall far short. It’s been tough ~ not necessarily due to my own health, but getting my brain securely around the truth about my mother’s health. Difficult, heart-breaking, scary, unknown, overwhelming, surreal … those are some of the words I can muster up in the moment.
So, a person definitely loses time when focused so singularly on something so utterly important.
On top of all that, football season started. And football season came with baggage this year. First, the baggage of what it means to be a Penn Stater. Second, the baggage of living with a man whose team won the Super Bowl last year. I totally understand that some people may read this and think … wait a second. She is prioritizing football right up there with health issues.
No. And yes. No, nothing in my life is even close to being a priority like my mother. I am not going to wax lyrical, but seriously – if you have had a moment in your life like this, then you can understand the level of importance and also intensity. Aka, unmatched. Buuuuut ….. Yes, football is a priority in my and the man’s life. That’s who we are, that’s what we do … it’s a part of why our relationship works so well. Mutual interests and understanding.
Additionally, Miss Lucy and I listened to part of a very interesting program on NPR a few weeks ago, and it cranked up the cogs in my brain. Essentially (and I really wish I’d written this stuff down at the time) the program was focusing on social media, and society’s new ‘obsession’ (for lack of the correct word) with appearances.
What I mean by this is that instead of people working on who they are as people, inherently, on the inside …. we, as a society, are more concerned with how we appear to be. Just stop and think about it for a minute.
Every picture, every status update, every blog post. We present to the viewing virtual world the person we want to be ~ the person we want people to think we are.
Listening to the program made me stop dead and really examine what I do, and why I do it. I had an internal battle. “Well, of course I only share the good stuff … that’s what I’m supposed to do … focus on the positive, enjoy the good parts of my life, etc etc etc …” These were some of my thoughts. Then I really began to mull it over… who did I want to be? What kind of impression does my writing leave of me … as a person?
Could I keep blogging? Or was it all a charade?
Seriously. I’m a huge overthinker. But …. something about this line of thought really struck a chord with me. Awhile ago, I got completely bent out of shape reading a generic criticism on twitter ~ but the criticism said pretty much what NPR said, just in a much snarkier way.
… Hey, look at how great my life is ~ hey, look at the awesome things I cook ~ hey, look at my adorable dog/cat/hamster/child ~ hey, look at the cool places I go to with my super cool boyfriend/fiance/husband/soul mate ~ hey, check out my awesome perfect amazing everything … blah blah blah. Trust me, no one wants to see a status/tweet/instagram/blog post about the fact that I stepped in dog do-do this evening when I took Lucy out for a potty break. It’s not cool or perfect or quirky or fun that my puppy has a sensitive digestive system and the man and I deal with her stinky ‘perfume’ and soft poos on a daily basis. It’s slightly depressing and comes across as ‘please give me some sympathy’ if I posted pictures of my three-day IV line this summer when I had to inject myself with meds every afternoon. But those are truths ~ those of part of my life. And I would rather be vulnerable on here, but honest … instead of insincere and a projection of what I think I should be.
I want to always be working on who I am on the inside, who I am inherently (and trust me, there is a lot that could use some polishing … or to begin, some heavy sanding, because it could be a two (or more??) step process…). I have a wicked temper, and I know that I don’t hide my emotions very well (I actually consciously think about this at work when I know my face looks like I-can-not-believe-you-are-saying-this-to-me and my whole body tenses … I am not proud of those moments). I also don’t want to blog because I need to ‘say’ something … because I want to ‘project’ something about who I should/want to be or … crazy thought, am. I want to blog the truth of my existence.
When I started this, I was learning to cook. I’ve gotten okay in the intermittant months from them to now. I truly enjoy being in the kitchen and preparing something for a group of people. I think some of it boils down to what made me love the stage (quick recap, I have a degree in theatre). I love the satisfaction of making something and receiving kudos because people enjoy it. That’s not the most flattering thing about me ~ but it’s honest. And I decided ~ when I opened up this blog and recommitted to it ~ that if I did nothing else, I was going to be myself. You guys have seen that lovely quote “Better to be a first-rate version of yourself than a second-rate version of someone else.” I think that includes a second-rate version of who you think you should be.
I am who I am who I am. And I want to try my darnedest to stay true to that.
On a lighter note…
The man and I are super in love with green juice. Jump on that band-wagon. It’s the bomb-diggity.
We are taking our very first vacay together next week and I am so excited I can barely concentrate. We are hopping on a plane to Jackson Hole, WY and there are so many things we want to do, I don’t know how we are going to fit it in, or what will make the cut.
What I’m sure of? A romantic dinner with the man at the Snake River Grill (the chef was a James Beard Award nominee, the menu and wine list are ridic, and I’m super duper psyched …. my wallet is not, but just this once, I am going to ignore her protestations!). I don’t know that I am going to be very productive until then, but I will try! Lucy and I have a half marathon we’re training for (okay, okay, I’m the only one running ~ but Lucy keeps me company!) and work is a crazy busy machine as we approach year end.
Ah. Life. She’s a corker.