"I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment... and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance than I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn." -Thoreau

Saturday, April 21, 2012

On Seeking Some Hippiness

I think I want to be a hippie.

I don’t mean the cliché scraggly hair, unwashed, perpetually-high kind. I don’t mean “at peace” because I’m not here, I mean at peace because I am present. Spiritual, mindful, grounded, flower loving and tree hugging… maybe someday even walking barefoot through lush, green grass. I’ve never been good at walking barefoot. I like the protection of socks and shoes.

Becca took me to her yoga/pilates class this morning, and now I am a curious mixture of calm and emotional. I feel as though tears could leak from my eyes- not violently, but like a cup filled to the top drop by drop which slowly overflows- and it would be perfectly fine.

Perhaps “hippie” is too laden with meanings and suggestions. And hippie, even as I envision it, doesn’t seem to capture the full gamut of what I hope for.

On one hand, I want the mindfulness and grounded spirituality which I associate with hippiness. I want to see beauty and happiness in my surroundings, I want to feel united in body and mind- I seek harmony.

There was a time in my life when part of me enjoyed tearing myself down.
I have trouble seeing myself in perspective, judging what qualities I possess or not, and oftentimes I’ve hated myself for being small and tightly wound—timid, closed in, and shamefully afraid of peeking out. In high school, I would not hesitate to remind myself of how weak and pathetic I was. No, far from it. I would put it in writing, I would pen myself into a ball of bitter tears, I would force myself to face the ugly and inevitable truths about myself (my cup has overflown, but the drops are no longer acrid and they will not sear me).
 Do you want to know what I fear most to be true about myself?
I fear that I am boring.
That I have nothing to offer or share of myself.

Writing my college application personal essay (or rather, figuring out what to write about), was something vaguely resembling a mild nightmare.

I love hearing other people’s stories. I love hearing their thoughts, I love hearing about their family and friends, I love listening to them talk about what they are passionate and excited about, I love seeing them, because inevitably I find something beautiful and wonderful and unexpected and thought-provoking.

And yet I cringe when someone asks me to tell them about myself, because while it seems that they have so many things to offer- well-polished thoughts, odd trinkets, family heirlooms, germinating ideas, and so much more!- when I peek into my cabinets, I seem to have nothing to bring out.

I suspect an analysis of my verb tense would be interesting to carry out. But I am pleased that I spoke of how weak and pathetic I was, and not that I am.

Because, to get back onto the original path which I was walking, at some point, after getting to college, I just grew tired of beating myself up. I guess that was a good start, but I must say, that’s not good enough for me anymore. No, because merely tolerating myself is not enough. To get back to what I want- I want to be healthy.

I don’t just mean healthy in an eat-your-fruits-and-vegetables kind of way (though I definitely need to work on that). I mean whole.
I speak of well-being. I speak, again, of harmony. I want to run, I want to stretch and strengthen my body (and mind). I want to become an embodied spirit- otherwise known as a healthy and mindful person.
I want to be at ease with myself, I want to frolic in pretty outside things, I want to walk with hands outstretched. I want to forgive myself for being tightly furled, and to give myself time to open up a bit. I want to laugh at myself as I pick myself up from having tried something new and failed at it- and then I want to try it again. I want to lose myself in thought, I want to solve puzzles, I want to ask difficult questions and accept only sound answers.
I want to listen to other people’s stories- to your story. I want to see a bit of your soul, because I know it is beautiful and wonderful and surprising and that you deserve a bit of love.

I also want to find my own story, and at some point I would like to show you a trinket or two.

No comments:

Post a Comment