By day I work in real estate, meaning I get to see and show a lot of homes. I never have the same day twice, and this suits my personality pretty well. Some days go above and beyond variation, however. Some days I get lessons in receiving that make it clear to me how connected we are, no matter what we are doing and even if we don’t always feel it.
I took myself to Yachats on a little writing retreat last weekend, intent on spending some dedicated time with the page. The retreat would be short—a night at the beach in what turned out to be a very loud room, the Captain’s Quarters, with a very deep clawfoot bathtub that would not hold water no matter how passionately I argued with the plug. It would be a full blue moon that night and I had two whole days to myself, all ingredients for the perfect productive storm.
Summer in Portland—those longed for, beatific days promising dry weather for play—is as much a darling as dominatrix.
There’s the constant pressure to get outside, and then there’s the still, hot air when you do. We run for shade and we bathe our delicate Pacific Northwest skins in sunscreen from hairline to pinkie toes. Ahhh, we sweat at each other, glorious. And won’t it be an even more glorious fall?
These are early days, still. This fact, if nothing else, seems clear.
We are “social distancing” and this is wise. We are trying to shop generously by leaving something on the shelves for our neighbor. Netflix hasn’t crashed (yet), which would undoubtedly send the quarantined over the edge.
We are witnessing the changing trajectory of our world in real time.
I have an absurd confession. Ready for it? Okay, here goes:
I do not consider myself a perfectionist because I have never created anything perfect.
See, I told you it was absurd. My lifelong battle with perfectionism and disappointment and hiding and isolation summed up in one blurt.
I am reading a memoir right now with that all-too-familiar blurb on the front: “Fearless” the blurber cries. I didn’t notice this until after I had taken the book home, begun it, and learned a little bit about what was inside. And I can tell you that if the book was truly fearless, I would have zero interest in it.
Today I want to talk about those people who seem to do whatever they want. You probably have one or two of them kicking around your life. And I’m not referring to trust fund kids, retirees with a variety of fulfilling hobbies, or babies. (Babies obviously always do what they want—in their pants or in the grocery store, restaurant, etc.)
Happy inspiration season, otherwise known as the holidays! This is a strange and wondrous time of year—the days are so short and pale they seem to whisper. And the nights are so deep dark, so full of energy, it’s all I can do to get enough sleep.
Lately I’ve been using this dichotomous time of year to listen to inspirational YouTube clips and podcasts and the sweet ramblings of friends. And we’ve covered a lot of ground together, the thrust of which seemed to point me toward this question…
The topic of permission came to me recently courtesy of my ex-husband, who has a genius for texting me what has been on my mind before my mind can process it. We all have our gifts. One of his, it seems, is of mental midwife.
The bubble has burst, as I knew it would. Said it would, actually, eight days after arriving. “I feel so wonderful,” I texted a dear friend. “I’m a little worried this bubble can’t hold.” Dear Friend responded with assorted breeds of happy-face emojis and applauding hands. Assured me that the bubble didn’t need to burst at all. Life could simply be like this from here on out. That the winds of forever-ever-after-loveliness would only e’er more gloss my cheeks and kiss the backs of my receptive hands.