Feathers   1 comment

Hope” is the thing with feathers – / That perches in the soul / And sings the tune without the words – / And never stops – at all – Emily Dickinsonpeacock

Recently I was told that hope is what keeps people going through times of loss. That somewhere buried underneath all the anger and sadness is the spark that makes you get up and face each new day with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.

Okay, the somewhat snarkier second sentence was my interpretation, with perhaps just a dash of cynicism on the side. It’s mostly in the tone, so if you didn’t read it that way, that’s all right.

In any case, I thought about the concept for a while and my brain came up with a mental image of Pandora finally getting to the bottom of the box – jar, or whatever the container was – having been stomped on, kicked, and punched by hatred, hopelessness, and all the other evil things that were escaping, finding the small light of hope shining in a corner… and giving it the finger.

Which is neither appropriate nor the point of the myth. Sometimes that’s just how my mind works.

For the past few days I have been avoiding working on trying to come up with a list of things I want to do in the future. Not necessarily big things like travel to Europe or Hawaii – those are on a different list along with someday getting to ComicCon and possibly winning the lottery – but rather small things like going ballroom dancing or taking singing lessons. Or finding someone to go rock climbing with me, which is turning out to be far more difficult than I had thought, but I digress.

Why am I doing this? It’s a simple explanation for something difficult to do.

I am trying to relearn who I am.

For the past twenty-something years pieces of me have been disappearing. Some were packed away when I became a parent to be brought out again someday when my child was older. Given how the boy is turning out, I appear to have at least been successful in that part of the endeavor. Other parts vanished while I was busy trying to be a good and caring spouse. Some I put somewhere safe while others were chipped off – removed unwillingly but in the name of love. The problem is that while I can locate most of the pieces packed away for parenting purposes – these are slowly being unpacked and shaken out to remove the dust, I have no idea where the others landed when they fell, which leaves me incomplete.

So now, lacking a full picture, I have try to figure out what I want. And not only what I want to do but who I want to be. The person I was before is long gone. And I’m not sure I would recognize her if I saw her today. In addition to the parts of me that I am having trouble locating (that’s the problem with putting things in a ‘safe’ place; you have to remember where that was), some parts were shattered, not entirely beyond repair, but when they finally get put back together I am pretty sure there will be shards missing. On a strangely positive note, I am finding this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some of them really needed to go.

One of the parts being reconstructed is my self-image. Over the past six months or so, I have started to see myself differently than I have in the past. I have grown to appreciate there are men who find me attractive, although I still don’t understand why.

I’m not saying this to fish for compliments. I truly don’t get it, as there are many other people I find both more interesting and attractive than me. But at the same time, I’m not complaining. Not only is it startling – in a good way – it has forced me to re-evaluate how I see myself.

For example, I am no longer seeing myself through the filter of my adolescent eyes, which found flaws with every part of me (except for my hair which is lovely, thank you very much). While I haven’t stopped comparing myself to other women, I am no longer quite as harsh on myself in those comparisons.

Baby steps, but I’ll take them.

In the meantime, I’ll keep working on the reconstruction project, continue plugging away at my want to-do list, and try to cultivate a positive attitude. With any luck, some of that hope will start winging its way into my psyche.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go out and buy some peacocks. Stacking the deck can’t hurt, right?


Posted August 20, 2014 by wordsaremylife in random thoughts

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One response to “Feathers

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  1. I’m working on a feature for the health and fitness website “Life by Daily Burn” about how relationships can get stressed when one person has an extreme training regimen for marathons or triathlons. I’d love to include your perspective.

    Would you like to participate and tell your story? If so, email me at: serichards33@gmail.com

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