Day 4: Write about someone who inspires you.
I could spend this whole entry talking about my love of Liz Gilbert, my writer hero, or Jason Isaacs, my storyteller hero, or Adele or Damien Rice, who are my singer/songwriter heroes, or Amanda Palmer, who’s my feminist/artist/open-hearted person hero, or my dear friend Carol I., who’s my spiritually grounded person hero, or my dad, who was just my hero. I could spend an entire blog entry about all the women (and a few men – but mostly I’ve worked with women, because antiquated patriarchal holdovers) I’ve worked with over the years who’ve taught me how to do my job with integrity and class and fun and kindness and how to think outside the box and deal with bureaucracies that would explode even the most detached Buddhist’s mind. I could write lots of entries about all of them.
But you know who I really admire, who I really, every day, no I’m not joking seriously every day, wake up and deeply wish to be like? People with integrity, who are always honest, who are committed to authenticity no matter what even when they’re facing the scariest monster of Fear straight in the face. Like, I once worked with a lady who – if you passed her in the hallway and said, “Hey, how are you?” she’d respond, “Are you asking because you really want to know or are you just trying to be polite?” Even if you were the boss of her boss. True story and I love people like that. I’m also slightly afraid of people like that, but I really admire and love them.
I admire people who are grounded, who have walked through fire and know exactly who they are. People who know which things are theirs for the taking, and which are not and keep their hands, their minds, and their hearts to themselves. People who have dreams and work hard every day at those dreams, who don’t give in to their natural proclivity towards procrastination and at the same time ignore all the practical-minded people in their lives who want to practical-think those dreams away. People who do the hard things even though they’re dying inside, they’re exhausted. People who can maintain their peace on the inside when the entire world around them is losing its collective shit.
Because I think those are the people who’ve learned – the hard way – how to do Life right. How to do you and let other people do them, how to not judge and stay open, and how to not always give in to your baser instincts which will always bring you pain and regret. I admire people who, if they do give in to their baser instincts, just know how to calmly accept with grace the consequences that will always naturally follow. This is all something I’m starting (like, inchworm little incremental baby steps) to maybe kind of be a little better at now but still having a tremendous time at, I will confess (as this is how I do here).
I also admire people who know their strengths and their weaknesses, and are accepting of both. There are certain aspects of myself, things I think are both blessings and curses, that – after 44 years here on this crazy rock – I am just sighing and going: I will never ever be able to change this about me, and I probably shouldn’t because these things are not necessarily horrible about me, even if they do sometimes leave me arguing with myself: WHY do you keep doing this?? (sigh. Because, Self, it’s part of my make up. If you know a better way to do it – and you don’t because I’m you – then let me know.)
I admire people who talk nice to themselves. I don’t call myself names or anything, but I do remain constantly annoyed with myself because I’m annoyed with other people so I’m annoyed at myself. I think what happens is, someone will do something and I’ll react or respond and then afterwards they’ve won and oh of course. I let that happen. They’re just doing what they’re doing, but I could have responded like this instead and why didn’t I, why did I give in and let them have what they wanted?? That’s how I talk to myself. Constantly analyzing me, when really what I’d like to just naturally do is be me, be myself, respond to people with an open heart and my natural, naive instinct to trust and believe, get crapped all over and instead of beating myself up and spending hours and hours obsessing over coulda/woulda/shouldas and being angry and hurt and hating myself and other human beings….instead of doing that, I wish I could just go: What a shithead that other person is. Sweet pea, now you stop crying and feeling hurt over something and someone you can’t control and you sit yourself down with this nice cup of tea or how about this nice glass of wine. Just relax, duckie. You can’t fix asshole, and you just be thankful you aren’t one yourself. You got taken for a ride because they knew about you, and that’s okay. You’ll do better next time, there there. You’re pretty awesome, darling. Now you finish that drink, go take a hot bath, wash those tears off that pretty face and climb in bed with a good book. And don’t you even bother your beautiful little brain or gorgeous little heart one more moment with what that dickhead did or is doing.
There are people out there, in the world, who talk like that to themselves, all the time. There are people out there who’ve figured out how to be their own heroes. And those people are my heroes, and one day I wish to be among them.