Yesterday was one of those quiet days…..
It was the kind to watch the snowfall from my living room window. It was a good day to stay at home, eat food, and watch movies.
After the sun went down, the Christmas lights brightened our street and the grounds were covered in a blanket of white.
I saw this as peaceful.
I watched the snowfall into the late hours of night and found myself sitting quietly on the couch and staring through my window into nothingness. I suppose my thoughts drifted when I realized the date. It was around this time when The Old Man had the first heart attack. I was so unbelievably young and unsure of myself then.
I was lost, but no more lost than anyone else. Yet in my awkwardness, I struggled to understand that my feelings were normal. I failed to realize there was an entire world that felt as I did. I thought I was alone or almost void…
I have always been self-conscious of my body, my size, and my weight. As well, I have had the same feelings with the sound of my voice.
Like anyone else, I have always wanted to fit; I have always wanted to belong, or be a part of something. I went through stages of behaving differently. I spoke and acted like the crowd I was with.
However, what doesn’t come natural…..doesn’t come natural, and no matter how I tried to dress myself, or behave, I never seemed to fit.
Last night, I watched from my window and saw the snowfall switch to rain. The snow was washed from the limbs of my friend, “The Old Tree,” that lives across the street. I reference this tree often because The Old Tree symbolizes so much to me.
Whether its branches grow leaves or lifelessly point towards the sky, the tree never explains itself. It simply stands as it does on a daily basis. The tree never apologizes for its age or physical defects. It never weeps for the limbs that fell throughout the years.
The tree is like an old man; it has lived, it has aged, and over the years the tree has lost some of its leaves the same way an old man loses some of his hair. At least in wintertime, The Old Tree is just as leafless as the other trees in the neighborhood.
Perhaps it is my age, but I am less aware of my awkwardness now. Or, maybe I learned an important lesson from my friend The Old Tree.
The cure to any insecurity is acceptance. I do not say this is easy. It was never easy for me.
I thought my body was poorly shaped; I’m too short, and strange looking. It used to take me an hour to set my outgoing message on the answering machine.
Why? Because I hated the sound of my own voice, that’s why.
It took decades for me to comfortably say, “This is me,” and once I did, I found my insecure worries lost momentum.
“This is who I am,” end of sentence…
My friend The Old Tree never explains itself. It never moves or weeps when the neighbors complain and threaten to cut it down. I see this as a lesson as to how I should be.
We all live in a surrounding, and often, the surrounding is unkind. As a species, we have slid away from respectfulness and common courtesy.
People can be mean spirited; they can be cruel, harsh, and degrading.
I see pushing and shoving on a regular basis. I see people argue in the streets. And yesterday, I watched two women fight over a parking spot.
“I was waiting for that spot, you know?”
“Oh yeah, well I parked in that spot!”
It took me a long time to learn this; but most times, other people’s nonsense has little to do with me and more to do with them.
This does not free me from feeling emotion. I still feel hurt. I have bouts with anger. I struggle with rejection, and wanting to be liked…..but this is me. This is who I am and I don’t want to waste any more time trying to change that.
…..I woke later than usual this morning. I pushed the magic blue button on my coffee machine, and opened the back door to let the dogs out. The rain had gone away and taken most of the snow with it.
I settled down in the small room where I write to you and looked at a photograph of my Old Man. He was so unbelievably young then. Perhaps, his concerns were no different from mine…
Enjoy your morning, folks.