My mother asked me on Saturday if I had made any resolutions for the new year. I thought about it, the way I have to think if someone asks me how old my baby is. Which baby? Oh, that one. I don’t k – wait, I know this one! 8.5 months! Anyway, I said no. No, I did not make any resolutions for the new year. I almost never do. I am constantly making resolutions, changes to my outlook, haphazard decisions. I love to start lists, then I lose track of them, then I buy new notebooks and pens to take better lists down in. I have some follow-through issues, mostly related to fear. No problem making the commitments, just difficulty completing the task. Except in my marriage and childbearing. The former because it is not scary to me and the latter because the completion of the task was not optional. After a certain point, anyway.
However, this morning I remembered that I did make a resolution. Maybe I will tell her about it in two weeks when she comes back from Mexico. I am guessing she can’t be bothered to check my blog when there are toes to be burrowed in warm sand, fresh salsa to eat, Tequila Sunrises to drink and an ocean to swim in.
To be me. That is my resolution. To be me.
I agree, it sounds pretty encompassing. Vague, even. The kind of resolution that has no accountability attached to it; after all, who can say who ME is and who can hold me to BEING HER. Only I can. It’s cheating, right? Oh, I totally fulfilled my new year’s resolution this year. I was me ALL YEAR LONG!
I guess what I mean by it is this: I am resolving to be authentic. To stop my internal censor before she starts, not just in writing but in everything.
Here is an example of the me I am, usually. I was walking to the grocery store a few days after Christmas, early evening. I was alone, no kids, no buggy. There was snow everywhere. There was slush and ice everywhere. There was a woman out at the intersection, shoveling the curb so that the sidewalk would be accessible to those of us on or with wheels. I waited for the light to change, staring at her, thinking, I should buy that woman a coffee. She is awesome. What a great thing to do. And right up until I was at the checkout at Safeway I was intending to buy a Starbucks card and give it to her on my way home. And then I talked myself out of it. Maybe she won’t be there, and then I’ll be stuck with a Starbucks card.(I know I am ridiculous.) She probably doesn’t even drink coffee. The lineup is really long. I don’t even really like Starbucks. Do I want to support Starbucks? On my way home, she was still there, still shoveling, still being a goddamn hero and I just carried on home and felt bad that I didn’t even cross the street to say thank you.
I can talk myself into or out of just about anything if my motivation is strong enough. New boots? Sign me up. Random act of civility? No thanks. I don’t like drawing attention to myself. Don’t look at me. Don’t be grateful to me. Don’t make awkward conversation with me. How will I get out of it? How do I leave, now? What if I offend you? Say something wrong. Do something wrong. Better if you just don’t pay attention to me. Look at my boots. Look at my kids. I don’t care. But me? Nah. You don’t want to talk to me.
Sure, you say. So you are writing this for a (possible) million people on the Internet to read and you expect us to believe you are an attention-phobe?
Ah but I am back here, behind the keys. Still hidden. Still editing as I write. Still discarding 14 topics before I settle on this one. Ordinarily I would discard this one too but, see, the resolution I Will Be Me also means: I Will Stop Being Safe. I Will Not Hide. I Will Act First, Think Later. (in most things)
Yesterday I got my hair cut. I just wandered into the emptiest salon on 6th Street and this woman named Janet cut the hell out of my hair. It looks like Lawnmower Man hit it but I love it. It’s what I wanted. It says who I am right now.
I feel like I’ve written all this before but I’m too lazy to search my own archives. Maybe if I write it enough I will believe it. I think this is the year I will believe it. I have very fond feelings for the number 9.
My other resolution, which I remembered while I was nursing Fresco this afternoon and which prompted this post, is to make more shortbread. Why do we only eat shortbread at Christmas? How ridiculous! I am making shortbread once a month. Today’s batch is very tasty.
(Saint Aardvark says I remind him of Flashdance, but in a good way. I think I look like an over-coked stand-up comedian. Discuss.)