Tuesday, November 02, 2010

30 Days of Truth, Day 02

Thirty Days of Truth, continued: Day 02: Something You Love About Yourself

This is a considerably more difficult topic, and I hate to admit that I am struggling to come up with something, so early in the thirty days. So I've been procrastinating this post for most of the day, while I voted, and read stories with Lil Girl, and talked with Grandmother about the second anniversary of her youngest son's death and chopped up vegetables for stew. I put it off while I sent Mum home to take a nap (even though I could have used one myself), and spent forty five minutes browsing for birthday cards and tried to figure out how to word a particularly touchy e-mail. And, all the while, I let the topic simmer on the back burner in my brain, hoping that something would eventually occur to me. There had to be something after all, that I love about myself.

And then, suddenly, it was there: I love that I care. Just care, full stop. Full throttled, hold nothing back kind of caring.

I love that I care - many times to excess, often times without wisdom or doubt, and almost constantly with my whole heart. I love that I continue to care, even when it's difficult or challenging or just plain ridiculous for me to do so. If you're in my heart, you're in there, and that puts you on my list. If you wind up on the list of people I care about, then you're pretty much stuck there. Forever.*

Case in point? I am, literally, still friendly with almost everybody I ever went to school with - including my first college roommate who smoked pot in our room every weekend so that I had to go home just to breathe. And not just Facebook friendly, (which wasn't exactly around when I was going to school but is a great tool now,) but "I'll drop you a note or a Christmas card even though I haven't actually seen you in the past 15 years" kind of friendly. "Call me if you need somebody to watch your kids, even if I've never met them" friendly.

I care about the people in my life even when they don't exactly reciprocate, even when I don't have the energy to do anything but send them happy thoughts, even when I have other things I should probably be devoting that energy to.

And it isn't just "my people," Those immediately within my family and friends get the bulk of my time and attention, sure, but that's how it should be. Still, though, I also care about my community and my commonwealth and my country and my world. I worry about not being able to be as active as I can be when it comes to advocating and activism, but I write letters and turn off lights when I leave the room, and try to convince people that voting is important to their lives too. I participate in the limited ways that I can, but even when I can't show up, I don't stop caring.

Here's an example of the kind of "cries at commercials and smiles at random babies" type of caring I've come to appreciate in myself: something that other people tend to view with a lot of eye-rolling, but that I've come to love.

Last night I was laying on the couch in the living room, reading my book while my uncle was watching the baseball game on the television. I am not a sports person, and have no real interest in the games, but I was also too tired to get up and come into the other room - my spot on the couch was warm and comfy, my sofa-bed was neither and held little appeal. When the game was finished, and the cheer of the crowd went up, sentimental me watched with a full heart as the winning team celebrated and jumped all over each other. And then, when the camera angles switched, I was reminded of one of the reasons I don't like sports - somebody has to lose.

And watching that team (IDK; was it Texas? I think it was Texas) slink back to their bullpen, hopes of victory and World Series fame fading into nothingness, I felt for them. Even though I couldn't be bothered by to note who was playing, I still cared that those guys, who'd probably dreamed of playing in the World Series for their entire lives, had to deal with the fact that their dream had ended in disappointment. This is not the first time that this has happened to me - which can be a sore spot to your family, if the dreams your Red Sox have just crushed belong to those who wear the pinstripes - but it's one of those things that make me, me.

Even when I'm most angry with someone - usually a sister - I have this part of me that makes me think: "Oh, but how hard it must be for them!" There's an empathy in me that I've sometimes wished I could be shed of (you try being mad at somebody - especially if you're right! - when all you can see is how miserable it's making them), but that now I truly value. A piece of my heart that, even if it has had good reason to harden, just refuses to. And I used to be ashamed of it, and I've certainly tried to hide it, but it's something about me that I love, because I can't imagine where - or who - I'd be if I managed to shut it off.

Just call me tenderheart.

*I don't make enemies easily - and can think of only one particular group of people who I actively dislike, and (if you've been here any length of time) you know that that animosity is well earned.

Day 01 Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself


Sue Jackson said...

Love it!!! What a wonderful essay - how great that you could find something so good in yourself. I can't think of anything more important in the whole world than caring.


Crazed Nitwit said...

You are an extremely caring person. It's what I love about you.

Now that I'm Army Mom Strong I'm gonna turn into one tough chick. Yep. That's what I keep telling myself.

Hugs and HOOAH!