Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Core

Hubble: Core of globular star clusters 8,200 light-years away in Ara
"Someday, sometime, you will be sitting somewhere. A berm overlooking a pond in Vermont. The lip of the Grand Canyon at sunset. A seat on the subway. And something bad will have happened. You will have lost someone you loved, or failed at something at which you badly wanted to succeed. And sitting there, you will fall into the center of yourself. You will look for some core to sustain you. And if you have been perfect all your life and have managed to meet all the expectations of your family, your friends, your community, your society, chances are excellent that there will be a black hole where that core ought to be. I don't want anyone I know to take that terrible chance. And the only way to avoid it is to listen to that small voice inside you that tells you to make mischief, to have fun, to be contrarian, to go another way. George Eliot wrote, 'It is never too late to be what you might have been.' It is never too early, either."
~ Anna Quindlen, Being Perfect

I grew up totally sure that I was far from perfect. I didn't fit in to my family. I was what Clarissa Pinkola Estes labeled the "misplaced zygote." There were three other wonderful people in my family who were so incredibly different from me. I was moody, passionate, intense as well as an introvert. How could I be part of this group? If they were good ~ and anywhere near perfect ~ and I was so very different, I must be wrong.

From that place, I went to a kind of rigidity. Sometimes, I was so concerned about being different from others that I did my best to fade into the background, to be as close to neutral as I could be, to not stand out. And you know what happened? That very behavior made me stand out.

I like that I am okay enough to make mischief, to have fun and to be contrary. I hope that means I have a deep core rather than a black hole. I want to be what I might have been. I want to be that every single day. And on the best of days, I succeed.

Where do you fit? Are you one to walk your own path? or do you want to be like others? or do you want to fade into the upholstery of life? Do you know "what you might have been"? Do you want to be that?

No comments:

Post a Comment