Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Walking with my Head Up

Lately I've been walking around town with my head up...not too far up, mind you, I don't want to look like a tourist with my head tilted back and my mouth open. I keep my eyes straight ahead, and I've been surprised by the number of people that have caught my eye and given me the friendly head nod. Most people avoid eye contact. You don't want to accidentally catch the eye of some freak, of which there are thousands in London, and end up explaining that you aren't interested in whatever he or she begins to babble about to you.

Having said that, I was walking to buy my lunch yesterday and I came upon a little boy that was out with his grandma and had fallen behind. She turned around to coax him back, and, with outstretched arms, he dashed forward. I, noticing he was aiming himself more and more in my direction, jumped out of the way to let him race to his grandma, but he changed directions quickly and threw his arms around my legs with a yell of, what seemed like...joy. His grandmother apologized as I gave him a pat on the head and thanked him for the warm greeting. It got me thinking...mostly because I've been brewing up a blog in my head for a long time, and I've been looking for the right beginning. I don't know if this is it yet, but I'm going to keep writing.

I went to Ireland this weekend (for Easter!), and on the plane over, I read the G2 from The Guardian. The cover story was entitled...something like...The Dangers of Being Honest about Motherhood. It was about this woman, a writer, that had written a memoir about her pregnancy with and the birth of, her first child. She explores all the emotions, all the joys, and all the horrors she experiences during and after pregnancy, and apparently, it really pissed some people off. Some men AND women were appalled at the audacity of a mother that would express her terrifying doubts...Apparently, making statements about how painful childbirth is is off limits as well...some even labeled it 'post-feminist' with the 'we hate all things feminist' tone of those that either don't truly understand women or don't understand who they are as women. The author's tone was hopeful, as she wrote, and honest. I couldn't help feeling a bit guilty about my own reluctance to be honest about my feelings. I KNOW...this is the LAST thing you all think I am doing...but the truth is...I weigh my words very carefully...I feel that if I don't...I might worry some of you. On the plane, I absolved to be more honest...to be as raw and gory about the details of my inner thoughts and feelings as I used to be in my blogs (but don't worry....I'm not having a baby, so no gross child-birth stories). I sat in my seat with a satisfied sense of accomplishment. I sat in my seat in a cloud of an 'i've just discovered a secret' utopia.

I saw Ireland...well..one small corner of it...and I had a lovely time in the bright warm sun...and I allowed all the feelings...all those real feelings...like the reality of death mixed with the awe of seeing the ocean...or the pain of uncertainty mixed with the faith in right now. I ate a lot of chocolate. And then I came home, and I watched a lot of T.V. and I went back to work. And I didn't blog, and I didn't imagine that I would say much if I did blog, except to recount the goings on of the weekend.

But that kid, with his laugh, and his arms wrapped around my legs, brought me back for a moment...and I allowed myself to imagine what I might be able to do if I stopped looking for the easiest way to think and feel. For a moment. I'm not sure what to say right now, and I'm not sure if I'm ready to say it...or if those that love me won't be terrified that I'm not okay. Because I AM okay. I'm just tired of keeping my head down.

p.s. I'll post some pictures in the next blog. It just don't fit the mood y'all.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

One of the greatest lessons that Jennifer Fowler ever taught me was to be more open and honest. I'm never going to be quite as open as she is, but my not only being less afraid but also making more of an active effort to share my feelings over the past few years has been freeing. Enjoy the feeling!

Apryl

Anonymous said...

1. You are missed, but I am so proud of you. Leaving you comfort zone/home is no small feat, and I really think that living away really opens up the chance for one to explore who you are vs. who you want to be. What you are going through is tough, but also beautiful and amazing.

2. American English RULZ!

vylica.8 said...

i never thought of you as being a particularly "guarded" person in terms of expressing yourself. but i'm happy for anyone who's inspired by little leg hugs on the sidewalk
:)

thanks to Apryl for her shout out. i wasn't really aware of having that effect, but it's sweet to hear :)