That’s Not Me

In reading the pile of reports the school sent over regarding my youngest child, I thought: that’s not me.

On every occasion in parenting, I am reminding how very few people I encounter — whether as friends or acquaintances — who really understand me.

They do exist, and they are ridiculously loyal. But the by and large of the world tend to do what we all do: collect scraps of experiences to combine them with perceptions of who a person should be.

And there you have a person, to be recorded, reported on, whispered.

A Lesson in Comparative Literature

Today so happens to be the birthday of Dr. Maya Angelou. Have you ever read a summary of her life’s achievements? That task is not for the faint of heart.

Undistracted by herself, it seems Maya Angelou carried on with her notion of experiencing the world and got on with life. The end result was exactly what we understand success to be: a life wildly lived.

Her life was a cacophony, with divorces and projects and moves and a shattered child and lovers. And still. And yet. The collection of everything she did piles up upon itself and becomes itself a wonder.

The Existential Riddle

Today will pass. Tomorrow I will have woken after a better night’s sleep. Later this afternoon, I will have gone to the gym and raised my spirits through exercise. The noise in my head will recede like the tide.

Why worry then, what the world believes about who I am? Isn’t it all an existential riddle anyway, with no punch line?

That’s not me, however. I reserve the right to not only scratch the surface, but to pick at it, to bother it, to put holes in the theory of it.

This is all my nice and compressed way of screaming very quietly, of smashing all the dishes silently. Of running away to the Peace Corps, again, metaphorically.