Six years ago, as I drove to my first appointment with a new therapist, I pondered the answer to the inevitable, impending question: What brings you here today?
So many things pinged around my brain. How did I get here? Where’s my drive? My determination? My inspiration? Why am I not happy or fulfilled when I’m so blessed? For the love of God and all things holy, why can’t I simply find the energy, much less desire, to just make my flipping bed?
I pondered this, as I had for many months, for the entire forty-five minute drive. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. And I certainly couldn’t formulate a concise, clear answer to those, and the myriad other questions that had been dive bombing my consciousness relentlessly like horse flies in Savannah for what felt like eons.
I knew it was coming. And it did. “What brings you here?” she asked. And without indulging in my usual verbosity, I just blurted out the first thought that forced its way through all of the noise.
I’m a fucking cliché. Oh, God. I’m a Desperate Housewife. Well, Desperate Housewife-ish. But still…
Suddenly it had crystalized. I’m a walking, talking cliché. A forty-something-former-type-A-career-woman-turned-part-time-stay-at-home-mom-part-time-lawyer-part-time-home contractor…with foggy purpose and no clear direction. A jack-of-all-trades and master of none.
In that moment, I hated the cliché. Hated what I had become. And maybe, just a little bit, in my otherwise self-assured life, hated me.
Fast forward six years later. After lots of Netflix binging, Candy Crushing and Barefooting (of the Sauvignon Blanc variety) – interspersed with making school lunches, taxiing to kids’ activities, tiling a bathroom or two, negotiating and drafting many contracts - more than a little therapy and self-reflection, a few pharmaceuticals (of the anti-depressant variety), a tearing down and rebuilding in front of the proverbial mirror, and many, many failed attempts to jump start “me” again, I fucking love it. I love the cliché. And I love me. Most days anyway - I'm still me, and I'm still a work-in-progress. As are we all.
I still don’t make my bed. I’m still a shitty housekeeper. I still curse like a sailor and can be a bit self-indulgent. I still have moments of self-doubt and, if I’m being honest, mental self-flagellation.
But...I also now know, that I am a masterpiece. A messy one. But a masterpiece nonetheless. I like to think of myself as a knock-off Pollock. That way, I can make changes here and there – it will still be me, only better with a little more color splashed across the canvas blending into the messiness with ease. Plus, I haven’t mentally defaced a multi-million dollar piece of art, being a knock-off and all.
As I continue my quest for personal and spiritual growth, I sometimes like to take a look at life through the bite-sized nuggets of wisdom of others - clichés, quotes and other tru-isms. They are often real, profound, and deep, if you stop and think about them rather than dismissing them as, well, cliché. They can also be fucking funny sometimes if we stop taking them, and ourselves, so gosh darned seriously.
So, if you are messy, if you are a masterpiece, or if you are both, welcome. Let’s have a laugh, a cry, celebrate our victories, accept our failures, have the courage to change the things that we can, and start loving the hell out of ourselves.
In love and like for who and what you are. Just as you are.