You guys, I'm dizzy.
I feel like so much around me is just spinning so quickly. And I'm drawn to all of it, because it's all stuff I care about, so I spend my days like a kitten trying to keep her eye on that red light laser pointer. Heart pounding, blinking and staring, shifting focus frenetically from one moving target to another, panic rising and falling. Granted, like a cat, I don't like change that much. It's just not my thing. And there are a lot of things around me that have been the same for a good few years that are now changing. So I'm way off-kilter. And some of the change is kind of scandalous, and I'm a smut-lover, so I can't keep myself from asking, hearing, talking, thinking about it. What will happen next? You think so?? But what if x happens before y? Then what? OMG really?? Is that your phone? Who is it?? And then it's like pins and needles waiting for the next update, the next email, the next hot text to buzz in.
But now the pins and needles have me all pricked up and exhausted. It's hard to hear about freaky things happening to people you care about, and even harder to endure the freaky things yourself, right? Sometimes you end up talking everyone off the ledge, only to turn around and realize your own toes are right up on the edge. So you spend a few moments getting centered, finding balance, and carefully backing away, closer to safety.
I think usually good comes from bad. I believe most things happen for a reason, even if the reason doesn't make itself known for years (or ever). Some things never make much sense and bad things happen to good people, which blows the theory out of the water sometimes. But the karma train always pulls into the station. It's late sometimes, but it's forever on track.
So I wasn't writing, because I needed to take a step back and sit. Sit and wait for the karma train to pull into its stations. Because I feel like not only are things spinning around me - amazing work situations getting twisted, trusted "friends" telling boldfaces lies over the course of a year, other friends being secretly manipulated by business partners, and yet other friends getting fucked by their life partners (and not in the really delicious, horizontal way)...but the whole world is spinning so fast even that superstorms and snowstorms and rainstorms are slamming into the country. Even when I try to escape into a couple blogs I like to read, I'm hit by the spin - they are both now writing about their own crumbling marriages. One of them is doing amazing things for other people, but when you click on her link to see if maybe you want to help, you read horrible stories about all these people in desperate need which creates yet another spin of worry and guilt and fret. It's nuts, I tell you.
But if I turn away from it for just a while, it gives my eyes time to refocus on what's not spinning. And once I hone in on what's steady, I can once again breathe deep and create a thankful space. I can be grateful for what I keep around me. I can simplify without apology. I can listen to music (Bieber, anyone? Keep reading...). Drink tea. Watch leaves fall. Smile even when I don't feel like it, because it feels better afterwards. Linger in the hugs offered up by the smallest members of my family. Relish the bigness and hairy-ness of the puppy who doesn't realize that 120-pound dogs don't belong on my trachea. And yes, relax long enough to indulge in that delicious, horizontal activity with the gorgeous, traveling husband (if either of us can stay awake after our heads hit the pillows).
Why do we as women internalize so much? Why do our heartstrings tie themselves to everyone we love? Why can't we ever just detach and say, Wow that sucks...good luck with that, and then go back to flipping channels? God, Chicago and I have been dwelling on every minute detail of each other's lives for years now. It's what makes life feel real. If we haven't shared it with each other, it hasn't happened yet.
Maybe life is just like the ocean...except I like life and the ocean scares the bejesus out of me. Wait, life scares my bejesus too. Okay, so life=ocean. Some stuff is so gorgeous and mind blowing, and then there are the sticky monsters the size of your local mall. Also prickly stuff, and poison, and invisible things that you have no idea are upon you until you get zapped, and things (people?) that look pretty but are really, really deadly. By nature they are. They grow beautiful to draw you in and just when you get close enough to really enjoy it, BOOM. Poison prickles all over you. Or, lies and deception. Whichever.
I've been through enough over the last month or so to rethink a whole lot of things. Decisions, relationships, commitments. And I've decided I'm backing away from the deadly, pretty things and backing into the comforts of home. I'm baking pumpkin bread and lighting candles. I'm ordering peppermint mochas in a holiday cup. I'm calling my mom just because hearing her voice makes me feel loved from the bottom of my heart. I'm writing. And I'm going to listen to Justin Bieber. You should too. Here's why:
1. He is adorable. At his concert, I saw full-grown girls, young women really, sobbing hysterically because during the meet and greet, he called them "Love". (Now, Eight and Ten - holy shit you guys, Nine turned Ten last month - are just a couple years and a few hormones shy of the crying over boys phase, so they were bewildered. Justin called Eight "Lil Cutie" and I had to remind her to do a fist bump because it's Justin Freaking Bieber and a once in a lifetime opportunity for the love of Christ. He called Ten "Sugar", I think, but I was so dizzy from life and everything spinning around me and the crying women that I was still thinking in my head "Did he just go in for a hug from me and I shook his hand? Why did I shake his hand? Why not hug it out? He called me "Darlin"; he probably misses his mom and wanted a hug. Maybe because he could be my son and it just felt wrong?". And then the photo op was done (after he called the husband "Big Dog") and we were off to eat chicken tenders and fries, and buy commemorative t-shirts, and watch more girls cry until the show started.)
2. He has good opening acts. Carly Rae Jepsen is cute as a button. And so is Cody Simpson. In case you haven't heard of him, he's an Aussie surfer dude who will now be an Aussie super star, thanks to the Biebs.
3. His concert was totally age-appropriate. His back up dancers didn't look like strippers; they looked like high school dance team members. They wore cute outfits and weren't trying to seduce anyone, they were all about the good energy and the music. Mother-approved. (Jesus, now I feel like I'm wearing mom jeans. I swear I'm not.)
4. Justin wears genie pants. Okay they aren't officially, but his pants have a super long crotch, which he grabs at a lot (which enhances the older girls' sobbing hysteria, no doubt), and I kept thinking maybe he should just get some skinny jeans with some stretch so he doesn't have to do that awkward side leap up the step on the stage. But, a stylist, I'm not. And clearly, he's not an unpopular guy, so, go ahead and rock the custom genie pants, JB.
5. He's different in person than on stage. Now, that could have been the reefer talking (I'm not saying he was high. Perhaps he was just saving his energy and wearing a musky, earthy cologne.), but he was super mellow and cool when we met him, as evidenced by his raised eyebrows, tall cap and sunglasses in our photo. He was also crazy skinny. He looked a lot like Claymation. Then on stage he was all energy and smiles and charm and soul and voice. And I saw a recent picture of him from the Victoria's Secret runway show (seriously, this kid is living a dream) and he had biceps, which from what I saw, had to have been photoshopped in. He seemed more like Gumby to me than he did a macho man, but what do I know.
So today, don't feel bad if closing your eyes against the spin of your world feels good. Don't apologize if listening to Justin (or Keith or Pink or Kelly or Anya) cools your jets today. Get and give hugs, have some tea with your pumpkin bread and breathe deep as you can, because life is good and you're okay and right now, so am I. :)