Thursday, February 9, 2012

I Want to Not Want to Not Want Things Anymore

You know that auburny-haired gal in your high school who wore crazy outfits built around men's boots?  She was the one who had unpopular and vehement opinions about politics/religion/everything that she never stopped talking about in or out of the appropriate class situation, who read (and quoted) Bronte novels incessantly (especially in everyday conversations), stubbornly tried to revive archaic slang like "swanky," and always won staring contests/vows of silence?  You know, the one who during trips to Wal-Mart would say things like, "I don't want a normal life!  I'll never live in a suburb." And, "Psssht!  I wouldn't be caught dead reading Harry Potter." And, "God, I don't want a St. John.  Gross.  What am I, an automaton?"  (Jane Eyre reference, anyone?)

Well.  X-amount of years later, she's realizing something kind of kooky and wonderful about her life, something that should probably have been obvious all along.  Sure, maybe her obsession with curia and underdogs and gypsies and life's unobserved nooks and crannies stems from something good, some desire to explore and create...and maybe her desire to be different is really not that different, but rather a common symptom of humanity...but all this is beside the point.  The fact is that without meaning to, our bespectacled heroine has followed her creative urges into the swampy land of Contrariety and let it become all about what's NOT for her, what she DOESN'T want.  And this is not fair or brave or really honest.  "I don't want 2.5 kids."  "I don't want to vote for any of these guys."  "I don't like pink."  Okay, well...what DO you want, Miss Too-Cool?

You may have figured this out, but this bon vivant of vetoing to which I refer  I've never seemed to have had a problem pointing out what I disagree with or what isn't perfect or what isn't as it should be.  My mom could tell you that the eye-roll and the "death-stare" were my specialty.  I've gloried in the revolution, the rebels, the devil's advocate.  I own 4 - yes 4 - leather jackets, one for every flavor of outsider.  Why does everything have to be contrary though, Jeanne Joe?  What might happen if I spin the rhetoric, change the attitude?  Take that same desire to create and explore and mix in bravery?  Why is it so hard to admit, even to myself, that I want things?  I don't want to not want things anymore.  I want to be okay with the fact that I do want things.

It's not about what I don't want anymore.  It's now about what I do want.  The truth is that it was safer to play on the edges and shoot down what I don't want, but that's taking the easy way out.  See, if I admit that I actually want something, that makes me vulnerable.  It means I stand the risk of not getting whatever that thing is that I want.  Or worse - getting it!  You can't be disappointed if you don't hope.  Your heart can't break if it doesn't first skip a beat in excitement.  My Dad hates that word, hope; he always says, "Hope is not a strategy."  He's right.  It's not.  But, it can be a source of inspiration.  Inspiration fuels of strategy. 

"Without vision, the people parish."  I want to be brave enough to wear my heart on my sleeve instead of hiding it behind my wits.  Perhaps nothing earth-shattering will happen at first, but rather than continue to play it cool, I'm going to let myself make a fool out of myself with yearning.  Yearning, wanting, admitting, and celebrating my frail human appetite for wanting things.  Probably no Greek mythological figures will appear to wave a scepter and grant my wishes.  But, something magical might happen.  If I can actually admit to myself (and the world) what I DO want, that might be the first step towards achieving it.

So, I've made a decision.  I will keep my love for the obscure and the strange, but no longer will I put down other loves.  I will probably stay quirky, but I will do it in the light instead of the dark and stop shrugging off the truth of what's behind my pangs of desire.  I will own up to what I want and not be ashamed to go for it.  I will be positive, and form my vision for my life out of "yes" instead of "no."  What I am about to say is scary for me, but I think it will be fun.  This is not an exhaustive list but rather the highlight reel, if you will.  My mom would say, "Go for it!"  I hope to look back at this entry in a year's time and see track marks from this moment leading in the direction of these things that I want.  Here are some:
  • dance an actual tango
  • get married and have kids (this is hard for me to admit for some reason, but I really, really do want it.)
  • adopt kids
  • be on 30 Rock!
  • ride the Orient's still there, right?  Probably called something less racist now.
  • take my mom and dad to the Oscars!
  • learn Spanish
  • visit a rain forest
  • study at RADA
  • act in feature films
  • portray a vampire...dead serious (get it!?!)
  • be British (pretty sure this one won't happen for me, unless I can---)
  • invent time travel and alter the past
  • direct a movie
  • start a production company (oh wait, check!)
  • publish a book
There's nothing wrong with knowing your mind or playing devil's advocate.  But the bottom line is, I need to be able to say yes as well as no, to stand up and be counted.  It's okay to want things.  No shame. 

I want to not want to not want things anymore.   ;)


  1. good post, good to-do list, my love. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox 4eva

  2. hahah- I love that you can put a check on "start a production company."

    And I so know what you mean- it's so hard to admit to actually wanting certain things, especially when they are the "normal" things that "normal" people want, such as... getting married and having kids...(which I also very much want and never ever want to admit).

    I hope to be with you down the road as you write about these amazing hopes coming true, my dear. I believe in you full-heartedly.


    - your partner in hope

  3. Oh, dear you. I remember "swanky"!

    I am glad that you are willing to want things. Dreaming and hoping and desiring are important, I've been finding. And why it is so hard to admit those concrete things I REALLY DO WANT, I have no idea. Except that it is related to being fully real, being available to others in your fullness, and to yourself. Somehow.

    And this is a good list. Go for it, indeed. And enjoy the glorious going. :-)


  4. Good for you! XOXO Yay for adding things to your list. The more you list, the easier it will become to see your goals and get them. You will have all these things, I have no doubt, and so much more.

    You are a brave and daring person who always accepts a challenge. I think that you are better at this is wearing your heart on your sleeve thing than you know. Most people are ruled by fear and I think you are the most fearless person I've met. I'm happy that your desire is to be proactively fearless, and get the things you want. I especially like the part where you want children. ;-)

    Also one of my goals is a boat trip on the Amazon, so I think with your "visit a rain forest" we should start planning our trip.

  5. Thank you my beautiful ladies! I'm so thankful to have each and every one of you in my life, and I want to keep it that way for the whole journey.

    @Kirsten, when are we going to be able to admit that we just want to marry each other?

    @Larissa, CHECK! I'm so excited about The Body Stories and having you as my business and life partner, and I can't wait for our next adventure! I believe in you too! And I believe in our story.

    @Shazam, Shazam, Shazam. The glorious going indeed! I think this will be a brave new year for both of us, and I NEED TO COME UP THERE TO SEE YOU!!!

    @KCJ, thank you my love! You make me blush. And let's immediately commence planning our Amazon adventure...check...