Friday, October 7, 2016

Defying Gravity

It's been a hell of a year, and it doesn't show any signs of letting up anytime soon. Some things are good, and some things are bad, and some are incredible. Either way I'm going somewhere new, and exciting, and a little bit scary. So, I'm discovering some things about myself, about what I think and feel and like, about what I can achieve and what I cannot, and about what I really want. I'm going to share some of those things. Not because I'm looking for either pity or accolades, and not because I'm looking to villianize anyone. I'm going to share because I feel like there are thoughts and experiences that people need to hear, because these things affect me as a writer, and because I need to get this out. Is that okay? Are you ready? Will you come with me? Here goes.

I watched Glee yesterday. I'm watching it now, in fact. This is a big deal for me. Not because I'm overly attached to television shows. Except for one. And really, how often can you watch 14 episodes? But, you see, I've only watched one and a half episodes before this. Which is odd, when you think about it. I mean, pithy lines, ensemble cast, great music, and the art nerds. If ever there a show that seemed me, this was it. But, you see, it wasn't allowed. I couldn't watch Glee because, as I was told, it was contributing to the Overton window effect on our society and the kids would see it and what message was that sending them and so on and so forth. I didn't agree. I don't now. Not about Glee and not about the deeper issues behind it. I was allowed to not agree and to have my own opinions, but only if I followed the rules, you see. But I love Glee.I love musicals.  I love being an ally.

It goes deeper than a TV show, though, as fabulous as this show is. A couple of months ago, I got to baptize two of my kids. They asked me to, and I don't know if I've had many prouder moments than that. I was terrified, though, and sought a lot of guidance. You see, I wasn't allowed to baptize my kids because I was a woman and that wasn't a woman's role. That's what I'd been told, anyway. But I did, because I could, and a whole slew of fellow Christians cheered and shouted. Mostly for my children and what their commitment meant, of course, but I like to think that a little bit had to do with being happy for and proud of me.

Also, extracurriculars. I get to take my kids to those. That wasn't ever forbidden, not that one. It was just that I would sign them up and get them to practice and then . . priorities would change  Because, you see, sports were a waste of time. They didn't benefit anything and it lead to adults who were "stuck in their high school glory days." So we'd miss practice and then I'd get all anxious because I know it is important to be consistent and I felt bad and well, Duncan would see that he didn't HAVE to go and it would be a fight and, well, we'd end up fading out. But you know what I think? I think group activities are important. I think they teach kids how to work within a community and how to follow rules. I think they teach kids how to be consistent and dedicated, and follow through even when they don't want to.

I wrote this morning. Not one of my big project. Just something that got stuck in my head that I wanted to play around with. Now listen, there was support for my writing. I'm not saying there wasn't. But I was once told that I looked "vaguely retarded" when I was writing in my head. Another time I was told that artists were expendable. That it wasn't understood why actors and such got paid so much, because what they contributed was completely unnecessary to society. So, every time I wrote I felt self-conscious, and guilty. Like there were better things that I should be doing. But I wrote today.

When the divorce was filed, and especially when it was final, people told me I was free. But, I never felt free. I had to go off the road, and felt really bogged down by the minutiae of having a house with all of the obligations and time that goes with it. I had to enroll the kids in school, and that left me feeling even more trapped. No more random trips, being told when I could and could not pick them up and so on. Anyhow, I didn't feel free. Then, I realized the other day, all the ways that I am. It's not about where I can go. It's not about what I can do. It's about who I can be. I can be me. I can think what I want and I can say what I think and I can tell people how I feel. I can have my passions and not have them belittled. That, my friends, is freedom. That is flying. That is defying gravity.

Friends, don't let anyone clip your wings. Listen, people make comments sometimes that hurt. Even when they love you. Especially when they love you, because truly if you don't care about the person what they say doesn't that have much of an impact, right? It's important, once apologies are made, to move on. And in any relationship, rules and standards are important. But, if someone is making you feel badly about being you, if you find yourself not being allowed, or being scuttled in your attempts to do things that you think are important, that's not okay. That's not love. And you deserve more. Me, I'm going to try flying. After this episode. It's the one where they do ballads.