@postaday 199; #postaday2011.
Obviously I don’t want to be invisible. I blog, for gawd’s sake. But I’m starting to get used to the idea of talking and not being heard, posting and not being acknowledged, emailing and not hearing back.
When I swim toward the wall, someone’s standing there and not moving over so I can hit it. When I’m on my bicycle, the rich driver in the big tonka truck looks through me, beyond me and accelerates — damn near hitting me. I give a chirp I learned to use years ago when I had to muscle my way through the boys to surf a wave of my own.
My blogging is an indication that although my face or body doesn’t show how interesting I am, my words might. And how nice it is to have words that amuse others, therefore validating my existence?
A few years ago when I first realized I was persona non grata, it bugged me. Now it only bugs me a little. Gradually I’m no longer someone whose input matters, my value is diminished, my place in life reinforced. Bring out the violins? No need.
A few days ago my friend and colleague Fernando Pacheco posted his blog entry, “Doodoo Boys and Shishi Girls: A look at bullying in Hawaii.” I love Fernando. I rarely talk with him; he’s much younger than me, he’s a new dad to the Adorable Miss Lola, married to the amazing Sarah, the front man for the punk-ska band Pimpbot, a radio DJ, a stand-up comedian with the trio Chocolate Squirrel, and a customer service representative for my employer. He is also a talented writer. I expect Fernando, who has an opinion on everything, to go places. I think he’s a little too Lenny Bruce sometimes, but, this is his chosen path.
In this particular blog entry, Fernando recounts memories of ostracized children from his school days, and he worries that Lola might experience that. I don’t think so, but, as a parent, I can relate to his wanting only her happiness. One thing that shi-shi girls and doo-doo boys develop is a self reliance they can count on later in life. It’s not easy learning that, but it certainly helps one guard one’s heart.
Not that I have a lot of experience with wisdom as a result of aging, but, I have learned a few things in life that make such rough spots palatable. Do I choose to thrash about fatalistically like I’m caught in a flushing toilet? Or do I choose to slip into the still pool, gliding across the surface alone without splashing, contemplatively soothing my soul until all that matters is the meditation of stroke, stroke, stroke, breathe? Of course I choose the latter, but life is nowhere nearly that smooth. It’s somewhere between cacophony and nothingness.
We will all see people today who rebel against their diminished existences, and some who are resigned. Each of them had meant something to someone. I bet someone misses who they were. We all know people who are destined for greatness in the eyes of others or in their own minds. I admire talent, chutzpah, and ambition. I encourage those who wish to succeed. But there’s a yin to every yang.
It’s a good lesson to teach our children that the best entourage is me, myself and I. Although you want to guard them from loneliness, they need to learn how to be comfortably alone. It is wonderful when we have friends and admirers, but unless we develop a self reliance or a resourcefulness within ourselves, we cannot stand to be alone; loneliness will crumble us.
What makes life full? We should reach out and try to experience new things, get to know others, and be willing to reveal what we feel, and, yes, accept that all of this may result in slights. When that happens, we recede. Most of us have safe harbors of family and friends, an inner circle of trust, those people who know us at our worst and still love us.
And of course, we should love ourselves, the visible and the invisible.