And really, don’t we all???
I turn 51 years old today.
As I sit here and audaciously think I have anything of merit to tell you; that you’d want to read, I have to marvel that I’ve made it to this ripe old age.
I really don’t want this to turn in to another one of those patented long-winded, Kendrick self-indulgences, but if you’ll indulge me this ONE LAST TIME.
It is my birthday after all, and I promise there won’t be another one until mjaybe…..April 22, 2011. .
OK, so let’s begin this “all about me” epic with a brief look back at my 50th year on this Big Blue Marble. It was eventful. I didn’t go to Malta. I didn’t run the Boston Marathon. That book still hasn’t been written and I didn’t complain about it to my BFF Paris Hilton while sipping Toddies at an apres ski party in Gstaad. No, I spent most of my 50th year unemployed and wishing it were my 12th year and that proved disastrous. When I came to my senses, I dismissed two significantly negative factors in my life. That was auspicious. It was a belated birthday gift I gave myself primarily for having survived half a century.
And those two terrifically bad, abysmal relationships.
But my life is more than just a litany of dead-end relationships and break ups, is it not? There are other components; living, breathing parts that comprise who I am and they are my family and friends–that well insulated inner circle who have a sense of my love of oranges and burnt orange football jerseys. Therefore, if I’m learning to be a better me; to respect my authentic self and revere my elevated one, then the object lesson that entails must include the people I love.
– Laurie “Kierkegaard” Kendrick
But what do I really know about them?
For HER, I know SHE loves Cokes, Chico’s clothing and comfy shoes and could spend the rest of HER life watching reruns of “I Love Lucy” and “The Andy Griffith Show” (black and white episodes only).
I know SHE loves diamond jewelry and shopping and SHE believes a new house will make HER happy. SHE wants to be treated like a queen. My prayer for HER is that someday soon, SHE will be.
SHE is stuck between a marital rock and hard place. SHE is a beautiful woman who doesn’t always see HERSELF in that role. SHE wants a friend first and foremost and will find that Golden Egg when SHE befriends herself. We can’t find in others what we need and want, if we ourselves, can’t supply it first. We sustain ourselves. No one else can.
I know SHE loves beer and Bloody Marys and experienced too much pain in HER life. Someday, I hope SHE’LL drink HER favorite libations strictly because SHE enjoys their taste and not as an indulgent means to incapacitate pain. SHE can’t keep some bad from unfolding around HER, no matter how tough it gets. Then again, is that because bad is all she allows HERSELF to see?
SHE is getting older and will not be told what to do. SHE refuses advice and continues to be limited in HER ability to love and can only do so on occasion. SHE can now only express it incrementally and with currency. This is all SHE knows; all SHE’S capable of doing. Part of my loving HER requires that I forgive HER for this. Part of HER learning to love HERSELF requires HER to forgive HERSELF
HE is stuck in a marriage that he doesn’t always want to be stuck in. But HE’S too scared to leave and too miserable to stay, so HE compensates–or so HE thinks–by appllying his version of salve to all his emotional wounds. Salve meaning excessive drinking. Alcoholism, HE contends, is not a problem, but merely a symptom of something else. I pity this man. I resent his cowardice.
OK, he’s the exception.
That means those applicable human satellites that I keep revolving around me are themselves, ever evolving. They’re not who they were 20-years ago; not even who they were a year ago and certainly not who’ll they be in five years. But I take some comfort in knowing that my evolution as a human, also includes theirs. We’re all changing and the process is continual. So yes, I know them as the people they are today, but it’s also my job as a friend, a sister, a daughter and a future girlfriend, to maintain a relationship with the people they will become.
You see, what I now know on this day that I didn’t know before is that real love– authentic love– is essentially born and given life and sustained when we make the conscious decision to feed and nurture it with passion. That’s key, people. It’s knowing how to be loved is one thing and knowing how to love is another. Passion helps make the distinction. Our souls are nourished when our friends, family and partners realize we know how to love them. Well, from this point on, my soul will then get a much-needed B-12 shot because I intend to start asking more questions and then, I’ll listen to what’s being said. I want to see who my friends and family really are. And I want to understand how they feel from all angles; from their perspective. I want to see my world through their eyes.
Fore the first time in my life, I want to create incredibly tender moments that tell these wonderful people I love them by knowing exactly what “I love you” looks like to them.
So, here’s to humanity.
Here’s to the prompt return of joy.
And here’s to necessary reflection.
And here’s to revisiting all the ugly negatives that have occurred in my life and being thankful for them. They were all amazing life lessons. Every mistake was right; every errant action was perfect.
And what about regrets? Sure, I have a few. I’ve been alive for all these years, haven’t I? One of my biggest is that I didn’t learn sooner that life doesn’t work on a merit system or on demerits either. Shit happens…luck of the draw and all. Life, mercifully, isn’t static. The bad gets better and the good always run its course eventually. But that doesn’t mean its cyclical–not necessarily. Good doesn’t always follow bad and vice versa. Some people never escape the shit storm–it’s just one squall after the other and they’ve never been able to find an umbrella or find suitable galoshes. It gets all over them and everything else in their life and it festers. They have to learn as I did that sometimes, deflection of all the negative comes in the form of taking responsibility and admitting you’re getting crapped on because you’ve been allowing yourself to get crapped on.
We give ourselves permission to hurt; to be hurt and to wallow or fight. We choose how we react to everything.
Admitting you’ve been wrong isn’t any easier and taking that first step to physically walk away from any situation is tough too, but not as tough as making the decision to leave. I’m talking about that painful period when we weigh the options and vacillate: do I stay or do I go and if I go, where am I going and if I stay, how will I make any forward momentum? What will make me happiest???
Tough question and rarely easy or black and white.
That’s when we make those crazy Faustian deals with God….or the Devil because the responsibility is much too much, or so we think. Ultimately, we’re in control more than we know. To think otherwise is shifting responsibility, but I suppose whatever belief system makes you comfortable and that’s something you’ll need when confronting the reality that the actual state of walking out the door is often easier than making the decision to do so. But we all know that doing the right thing, whether that entails staying or going, is often just a difficult.
Another regret is that I’ve not liked or respected myself enough. I’ve not fought enough for Laurie. I let her get hurt many times over by liars and thieves, and sometimes those culprits came in the form or low self-esteem and a lack of self-respect. I’ve been guilty by virtue of withholding and reckless endangerment. I’m sorry for every one of those infractions, but I’m rectifying that–even as I type.
So that being said, the retooled “I Love Lucy” heart logo placed at the beginning of this post means even more to me now. And I’m going to demand that I try to live with the mindset that even at this relatively late stage of the fame, good things can still happen. I need to tell myself that I’m optimistic and hopeful–within reason— and I really and truly want to believe there’s still much to believe in.
Maybe that’s why I’ve been going through that vast record collection I call “my life” and when I picked up that huge, well-worn LP with its 51 tracks now delicately etched into the vinyl disc and I studied it long and hard.
Much to my surprise, I still have a B-side.