Other people take these trips to see family and friends, and I have this idea that they just go and hang out and maybe go through the usual family irritation stuff and then that's it, while I, as soon as my body's in motion, have to become deeply introspective and travel back through whatever difficult personal histories have come up for me recently and mull over all of it like I'm fifteen and trying out heavy eyeliner as a way to communicate my deep sense of difference and disenfranchisement to all and sundry.
I'm guessing I'm not as alone in this as I feel.
Basically, though, I'm ridiculous.
Still, ridiculous as I am and it is, I revisited this theme last weekend. It was completely irritating. Sometimes, I just want to have fun, you know?
I ruminated about gender and ageing and class and race and sobriety and love and compassion. I thought about how I try to lead with love but so often default to seemingly kneejerk reactions based in anger. I thought about how I often choose those reactions over love, and I thought about why I do that.
I came to no conclusions.
I do know, though, that I want to lead with love more often. I want to remember and actively practice compassion, especially when it's most difficult to do so. I want to leave this life knowing that I left what bits of goodness I could cultivate to bloom in others.
I would rather die quietly and leave no mark whatsoever on this earth than leave it with a legacy of destruction and negativity, and that's why, while I am here leaving a mark, I must work to sow meaning and heart.
It's that or go live in a cave, and I don't do caves.
Somehow, it feels embarrassing to admit this, like someone is going to point at me and yell "Look, her earnestness is showing!"
I may be ripping off my shirt and baring my chest at times, and it's awkward and difficult on occasion, but it makes for a pretty meaty, satisfying existence. I'd rather be pointed at for my earnestness than, say, kicking puppies.
So, I went on a trip last weekend, I spent it ruminating in between family meals and coffee with friends, and I came back no wiser, but I am more confirmed in my desire to keep working at being less of a jerk.
I won't sneeze at that.