I am always amazed at people who like things to fit into neat boxes. Because most of us, with our sharp edges and uneven corners, do not fit well into homogenous containers.
I’ve written about this before, but it hit me anew this week as I found myself proving yet again that I am a contradiction in terms.
As I drove to pick my son up from school, I was concentrating on my mantra for the day, “I send love and light to all I encounter.” Which was going so well, given my only encounter that day had been with my own writing and the faithful furry companion snoring at my feet. But, in traffic, just as I thought the mantra in my head (feeling oh so zen-like), someone cut me off. And the words erupting from my mouth were something along the lines of, “Could you be any MORE of an IDIOT?”
Zen-like warrior meets road rage mama.
And they both coexist within me. (By now, you’ve hopefully figured out why I have the creepy nun with ax photo within this entry. It’s not just because I’m a tad weird:)).
I just reordered Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, even though most days my yoga pants and windbreaker make me anything but a fashion plate. Stylish maven meets busy working mom. Peacefully coexisting in little ‘ole me.
My firecracker friend, who brooks no nonsense from anyone, still allows her husband to rule her schedule and life. Sassy gal meets subservient female. But both are her, within the context of a given situation.
My son, the one hesitant to ask for help from a store clerk, sounds like a Harvard debate team captain when discussing matters of the world with anyone young or old. Shy guy meets firebrand intellectual sans filter. I love each side equally.
My eldest’s peers are mainly good kids. And yet, he has heard more border jumping, illegal immigrant cracks this year than ever. (Thank you, Donald Trump. Oh, wait. You love Hispanics, right?) This, despite the fact that he comes from a very long line of Cubans, Colombians and Spaniards, not to mention Germans, Austrians, Brits, Scots and Irishmen. All of whom became citizens and brought their doctor, chemist and other advanced degrees with them to this country. But of course, we must be Mexican if we have a Hispanic last name. (Sorry, folks. I digress.) The point is—these mainly good kids are a contradiction in terms when they show complete ignorance and insensitivity. Yet both the good and that ignorance coexist in them.
I cannot say that I don’t like things “just so.” I have worked hard not to be a perfectionist for much of my life. Many times I succeed; just as many I do not. But human contradictions are something I’ve had to come to accept. I no longer try to fit people into nice, neat categories—if I ever did.
I wish everyone else could begin to do the same. How about we all give each other a little breathing room, a bit of slack?
Just a few thoughts from this social liberal/fiscal conservative (yet another contradiction in terms) in a U.S. presidential election year.
26 Comments Add yours
I echo your sentiments, driving always leeches the milk of human kindness from my bones…
Often we don’t even realize our contradictions until we (finally) catch ourselves in one. It’s a crazy life and world! I went to school with nuns so not much scares me, lol. ❤
Me too! Character building, to say the least:).
We’re all a mixture of light and dark, smart and stupid, good and bad. I guess that’s what makes life (and us) interesting!
Yes! Interesting. Crazy. All of it:).
Great post. We each “contain multitudes” — to quote one of my favourite authors.
I love that quote also! Should have used it:).
As always, I found your thoughts compelling and reinforcing. In an interview for an administrative position in a school district, I was asked an either/or question about classroom discipline. I replied that I had trouble seeing any problems in terms of black and white, because I felt that in truth, most situations and most people are some shade of gray. I then described how I would work to solve the issue and drove home thinking I’d never be hired. I wasn’t. But my philosophy didn’t change. Nor did it hinder me in future interviews.
Why is it we always look for the easy answer? A la “my religion/philosophy/outlook is correct, which means yours must be wrong.” Very few things in life are black and white. I guess a blessing you didn’t get that job . . .
Lots of people give me a hard time when I shoot my mouth off because I’m a yoga teacher. I’m a yoga teacher, not Jesus. Let’s remind people that all saints were also once sinners.
My favorite yoga teachers have been the ones who can speak with a calm like no other and then turn around and swear like a truck driver:).
that would be me. ha fuckin’ ha! 😉
The nun is creepy but in a very cool way. I like her. Look at those lashes. A sister with an axe that knows how to put on mascara. Perfect. Great post and so so true.
Lol. I thought the same thing about the mascara! I knew we were soul sisters, you and I:).
Ha I’m still laughing at Kristine above who was trying to pretend she was okay that you love Trump! (We know you don’t!!) Down under here in Australia we are horrified he may get in!! Anyhow I love your post Kristine I am a huge contradiction at times , we can all do with a bit of slack for each other. ❤️
That made me laugh also:). I am sure much of the world thinks Americans are nuts for him even getting this far, with all the craziness and hate talk.
so pleased to hear this! keep saying it out loud. And that Whitman quote is one of my favourites. How do we live in paradox? How can we not? Best wishes from this side of the pond.
I love the Whitman quote also! Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. Here’s to living with our own contradictions:).
I think on those feelings are evident on both sides though we are probably harder on ourselves…:)
We are all complicated creatures and as much as we’d like to say we know someone very well, the truth is there is a side of them that we don’t know at all or that only shows itself in small bursts of contradiction. Some are more obvious about it, like DT but most attempt to hide that side of them for any number of various reasons. Yes, we are very complicated creatures and sometimes it can be frustrating or near infuriating to deal with.
RE: frustrating & infuriating–most often with ourselves, right? 🙂 Although I know a few who best me on that front!
I think our personal contradictions is what separates us from other mammals. We are complicated. I can’t stand if my shirts face different ways in my closet, but my desk is a disaster.
However, are suggesting we give Trump some slack? He may contradict himself daily, but I’m not sure it is because he is complicated and I fear that his hate spew is far from evolved. (Sorry, Canadian misinformation possibly, but I just can’t with him.) I give lots of slack for human error. But my road rage is about to peak with that guy. I still love you, even if you are a Donald fan. Because I can agree to disagree. That’s what I am calling a full contradiction circle 🙂
Oh, no! Quite the opposite:). Was making pt. that the Donald does not cut others slack–hate speech and all. Look again to that paragraph–I’m actually quite upset with a man who can talk so roughly about certain groups and then turn around and tweet: “I love Hispanics” as he is eating a taco or somesuch. That’s more than a contradiction in terms. It’s just plain belittling.
Thank God, because I was lying about being able to love you despite your obvious proclivities to narcissistic morons. You were too subtle for my complicated mind 😉
Brilliant! I had completely forgotten this quote:). Thank you, friend. XO
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large — I contain multitudes.