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.