The past few days prompts have been pretty interesting. Today's asked...
I do not wish to expiate, but to live. My life is for itself and not for a spectacle. I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than that it should be glittering and unsteady. I wish it to be sound and sweet, and not to need diet and bleeding. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Think about the type of person you’d NEVER want to be 5 years from now. Write out your own personal recipe to prevent this from happening and commit to following it. “Thought is the seed of action.”
To which I would respond...
I don't want to be a bitch. (Sorry, Grandma.) But surely you know what I mean. Opinionated, strong-willed women who have experienced a fair amount of grief in their lifetime grow older and experience more stress (or maybe just loneliness) and as a result often become, well, bitchy. Their spunk for life, their loud-mouthed passion, their outrageous laughter deteriorates into crass bitterness, long-winded soapboxes and hateful fist-waving. Their sense of self or that chip on their shoulder became not something that helped them funnel their passion for truth and beauty into good work but rather something that burdened their walk weighted with empty space.
All good preachers are called to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, so I know that what I say often offends, but I don't want to turn into a bitter old biddy.
And in five years I will be 38. Prime age for getting cranky. Especially if I'm still single and without children. But I'm not complaining now mind you. I just would someday like to say that I have a partner in life. And that I love him. End of story.
And unlike Emerson, I would like to be both genuine and glittering, equal and unsteady, but perhaps we just have different interpretations of what those words mean.
I would like to be genuine. To be myself. To still be the eclectic (eccentric) high schooler who had friends in every clique at school. To still be the curious college kid, learning and teaching, re-thinking and re-imagining, always expanding and growing. To still be the silly and ironic grad student, demonstrating academic integrity while sometimes demonstrating in the streets. To still be the welcoming minister... young, female, and with a nose ring.
I would like to glitter... literally. With my nose ring and my nail polish and my excessive collection of bargain-shopped shoes.
I would like to be equal. To be courageous with truth, compassionate with goodness and defensive of beauty.
I would like to be unsteady for only then am I at the mercy of a God who is full of surprises.
But I would not want to be a bitch. I don't want to take all I have been given, all I was created to be and allow myself to degenerate into an unappreciative, prideful, middle aged woman who has forgotten who she is.