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Open Letter to Marc Maron (Day 13)

…(Hmmm, have you ever made a list of what you need to be happy?)

Today I was re-reading an interview with the late actor Taylor Negron in which he said, “By letting go of what you thought was going to happen in your life, you can enjoy what is actually happening.” It made me realize my happiness list needs a #11: To be able to let go.

No one likes to give up, to feel like they’ve been defeated, but I don’t think that’s what letting go is. Letting go is more like shedding a skin (a situation/a goal/a desire) that just doesn’t fit anymore. Letting go is a phrase ripe with possibility; if you let go your hands are free to be refilled. My Pastor says (and you can see it throughout the Bible) that God never asks you to sacrifice anything without giving you something better in its place and I truly believe that, even if the “better” is simply a new perspective on a situation.

I’m working on letting go of having natural children, of getting married, of having a big publishing career with a huge readership. I realize this is the kind of thing that causes people to start patting your arm and telling cheery stories about their friend who didn’t get X until they were 50 or 60 or one foot in the grave. But letting go isn’t to me the same as giving up. For one, it’s an acknowledgement that there are just many things that are out of my hands. Letting go is also a bone-deep acceptance that not having those things–marriage, kids, whatever your thing is–may be disappointing and even, sometimes, heartbreaking, but there’s no checklist for a happy life that says you have to have all or any of those thing. I mean, as far as I can see, I don’t actually need any of those things to be happy and, quite honestly, I’ve been doing pretty well without them. Maybe tomorrow I’ll write a better list of what I need to let go of… maybe… cause who doesn’t love a letter that suddenly turns into a listicle?

To be continued…

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Seriously, I’m Just Being Silly…

LaurenceFox-Oxford-20060918

By Eoin Brennan at en.wikipedia. (Transferred from en.wikipedia by Jacklee.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Breaking news: I sometimes develop obsessions. Okay, okay, that’s not really breaking news, but I am struck anew every once in a while by how quickly I can spiral from interest to obsession. Today I’m obsessed with British actor/singer/songwriter Laurence Fox.

My convalescence has included a strict diet of fare from my Netflix Instant queue, including the Inspector Morse spin-off Inspector Lewis. Fox plays sidekick Sargeant James Hathaway to Lewis, who’s played by Kevin Whately. Though I have a crush on both actors, I think I’m most interested in Fox cause I don’t actually know why I’m interested in him. He’s talented yes, but they both are. I think it may just be that Fox’s looks are more striking than Whately’s. Fox isn’t pretty, but to borrow a phrase from our cousins cross the pond, he’s “dead sexy.” And though his character is not at all a bad boy, he still has a bad boy’s smile, which we know is catnip to my (formerly) openness-phobic heart.

Last night while keeping up with #TheBachelor tweets, I randomly decided to see if Laurence Fox is on Twitter, which he is. Somehow that spiraled into downloading his new EP from iTunes, which was immediately put to work as the soundtrack for the morning’s convalescent hallway walk. This, naturally, led to me signing up for the Laurence Fox Music mailing list (about 15 minutes ago after checking out today’s tweets). Given that my abdomen is all owie just from riding in a car yesterday, a trip to London to see him perform isn’t imminent… but that doesn’t mean it’s not pending.**

Full disclosure: I’m 43 years old, for goodness sake. Am I ever going to grow out of my fan girl phase? Fuller disclosure: I’m not actually upset about still being a fan girl at my age. I think it’s one of my better qualities cause it gives me a reason to laugh at myself, and a reason to laugh at all when all I want to do is weep. You know, like now. When I’m trying hard not to think about the fact that I may have gone through this surgery to save my uterus for no good reason since I’m still at the wrong end of the fertility cliff and I, surprisingly, didn’t meet the love of my life in the recovery room.

I also think our crushes can tell us a lot about ourselves, if we let them. For example, after being a George Clooney fan for years, lately I’ve gone off him. I still think he’s gorgeous, but I no longer daydream about a “meet cute” with him. Turns out that I’m old enough now that I sort of want to shout at him “grow up!” every time he gets together with another woman who I think is way too young for him, or I hear him natter on about not getting married again. I want to say–“oh for God’s sake George, forgive yourself for whatever you did in your first marriage and move on.” Clearly, I don’t actually know a thing about George Clooney except as reported in the media. And that being the case, I can’t possibly know his motivations for living his life the way he does. But I can know—by looking at how I react to what I perceive of his life—what’s important to me now compared to what was important to me a decade ago when I first convinced everyone to start calling me “Mrs. Clooney.” ***

No idea how long my crush on Mr. Fox/Sgt. Hathaway will last, or what it means about where I am at this specific junction in my life. But, to steal a phrase from Oprah, what I know for sure, what I’ve learned after four decades of crushes—on celebs, Boston University soccer players, and a poet-turned-police officer wannabe I once worked with in publishing—is that wisdom sometimes shows up in an unexpected guise, and for me, part of recognizing her, is being brave enough to take my silliness quite seriously.

*No, really, it’s all my mother’s fault!

** I’m kidding….well, sort of….no, really….uhm….

*** As a joke, people, as a joke… sigh….

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