Sunday, March 21, 2010

Over the Hills and Far Away.......




This is where I am when I am staring off into space. It happens less now then when I was a girl. But I believe in daydreaming. I think it's healthy and gives our ideas wings. But this is also the title of my favorite Led Zeppelin song (#7 on the playlist). And I have been thinking about it a lot lately. Playing it over and over again and being transported to a different time in my life - high school. Ahhh, high school. The most awkward and emotionally painful time of my life. And I have learned, of most people's lives. That is the time when we develop our sense of personal currency. What are we worth in the world? And what must we do/use to get what we want in the world?

I went to boarding school for high school. And I think adding "predominantly white" in front of boarding school is redundant for the 80's and probably for now as well. And I know I have written how going there saved my life in so many ways. But that revelation came with time. What I most starkly remember about high school is feeling invisible. I wasn't used to this because I had come from a place where I was quite visible and felt capable. And then I went somewhere where I felt I was not seen - as either a person or a girl. It was a weird, kind of out of body experience. Leaving high school and going to college was a huge shock because once there, even though I was in Appleton, Wisconsin I was immediately visible and quite aware that I had somehow, despite my best efforts, transformed from a girl into a woman. A transition I am not sure I was ready for.

The other day I was visiting with a Mama-friend and we were talking about the girls of today. She joked that her idea of risque was wearing a white shirt so her bra strap would show through the shirt! And that she learned this particular move in college. I had to laugh. I totally understood what she was talking about. I learned my best moves in college and some of them I am just now perfecting! And I am raising a young woman. She has a fearless fashion sense. The original inquiring mind and she is bold and adventurous and poetic and beautiful. She has also disengaged from her body - at the age of nine. I know the look, I did the same thing. But there are marked differences between me and my daughter and I am highly conscious of not projecting my childhood issues onto her. Of speaking with her and asking questions and encouraging open dialogue. But just like me when I was her age she has decided that below her neck does not serve her purposes in the world. She has decided that her currency is her mind and her voice (she sings - like I did).

A move I did learn before adulthood is that parents lead by example. I remember far more about my parents' deeds than anything they ever said to me. And I have been working on reclaiming my body not just for myself but for my daughter. I don't trust my body. I don't trust she is going to be there for me when I need her. And I don't fully believe that she can, at this point in her existence and with all she's been through, bounce back. But what I believe really doesn't matter. There is evidence to the contrary. And what I say really doesn't matter. It's all about what I do. So, all of the work I do getting myself together, loving and trusting myself is about so much more than how it makes me feel. And since I chose not to die but to live for my kids, better to make it some really great living! Little eyes are watching....

3 comments:

lorna said...

you are such a laser beam. keep doing!!

LunaSoror said...

sometimes I've seen my body as a separate thing, like an accessory that I could put on or take off. It has served different purposes over the years. In my late teens and twenties it certainly provided a lot of entertainment!! But i didn't feel very "connected."

Pregnancy and giving birth brought me into my self in a much needed way. My body grew and nourished another person. It bears the marks of that triumph (stretch marks, extra padding loss of firmness). But a part of me (two parts actually) are walking in the world and that's pretty cool.

I've always looked at myself and wondered who else I look like - the thoughts of many adopted children I guess. My internal workings are a mystery that can't be questioned of any known ancestors.

Mystery and grace are what my body has given me, so far...I'll keep you posted.

Nanda Mama said...

@Lunasoror - mine also provided a lot of entertainment in the 90's! She was a lot of fun. And I think the time I landed in her was when I was pregnant but not even then fully. I definitely felt more connected but you know my issues. Whatever strength and fortitude I found in my body was gone with cancer. That felt like the last straw. I wear my scars proudly but they feel like battle scars of my will despite my body. We have some work to do, she and I. My longest relationship and my most complicated.