Sunday, January 19, 2014

Assumptions, Shoes, & Options

I assume too much and fill in the blanks with wild guesses, blame it on my Navy brat upbringing where every two to three years cultural shifts were the norm and newcomers were always in the mix. Now, I live in a small town. I notice when the milk man works at the bakery because it confuses me-- I thought he delivered milk. The milk man baker also works at the farmers market for yet another vendor. 

Instead of imposing order on the universe, I ought to let the world just be, but shiny things distract me. Meanwhile, my husband dead pans a line from Bill Forsyth's film, Local Hero, "we tend to double up on jobs around here." 

Here, unassuming neighbors walk dogs and have stage roles, a dad at the after school pick up awaits his kids and hearing if his reality show will be picked up for cable TV, meanwhile a few moms are concocting local products in pursuit of regional sales as entrepreneurs. 

My imagination needs an update; my fill in the blanks are falling short. I read a lot of, I'd like to write books, but it's more a combination of posts, articles, poems, and a book or two a month. The point is I try to fuel my imagination. I read stories and tell myself it never happens like that! Except that, lately I've begun to think, it does and so much more

Here's an example of assumptions versus reality.

"It was about shoes," my friend shared. She's kind of earthy so I was befuddled as to what kind of shoes had riveted her attention. The conversation shifted and then came back around to her shoe story. Meanwhile, I envisioned a pair of glamorous shoes that you only wear walking about in Manhattan on Sex in the City. Her story wasn't really about shoes though.

"I was outside Kroger. This guy was taking off his shoes and he threw his shoes into the trash can. Then he put on a pair of boots. I was thinking about these shoes I wanted so I was pissed that someone had new shoes, but then I decided to go with it. I asked him, 'Did you get new shoes?' He was like.'Yeah!' and I was saying 'Yeah!' back to him. It turned into a genuine feeling of happiness for him." 


I did not discover the secret shoes of desire but damned if I didn't learn a brilliant lesson from her-- you have a choice in which thoughts you express AND you don't have to pick the first one that comes to you. 

That same night another friend had challenged us to a choice of "A or B?" I impulsively blurted out, "A" before I realized she was talking to the group, not just me. We went with "A" anyway. We were all then instructed to fake laughter for one full minute. 

Ten seconds into it, I was laughing so hard tears spilled out. A day or so later, my shoe friend pointed out it was all there from the beginning. We weren't faking it until we were making it as we had discussed in the moments after on that night. Instead, we chose to bring another experience to the surface. With minimal effort, the nobler thought easily overtook the surface distraction to become a genuine and positive experience. To choose laughter and get it, for real, felt weirdly awesome. 

The "B" option was to say, "Oh yeah!" I resisted this expression as it felt weirdly like "you go girl" which feels like a chant for encouraging someone to strip themselves of class or elegance. Nonetheless, I got there a few beats later in an euphoric rush by choosing to say it, saying it, and, finally, meaning it. 


The power of words is that they reveal truths even if it takes a minute-- they might be buried below anger or frustration-- but the good is there with the bad and the ugly. 
We choose our paths when we choose our words.