“I’d rather be myself,” he said. “Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly.”
Brave New World -Aldous Huxley
I crossed my arms earlier today and looked out into the back yard and sucked in the fresh mountain air that swirled around my nose. I looked into the woods and two deer walked slowly through the leaves that had littered the forest floor this past fall. One deer decided to crawl to the farthest reach of the hill to try and get the easy feed around the birdfeeder. That deer was big, and when I say big, I mean, really freaking big. The deer that was at the bottom of the hill, she was just sort of hanging in the low branches, nibbling at random leaves, and small. She was a small deer.
The deer on the top of the hill, had a look of a future roadkill. A sort of lazy disposition that made it seem like if there was ever a car that came barreling towards it the chances of it dodging out of the way was pretty slim. No ambition, no looking out for what was around or what might potentially come around – and more troublesome – no real observation of the world around it. The deer looked like it had visited that same feeder, ate that same bird food, and shuffle through life. No way in heck would it expect something as terrible as a speeding car to end it’s enjoyment of life. The deer had it’s eye on the feed.
The other deer, however, seemed as though there was something else out there to live for. Why take the easiest path when you can adventure and see what lays in the low laying branches. Sure, that poor deer probably had some tough times – days that there wasn’t anything tasty to nibble on, days that it would probably be a hell of a lot easier for it to reach up and get the easy pickins of the bird feeder. It doesn’t though, it’ll wander through the woods, it’ll make do, but it doesn’t give up. It was a scrawny deer, but at the same time it had spunk, ambition, and excitement.
I couldn’t forage for food for a living, heck, half the time I have a hard time being able to look in the refrigerator and understand what I’m supposed to do with the thirty different condiments that I own. Why is that though, what makes me not stock my fridge with the “easy pickens” of the bird feeder? Simple, it would make too much sense, but believe me, I’ve gotten better about it, and I continue to get better about it. There have been a lot of question as to what I’m doing with my life, where I’m going, what’s my plan? Believe it or not, I’ve actually got one.
The love of my life has a saying “make a plan, work the plan”. For a girl that hasn’t done ANY planning in life, it’s a pretty wicked concept to wrap my noggin around. In all reality the more I think about “planning” the more it makes me hate the years that I let the wind take me whatever way it decided to go. When I wanted to be a bum and live on my dads couch after high school when I went to school for horticulture I had to plan on what to do after school.
When I decided to move to South Carolina without a job, any savings, or any real “plan”, I ended up married and in a five year relationship. Even when I decided that the marriage wasn’t good and my eating disorder turned into a raging bull trying to knock me down and kill me, I had no plan. I was running purely on “the wind in the weeds” mentality. The wind would blow, ever so slightly, and my path would be changed. The only reason it would change was because I had no plan, I had no goal, I had a “let’s see what happens” mentality.
Relationships, no plan. Career, no plan. Family, no plan.
This not only was hurtful for me, but it started hurting the people around me. The lack of me being able to get my head out of my butt and get my act in gear. I was the epitome of the prior quote from Brave New World. I hadn’t thought about that particular book in probably a decade, after it was an assigned reading in high school, but when I saw it on a pile of books at my dear friend in Madisons house, it perked my ears.
What I remembered from the book itself was that it was chocked full of miserable people. The probable with these people was that they didn’t know they were miserable. It was just common protocol to go through the programmed motions of being alive without actually being alive. Alive and having life are two ridiculously different things. Being alive for me is to laugh, love, and enjoy. Having life for me is to breathe and bathe.
It is entirely interesting to me, however, that I can sit there and look at deer in the back yard and suddenly have a clarity that I struggled with before. I let others tell be what bird feeder to eat out of, or what shrubs to nibble on. What the hell, why can’t I speak my own mind, what can’t I be out there and honest with the world without fear of what they might think. Why is the world full of bullies all of a sudden?
They’re not bullies because they enjoy their own nasty self, such as with that quote. They’re bullies because they care, they want to see you make a plan and work a plan. These people love you, and the more you want to kick and scream and pretend that your plan is so much better, deep down inside it’s very probable that you don’t even have a plan to begin with.
This is when you decide that you’re complacent with your nasty self. Your attitude changes from one that loves other and is alive to one that is just a life going through motions. As my favorite author once called it “a long journey down a dark alley.” I’ve had some magnificent alleys in my life, but there have always been the occasional bad decision, dark alley, and wrong turn.
As I sat and watched those deer, I was actually drinking a fantastic mixture of Moscato, Orange Juice, and club soda. I took a moment to be alive instead of a life. I realized that I wanted so much more in life, I wanted a family, I wanted to actually have a place to call home, I wanted to be happy with myself, I wanted to love more and cry less. All of these things came pouring into my head, and although I could have found somebody, I didn’t have anyone that I felt I could actually talk to.
Alone. All I could think of what that fantastic quote by Chuck Palahniuk “I let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete.” Staring out the window, I wondered who actually really knows what I want out of life. Does it really matter? Not if I don’t know in the first place.
So, I guess the first thing for me to do is get a plan of action and then act upon it.