Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I probably shouldn't post this but...

Some days it feels like I am a sort of incompetent circus performer.  One missed exchange with a sweaty sequin-clad Eastern-Eurpoean from falling into a net, which with my sort of luck, was not attached properly, smashing epically into the ground, not hard enough to be fatal, or even newsworthy, but more embarrassing.  Like the time I got slow clapped out of the riding show arena, derby full of dirt and shavings, horse caught by the ring steward, pride eternally broken. 

But, most days that sweaty European with too much body hair for any sort of one-piece spandex outfit, catches me. 

Sometimes the catch is a little more heart pounding than others, and some days I could basically do the entire act by myself.  And sometimes, I get audience feedback about this ‘life’ I’ve put out for public consumption. 

I have been told a few times in the last week something I found both interesting and totally bizarre.  Interesting because it’s all about me, but also bizarre because of what these observers told me.

WHY do I think I’m average??  Who told me I was washed-up, a has-been, barely surviving this good life that I have made for myself.

Um, well, you see to answer that question is a little awkward for me.

Because well, I think it was the first, second and fourth voices in my head the informed me I am quite boring.  The third is usually pretty optimistic about what I am trying to do. 

Then I pondered this more, in part through a hot yoga class that was so sizzling I actually thought I had was in the life reflection stage of dying, when I realized that perhaps, just maybe, normal people don’t have these many narrative voices running through their heads convincing them of their inadequacies and questioning their every move.

But then I remembered the time Ekhart Tolle once asked me a life altering question (in his book.  Not personally.  But that would be cool). Who hears the voice talking in your head?  If there is a speaker, and a listener, that means RIGHT THERE that’s two sub-conscious narrative threads swirling around EVERYONE’S heads.

Now, mine is more of a quorum.  Let’s imagine it as more like parliament, and less of a philosophical meeting of minds. 

Mine are usually observing, commenting, and critiquing everything I say, do, and think, often out of turn.  Sometimes I even begin to think about things I think other people are thinking.  That’s entirely too much thinking and narrative for one ombre-headed girl.

Do you guys remember when that weird little green alien in Flinstones had the good alien and the bad alien on his shoulders trying to tell him what to do? (Forgive me if that’s the wrong cartoon, or the wrong character but I’m too lazy and time-crunched to google it.)  The battle of good and evil, one teeny tiny devil on one shoulder, and one teeny tiny angel on your other shoulder, disputing the choices at hand.

Oh I took Freud and I know more scientifically about his ideas of ego and id… and I believe a lot of it.  There is the part of your mind that is all about you, being selfish and driven only be self-satisfaction, and the other side that has societal pressure and learned behaviours we have deemed ‘good’ that tries, and hopefully succeeds, in getting us to do the right thing. 

Science aside, I still like the idea about little characters duking it out above our heads.

It’s just that all my voices, or instincts, are as confused and self-critiquing as the dead space between them.

Instead I feel like I have Woody Allen, awkward and questioning on one shoulder, and Chelsea Handler drinking and belligerent, on the other.  Throw in a little self-doubting Tina Fey, a Disney princess or two who longs for romance, unicorns and happy endings, self-deprecating Conan O’Brien, Jessica Simpson’s astounding ability to say the world’s most asinine things, but somehow be intelligent enough to run a kabillion-dollar company, and I feel like you get the sense of the circus that is, Brittany’s mind.

Every day I run around with these voices and constant self-analyzing behaviour, and yet I’ve come to the conclusion that I am, in every part, absolutely normal.  (Are you amused that in once sentence I say ‘voices in my head’ and ‘absolutely normal’… I am.  Anyways before you decide to put me on some psychiatric hold, know that while I occasionally talk to these voices, I believe my mind and current mental state is mostly healthy.)

What this long and drawn-out, possibly TMI post is saying is that we all, in one way or another, deem what we do and how we behave to be totally unremarkable. (Well, except THOSE people.  You know the ones that really are unremarkable, yet see themselves as ‘special’.)  And that despite constant self-analyzing and periods of paralyzing self-doubt that bring us back down to the consensus that we are average, we are, each one of us, beautifully diverse and different.  And that attaining this ‘average’ I have put out in the universe, I feel a rather profoundly positive connotation about average.

What I’m saying is that sometimes it is too hard to see ourselves through the lense of a non-partisan viewer.  Not a friend, or a family member, but someone who was just to meet you right now.

What would they say?

And what about your friends.  In my circus of a life, my good friends are the net-attacher-maker-surer.  They are there when I need them, to have a few drinks with, to talk politics and religion (oh yes, I go there.  At my house prepare to talk all of the taboo topics.  Whilst eating and drinking copiously.  It gets loud and dare I say, fantastically entertaining)  Anyways, what would they say about you when describing you to someone else?

What about the person you see the most.. who you expel the deepest parts of yourself to?  Mine is my husband, who despite seeing me bat-shit crazy on occasion, (ahem, three times post-partum sleep-deprived) in my circus is that guy that swings in to ensure I don’t hit the net.  Time and time again, just when I wonder if he’ll really catch me, VOILA there he swings, though not actually in sequins OR spandex.

What I realized during my near death experience right before final savasanna, is that a life lived right, surrounded by neat, interesting and diverse people, will warrant you friends and a safety netting that sees you as so much more than a boring, totally un-exciting person in this world.

Because if they did, first of all they would be REAL ‘richards’ in my books, but secondly they wouldn’t stick around to see what self-inflicted chaos you have cooked up next. 

Or maybe that’s just my friends.  Other average guys and girls.  Who battle voices, and struggle with demons and obstacles in their lives, but every day, do their part in their own circus to make the catch.  Who in their lives lived honestly, have shone a light on the spectacular average people out there.

Well, the lion is rattling his cage, the trick elephants are hungry, and there are at least four narratives in my head saying I maybe shouldn’t post this in case most people don’t get it.  BUT, I’m gonna go with this one and just hit ‘publish’.

After all, if I wasn’t honest, I wouldn’t be average. ;)

Most of the circus animals and their sometimes incompetent ring leader. 

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