On Sunday while walking in downtown Portland, I heard the theme song for the General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard. As I looked down the cross street at the intersection I was in, I see the actual General Lee (or a replica) driving fast down the street, blaring the horn. It brought back memories from my childhood. See, some might say I was a deprived child, and some might say it was a blessing in disguise. I grew up without a functioning television set in our house.
What did that mean for me? I absorbed television at friend’s houses and when I spent time with my grandma. Those were the days of Nick at Nite, and the constant circulation of reruns. One of my favorite shows with the Dukes of Hazzard. Of course I watched plenty of Love Boat, I Love Lucy, Three’s Company, and more current versions of my childhood Full House, Perfect Strangers, and Family Matters. It was the 80’s.
With all the recent talk about the Confederate flag, I heard that the owners of the actual General Lee may paint over the Confederate flag. Why? I am not saying I support the Confederate flag or what it stands for, but the General Lee is a car with the flag from a television show from 1979-1985. It is a moment of time in the history of television. In any case, I digress. What I really wanted to talk about was Daisy Duke. I adored her. While she tended to be the only “known” woman on the show (none of the other women that were young had reoccurring roles), somehow I wanted to be Daisy. What little girl did not? Scary as it might be the “look” of Daisy Duke is not that much different from “models” today.
While I have nothing near the body of Daisy Duke, the one thing I loved about her — no one pushed her around. Sure, half the men were speechless in front of her, but those that could hold their own usually ended up with a kick in the ass by one of her heels. Maybe that is why I liked her so much. I can remember one year (I think I was in third grade), Daisy Duke was going to be at our mall and I got a photograph of her signed. I was so excited — I thought I had met my own version of Wonder Woman. I wonder whatever happened to that signed photo of Daisy Duke?
I have thought a lot about what it may mean to raise a boy. While I was not completely set on having a girl, I knew that if I had one I would make sure she was a badass. Knowing that I am having a boy, I often think — how do I make sure he is strong while also gentle and sensitive? What happens in a boy’s life that makes them want to kill everything they see, or punch everything? Is it nurture or nature? I guess I will find out soon enough.
I grew up with a dad that would remind us that we were to “be seen and not heard.” I have the smallest of bladders and would always have to go to the bathroom (and still do) and my dad always made me feel horrible about it. As though it was my fault that I had to go to the bathroom 30 minutes later. Thank you to my wonderful, patient husband who might sometimes think: “Seriously? You just went.” but still makes sure we can find a bathroom. (That was the case pre-pregnancy too).
In any case, a line from the book “Rising Strong” by Brene Brown reminded me of my childhood:
“In my family, being high maintenance was a huge shame trigger, especially for girls. Be easy, fun, and flexible. Need a bathroom break on a road trip? We’ll pull over when we don’t have to cross the highway to get to the gas station. Don’t like what we’re having for dinner? Don’t eat. Carsick? It’s all in your head. Unfortunately, being low maintenance also meant not asking for what you needed and never inconveniencing anyone.” Page 100
I cannot tell you how many times I was told by my dad that it was all in my head. I remember one summer we were told we needed to shuck about 6 dozen ears of corn. We would buy a large quantity when it was the end of the season, shuck them and then freeze them for the rest of the year. Supposedly it still tasted just the same (but corn was just corn to me). I vividly remember sitting on the front porch step, making a mess of all the remnants when I felt a sharp pain in my thumb. I look down and my thumb is covered in blood. Now, I have a very high pain tolerance, but I have NO tolerance for seeing blood (mine or anyone else’s). I yell for my dad and we go inside. As he is rinsing it off we realize there is a piece of glass in my thumb. It must have been in the soil and grown in with the corn husk. We get it out and I literally pass out from all the blood. When I am back and normal again my dad basically tells me it is all in my head and that I am a wuss. Seriously.
That and many other situations throughout my childhood made me not ask for help, and honestly it is hard for me to do so today. I did what I could to not be high maintenance, to figure it out on my own, and not be in the way. It was easier that way. However, I do not plan to raise my son that way. I want him to use his words, and speak up — whether he is high maintenance or not. I want him to be just who he is without being squashed by the judgements of others. Is that too much to ask for?
Sometimes we come across something that might be a bit out of our realm. We explore it, it opens our mind, and then we want to share it with others. I bet that happens all the time. Well, I suppose first you have to be looking at the world with an open mind, curiosity, and a desire to learn something new. I came across the blog: “Bad Witches” and a specific blog post titled: “Ten Signs You Are a Bad Witch.” It is an interesting read.
A line in #2 is how I live my life: “This may mean that eventually you go into stealth mode so as not to continually create alarm, but you don’t go stealth because you’re hiding or avoidant. You do it because you’ve got things to accomplish and only a limited amount of time here in the third dimension.” That is the way I see the world. I suck the life out of every damn day. I want to look back and know I did all I could.
#5 is a favorite: “You can always tell when someone is full of it.” So true, so true. I feel like my shit detector is always on, awaiting the moment someone goes on and on, and you think: “they are full of it.” Maybe I watch for that because telling the truth and trust are very important things for me. I cannot stand lies. Once they have started it is very hard to ever gain back that trust (at least for me). Mostly because then you never know going forward what is true and what is a lie.
Why else do I like this article? For many years I have had a strong passion for intuition and listening to the way of the world. I am very aware and in the moment to what my body is telling me and what energy I pick up from those around me. I try to always be very aware of the energy of the person/people I am interacting with throughout my day. Are they happy? Are they present? Do they need me to listen? Do they need guidance? Can I help them? Can I just be present with them?
While this article mentions witches (which is not a term that I gravitate towards) the ideas of being your badass self still resonate. Be your own badass witch.
We are sitting in the kitchen, finishing lunch. Chris has Spotify on while making lunch and we continued to listen as we finished the last bites of some amazing steamed and roasted veggies. A song came on and my eyes opened a bit wider. I have been in a bit of a music rut, and while we always have Spotify playing in the speaker in the house, it is rare that I get up to find out who someone might be. This time though I ask Chris to email me who it is. He tells me the artists are called: “You + Me.” Interesting name, and like I often fashion my handwriting e.e. cummings style, I also have a thing for + signs between words, oh and ellipses, and um ampersands.
In any case, as we finish our veggierama meal, we need to get dressed to head out to a friend’s house and as the song winds down, I say: “I really love her voice, she sounds a lot like Pink.” We get dressed, head out, and come home late and fall into bed. The next morning I look at the email Chris sent and am reminded of the song I liked so much and decide to research the band. The singer that sounded like Pink? It is Pink. Alecia Moore aka Pink teamed up with Dallas Green (love that name), a Canadian from the band City and Colour, with an acoustic album that came out in October 2014 called: rose ave (maybe they were channelling e.e. cummings)?
The song I heard via Spotify was called: “You and Me.” And in my normal relentless style, I proceed to listen to their entire album. I am hooked and wanted to share. Their other popular song is called: “Break the Cycle.” The few videos I found online show Pink entirely clothed. That seems to be quite a different trend for her. I am used to seeing her with barely anything on hanging and twirling down from the ceiling. Regardless of what she is wearing Pink is a badass. It reminds me of that actor/actress that you see in many different genres and they never play the same character. Each time they act they show you a different side of them, a reminder of their true talent.
As I listen to You + Me, I feel like I am on a farm, sitting on a southern porch swing, watching the wind blow. I am relaxed, and I feel at home.
Yesterday I was talking to a friend about relationships. The ebb and flow of the romantic relationships in our life. Men and women are so different. We often really are from different planets. Recently Chris and I have disagreed about different topics and the key component of our disagreements have been around listening.
Listening. Such an interesting aspect of relationships. In the end all we really want is to be heard. We want others to listen to us and most of all we want to be understood. The rare occasions that Chris and I fight and bicker usually results to being heard, trusted, and listening. Kind of a no-brainer really. Who does not want to feel like they matter and the person they love and care about most is there for them?
There are ten other great signs, but those are the ones that stand out to me most. Chris will tell you, when I am all in, I am all in. Step aside because when I get something in my mind and decide to do it, there is no stopping me. I am not a quitter. It is a strength and a weakness, but hey, we all have flaws. We all fart and burp, puke and stink. We are gloriously flawed. And since I am an open book, he always knows what I am thinking unless I am deep in process/thought mode, but even then I am usually discussing my thoughts with him. Nothing is off-limits. However, it does not mean we talk about every single thing. There are things that happen in the quiet and stillness of being together and doing our own thing.
In the end, and what matters most is that we stay true to who we are. I am an all in, flawed, say-what-is-on-my-mind, badass woman. He has the unique and special opportunity of waking up next to me everyday.