Sunday, January 17, 2016

Elegant Wine Glasses and Cheap Cheese

I can still remember dragging my exhausted, then-five-year-old son around some far away version of Walmart (if Walmart had multiple floors like a mall) for over an hour while the man I was smitten with in that time and place went from store to store seeking just the right wine glasses to take with us on a picnic. While I might have appreciated this if a) we were picnicking alone or b) he'd had the foresight to simply bring the 'right' wine glasses from home (he owned like 30), he undermined all efforts of sophistication 5 minutes later by grabbing individually wrapped processed cheese slices on the way out rather than shopping the prestigious cheese bar a few feet away.

I laughed about it then, much to his chagrin, and I still laugh about it years later. Careful, dear, your raising is showing.

No matter how far we go in life, hard we strive to invent and then reinvent ourselves, sometimes our humble roots show through simply because they constitute a large part of who we are. I have personally ebbed and flowed a lot along the path of discovering who I am, from happy hippie days...

Yes, those are adult size fairy wings. Don't judge me...

To a bit more elegance...ah, maturity...

Don't be fooled, that happy hippie still lives inside...check out those earrings!

However, no matter the phase I've found myself in, I've still managed to somehow feel like me...except when I've tried to fit in with 'my raising.'

I can't explain what makes someone who is born and bred in a certain culture feel completely alien inside of it. I just know that it can and does happen. And that it's entirely possible to appreciate and respect the culture of your place of origin while simultaneously wanting something different. Something more.

No Gone With the Wind fixations here...not that there's anything wrong with that, if it's your cup of tea!

In high school, while my classmates reveled in a Keds-based fashion paradise, I was thrilled by the flamboyant styles of 80s pop icons. I used to slip downtown to the small European-styled cafe ensconced in a (now closed) dusty antique shop and sip a cup of International Foods Gourmet French Vanilla Coffee, served in a delicate, gold rimmed cup by an aged, eccentric proprietor whose name is lost to time, but who I can still see as a blurred memory, draped in colorful fabrics, scarlet nails at the end of long fingers. The seeds were planted then. Did they bloom where they were planted? I'm not sure. A teacher with a clue showed me the path to the life and adventures I craved, basically holding the door open and saying, "Here, walk through." Only it would be years later before I had the courage to actually take a small step. She took bold steps herself a few months after showing me the way.

Now, life is calling upon me to have that same courage again. To not forget who I am, or where I came from, but to step into the next chapter. No one is holding any doors open and there isn't any easy plan laid out for me this time, but listening to a friend talk over lunch yesterday about changes she had made in her life, I had to reflect upon where I am...which is essentially only a few miles away from the long-gone antique store cafe where I dreamt of great things. Do I now have the courage it takes to boldly step into the life I want, or am I just mixing elegant wine glasses with cheap cheese?

What are your thoughts on who we are, where we come from, why square pegs might so often find themselves trying to fit into round holes, and what it takes to not bloom where we are planted but to blossom where we're meant to be? Would love to hear them!

1 comment:

Grace Contreras said...

My thoughts to share on your writing: I have been there done that as a single mom, and opened new doors that lead me to traveling 35 U. S. States, many foreign countries, key note speaking, etc. I say my life blessings derived from following what my heartfelt, what my heart tells me still is what I live. I can only share what works for me in hopes that it may perhaps in some magical motion reflect Love, courageously I am singing heartfelt life journey...
Dear Amy,
Step in the new path of yourself, exploring the new ways to see and do what you are meant to become; do it know and wait no longer.