Polka-Dot Paradoxes

Everything changes, yet everything stays the same.

I am the same person that you may have known for years – I swear too much, I don’t take life too seriously (while simultaneously taking it super fucking serious), I love my kids more than life itself, and my writing keeps me sane . . . I’m still me.

But this year, some things have changed.  Things that I didn’t necessarily see changing.  I thought that because I had hit my mid-thirties, that I was done – you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.  I was set in my ways.

Apparently, that is not the case.

Three weeks ago, give or take a few days, I stopped drinking coffee and I stopped smoking. With in days of each other. I planned to quit smoking, but had not intended to quit drinking coffee. I have smoked for almost twenty years, and basically have had an IV of coffee for the last ten. The fact that I quit both successfully – without killing anyone, in the same week – blows even my mind.

I had previously sworn off hair stylists, yet in the last two months I have sat in a chair and let someone else color my hair – more than once – instead of making a trip to the store for a box of dye.

I have never been one to be able to clear my mind for more than a few seconds at a time, but I am finding longer and longer stretches possible through meditation.

The other day while at Target, I got distracted by the sunglasses. I have always loved sunglasses, but have always shied away from ones that were loud and obnoxious.  I picked up a pair of large framed black ones with polka dots on them.  I tried them on, fell in love with them, and then put them back – they were a little too on the obnoxious side. 

And picked them back up and put them in my cart for precisely the same reason – they’re utterly obnoxious and I loved them.

I’ve never been one to follow trends. I don’t want to fit inside anyone’s box, or perception of who I should be. But I also never wanted to go too far outside the realm of normal. I did care a little bit what others thought of me.

I’m caring less and less about that. And that’s a nice feeling.

“I learned to make my mind large, as the universe is large, so that there is room for paradoxes.”

Maxine Hong Kingston

I have always been a rather open-minded, overly positive person – nothing is impossible.  Everything happens for a reason.  Expect the unexpected.  Always bring your sunglasses -you never know when the sun will come out.

I don’t limit myself with definitions and expectations. I want to be feminine, but I want to be able to fuck shit up, too. I can form an eloquent sentence describing a spectacular sunset, or I can tell you what a fucking gorgeous evening it is. I can give example after example how one part of me contradicts another part of me. What it comes down to is I don’t let life define me.

I don’t limit myself with resolutions and meeting goals by certain dates and things of that nature.  I never know where life is going to take me from day to day, let alone year by year.  I made a decision sometime ago that as long as I am better from one year to the next – financially, physically, whatever the case may be, if I have made some move forward in life – that’s all I want.  That’s my resolution.  To just be better.

In these ways, I’m the same as I always have been.  I have always allowed for paradoxes in my life – how could I not, when a lot of who I am and what my life consists of is a huge paradox in and of itself? Some things that I never saw changing have now, though. My mind has always had room for the unexpected. . . but apparently I needed to make room for more. My world is the same as it has been for years, and I am the same as I have been for years – I have my wonderful hooligans to keep me grounded, I have my swear words to release frustrations vocally from my body.  But now some things are changing . . . I’m letting go of the stimulants that have kept me going for so many years, and relying more on myself – mindfulness through yoga and meditation, my writing, and listening more to my intuitions, to what I want as opposed to what others think I should do.  I’m not fitting into any boxes, not even my own.  I’m doing what I feel.  Whether it be as simple as a pair of sunglasses or a spur of the moment adventures with friends . . . I’m doing it.  I’m making room for me to be me.

So, I sit here now at nearly midnight, drinking vanilla caramel chai tea and listening to rock music – specifically the new Bring me the Horizon song Parasite Eve.  After my hair was done this last time, I noticed that there were parts that were lightened to the point of being damn near blonde – and I’m not mad at it.  In fact, I’m in love with the look, when previously I was positive that blonde in any form would look horrible on me. I’m allowing my mind to be wide open, when before it was just cracked open.  And I’ve run into quite a few people who are a little shocked at the changes that I’m making. “You don’t drink coffee anymore?” is the most common thing that people are shocked by. Coffee has apparently become a part of my personality. It’s like I changed my religion or something. But honestly as I’m delving into the world of tea, I’m loving the variety of flavors out there. And I’m finding myself much less anxious than I have been previously.

I’m just not restricting myself anymore.  I’ve changed more in the last nine months than I did in the last ten years, and it’s blowing my mind. And I am absolutely okay with going with the flow and seeing what happens next. Who knows what’s out there waiting for me, as long as I keep my mind large enough to allow for the unexpected? To accept the paradoxes that come my way for what they are, and not expect anything to be any sort of definite? And best believe I’m bringing my sunglasses – polka-dot or rose gold or whatever obnoxiousness I can find – every single day.

Photo by Pietra Schwarzler on Unsplash

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