My surfing instructor, Jules, who basically I want to be, gave me two pieces of homework after my lesson a few weeks ago. The first was to say yes (actually, YES!) to everything the universe handed me. We talked through my personality and the huge transition that I'm going through, and where I'm at in relation to all of that. (You didn't know that surfing instructors are therapists, did you?) We agreed that I'm in a hyper-growth period and that I'm craving new experiences to help me gain a frame of reference for my new life. I was excited about the homework; I'm pretty adventurous and generally meet challenges with enthusiasm. Since my lesson I've tried to be aware of new chances to do that, and I've been saying Yes, Uh-hu, Wahooey! to things that have come my way.
The second assignment Jules gave me was to f*ck up everything I did for a month. Blink. Blink, blink. Huh? It gave me chills just thinking about it. F*ck up everything? On purpose? I actually felt like she should get a talking-to for even suggesting it. Why would anyone want to mess things up? I mess up enough when I'm trying to do things right. Hell, I'm trying to do everything right. Just right. All the time. I'm trying to do things exactly right so that I can blend in and minimize the attention drawn to myself, and most of all not rock the boat. (I'll give you a minute to wonder how I got this crazy. Ok, time to move on.)
So since my lesson I've been spending a lot of time thinking about that assignment and wondering what it would look like to do it. What would it mean for me to f*ck up everything? How will I know when I've done it? Is it even possible to complete that kind of a task? And then I started thinking, I can do this. I can totally do this. Actually, I bet I could be the very best f*cker-uper there ever was! I could do it better than anyone ever has, and when I go back and tell Jules about my progress, I bet she'll tell me that I'm amazing and that no one has ever f*cked up things like I have!
Sigh. This week I went to a volunteer orientation session at the local AIDS support organization, and as folks wandered in the room they passed out name tags for us to fill out and wear to facilitate mingling. It was a great group of folks and mingle we did. As the Volunteer Coordinator corralled us back into a circle and got started on the agenda items she said, "Before we begin I just have to say, LSL, you have beautiful handwriting. You guys, look at LSL's name tag. I wish everyone had handwriting like that." Click. Monster unleashed. Inside I thought "Yes! Eat it, bitches!" And then I realized that I was excited because I just got an A in name tag writing.
And the sad thing? Sadder than all this? Is that when I wrote that name tag I was disappointed in myself for just a second because I did it kind of sloppily. Have you ever in your whole life known anyone who needed to f*ck up more than me?