We are born into story.
Think about it.
Moments before you take your first breath, people are preparing for your arrival. On a larger scale, life is happening. Somewhere snow is falling, a child is cartwheeling, a grandmother is going to skydive for the first time, people are joined together in song, a thunderstorm is raging - the big story is being told and suddenly you burst on to the scene, a brand new character.
The second you appear, you are handed a script - you may not know the words yet but you quickly get to know the players. Though you arrive as a “ready-made writer/director”, you are cast as a character actor, “the waiter”. With few lines, you quickly come to understand what the director(s) wants and how to oblige.
Life’s Scripted Parts
I’ve played the role of the “the waiter”.
Now you may say, “waiter” and think, ‘person who works in the service industry’ and while you would be correct, that’s not how I’ve come to understand it.
To my mind, “the waiter”, was always waiting for the instructions on how to live life.
So I waited.
In a magical moment when I was 13 turning 14, I said to a boy who left me starry-eyed, “May I kiss you?” This was to be my first kiss. He said, “Yes.” And I waited! Thank God he leaned in to kiss me or we’d still be there.
In school, I’d wait to learn what was expected of me like when my teacher embarrassed me in front of the class by asking if I wanted my conduct mark to go from an A to a C because I was laughing. I worked on trying not to laugh. Spoiler alert: It didn’t work.
For years, I rarely extended invitations because I never wanted to make people feel like they had to hang with me. So I’d wait until they said, “Hey, want to get together?”
At work, I’d wait to understand what was expected of me so I could excel. However, in almost every one of my jobs, my bosses have said to me, “You are too hard on yourself.” “You need to be kinder to yourself.” “I wish you saw yourself the way others see you; you have nothing to prove.” Almost. Every. Single. Job.
And it began to dawn on me, I wasn’t waiting for instructions on how to live, I was waiting to understand how I could prove my worth and collect my earnings, like love and respect.
You Don’t Earn Love, You are Love
Early on in my life, there were some who taught me that delivering my lines the right way and being who everyone wanted me to be would be rewarded with love as though love were some kind of commodity we trade for instead of something we are, something we have from the moment we begin writing our story.
So for years I believed that being invited to this party called life, meant that I needed to spend the rest of it earning my keep.
Well, I’m not waiting anymore.
I’m too old and too worthy of love and respect simply because I exist to play a scripted part.
I’m jumping into the Director’s chair. That’s right - with my name on the back of my chair and all.
And I’m defining things for myself - no, scratch that. When people “define” something, they often think they’ve learned all there is to learn about it. Thus they define and abandon ideas. However, I have a different thought.
The Creative Invitation
At the Creativity Spa, we like to slow things down and wait for our brains to relax so that ideas can bubble up to the surface. This is an invitation to do just that.
What if we could just create our own dictionary or fun art journal-esque encyclopedia of terms and explore what things mean for ourselves and then share with others?
What if we looked at words like, “love, beauty, truth, compassion, waiting” and, with the knowledge acquired through lived experiences as well as conversations with others, we create our own dictionary of ideas for this life that has the possibility to change and grow next year, in ten years, in twenty years, for as long as we live.
Here is an invitation to grab a book, an art journal or sheets of paper to keep together and begin to play with ideas. Let’s start with “to wait”.
The conventional way of thinking about the idea of “waiting”, let’s true joy slip through your fingertips and I’ll show you how.
As I look at the word, “wait”, I think of it as occupying a space that holds the possibility for some of the beauty we miss when we are rushing through the world.
For example, I wait for the sky to change into a million gorgeous colors at sunset.
I wait to leave the room just so I can listen to my dog sigh in her sleep one more time.
I wait to go back to my “To’do” so I can listen to my kid’s stories and their laughter.
I wait to rush from the house to the car so I can watch the birds bathe in the bird bath on my neighbors lawn. I love the sound of their wings giving high-fives to the water.
I believe in myself as the writer/director of my life and I’m not waiting to earn anything anymore. I’m creating what I want and only stopping, pausing, waiting for the true moments in this life - the ones worth living for - to unfold before me and become memories I’ll take with me at the end of my days.
What does waiting look like in your life? How might you explain it? Would you use words, images, paint? What are you unwilling to wait for any longer OR what might you like to wait for now?
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This really struck a chord with me, Tasha...
"So for years I believed that being invited to this party called life, meant that I needed to spend the rest of it earning my keep."
That is something I'm in the process of unlearning right now.
Creating my own dictionary, defining words that reflect who we/I truly are... I like that idea! 💡 🥰
Love this, Natasha! I’ll be thinking about this!