Tuesday morning I woke up a dog-owner, knowing by lunch I wouldn’t be anymore. Which made it hard to look in the mirror as I brushed a cloud of toothpaste around my mouth. Muni - short for Muneco - was described as a 6-pound, 8-year-old, brindle, one-eyed, blind chihuahua. When I told people I was adopting a dog who could use his own seeing eye dog, people had one of two reactions...
I left, my hands clean, but I couldn’t stop thinking about that motherly lie rolling off her tongue, teaching her child something much bigger than cleanliness is next to godliness. Like so many parents before her, mine included, Mom taught Daughter there’s no choice. A person has obligations. You have to do things. To fit in. To get through this world. To live.
When really, the only thing we have to do in this lifetime is die.
I know, that sounds petulant. Like I’m a stubborn Peter Pan of a lady, “don’t-wanna-grow-upping” all over the place. Like I’m chock full of alive privilege because I foresee a future to hate. And maybe I am those things. But that’s not going to stop me from trying to explain this whole future-hating thing with a story:
You know, we redid our trust recently. My dad stacks his fork with a sliver of turkey, a blob of mashed potato, and a snow pea. No matter what happens, any inheritance we might leave you will never be community property. With that,he takes his first bite of Thanksgiving dinner and looks at me.
But worse still, not only has the quantity of words gone down though, something far worse is at stake: the quality of my emails have plummeted, too. The sentences are shorter. The details vaguer. The typos aplenty. The introspectiveness dropping like a hot sweet potato accidentally inserted into a hungry mouth far too soon, and the whimsically cavalier nature of it all burned down like an unplanned forest fire till only the indifference remains.
Exploratory conversations — aka interviews — are your time to give a potential client a little insight into who you are, how you work, and what you can bring to the table. Unless you're the perfect blend of chimera (metaphorically), charisma (personally), and chocolate (literally), you’ll need to do more than show up on time for a getting-to-know-all-about-you-conversation to guarantee the team on the other side of the line says, “We choose you!”
All of these little mysteries are a large part of my daily discourse. Questions are how I relate not just to the world, but to people. But curiosity no longer only kills cats - it's slaying conversation, too.
Enacting the Winter 2015 Act of No-Saying was proving to be a challenge for me. Easy as it was to understand saying “No” was as important as flossing daily (mmmm, cinnamon floss), actually not agreeing to do a favor or five, or accept invitations, or offer to help when I saw a need I could fill, was hard.