Monday, March 14, 2011

Perspective

My sister Crystal is here visiting from Idaho this week.  I always love to showcase this city to others, and it puts my life into perspective for me.  My sister, a stage four cancer fighter is facing her own impeding divorce right now.  I never had a brother, so I've had the benefit of many slumber parties with my sisters, where we sit up and have "girl talk" and those only get more fun and the topics more interesting the older we get.  With two divorces, a lot of beautiful little girls that bring us joy, failed relationships, joyous relationships, crazy families, approaching thirty (her sooner than me), parents approaching 50, babies, breast feeding, travel and health, you can imagine that the conversations have stretched far into the last few mornings and had us near tears, or laughing until we cried.  What I appreciate most about my big sister is that she has always listened to me.  She hears what I have to say and takes my opinion seriously.  She shares openly.  She doesn't hold back the truth, but doesn't deliver it harshly either.

A few revelations I've had all revolve around one common theme.  I am giving up control of all of the situations I could never manage, but always tried to for my entire life.  I am done parenting, worrying, and trying to hold everything together for everyone in my circle (because they don't need me to).  I am putting Harper first, and me second and everyone else has to get in line behind that.  I don't know why it's taken me so long to realize this.  It will be harder on me than any of them.  In fact, I think it will be easier on them.  I have always been a self pleaser, and I thought if I harped long enough on how so-and-so should budget their money better, quit drinking or smoking, and do this-and-that more like I do that they would somehow be happier.  I like to be the boss.  I like to get my way.  I like to be right.  And somehow, that has prohibited me from just being present or just listening.  I have felt this change coming on for quite some time, but I am glad it came to me now so I can make a change before I push people away or force un-needed barriers between me and those that I love.

We went and saw the show Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind last night at the Neo Futurist's theater here in Chicago and its a collection of 30 short plays done in 60 minutes.  Many of the themes were political, controversial, and inspiring, but one that has stuck in my head is play number 27.  In it, the actors come into the audience after doing a monologue after closing the theater doors and asking what we would all do if we got locked in the theater and had to live out the rest of our lives as just the 130 of us.  Who would become friends, enemies, and lovers?  What would we create together?  What would we fight about?  What would we talk about?  The moral of the story was that you only have who you are with at this very moment.  They said, "think about that and put down the damn texting device, look up and engage with those that are around you!"  I had goosebumps.  And I looked at all of those faces in the theater, as they scanned me and for a split second we all just got it.  We are all human.  We all want the same things.  We want family, relationship, love, understanding, and respect.  We are all the same. 

It made me realize that I didn't say that final I love you to those that I care about.  And if you are reading this post, than it's intended for you too.  I am thankful for family, friends, and my sister Crystal for being a constant reminder of the love and beauty I have been blessed with.  Cheers to all of you and to St. Patricks Day too.