The usual walk into work. Breathless, no minutes to spare, still swallowing the last of my morning tea. Bags and baggage rolling down the icy, brown, salt stained sidewalk. My work cart trailing behind me. Announcing my morning arrival with quite the ruckus.
So little of the snow covered path visible to me because, well I CAN’T really SEE where I’m going. Mask up to kiss my glasses. They meet and conspire to steal my view. Then this voice, this smugful tone rises above the sound of wheels on crunchy snow. “You only need to see what’s in front of you” ok gotcha!
The wisdom comes when you’re not looking for it. Like a dog that appears out of nowhere for a scritch-scratch, reminding you to slow down, be present or some other profoundness. So, only see what’s right in front of me huh? Ok, got it…so I can’t spend any time thinking about the what if’s tomorrow, next week, next month, next year?
Nope! I am to stay contained today, in this space, in this me moment LANE. I am thankful for this reminder. I am thankful that I know to heed tiny messages such as this. I am thankful to know that if I don’t, the message might not be so sweet the next time. I know this. D
Irritations always get our attention. We wish to choke them out as quickly as they show up. But don’t. Their message comes from a higher place. We might not notice the message if life carried on seamlessly. But the piss-me-offs? Just like that annoying person at work… always keeps us growing. Happy Friday everyone!
Everywhere we go, what we see on social media, TV, magazines, pod casts, seminars, etc – is like a billboard showcasing how we are flawed. They are talking to us, right? Or just me? Ugh. At least this is how it feels…How we are doing it all wrong. What we should be doing. What could we be doing better, faster, cheaper, more efficiently, with less effort…How we are not doing enough. How we don’t know enough. That we’re not buying the right products. Not doing, trying, learning, relaxing, or efforting enough to make our lives “right”.
No shortage of messages. They might as well add, “ What the fuck are you doing with your life? You dumb ass. You are ___ years old and look at you, you’re doing it all wrong. You haven’t figured anything out. Where have you fucking been? Here, listen to me and I will FIX you.” Well, at least that’s what I hear.
So what do we do? We buy the supplements, the gadgets, the memberships, the subscriptions – just to terrorize ourselves more. To drive home how idiotic we feel. Perpetuating how ignorant, oblivious, unaware, unconscious, unenlightened, uninformed, unwitting and in-the-dark our existence is. Thanks a bunch. Thanks a fucking bunch. Love you, thank you for helping me to move further away from my true self, into an external, more aesthetically pleasing version of my existence.
Ever stop and think about the billions of dollars we flush down the “I suck at life” toilet? This nonsense has to stop. Such a brilliant business tho. Aren’t we all programmed to get on the self improvement bus? From a very young age 99% of us are told we do not measure up. We’re not someone else’s idea of perfection. Hearing this message loud and clear…Projected onto us by very unhappy adults, older siblings, well meaning aunts, uncles, grandparents, neighbors, coaches, teachers and even religious groups.
All this buy-in to self doubt was never ours to begin with. It was never part of our early fabric. I’ve never met a toddler who said, I’m not going to wear this cause it makes my arms look too fat or dance this way cause it’s weird or draw this picture cause it won’t come out perfectly and someone might laugh at me. Nope.
Before we got the message that we are flawed beyond fucking repair – we were happy-go-lucky beings, living by trial and error, as the wind blows, trying life out, discovering what makes us happy and healthy. We Experimented, made mistakes and got feedback that we JUST MIGHT fit in in our tribes. All without the crushing self judgement, without the feeling of “lack” or self blame if we got ill or came upon some troubles.
Do we really need repair? Or do we just need to fall in love with all our imperfections? All our FU’s? All the ways in which we give up, phone it in? Leave too soon? Stay too long? Take too much? Don’t take any? Don’t try? Try too much? Start many things? Finish nothing? We are the managers of our own programs.
There is nothing wrong with you. Never was. Tell those naysayer head voices to go F themselves. Their time in your life has expired. Feel good about recognizing their lies. All day long. Call them out. You are a beautiful mess. Allow yourself to know this.
Who the hell is A Fish Named Karen you ask? Well, I’m not a fish 🙄 (duh) and I’m not Karen. Actually, the name Karen has always made me chuckle. A peculiar name for a Fish. Random, plain-Jane, Fish-next-door-type of title. Yep, that’s me. Flopping around life, silent, completely random, imperfect, colorful, delicious, breathing under water, deceitful, interesting, slippery, elusive – yup, THAT kind of Karen. THAT kind of Fish 👀
Actually A Fish Named Karen got its name about 20 years ago to be exact. My son was excited about the idea of owning a pet. He wanted a Fish and would bring it up often at the dinner table. I was so curious, “So, what would you name your fish?” His reply, of course, “Karen, Mom, A Fish Named Karen.” Can’t make this shit up. So, when I considered starting a blog, it came to me right away. What a brilliant title, born from childhood innocence, to help introduce and express the not so innocent tragedies of my childhood. What a perfect name, in a perfect WordPress fishbowl. Swimming with many, many fish in the waters of the human condition.
My anonymity purposeful. As truth and vulnerability have a way of finding like-minded fish in a sea of untruths and fake smiles.
I will reveal that, although Karen is not my name – this is the ONLY piece of fabrication you will come upon in my writing.
That’s right. Sit in the woods, collect seed pods, watch the sun rise above the crisp Autumn landscape, take naps, long baths, create a sacred space in your home, on your land.
Spend time connecting with your children, your family, friends, stranger. Stop what you’re doing and look into their eyes, listening with presence, without agenda. Growing older is a privilege. Cherish the time you have and the vessel that supports your existence, otherwise known as your body.
Make every day matter. That’s right, sit in the woods, collecting seed pods, watching the sun set through the autumn landscape, draw a warm fragrant bath, create a bedtime ritual, a sacred space in your bedroom, on your land. Spend time in connection with yourself.
I’m in love with mismatched socks. Short n long, tight n loose coming together for the good of feet humanity. Tending to the warmth of my sole. A FU to the matched, pristine, perfect world. Wardrobe rules are to be broken, one sock at a time. The deliciousness of WRONG.
My non-conformity has deep roots, childhood roots. We were to appear presentable as to not bring shame to THE FAMILY. An unspoken rule, to make the Matriarch happy – so she could be cast as a really attentive, perfect Mother. All her ducklings in a row, soldiers with matching smiles. Matching everything.
This CONFORMITY…An energetic expectation in the bloodline. Grandma donned a classic narcissistic wardrobe. She would dress in a single color. Obsessive-like. Crazy, really. Hat, shoes, shirt, earrings, jacket, purse, pants – all banana yellow or all red or what have you. Modeling conformity, discipline, obsession, vanity, rigidity. Was quite the sight.
So, my duty…to unravel rigidity, one string at a time. A private joke just under the surface of my SEEMINGLY aligned exterior. Wrong feels so right. Fleece, Fuzzy, striped, embroidered, nylon, wool, buttoned, jeweled, knee-high or mid-calf. My socks, my secret.
When I am “found out”, my secret cluster fuck accidentally revealed, I blurt – “But I have another pair just like this at home”.