January 10, 2007

Knock! Knock!

Knock! Knock!
Who's there?


Ever feel like you were lost but now you're found? yeah.... it's like that.
I looked in the mirror this morning and saw an old stranger looking back. It's like I've seen myself for the first time in about 5 years. And I was looking pretty darn good for the journey I've been on. I even smiled in the mirror and waved hello... as if to say.. where ya been oh pal, oh sock, oh shoe, oh boot.
For the last little bit I feel as if I've been in a fog. A stranger going through the motions of trying to live my life better than I can myself.
It appears that this year, the fog is clearing up. Muddled situations are becoming ever so much clearer and my thinking appears to have changed, just over night, and with that comes a new attitude.
It feels like a whole new world.
This reminds me of when I went on an LDS Singles Cruise about 4 years ago. I had it all planned out:
I was going to change my name for the weekend : Francine Ruby Jackson! I was going to have this carefree, free spirited persona and just let myself go! Going with me on this cruise was my sister and my favorite person Dani and we were going to have a ball.
I remember arriving at the airport in California, we were so excited. And then boarding the shuttle bus to the cruise liner, I ran into 2 girls from the Human Resource department from my work. I thought... what the crap? I'm trying to get away from work and all that mess. Ok, no matter, I can still be Francine Ruby Jackson and have a ball. As I walked further back with one of my bags, A woman stopped me, and asked if so and so was my name. It was. It was an old friend of mine from a couple of my college English classes. WOW I hadn't seen her in 10 years! She was going on the cruise. I was soo excited to talk with her for a bit. She had to quit school because of Lupus. Her legs were amputated as were her fingers. But she was soo happy to see me and I her. Wow, this WAS going to be in interesting trip. We got to the ship and my sister, Dani and I got to our rooms and were unpacking and hurrying to the big welcome meeting we were having.
On the way to the Starlight lounge on the Lido deck.... someone came up to me and said... "hey.... I KNOW YOU.... you were in Long Beach 3 months ago in a stage production about Black Mormon Pioneers weren't you...?" I stopped in my tracks. "Yes, I was. The Life story about Jane Manning James, the first free black LDS woman." She hugged me... and said... "you also did the fireside for the youth by the chapel at the LA Temple that Sunday afterwards, didnt you? You're the Genesis Young Women's President?" Yes, yes that was me. She was the Relief Society President for her ward. She was soooo excited about me... she went and told EVERYONE all about my work with this production and my firesides and so on. Dani has always said... "I can't go anywhere without someone knowing you.... even when we're in a different country." It was true... everywhere we go someone knows me from something I've done thru my church work, stage work or modeling from back in the day. The more I spoke with the people on my cruise, the more I found out that several people I talked to knew other friends and associates of mine from when I was a Nanny in NJ & NY or a Student in Idaho, or from wherever. I remember how some kept introducing me as a "celebrity" from my Genesis work or from being in Church CES videos or from the theatre products I was involved in, and I couldn't for the life of me understand why they would think so highly of little ole mediocre me. I was just a groovy chick doin the things I do.
Well, for dinner each night were dressed up all fancy like and had assigned seats. My table was the life of the party and we had a fabulous evening. Because this singles group was so large, we could exchange tables each night within the group. Each night my original dinner group was scrounging for chairs at "our" table as people crowded us wanting to be part of our atmosphere. Our travel agent told me there were request for 18 people to be at our table. I believe a table only held 8 people. She said we were by far the funnest and loudest group in the dining room and everyone request to sit with or near us. Even the waiters were wanting us to sit in their sections of the dining room. It was an awesome time!

Throughout the course of the 4 day cruise, I forgot about being Francine Ruby Jackson, free spirited and carefree single woman ready to have a swinging time. I actually forgot about Ms Jackson until the last day on the ship. We actually held a Sacrament meeting in the Starlight bar and lounge on the Lido Deck of the Carnival Cruise ship.

I remember sitting in a lounge chair, reflecting on the cruise from the beginning up until that point. I looked across the room at the bar and the bottles of liquor and the shiny shot and wine glasses stacked upside down waiting for the party that would erupt that night. I looked out the window and there were a school of dolphins swimming along side of the ship. While sacrament was being passed, I ate the dinner roll and drank the water from the paper shot glasses provided and my thoughts turned to Christ.
The conversation we had was....
"wow, Lord. Here I sit on a boat on the ocean in a different country. There's a bar behind me, in the ocean to my right there are dolphins escorting us back towards our home destination. I am sitting in the starlight lounge with a dinner roll for my sacrament bread and a paper shot cup to hold my sacrament water and YOU ARE HERE with me, with us all. I am so amazed."
He said to me...
"WHEREVER two or more are gathered in my name, there I am also"
I sort of laughed inside
"haha! Well you ain't lying Lord, cuz here you are."
and his response was...
"yes and here YOU are...you got on this ship wanting to be MS Francine Ruby Jackson.... but I KNOW who you are."
I felt tears rolling down my cheek. I thought to myself. Yes, where ever I go, there I am. And no matter what name I give myself and what attitudes and attributes I display, how I dress me up and put makeup on me... Where ever I go, there I am.
It was a testament to myself OF myself. I can dress up and pretend to be something I'm not, but I will NEVER be able to hide from me, or the Lord my God.
Sadly... I had forgotten that lesson, forgotten who I am. Who I'm supposed to be.

The other day I was speaking with my sister about some issues and matters of the heart. She said... "you have forgotten who you really are, you really have.. Remember when you and Houston were dating? Where is that girl that he didn't know what to do with? Remember what he used to say... "I don't know what to do when she gets like this so I just let her go, watch and wait because I know it's going to be good." I remember when he used say that. He used to always tell me.... "everyday you were like a surprise waiting to be opened. And all I know is by the end of the day I would always think... I'm sooo glad she's in my life... EVERYDAY" Oh the fun we had! We'd go rock climbing and snow tubing and to concerts. After about a week of me short sheeting his bed, one night I had gotten home late from campus. He stole my bed sheets and sent me on a treasure hunt for them around the apartment complex. There was a note on my bed when i got home: Go to apartment 23. Then they gave me a note to go someplace else and so on. An hour and a half later, the final note in my hand, which was taped on the inside of the big garbage dumpster ...it said.... " go look in your closet!" My closet! They were in my FREAKIN closet the whole time. I stood inside that garbage dumpster...while practically the whole apartment complex was watching me... and I laughed so hard I almost peed on myself. It was like that the whole year we dated up until he went on his mission.

Enter my best friend Lunt. Same thing. Our thing would be to watch M*A*S*H on the phone. The first one who could call and guess which episode it was first was the winner. Playing on softball teams together during the summer. Camp outs and funny stories about his brothers and them living in Indonesia. Passing a 10 lb pound can of pork and beans back and forth between him, myself and his brothers for our birthday presents to each other. He and I had codes back and forth. We both wanted to be cops. So we had a secret language. We were closet Barry Manilow and Karen Carpenter lovers. And we always laughed at their sad cheesy melodramatic love songs. But, if he was having a bad day... he'd leave me the message "Karen Carpenter." If I were having a bad day.. I'd leave the message "Barry Manilow." And who ever got the message would be over that night, without fail with a gallon of Mint chocolate chip ice cream (our favorite) and 2 spoons! It was like that until the day he married. And when we talk it's like no time has passed, we're still like that.

Yeah, where is that chick? Where the hell did she go?
She got bogged down with people pleasing, caring too much what others thinks about her and how others felt about her. Oh, her core is the same, but so much was buried, stifled, trampled on that she just... bailed and was too afraid to return.
I haven't felt this.. .light hearted and ... mellowed and just internally happy and satisfied with myself for years. Sad isn't' it?

I thank my sister for knocking me back into myself. I also found this saying that for some reason, as abstract as it is... grounded me back where I belong:

"Stand in your own space and know you are there."

I read that a few days ago... and a flood of emotions came to surface. Sort of like a final cleansing or purging, if you will, of that shell of a person who went thru the motions of me but didn't quite cut it. That impostor.... she's gone. I know she's done, cuz I felt her check out and bail the exact moment it happened. GOOD RIDDANCE.

For the last little while I've been either standing in my own space and pretending to be elsewhere or standing in someone elses space assuming I'm to be there. Neither option works.

Stand tall, honor the truthfulness of who you are. If you cannot stand tall in the honesty of who you are then do what it takes to be able to. And those who are privilege enough to be invited into your space will either accept the invitation, or deny it. Those who deny it, let them go. Misery is being where you don't want to be or being where you know you don't belong so, let them go. You'll be better off on both ends.

And those who truly want to be a part of your life will accept the invitation and support and honor who you are and where you are in your life and will influence your life for the better as you will do the same in their life.

"Stand in your own space and know you are there."


Sherpa said...

There's nothing so liberating (and sometimes scary if you haven't done it for a bit) than being you. I can relate. So, I'm a little scatterbrained, goofy and a smart ass. It's who I am.

ShaBANG said...

Makes the world a whole new place.
I'm gonna go find Aladdin and go on a magic carpet ride...

Anonymous said...

I think this is my favorite entry so far. It may have something to do with me being your favorite person or something...nah. :) Well written!

Dani said...

Oops! That was me up there.