Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wed & Writing: Falls

I had a severe case of pneumonia as a small child. It caused a bit of inner ear damage, which as you probably know contributes to your sense of equilibrium. The damage contributed greatly to mine. However, I grew up in the sticks, literally. I periodically had purple hair and sometimes wore a gold necklace cascading onto my forehead from a Pebbles ponytail on top of my head. (I thought it was cute. In the sticks I was labeled a problem child in need of attention--mind you I never actually got in trouble--not only by the grown ups but my peers). So since I wanted attention and couldn't walk in a straight line, you can a) imagine my social standing b) understand that every time I fell on my face (which due to the middle ear damage was more than once) people accused me of purposely falling for attention. (People are great in small towns, what can I say).

But we don't care, because I graduated early and blew that town. Fortunately, I did this right after the blue braces and several pounds came off. I was glamorous. (It only lasted for a year or two but hey, it happened to be the year I started college). This was a new start. No one knew I had purple hair or wore a necklace on my ponytail. I wouldn't even need purple hair to make people look at me. This was my one year to be glamorous. Who cares if I was a reject in hs I was going to be cool in college. I set off to be cool, an "it" girl.

It was the first day of school, I had ballet on one side of campus (right behind Greek Row) and then one hour for lunch on the other opposite side of campus before algebra, every English majors favorite subject. I could have skipped lunch. I wouldn't have minded, but I was supposed to meet my roommate and her friends. (Being that I was six years younger than most of them, should have been in high school and would graduate sooner than a lot of them, they already hated me). I seriously didn't need to add to it. I must be punctual! I ran from the ballet studio down Greek Row. I'm not sure what happened, but me and my curls did a cartwheel through the air and landed on the concrete, with ripped jeans and bleeding where a frat boy scraped me off the ground and asked me if I could walk. (At least, he didn't accuse me of wanting attention). First day of school, needless to say social standing experienced no change.

Now I'm a grown up. My one to two years of gloriousness has long since passed. I have dealt with this. I'm almost comfortable in my own skin. I don't need acceptance (except on days when I do). Friday I walked from the building that I work in to another building owned by the job and I'm not sure how it happened. But I found myself laying on my stomach with a face full of concrete, recyclable to go coffee cup shattered just out of my reach. As I'm laying there, inching my mouth away from the cement I have two thoughts. 1) Does this ever quit happening? Seriously. 2)This is like writing. You fall. You get up again. You keep falling and you keep getting up again. It's a continual process. How many times must you eat a face full of concrete before you have a manuscript that struts its grace? I seriously don't know, but I hope it happens before my social standing changes! I think the more important question is do you have what it takes to walk back to the dorm in the ripped jeans and do it all again tomorrow. The thing about a less than balanced equilibrium is you develop a thick skin. I'll get up again when I fall. What about you?


  1. I knew why you were falling down... but I never knew that you were tagged for it...

  2. Great point! I think we all fall. Those who cant get back up give up. You can always get back up if you try. When you stop trying, there's not much life left to live.