Honesty… honestly

In Essays, The Daily Drool on January 5, 2010 at 10:40 am

Sometimes it’s hard to really own up to your own intentions.

I mean, I’ve always been pretty good about declaring responsibility for things when I muddy them up- I’m not a very good liar- No, no, now, even that, that right there, that stuff that I just wrote… it’s honestly not the whole of it, because I take responsibility for the things I feel like I should take responsibility for.  It’s all done according to my own moral compass which, let’s face it, is still a human one.  So, I can and do sometimes lie very well; as long as I believe in the lie or its good intentions.

Which means that while I believe I live pretty fairly and responsibly, I still, on occasion, make a decision or two that might not necessarily be on par with the sincerity I strive to maintain.

I’m thinking here about intentions.

Because I’m remembering a conversation I had with someone a few days ago, someone I hadn’t spoken to in a long time and for whom I cared for deeply.

And I don’t think I need to go into every blessed detail because the conversation isn’t the thing- it’s the internal workings of how that conversation came to be and the things I told myself in order to make it happen, and the things I’ve told myself since- that fascinate me now.

You see, I called for a strictly utilitarian purpose- to inquire as to the location of something of mine- but I also called to get it out of the way, this conversation that we hadn’t yet had.  I wanted to do it, to feel that it was done, to tie up the wonder that had been nagging at me up until then (in bits and pieces)  And also just I wanted to hear this person’s voice.

And I wanted to exercise mine.

But I didn’t admit any of this, oh no.  I felt empowered by my strictly utilitarian purpose.  So the afterwards, the “See, that was fine” was another non-truth I told myself, because the internal workings were quite stirred up by this brief “inconsequential” moment.  The inner workings were looking at me and my “truth” with dumbfounded awe wondering how could I think for one ridiculous second, that this conversation would be any kind of meaningless?


I was lying.  To myself.  Because I wanted it to be so.

But of course it wasn’t.

And oh, I’m fine now and feeling glad (overall) that we spoke.  But I’m also on to myself.  On to my own (slightly destructive) seemingly-cynical-but-secretly-breathless self-manipulations.

Because inside?  On the real, really, real inside?  Honestly?  I’m just a bigger version of the same wide eyed little girl smiling with her tongue between her teeth on the carousel… the same little girl who hated roller-coasters and speed rides, but loved cotton candy and holding my mom’s hand as we walked through the fun house giggling at the silly mirrors.

I just learned to hold that fear in check as I forced myself to get on the scary rides with the big kids, because it seemed like the thing to do.

And now, I really just want to ignore the long lines for the roller coasters altogether and get back to the pure joy I still feel on that merry go round.

So when that little girl wants something, I try to get it for her.  Even if I know it’s risky or hard to reach.  But I also push her in directions she knows are scary, and that’s the bargain we’ve struck.  Risk for reward, risk for reward… and sometimes those things require a little grand illusion to get the deed done.

You see, I do want to be honest with myself, but I find that it requires letting some of the disappointment and fear be real; the fear that I’ve made some bad choices, that I’m alone in LA, broke and eerily hermit-ish, that I’m 31 and so far from being financially sound that I want to scream, and the incredible fear that I could be so many months out of my last relationship and still miss the idiot every once in a while…

So instead, I let myself tell the sweet interior me the things that will quiet her, soothe her, even if she knows I’m lying not being completely honest… at least I’m doing it to protect her.


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