Thursday, April 5, 2012

Welcome to the pit...Every flavor here is vanilla!

It's not very often that I am able to muster up the creativity to write these days. I often blame my job but, the reality is that I am only creative when I'm despairing. I like to think of it as being in the pit. Though it sounds very depressing when I read it in black and white, it's not really that awful. In fact, I find it's when I'm at my best. Creatively anyway.

I find that I fall into the pit seasonally. It's like a bad case of allergies that rolls around every spring and instead of sneezing and sniffling, I'm up late nights thinking about life and where I find myself these days. I do a lot of reading and soul searching in the pit and it's there that my inspiration is born.

This year I will turn 29. This month, to be exact and it's got me thinking a lot about where I am in life and what exactly it is that I want out of it. I have a job, a family and a decent sense of humor about it all. So why do I feel so empty? Well, I am aware that time spent in the pit makes me feel this way but, it's what got me here that I find interesting...

A friend of mine recently told me about an affair she was having. Her husband's a shit so I couldn't really blame her but, it was the way she told me that threw me for a loop. It was as if she said, "The sky is blue today." Very matter of fact. Not guilt laced, not wary. Just a statement. It is what it is. Now, I very much love my husband and would never in a million years dream of turning to another man yet, the idea of this intrigued me on some level. Not because I was interested in adultery but, because I was curious as to how these things happen... Do you just show up at your neighbors house one morning naked and ask for a cup of sugar and a fuck? Certainly that can't be right. Or maybe you go to ? (Please don't try to visit the aforementioned website, it is fake. Trust me, I Googled it.) Whatever way it happens, it's baffling to me. And this is because I am and have always been a creature of habit. I enjoy monotony on some level. I fear change and rarely ever deviate from my norm. Though occasionally, when I am in the pit, I wonder what different would be like. To not always be so structured, routined and in control.

My favorite analogy of this is that for 25 years I ate only Vanilla ice cream. Sure I would slap some sprinkles on from time to time. Maybe add a little Carmel sauce but, my norm was vanilla. It was safe. I knew I liked it and it never disappointed. Then one day I was at a girlfriends house for a play date and she offered up the only frozen treat she had...Chocolate. Not wanting to be rude I accepted her offer and ate a tiny scoop. The first bite felt wrong. Foreign, not something I was use to. But, bite after bite I found myself enjoying it more and more. When I was finished I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed the chocolate ice cream and thought "Holy, Shit! How could I just assume I didn't like this?" And today I wonder a lot about the opportunities I deprive myself of because it's not my normal and I just assume it's not for me.

I feel it's safe to conclude that we have all felt this way at one time or another. Whether it's someone like my friend who has chosen to take a giant radical bite of Rocky Road in her relationship or someone like myself who chooses a bit more plainly to wash her face before shaving her legs this time in the shower. Occasionally it's fun to deviate from the norm. Take a risk and see where it leads us. Taking chances doesn't happen for me often. I spend most of my time on the precipice where every day is basically the same and when I'm there I love the safety it allows me. But it's times like right now when I'm despairing in the pit, a place where I too am most always served vanilla, that I'm able to sort out that a little chocolate never hurt anyone. I urge you all to do one thing today that isn't your normal. And when you do, remember- "The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions." ~Ellen Glasgow