Do you know your purpose? I mean, do you wholeheartedly feel with all your being what you’re called to do in this lifetime? If so, are you living it?
Me neither. And it hurts my heart to admit it.
It seems the world has gone mad and I’ve reluctantly packed my bags to go along with it. This kooky political climate, insanely negative media, and living in a place that doesn’t feel like home is wearing down my innately positive spirit.
Well, what better way to lift each other up than to share a few hilarious, are-you-flipping-kidding-me short stories from the past year, three months, and eighteen days of our living in this crazy aristocratic place.
Red Flag #1: The Barber .
It was July and we barely had the boxes unpacked when I decided to shuttle the boys to the barber shop. The barber was a young, hip guy with whom my eldest felt an immediate camaraderie. After the boys were slicked-up and presented him with gratuity, the barber knelt down and cautiously whispered, “You guys seem to be very polite and compassionate young men. Let’s keep it that way. Please don’t let these people change you.”
…Whaaaaa? What does that even mean? Ummm, I’m new here, by all appearances this place is Mayberry incarnate, and you’re causing me serious confusion.
Red Flag #2: The Phone Call .
“Hello, Julie? I’m calling because my preschooler didn’t get into the class your son got into. All of her friends are in that class. We Moms were just looking over the class list and we don’t recognize your name, so you must be new and your child probably doesn’t have any friends, so we thought it would be easy for your child to swap classes with my child.” She later upped the ante by offering to pay the tuition of any child who swapped. We’re talking five figures, people.
…Whaaaaat kind of entitled gang mentality is this?
Red Flag #3: The Question .
It was a Friday. I picked up my littlest guy from preschool. I noticed he was unusually quiet and introspective.
“Anything you want to talk about, baby?”
“Yeah. …Mom, am I gay?”
“Why do you ask?”
“Well, some kids cornered me on the playground and told me I was gay because my name is Reece and it’s a girl’s name.”
…Whaaaaa? Four-year-olds accusing a boy of being gay because his name is different? Whose behavior might they be replicating? Hmmm…
Red Flag #4: The Evite .
A kid’s birthday evite popped into my inbox. I beamed thinking how comforting it is to know our littlest is being included. As I clicked to respond, the message presented was:
Hmmm… You are not on the guest list for this event.
Weird, but I’m becoming accustomed to weird here, so I hit delete and carried on. The next email in queue read:
I’m sorry, we mistakenly invited your child. Please disregard the evite.
…Whaaaaaa? Inviting and uninviting a five-year-old inside a five-minute span. In the South, if you made this snafu, you’d honor the evite and invite the kid’s aunts, uncles, and cousins for good measure.
Red Flag #5: The Grocery Store I .
I tried venturing to the neighborhood grocery store a few times, but the people were so rude, combative, and irrefutably entitled I simply could not shop there. Whole Foods is the closest alternative, so cloaked in emotional armor I ventured out.
I was fifteen minutes into the shopping excursion and attempting to select ice cream when a woman approached who was obviously more decisive than me. As she opened the glass door to stake claim to her frozen delight, she bonked my cheek with the door. Wiping my saliva from the glass, I realized my reflexes caused me to grab the door handle and I was actually holding the door open for her. We briefly made eye contact, she offered no apology, no thank you, just a metaphorical eff off.
Red Flag #6: The Grocery Store II .
Flustered and dejected, I grabbed some ice cream, tossed it in the basket, and gripped the cart for the remainder of an already bumpy ride. I noticed two women blocking the aisle, so rather than expose the tail between my legs, I opted to make a u-turn and go around the corner to get next door. Three steps in, I glanced down at the cart and realized I’d mistakenly hijacked someone else’s cart. Then came the squawking. “YOU TOOK MY CART! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU TOOK MY CART!”
It didn’t take long for me to dissect how this was going down. In true Southern fashion, I began politely diffusing and nonsensically self-deprecating. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to alarm you. I’m always doing absent-minded things.” Well, this particular patron at least granted me a response which included an eye roll with a bonus, “What, are you slow?”
…Whaaaaa? Slow? Am I SLOW? Look, I’m no stranger to mistakes and humiliation. I’ve always been clumsy and the older I get the more mindless blunders I make. Maybe I am slow or maybe, just maybe, I’m an effing human being.
Red Flag #7: The Grocery Store III .
I stumbled out of my Whole Foods near dunce experience deflated. As I schlepped bags into the back of the car, I heard an engine that seemed to be approaching rather quickly. It appeared a woman was backing out of her parking space and heading right for me. In a half-twit panic, I began flailing my arms and pleading, “Please stop! Please don’t hit me! Please!” She swerved at the last minute, avoided hitting me, crunched the bumper of the car parked next to mine, then drove away.
…Whaaaaa? Did I mention the world has gone flipping mad?
Write or Wrong .
I’m not sharing any big secrets here. It’s a common communal sentiment and inside joke of sorts. The level of blatant elitism is foreign to me and profoundly off-putting. But, that’s coming from a Southerner, and we’re not exactly known for hiding our opinions or our crazy. We parade them on the front porch and serve ’em stiff cocktails.
I fully believe most people don’t want to hurt one another. I also understand that those who hurt do so because they’re drowning in their own pain, and project it onto others to make them feel less alone. It doesn’t make it right, it’s just the way human psyche functions.
My integrative health specialist recently told me, “It’s obvious you’re a fish out of water in this crazy town.” As a reader of my blog, she urged me to write about it as a form of therapy for myself and maybe others who share the same mad world experiences. Southern etiquette told me to keep my opinions and keystrokes to myself. NaNa’s ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’ piped into my head. But shortly thereafter, during a cackling funny phone call with my sister-in-law, she also advised, “If you don’t write a book about this crazy sh*t, you’re missing your purpose.”
The Purpose .
Ahhh, and so we come full circle. My purpose. Your purpose. Our purposes. Let’s all purpose together, shall we?
I’m talking some serious soul searching. But, I need you… and maybe you need me. I propose we work together to discover our purposes and hold one another accountable for implementation. What do we have to lose? I mean, I love helping others tap into their creativity; I’m actually much better at helping others than helping myself. That’s why I need you.
Let’s throw it up to the Universe and see what happens. If you’re in, comment, email, Facebook, or whatever tickles your social fancy.
Now chant with me, you gorgeous souls…
I will use my experiences to grow and find purpose. I will generously share my purpose with those who need it. Two-thousand-seventeen will be my year of purpose.
In closing, I can’t think of a better way to seal the soulful deal than with Elizabeth Gilbert’s powerful Super Soul Session. Slap on your curiosity cap and gear yourselves up for some serious cross-pollination.
Maybe in the process we can make this world a little less mad.