My (un)glamorous life

The other day I had the grand idea of writing about “the glamour of everyday life”. Inspired by a positively miraculous sunset that blazed through the Amsterdam skies, it seemed like a good idea. If you would’ve been there to see it, I’m fairly confident that you would’ve thought it was a good idea too. In the face of such spectacular beauty, the phrase made sense. It was logical. But coming off the heels of a morning marked by a mini-meltdown from all the work that must be done, by the astounding accumulation of little things all over my apartment, by the ball of cat hair that somehow made itself cozy in that little gap between my couch and the wall, the idea seems downright comical. Glamour? Everyday life? Who am I kidding?

The thing is that, most days, life is decidedly un-glamourous. The things that demand our attention are not worthy of glossy photo shoots, they don’t warrant poetic musings or philosophical theorizing. For me at least, most days are spent skipping from deadline to deadline, failing at cooking a healthy meal, wishing I had more time to go to a yoga class, feeling guilty about binge-watching a Netflix series and thinking about how I will eventually get to that pile of clothes that’s growing in my bedroom.. A series of to-do list items and rudely pointed feelings, feelings that don’t wash over me smoothly but hit me more like a thrashing waterfall gushing out gallons of frothy water, pummeling the worn down stones below. (the stones, in this metaphor, are my mind). As I get older, most days require me to think of unpleasant things like accountants, what’s happening with those dark spots on my cat’s chin, and where in the name of god does one buy a baster?

That doesn’t mean I don’t do everything I can to give my average days a healthy dusting of luster. I buy food that comes served atop napkins and with a pleasantly sounded “enjoy” next to it, I choose outfits that make me feel complete and just a little offbeat, I listen to podcasts with hosts that say things that make me go “mmm“, I feed my eyes with saturated images fed to me through scrolling feeds. Quite honestly, I cram glamour into every free nook and cranny. I love it, and now, as I write this, I am guilted by it. I see my privilege, I feel shamed by it, and to tell you the truth, I know it’s not feeding my ever-hungry gut. My senses are sated but I know the “little things” are in fact little. Beautiful in whatever form they come, free or purchased. Beautiful, and I believe entirely necessary. Beautiful, but little.

It’s no secret that life’s a juggling act, but some days I just wish the song bird call to “simplify, simplify, simplify” could be a little easier to realize. I wish life could be just a tinge more like a serene Monet painting and a little less like Jackson Pollock just exploded wet paint everywhere and now I’m the one who needs to clean it up. Sure, maybe I’m being a little overdramatic, but the feeling of being overwhelmed doesn’t leave much room for perspective. So then why, you ask, am I writing a blog post about the unglamorous nature of everyday life, about all the things that must be done, instead of actually, you know, doing them. It’s a fair question, and my only answer lies in the fact that I think we must get things off our chest, let the steam breathe off, before we have a chance of getting back to it. Before we have any hope of settling back to a point of focus, we must let ourselves fumble through the blur.

Because how do we move ourselves forward? Flexion and extension. By creating tension and then letting it release. Holding on and letting go. It’s a blindingly obvious truth. It’s what most things in life boil down to, but it bears repeating and remembering. Remembering that sometimes we let the tidal wave of beauty, hope or joy overtake us, and sometimes, it’s the tidal wave of frustration, stress and fear that rolls in instead. But ultimately these moments are only blips in a larger body. People viewed from the window of a plane. It’s the tiny, unglamorous moments that move us ahead.

As Seth Godin put it;

“The tidal wave is overrated

Yes, it can lead to wholesale destruction, but it’s the incessant (but much smaller) daily tidal force that moves all boats, worldwide.

And far more powerful than either is the incredible impact of seepage, of moisture, of the liquid that makes things grow.

We can definitely spend time worrying about/building the tsunami, but it’s the drip, drip, drip that will change everything in the long run.”

And maybe there is glamour to be found in these drips. In these little moments that lap, lap, lap against our skin. When the tide pulls back, we can appreciate how these annoying, insignificant, irritating moments nudge us towards something. Something that, one day, we will perhaps feel the urge to call grand.

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2 Comments

  1. Eric Sensky November 25, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Good post

    Reply
    1. esensky7@gmail.com November 25, 2016 at 4:01 pm

      Thanks :)

      Reply

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