There are various aspects of myself I'm not too keen on, and I'm talking about my upper arms. The parts I'm talking about are those internal, deep personality flaws that I've spent thousands of dollars on through therapy, self-help books, and red wine.
The only true cure for my psychic flaws, I've realized, has been getting older. In recent years, I've been able to look at myself while in the process of doing something I've been trying not to do all my life (like have a temper tantrum) and I can stop myself, sometimes even mid-tantrum. I pause, I breathe, I maybe even apologize. Life goes on in a better, less fraught way.
Another one of my terrible flaws is an "I know that already" attitude. I walk into a room, listen to someone saying something, and I think Duh! I know that.
What older age has taught me is that while I may know some part of that, I don't know that that. The person talking has a spin I've never spun. So I guide myself over to a chair, sit myself down, and listen.
I spent last week at the AWP conference in Chicago, and I sat in various rooms, taking it all in. I did know a lot of it, but I didn't know the specific turn of it, the different ways to think about writing and the teaching of writing. What the speakers said made me turn a little and look back at myself, helping me see that I could do things in another way. Or the same way but with a different approach to that way's on-ramp.
This conference and the classes I've been taking the past couple of years have taught me that I need to be taught, pretty much always. I need to be a student to remind myself to keep living and learning. Learning keeps me from petrifying into a statue of myself.
Maybe it's protection to think Duh! I know that. Because I really don't know anything. But I'm willing to learn.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org