Boggle and Scrabble are classic games. I love words; to formulate them; to use them to describe; to consider the sounds of them in how they flow in a sentence structure. Words are vices for creativity: an individual in marketing coins a phrase, an author is applauded for use of distinctive imagery.
I like word games because you unscramble and make sense of what lies before you. People are the same way. It is partly why I chose to major in clinical psychology. You observe people. You get to know them: their habits, mannerisms, idiosyncrasies. You try to walk where they have walked, stand in places where they have been. And if you do so carefully, you will come to the place where you simply respect, and do not judge. Behaviors stem from complexities that have been woven and layered throughout their humanity.
I say this because I am an experiment in progress. I still haven’t figured me out. I boggle me. I unscramble to scrabble. I will spend a lifetime observing and causing myself to laugh. You think after years of being in this body of mine I would get used to, for example, the stares from others. Most times I let their gaze roll off my shoulders, but other days I take it in. Their eyes level me. It saddens me. It festers. I wish they knew me.
I call it the “Stuff of Earth” because it reminds me of this picture that I snapped. In it, people are offering sentiments, gifts, or themselves through a ritual, a ceremony. It fascinates me to watch individuals light flames, giving of themselves to something that they deem greater and worthy of worship.
I do the same thing. And not out of gratitude to Jesus Christ, unfortunately. My ceremonies are designed to bring me comfort. Everyday life becomes a series of rituals that make me feel better; minimizes my insecurities; distracts me from things that I could improve upon. How a drive to a local Starbucks or a new gadget can persuade me to dismiss something such as an awkward glance, seemingly to diminish its power for the sake of an iced vanilla latte!
It makes me wonder whether or not I dealt with everything, or else I would not struggle at the child today who ran away from me as I walked through a restaurant as though I were some monster. Maybe I was perceived as being contagious – she ran. Could you imagine if I had followed and sat down beside her? Or what if I yelled, “Rrrrraaaaaa”? I might see her one day on Dr. Phil as an adult still trying to cope with a childhood trauma. This is my twisted mindset. It could cause damage. The other kids in the party just smirked at me, shielding audible giggles upon their shirt sleeves.
It makes me tired. It reiterates that I am a work in progress. I get down on myself because how other people respond to my disability in public still presents itself as an issue from time to time. I wish I did not have to stand out causing people to run. Yet this very struggle is partly the reason that gives me a voice, a heart, a passion to those who are broken.
Of course, I am human. And I can hear your voices saying everything imaginable. I write this not to be consoled, nor to point the finger at those who stared. In fact, I wasn’t so sure about posting this entry for fear that I would be misunderstood. You really have to know me to understand me. Otherwise, this post reads English, but its content will remain foreign.
So, how can I effectively deal with my realities? My desire is that the “Stuff of Earth” would no longer be stuff. I am merely passing through this earth with hopes that the stuff that trips me up would be minimal. I have a life to live where I have an opportunity to leave a distinguishing mark, not one that becomes a branded scar. What are your rituals?