The other night my husband was pondering his physical circle of influence, like where he walks the dog, places he interacts with basically. He wanted to clean up litter (angry that doing so on the freeway can get you arrested) in our neighborhood and possibly around his work. He considered the people he interacts with regularly, too. Co-workers, myself, neighbors or other people walking their dogs. This concept had never been made so plain to me before. I always appreciate his grand scheme ideas, but don’t always get or follow them. Or I’m that ugly voice of reason telling him that he can’t do it on the freeway. It’s no fun being that voice, but someone has to be it or we’d lose everything in the name of bail monies! Ha!
Last night we went to see the new film “Contagion” for the $4.50 Tuesday deal our local place has. I will say that the film is good, convincing, effective, horrifying…it’s good, I’ll stick with that! And it made me consider what/how/where/who I touch or come in contact with. Since I’m already fairly germaphobic, this just sent me right into a tizzy! Usually though, my toughest germ-zones are public restrooms or food places that don’t follow the safety laws. I have no trouble shaking someone’s hands or hugging my pals or what have you…but this film made me rethink it all! They quoted a statistic in the movie, something about how we touch our faces 3,000 times a day! Yikes! This freaked me out and I will probably obsess on that awhile. Ha-ha! But seriously folks, it made me think about what I influence on a daily basis. This has significantly changed for me ever since selling the cafe, but I almost think my human interaction (as well as sheer mileage) has increased!
I was chatting with a very good friend on FB the other night and we were talking about “The Man” and all of that sort of thing (“Damn the man! Save the empire!”), and I think I have come to some sort of chill head space around our current social situation. And I said to her, “I try not to dwell too much, but everything is so fucked up everywhere. All we can do, all I think I can do, is to have as much of a positive influence on myself and those around me.” I really liked the sound of that, as vain as that may seem. What about our influence on ourselves and others? What do we think and say to ourselves and how does that affect us on a daily basis? What about others? I mean, I can remember things said to me and around me at age 4 and 5 that still mess with my head. I didn’t choose to be influenced by that, it just stuck in my subconscious or whatever and I’m stuck with it until I can address and process it out I guess.
Because things are fucked up everywhere, we can only do what we can actually do. Ya know? Does that even make sense? It’s late when I’m writing this and so I’m not sure. But fuck it, I’m going with this…
Why not try to begin by influencing yourself in positive ways. You can branch out and try to influence your loved ones and co-workers and postal workers and so on. Why not? It doesn’t hurt! I mean, I forget myself sometimes and I really noticed when I started to pay closer attention to this stuff. And I feel so fabulous right now I can’t even tell you! I’m not drinking or anything, I’m just, like, I dunno…awesome? Can I just be awesome? That’s weird sounding, but it’s how I’m feeling at the moment. I like this feeling and want to perpetuate and infect it into everyone I know, in the best possible way! Ha-ha!
You ever hear someone laugh in a restaurant and their laugh makes you laugh? THAT!!! I want to do that to the people of the world, yo! Again, why not? I cannot think of a reason why I shouldn’t at least try. It’s like that whole random acts of kindness thing, or paying it forward. It makes total and complete sense to me. Perhaps it’s my grandma’s influence over the years (she was an RN), but most of my family has been service people. I’m damn proud of that, too! I often apply to jobs with something in my cover letter like this: I get a real kick out of helping people in nearly any arena. Customer service is a life philosophy for me and not just a career choice. I just believe in treating people with respect and a dose of humor and trying to help those who could use it! That could be why I have had so many spells of unemployment in recent years, but maybe not. It’s honest. Honesty is powerful! It can scare people. It can help people. It can hurt people. I get it, I do, but it’s also important. If you are not first honest with yourself, how can you be honest with others or expect them to be honest with you?
Ever hear of fake it until you make it or some variation? That’s kind of what I recommend. I chose to stop lying to myself years ago and felt better about myself. I then stopped lying to my loved ones and eventually everyone. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. I no longer say something looks nice on someone if I honestly don’t believe that it does. Seems trivial, but you try it out and get back to me! Ha-ha! And while part of me can be very negative and untrusting or protective of myself and others, there is always a little nugget of sunshine in there that seems to grow brighter as I trust in myself and in the truth. I have seen the power it has on me and its influence on my friends and strangers. It was easy to gauge in the cafe of course because people came to me. Now that I’m a free agent, I go out into the world in an active way. It’s much more difficult to see a change in people if you just happened upon them in some scenario. But sometimes I catch it! I can see it! Sometimes, I swear it’s true, just seeing a fat redheaded lady with a giant hot pink flower in her hair is enough to see a change in a person.
Yeah, it’s cheesy! Fuck it! By being happy I can make or help others be happy, so why the hell not?! You can do it, too! If you wanna…this isn’t like a mandatory thing. Ha-ha! By not actively hating myself or my body, I can go about the world with confidence and see how people respond to that. It’s shocking! And it’s just good for my mental health. I first saw body acceptance and fat liberation and purely political, but I’ve come to see it as down right therapeutic, too! I couldn’t as for more! <3