So that thing when you want to be mad at somebody but then decide not to be because you realize you’re just looking for reasons to be mad so you don’t have to have any responsibility for your own emotions, what’s that called? Or like when you are tempted to make a choice that would make you feel really good but then you don’t because you know it is counter-productive to your goals, does that have a name? I think it’s called emotional maturity.
I have been going through all these little crisis of identities and with every argument I have with myself, every time I go into hand to hand combat with my demons, I learn. I see their strategies, I figured out the tactics of distraction, dismissal, misplacement, and disguise. See, it’s like there’s a rotating wheel in my head and it’s a total craps shoot as to which personality trait is going to be handling the emotions and ideas of the day. Sometimes the wheel spins more slowly and I can control how to handle a situation. Sometimes what I have to say is just as much a surprise to me as it is to everyone else. Sometimes, while I’m having a particularly powerful emotion an idea can come in and get wrapped up by it. Depending on which Grace I am in that moment, I will either handle the emotion or the idea, but rarely look at the two together. If the wheel is showing a personality of vice over a virtue then, well that’s when bad choices are mad. If I’m feeling hungry, emotionally or otherwise, and Gluttony is the face of my wheel then any tiny abundance gets consumed before Discipline and Willpower even see it. Money, food, love, I will suck up every last drop until the pond is dry and move along. That’s not a noticeable problem during the rainy season, but I leave nothing for the dryer times. If Wrath is sitting in the wheel house, then suddenly my acts of service, all the nice things I do for others just because it’s fucking nice to do things for other people, well they look a lot like wounds. When the green fog of Envy is over my eyes, I can’t see what others do for me, simply what they’re not doing for me.
The more time I spend focusing on a positive state of mind, the more I understand these darker sides. I’m learning what the language of my Sloth sounds like, I’m learning the ways Fear twists words and invents situations until I’m completely lost, unable to find my true north. Love’s sister Lust is my most tricky of sides, she is far too smart and adaptable and often uses Love’s language to get what she wants. I’m learning how not to be outsmarted by my own bad habits. I’m not going to talk myself out of doing something any more because I don’t feel like doing.
And I will not be mad slave to the television anymore. It sucks me in like a tractor beam. I often find myself caught up in the lives of these terrible people, I can’t look away. I become infuriated by any conversation in the room, “Don’t you know people are trying to watch this?” The day I ignore my husband so I can hear what’s clever ass thing Tyrion Lannister has to say is the day I need to make a change. That day was yesterday. Instead of sitting there listening to rich people being awful to each other I’m going to go clean up in the bedroom. I haven’t unpacked since… well three moves ago. At first there was a bit of tense self trash talk, paranoid delusions, angry sex fantasies, and the ever-present lingering voice of doubt, I finally yelled for all the voices to shut the hell up. None of these things had anything to do with the present moment other than the fact that I am perfectly happy. I’m in our room, a quiet, cozy space filled with gypsy trophies, inspiring art, and the walls are practically lined with love letters. I have a wonderful to sit upon as I fold my clothes, some I’ve been looking for weeks. No one banished me here, this chore only exists because in the past I was too lazy to do anything about it. I am perfectly, reasonably, with in all good sense happy to be doing exactly what I was doing.
As if he heard me screaming at the voices, Jack wandered in, flopped down in the middle of my workspace and pulled me down to him to cuddle. When I instinctively began to explain that I wasn’t in here to pout about anything or that I wasn’t being passive aggressive, he looks shocked, surprised. He reminds me he trusts me to speak my mind and he truly understands my need more space. Hell, he understands it more than I do.
So I’m deciding things. Making choices and not just blindly being jerked around by “what I feel like”. Like it’s ok if I like to do chores. It’s ok to like sweeping and making the bed. And I am going to do the dishes if I want to do the goddamn dishes. It’s not that I have to, nobody assumes that I am the woman and will happily do the dishes. And I have faith the boys will get to it if I would just leave it for long enough, their tolerance for clutter is just higher. There’s no point in getting mad about it. If it really is a problem I can bring it up like an adult. Or I can get the fuck over it and decide that a clean kitchen that that is my prerogative. It’s about deciding what’s more work, trying to change them, change myself, or five minutes extra of a chore I’m already doing.
Ladies and Gentlemen I give you, Grace 3.0, now with decision making ability.