Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What Was Waldo Thinking?

I remember fondly looking for Waldo in all the children's books "Where's Waldo?" as it was an amusing way to pass the time as we traveled...and we traveled quite a bit as I grew up. My father was in the Navy, which means we were all in the Navy and when he was transferred...we were all transferred. I got  used to being the "New Kid" in town as I traveled with my family in tow and we all felt like we were "all in this together". The books, which I think the British version is called "Where's Wally?" remind me of a time of travel, future uncertainties and a hideous red and white striped sweater that stood out usually like a "sore thumb"!

I would open the books and think..."Where's Waldo?" and mumble later...when I got older, as a pre-teen "Where's Waldo going now?"  personifying his experience as my own. It's that memory that has me asking "What was Waldo thinking?" meaning me..."What was I thinking?"

The simple answer is every move I dreaded. I, as a child, teenager and an even now as an adult dislike change. I love to travel and to see new things but I always want to return home. I think of this now as we settle in Virginia living in temporary housing while we decide what home to build. I feel a little "not part of the picture" and  a little like I am wearing a "Red and White Striped Shirt" in a room full of plaids and florals. This longing for a place to settle with familiar people, familiar landscape and my familiar things is not a new feeling for me...I remember the times of my childhood where I craved my "home".

I think now about what our new home will look like...Will it be a lovely red and white striped beach house perched on the side of a mountain? Will that feel like home? Or will I settle into my new surroundings and crave a mountain cabin of lovely florals and plaids?  Will that look like home? Maybe...I should build something new and modern befitting "The New Kid" in town.

I don't know... and Waldo is not saying.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Color Me Shades of Gray

I am no longer a Floridian, no longer working and no longer warm. (Virginia is cooler than I remember.) I am also no longer a person who believes in blacks and whites ...it's not the colors or  the races that I am thinking of  but rather those absolutes of certainty that I had of my youth. I was recently  in a class where a young women of about 20 or so spoke her mind...I loved listening to her as she was so certain of her opinion, certain she was right...and I felt a mixture of envy and admiration, well, maybe admiration and THEN envy. I loved her excitement at knowing she was right.

I wonder if the more we color our hair to cover our gray the more we lose our ability to see only black and white issues...I wonder if that is where the gray creeps back into our lives. I wonder if I stop coloring my hair...will I be the woman who believes the absolutes of my youth again...like the young women I admired so much. For some reason  I keep thinking of the line from Billy Joel's song "...when I wore a younger man's clothes."

  No...I don't think that's it ...So, even though I color my gray hair...I want to keep my gray thinking these days...as people say they have earned their gray hair...I HAVE earned my gray thinking. I am happier NOT having all the answers and NOT judging everyone wrong or right. I don't know all the answers but I am not afraid to ask the questions and I am not afraid to say I don't know.  The Ronda who were the younger girl's clothes wasn't able to do that. Very freeing...but I am going to still color my gray hair for awhile longer!