Friday, June 8, 2012

Uncommitted Anonymous

I crossed my legs. And then, re-crossed them. Sitting on the couch with my new host family, I tried to engage in the conversation that the mom and dad were having. I tapped my foot. My eyes kept drifting towards the bathroom. They'll all look at me if i move.
Little T thumped across the wood floor with a high-pitched squeal bungee jumping from his lips. His older brother, Nah, stood inches away from the television fixated on his Lego Star Wars wii. No one paid me any mind. Just move, Barbara.
I spread my fingers out on my knee and carefully scrutinized my finger nails. A bit of yellow nail polish still clung to one nail. I picked at it. Then, I re-crossed my legs and squeezed them tightly together. Little T bumped into my leg and smiled his brilliant partially-toothed grin into my face. He toddled away. Taking a deep breath, I stood intent on following his two foot lead.
Shutting myself up in the bathroom, I perched on the toilet. I just didn’t want to commit to peeing. I leaned to my right so only half of me touched the toilet. And then, I realized. This is ridiculous. Commit already.
And I sat. fully committed. On the toilet. To pee. And I laughed.
Hi, my name’s Barbara and I have a commitment problem. I hate sitting on the toilet because that means I’ll have to get back up. I hate sitting down to write because I’m not actively involved in the world and must be wasting time. I hate choosing something to make for dinner because then I actually have to make it. And people wonder. And these are just the small daily commitments. I prefer to think of them as quirks.
What is it about commitment to anything that makes us fear? What is it about comfort zones that just seem so right? So secure and so good?
Struck by this wondering, I sat and purged myself of everything I feared in list form. Do it. Sit down and ask yourself what you fear. Once written down, those monumental fears are contained in tiny words that can be erased. Facing my fear in writing was freeing. Then, I could see it apart from myself. Yet, they were still scary, looming, and throat-squeezing.
And then, I wrote another list. In my second list, I wrote down the crazy things that I’ve done—those things that don’t belong in the comfortable. You should probably do this list, too. It makes me grin. It makes me feel wild. It makes me feel alive and unstoppable.
Oh? Did you want to see my lists?
Aw, yes. I wouldn’t mind showing them to you; however, I think you should make your own list. And honestly, if I know anything about the humankind, our lists will look extremely similar. And I know this doesn’t seem to have anything to do with commitment. Yet, I think it does. We needed to be committed to ourselves and delving into the things that make us uncomfortable and the things that scare us…like commitment. To do anything, we had to decide that we were going to do it.
Happy Thinking and Committing!