Saturday, January 27, 2007

on being a grasshopper

This week I learned how to Hoop. I learned that Hooping is a verb, that HoopShine is a business and that I have an Inner HoopGirl. It was refreshing to learn that I have an Inner HoopGirl, but it led me to analyze, a bit, my capacity for fun. And also, question what exactly “fun” is, and whether or not I actively seek it, or just receive it when it comes my way.

One thing I did know about myself before going to Hoop class is that I’m a grasshopper (as opposed to an ant). My grasshopperliness manifests in work-avoidance, impulsiveness and spacing out when I should be paying attention. That’s on the con side. On the pro side, being a grasshopper means I’ve kept wrinkles and migraines and alcoholism at bay better than many gals my age. Being a grasshopper also, I believe, has served to fuel an overwhelmingly optimistic outlook and a faith that there’s more shinola than shit in the world.

Now, this might sound like a contradiction to my last entry where I blathered on about hating New Age platitudes that feed complacency, and gosh, I guess it is. Sort of. You see, I wasn’t born a control freak. (Nobody is.) When I look at childhood photos of myself I realize that I was a daydreamy girl from the word go. A spacier expression you will not find. I was born a grasshopper! Drawn to hedonistic, sensual practices: horseback riding, rolling around in the grass. Napping under the sun. Playing guitar, reading books, painting, inventing, writing…such a happy grasshopper was I.

Somewhere along the line though I realized that my grasshopperly ways had to be mitigated with industry. With adolescence came a bolus of diminished self-worth, and very, very gradually, I started to become an ant. I became, in young adulthood, a very proficient little ant. I filled my days with hard work and made list after list after list. I got pretty dang tense, too. One day I looked around and suddenly I was in a colony of ants! Yuck! Just like that, I started being a grasshopper again.

This idea more than anything explains my role in relationships. When I start feeling too ant-like, I crave the company of grasshoppers, and once the grasshoppers overwhelm me with their Peter Pan spritely sloth and selfishness, I revert back to my ant shell, marching once again toward that anthill of industry—and self-hatred.

Now I’m not suggesting that ants are bad, Good Heavens! We’d all be swallowed up or bashed apart in the entropy of it all but for the ants. No judgment. But, I never will be an easy ant, and I have a hard time accepting that I’m a grasshopper. Which is why I need to continue explore my Inner HoopGirl.

I’m at the beach right now, after a couple hours of playing in the sand, watching my son and his friend recreate an abandoned driftwood fort I’m back in the house with my tool of industry. I brought my new Hoop, though, so maybe I should put this thing away and search for that HoopGirl.

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