Saturday, August 21, 2010

I’m all out of love…I’m so lost without you

Air Supply

It’s Spring Break 1998. I’m visiting my idolized sister at Rick’s College in Rexburg, Idaho. The taste of freedom, independence, and autonomy makes this 16 year old girl hunger for the end of high school and the beginning of a new adventure. Of course, there’s a soundtrack to this preview week: Air Supply plays on the boom box on repeat over and over as we sing our hearts out in the cinder-block lined dorms. My all time favorite song is Making Love Out of Nothing At All

The beating of my heart’s a drum and it’s lost and it’s looking for a rhythm like you.

Catchy, huh? Especially for a girl who has NO RHYTHM. Love it! Please be sure to sing those lyrics at the top of your lungs. That’s what you’re supposed to do with Air Supply.

But I'm never gonna make it without you. Do you really want to see my crawl?

But I don't know how to leave you

Somehow I incorporate their words into my vision of what a relationship looks like. This independent girl, decides to adopt codependent behaviors. LAME!

…'cause everything I know well it's nothing till I give it to you

Flash forward to the present day. I’m trying to squeeze my accumulated belongings into the smallest bedroom I’ve ever lived in while my iPod plays on random. Ah…Air Supply comes on and I hear the lyrics with new ears. I realize: this is BOGUS! This is everything I’m fighting against in my quest for parity, sanity, respect, individuality. This is where I mess things up. On one hand I’m a die hard feminist who balks when gender roles place me in holes I don’t want to be in, but on the other hand, I have ridiculous lyrics running through my head that tell me that my life does not have meaning unless I share it with a mate and that I cannot make it without a partner. I talk the feminist talk, but do I walk the feminist walk? We call this cognitive dissonance. People go to therapy to deal with cognitive dissonance.

I’ve had some good talks with friends the last month. I’ve been challenged to build quality friendships with men who aren’t on my dating radar and with people who are vastly different from me. I had a heart to heart with a kindred spirit about how we subconsciously measure our own worth and other women’s worth based on validation from men. We see ourselves as feminists, but we still look to men for affirmation. How many of my conversations with acquaintances and friends actually pass the Bechdel Test? It’s time for some change.

I am a daughter of a God. My life has inherit meaning. While I want to be a mother and a wife, that is not my solitary purpose in life. I used to do things to prepare myself for motherhood. Now I do things because I find joy in them. That’s the lesson I want the Young Women program to teach: joy.

I am not out of love. “I have all my life to live. I have all my love to give!” Love is a renewable energy source: you can’t run out of it. I know who I am and where I’m going. The beating of my heart may be a drum, but it’s not lost. The arrhythmia gives my beat character.

I can make it on my own. (I can buy groceries just for myself. I can make delicious well planned dinners for myself.) You’ll probably see me crawl, but that’s because I really enjoy the sensory input from army crawling. It’s actually a lot of fun. (Thanks, Tamara, for teaching me about ways to deal with my sensory seeking, and thanks, Jack, for teaching me the real way to low crawl – it’s good to have a brother-in-law who knows the Air Force Way.)

I do know how to leave, and being alone is powerful and beautiful – nothing to be afraid of.

Cause everything I know, well it’s the sum of hard lessons. They’re lessons that are written on my heart and have great value to me.

Air Supply has been deleted from my iPod.

1 comment:

AmandaStretch said...

I applaud this post, and include a hearty "Huzzah!"

I have recently taken to not listening to songs that have messed up lyrics. Like "I'm only gonna, break, break, break, break your heart." or all the lyrics to "In My Head". I don't care how catchy it is, I don't need that kind of lyrical nonsense in my my head.