In the event that you find yourself staring face down into a toilet bowl with your newly announced ex-lover starting at the back of your head, and not affectionately I might add, ask yourself “When was the last time you performed a self examination?”
I caught my first glimpse of reality in a swirly vomit induced hurricane and it socked me right in the kisser! Surprisingly this is where many of my favorite 12 step programmers begin their journey of self evaluation and hopefully mental repair. Alcoholics, anorexics, and drug addicts often find themselves gazing into the loo, like a smelly crystal ball, thinking “this is it, time for change!” Others see this as a challenge to defy nature and keep trucking down the path of destruction. Unfortunately many of these folks land up dead in an undisclosed hotel room or sharing a rehab cell with Lindsey Lohan. Luckily for me this was my point of epiphany and exactly where my journey of self understanding began.
Reality checks often happen at critical points in one’s life and can arrive in the form of divine intervention. Most times desperately need to destroy the dense fog of delusion that looms over one’s head. In my case I was “sowing the seeds of love” in a barren field.
The catalyst for my change (and I will call him that because it is truly the nicest thing I can say about him without inserting a four letter word) arrived in my life for a “usual” Friday night dinner at my parent’s house. Dinner at my house is somewhat of a theatrical performance and I was careful to pick out the perfect leading role and matching outfit for the evening. I liked to be just controversial enough to entertain our guests. I have a slight problem with attention, I have to have it.
I stood in front of the mirror pondering, “Who should I be tonight?” The pseudo intellectual daughter, the daughter suffering from an onset of late teenage angst or my favorite stereotype to perpetuate the Jewish American Princess(what’s wrong with acting rich and self entitled?). All where characters I was perfectly comfortable playing. Changing my persona was as easy as putting on a new pair of underwear, which I did at least once or twice a day. In my opinion I was so Hollywood, but to a more discerning eye I was struggling with a bout of schizophrenia or in layman’s terms a lack of self identity.
My performance that night would be accompanied by my sister’s portrayal of an overachiever; my father, who just had to pretend he liked you, and my mother, who loved to tell a good story (and good often meant heavily embellished). “The art of telling an interesting story is a blessing and a strong trait that runs in our family; it just makes life more interesting!” Lucky me if anything I would grow up to find myself an artist of white lies and tall tales. Maybe I would get a job in Vegas?
(Working on my writing skills, part 2 will be posted tomorrow)
"This is no fairytale"- Cinderella