good girl.

One of the perks of getting older is that after a certain age there are things you no longer worry about. taking the SAT's, losing your virginity, acne, being a good girl. True to course, one by one, these things have fallen by the wayside. I no longer fret over them. save one. being a good girl. The way I remember it, I was am. did the world just stop turning for a beat or two. I was born trying to be good. Always, I have worked hard at fashioning an image of myself that was simply, well, good. Of course I never wanted it to be known that I put a lot of effort into this. How lame would that be? I wanted it to look natural. like I was born that way. I wanted to just believe it. to hear the words..."she is such a good girl."

If I told you how many times in my life I have agonized over those words, you would shake your head and walk away. You wouldn't believe me. maybe look at me with pity. you would have better things to do.

The good girl of which I speak today has changed little from the one of days gone by. time may march on, but some things never change. in my book we all have our definitions of what this means. I was the girl who smiled, at everyone. if asked, would do my friends homework. tried never to say unkind, hurtful things. shared whatever I had. studied. never overslept. always did my chores. I was also rebellious, strong, stubborn and independent!  Did you hear me? Too rebellious. Too strong. Too stubborn. Too independent. I was a closet bad girl. a good girl seeped in denial. Even though I was not the best girl, I did try. never complaining. My good girl wheel never squeaked.

Because at the root, at the heart of my goodness was my belief that I alone, just plain old me, was not enough. I needed more. I needed the image, I had so carefully built for myself. I needed walls. I needed to be a little brighter. and a whole lot shinier. I was so afraid of being vulnerable. Afraid of just being. Life has mellowed me. chipped away at the armor. I can see the freedom in just being. of holding it in my heart and waiting.

When asked recently what was my greatest fear, I wanted to say falling off a mountain. roller coasters. heights. snakes. outhouses? the dark. getting pulled over? being lost in the forest. It's funny how talking about something makes it real. gives it life and power over you. I taught the people around me that I had no fears, and then, then I was secretly angry at them for believing me. Like it was some big secret. a covert operation. hush-hush. it killed me not to talk about it. But then, what's new? Hasn't this been the story of my life? Oh sure, it's entertaining. but also deep. and so dang personal. what? you mean life is not one long sunny day? I think about it in the shower, while drinking my coffee, driving to a dentist appointment. I dream about it. I covertly share bits and pieces with a lucky few people around me. my sister gets earfuls.

Many nights I sit gazing at the moon. listening to the wind whisper through the trees. I am thinking about all I have learned. everything I have done. the people that have moved in and out of my life. how it has all come together to bring me to this moment in time. this time in my life. What is my hope? what is my dream? a perfect blend of days gone by and those yet to come. of all my childhood memories blended with those of today. Because life is fleeting, beautiful and imperfect, I am at times filled that that old fear. that old dread of failure, of not being enough, of being less than perfect, of being punished if I am bad and most of all, most of all...losing those I love. So there you have it. why did I not just say spiders?

everyday half and half loaf


  1. Anonymous3/13/2012

    You tug at the heart strings of this closet good girl. You remind me of me, or should I say, you remind me of you. xoxo j


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