I’m watching ‘It’s Complicated’ again. I know you’re not all gonna think it’s a great movie like I do, but just hear me out.
I think we all want to leave our mark, on this life. Proof of our existence, we want to be remembered in some positive way.
I’m interested in understanding others. I try to understand what drives and motivates the folks I meet, my friends, acquaintances, clients. Even the guy washing my windscreen at the Greenlane lights. I want to know his story too.
I didn’t know that I did this but for having someone point it out to me recently. Growing up in a house with an alcoholic taught me a kind of hyper-vigilent alertness. I think that in order to ‘be safe’ I need to understand the motivations of the people I interact with.
Plus, I like people.
We’re all so different, and the same.
We’re complex, and intelligent, dumb and petty.
For some it’s all about the pursuit of success, a kind of single-minded focus and drive I find impressive. I had a conversation with a guy recently where he was so eloquent and clear about what his needs were, and how he gets his affirmation. His insight blew me away, it was so healthy and refreshing (for a guy!) and it also told me where his focus is at.
Others are all about doing their best by others and that can mean subverting personal interests (say, in choice of career) for a life of work in a field that pays well enough to never have to deny their children opportunities. Maybe they want to get ahead, but more for the reward that comes with giving to their loved ones…of not having to address that issue that many of our own parents faced, of having to say ‘no’ or ‘no we can’t.’ They’re repairing past mistakes. Or they’re trying to live up to their own parents great example. Working to feel that they are doing their best, and they measure progress by how loved their children feel, how confident they are in their own skin. How well they live.
So I’m watching this movie, and I realize how much I want to be amazing.
I want to be an amazing woman. Am I even allowed to say that?
Once I wanted to be perfect. And that is a fucking miserable desire. It’s a killer. If you’re there, I am telling you - It’s a goddam waste of time already.
So for now, amazing will do. I’m not sure if it’s possible, I guess that it doesn’t matter, because I won’t stop trying…It’s one of those drivers, it has got to be there and it’s also got to be out of reach. At least I’ll try to put my own parameters down.
For me, amazing is this:
Being in full regard of my own person, in loving acceptance of my human-ness, my womanliness, my body, its features, its uniqueness. My mind, its activity, its highs and lows, its constant ticking and curiosities. Acknowledging my flaws, flabs, strops, itinerant hairs and scars, but not caring much for my imperfection anymore. Acknowledging that I like some reality TV shows with cooking and singing, and that is awesome of me.
Amazing is not fighting the need to work, to create, to make. Not apologising for my burning desire, my ambitions, fears and terrors.
Amazing is seeing in my children, their own persons, and not seeking out proof of myself in them constantly. Letting themselves be, just letting them be who they need to be, on this earth, now. Not limiting their futures, because of my own limited view. It is working to crack open the world for them and not set down rules all of the time. Amazing is doing good work, and the active pursuit of meaningful work.
Amazing is being honest, truly honest about who I am, and liking myself all the same afterwards.
Amazing is acknowledging that others will support and deride me in turn, and I can live with that. Sometimes it will be amazing if I can put down a boundary, and tell a fucker to fuck off.
It will be amazing if I can sit poolside like tonight, and watch my kids do laps up and down to the beat of their swim coaches.
Like the other women. I am trying to be a good woman.
Amazing is, being Jane in ‘It’s Complicated’. With her way, her coping, her beautiful kitchen, her welcoming attention to her children, and her restraint with them too. Her generosity, and her humor, her alarm.
Her cheesy bread fried in butter.
Her liberation is lovely to watch. Yes, I know it’s a light tale about a woman who is entitled, successful, with great pashminas, generous pubic hair, lots of money and no major emotional problems. (Oh and there’s that Deli. Now that is amazing).
But that’s what is so good about it!
You can tell it’s a movie made for a woman, by a woman. It’s a simple story that lets the brilliant woman be awesome. She’s an aspirational, fictitious version of normal, with great writing, set dressing, hair and makeup.
She’s there, and she’s out of reach.