My Mum’s best friend phoned at the start of the week and we had a fantastic chat about self-esteem, conflicting truths and lessons learned. At the end of the call I said a too dramatic thank you. I gushingly told her she was wonderful and amazing. True to form she answered firstly with a considering silence and secondly with a request to take her off the pedestal.
Even before she’d finished the word, I got her. I got it.
Being on a pedestal is crap. Being on a pedestal pushes you up and away from the group – from the place you were learning and growing. Being on a pedestal holds you apart, with a mic at your gob waiting for only your wisdom. Pedestals are monuments to the false idol of perfectionism. Pedestals are isolating. Pedestals mean that the people who stand looking up at them lean back a bit from being their own best because they have someone to follow rather than to walk beside. And, as my Mum’s pal said, pedestals don’t allow for mistakes and mistakes are inevitable. There’s an important point about ego here too, I think. My Mum’s pal didn’t need or want her ego-stroked. She called for connection, not vanity, and she wasn’t going to let me re-route it otherwise.
So I’m clearing the pedestal thing and assuming better than vanity of people I connect with who are fully engaged in living. I rephrased my thanks and admiration and got specific instead: thank you for positively influencing how I understand things. I’m grateful that you stay in touch, that we laugh and that what you know is teaching me more about honesty and assertiveness.
Note to self: hyperbole is hilarious in hilarity and disingenuous in connection.
I’ve cleared quite a bit from the house too, including; 5 kitchen chairs, 1 dead laptop, 3 obsolete docking stations, 6 million cardboard boxes, a large bin bag of clothes and a broken DVD player.
Having 5 chairs around that were impractical due to vast weight & damage was a drain. One of the chairs cost a fiver years ago from a charity warehouse. I’d always planned to re-cover it. The other four chairs were expensive but old and their covers were wrecked – torn, stained beyond chemical intervention and looking totally ravaged. I planned to re-cover them too but I’ve now got honest about the fact that I won’t spend the necessary time or money learning skills & buying material to fulfill those plans. I want to spend my time writing, being with folk I love, being healthy, creative and laughing. Sewing machine time will not meet those ends, for me. So the chairs have all been replaced with these replica Eames chairs, at £25 each from Amazon.
They’re lightweight, you can lean back and sit in them all night and the white brings big shots of freshness into the room where once there was dark beige cotton and burned orange velour. Also, no rips, tears, missing chunks, upholstery for dog hair to stick to and no previous owner fag burns make a pleasant change. Would you like more info on Clearing 40? It’s here.