Hey Faithful Blogosphere! I can’t believe that it’s been a week already! Let’s see, we’ve made it through a snow storm here in New York City, I’ve made a lot of clothes and artwork for the week and had many good talks and tea. Let’s get to our topic! This week’s topic came pretty abruptly, as I had no idea what my topic would be until it jumped out at me as it usually does, screaming “Write about me!” and I happily do so. This week is about the shopping list of life and what we choose to put on it. Let’s dive in!
Every time I go food shopping, I make a shopping list. As a Vegetarian/Vegan who is madly in love with Trader Joe’s, I’ve learned to pick and choose where to get things and how, etc. Now if I didn’t make a shopping list, I would wind up spending way more money than I currently possess and bringing home food that I probably wouldn’t even want to eat or get to eat before it spoils. The list helps me stay healthy, keep my head on straight and keep my wits about me. Now, if I see something in the store that’s not on the list, I weigh the pros and cons of going off list and decide from there. Needless to say, food shopping is something I live and love to love. I love food.
I mention this food shopping list because it’s a metaphor and practice, as so many things are. It helps me to stay truly mindful about what I spend my money on as well as what I put in my body, etc. In life, we all have our shopping lists. Maybe on our list is a well paying job, a partner and a few children, or trips to Bali, tons of wine, great sex, etc. What’s on your shopping list for your life? This is where the programming comes in. As socialized genders on the planet, specifically in the United States, we are consistently shown images that project a list that we SHOULD want. As men and women we SHOULD want a well paying job, a partner, a house, a child or two, etc. But what if you decide for yourself what goes on your list? I’m not saying that you should NOT want those things, but what if you’re someone who doesn’t want those specific things in that specific order or even at all? What if as you go shopping, meat isn’t even on the list at all? What then? How do we decide who we are and how we engage with the world around us given the level of expectation placed on our life lists looking a certain way?
I most recently sat with an elder of mine and she asked me with a cute smile on her face if I had a “boyfriend”. Usually, I would feel annoyed at the question, but something in the way she asked it had me stop and actually think. I don’t have a “boyfriend” and I realized then and there that I didn’t want one. I didn’t want a “partner” in the conventional sense. I didn’t and I currently don’t, and maybe I never have. Maybe what I wanted was to have a list that seemed to look “normal”. Needless to say, I replied with surprise, “You know, that’s not on my shopping list.” She smiled back at me and answered “That’s because you haven’t found the right one.” This made me think even more. What was the “right one” if the timing was “wrong” or “right”? I know from experience that relationships without laser focus can lead to life-ache as well as heartache. So, regardless of me finding the “right one” or not, it leads me to a bigger question. Why is it that a romantic relationship has to be on my shopping list? Who told me that I wanted that and why? Don’t I get the option to say no without ridicule?
I personally am not a “relationship” woman. I spent my whole life, trying to put “boyfriends” and “girlfriends” on my shopping list when I should’ve weighed the pros and cons and taken a good look at what WAS on my shopping list! Loving me wholeheartedly while exploring my alone is on my shopping list. Building my brand is on my shopping list. Writing plays, this blog, is all on my shopping list. That’s a lot to manage and as I’m learning and growing, I’m cultivating myself and my soul. So the questions that I truly want answered, have nothing to do with romance. What I want to know are things like: How do we as human beings cultivate from the things that are on our shopping lists?
It is true that human beings learn from other human beings, but we also learn from ourselves. If we don’t take the time to know who we are and just what’s on our list, how can we hope to make a difference in this world? Ultimately, isn’t that why we’re here? We’re here to make a difference. We’re here to love and heal and learn and grow and to then return to the source? Maybe I should just check my shopping list and get back to you on it.