Most of us like to think our way is the correct and only way. We’ll tolerate minor deviations with an amused smirk, but drift too far off the correct course and the world starts to panic.
We’re very fond of tribalism and the one true way. There is us and there is other, and other is to be feared, corrected, or rejected.
It’s quite the species failing.
I’m participating in a January writing prompt project for a few reasons: it’s a great way to start the new year with a kick, it provides a bit of structure to a life that feels a little off the rails, and it’s helping me counter the depression that is once again rearing.
The next person who compares the depressive episode they had six years ago to living with major depressive disorder is going to wish they hadn’t.
The joy of Bloganuary is it eliminates the need to come up with topics. Someone else does the heavy lifting.
I didn’t love all the topics last year, but I didn’t reject them either, save for the ones I avoided on my day of not writing. I decided last year to break from the “one true way” of every day. It’s good to give oneself permission for grace at the outset.
The decision proved a good one – I didn’t end up overwhelmed and triggered. When I decided to participate again, I decided to take my repudiation of the one true way a little further. I’m not going to pursue topics that don’t give me a bump.
Therefore, this isn’t going to be a post about my favourite author (who can pick one and Nora Roberts), nor is it going to be about the job I thought I’d pursue growing up (when I was eight, I settled on aerospace engineer. I help that goal until my eating disorder pushed itself to the front of the attention queue).
Earlier in the week I encountered a survey post on a blog I follow, a grace full life. Most of the time, I don’t do survey posts. I’m not sure why – because they’re frequent and could fill a blog of their own, because they’re short and I’m wordy, because I don’t like the questions, or because they require thought and I tend to lazy when it comes to non-neurotic introspection?
It’s probably a stew made up of all of the above.
There’s almost always an exception to a rule, however. a grace full life posted her answers to questions shared and answered by another, who’d posted their answers to questions shared and answered shared by another, and so on all the way back to infinity.
Perhaps not that far.
But I liked the questions, so I decided to play. I think I’ll make a table. Happiness is formatting. If only the data required an exploding pie chart.
Although I’m not sure if I’m supposed to choose my favourite from the categories, or this is aspirational as to quality and reason. Unclear instructions make me anxious. Then again, it doesn’t take much.
|If I were||I’d be||Because|
|If I were a month, I’d be:||July||I like the heat.|
|If I were a day of the week, I’d be:||Wednesday||Wednesday seems like a misunderstood day and I always cheer for the underdog.|
|If I were a time of day, I’d be:||noon||Once upon a time, that would’ve been eleven p.m. That’s when the dancing got good. Even then, however, noon was a contender. Noon was Days of Our Lives was on. Today I just like lunch.|
|If I were a font, I’d be:||Kalinga||It’s a fat font. I like fonts that aren’t overly narrow.|
|If I were a sea animal I’d be:||a dolphin||The swimming looks like big fun, they seem smart, and space travel seems interesting. *|
|If I were a direction, I’d be:||West||No, north. Definitely not northwest. North in the winter, west in the summer. Then east always because I’m an air sun. The only cardinal direction I’m not strongly attracted to is south. Interesting.|
|If I were furniture, I’d be:||a vanity||I loved the one my grandmother had, with its fat stool, and enormous round mirror atop a low-profile, cherrywood, Art Deco vanity.|
|If I were a liquid, I’d be:||non-Newtonian||I’m fluid if you treat me with respect, friendship, kindness, and love, but if you betray me, I become a wall.|
|If I were a gemstone, I’d be:||a pearl||Pearls are for tears and I’ve always loved that. I like the round ones – I find freshwater pearls unappealing. I like a more structured geometry.|
|If I were a tree, I’d be:||a Maple||I come from British Columbia. Big-leaf maples abound. They’re glorious no matter the season. I have a grove of twelve in the greenspace behind my house, and looking out at them always makes me smile.|
|If I were a tool, I’d be:||a hammer||I often lack grace, both physical and metaphoric. A hammer seems like it’d clumsy.|
|If I were a flower, I’d be:||a zinnia or dahlia||They’re similar in appearance, though they spring from a different source. Seed or tuber, I have no preference.|
|If I were an element of weather, I’d be:||wind||It’s my element. I knew that before I knew that. I love the energy windy days bring. Wind makes my soul feel alive.|
|If I were a musical instrument, I’d be:||a piano||I’ve played since I was five. You’d think I’d be better, but regardless, I love it still.|
|If I were a colour, I’d be:||pass||I can’t pick. I could do an entire rainbow chart on my love for each, with an addendum in black and white.|
|If I were an emotion, I’d be:||sadness||I’m always sad. I’m like the Hulk – his secret is that he’s always angry. I’m always sad underneath, no matter what.|
|If I were a fruit, I’d be:||an apple||A MacIntosh apple was my first favourite fruit. The list has grown and now includes raspberries and blueberries, fresh and local, bananas, kiwi, and mangoes, but you always remember your first.|
|If I were a sound, I’d be:||laughter||Loud, explosive laughter, not laughter of the lovely and melodic type. Head turning, like mine. It still embarrasses me at times, but as a child, it mortified.|
|If I were an element, I’d be:||air||I suspect that the question is hoping for something from the periodic table, but that’s the architect’s fault for including ambiguity.|
|If I was a car, I’d be:||red||I loved my red car. Also, see above re: ambiguity.|
|If I was food, I’d be:||stroganoff||Or fruit. Or pizza – vegetarian is the best.|
|If I were a place, I’d be:||the beach||A warm, tropical one with lovely salt water. I have no interest in checking out frozen beaches.|
|If I were a material, I’d be:||satin||Or velour. Or velvet. Or chenille. Any fabric that feels smooth on the skin. I’m tactile, but picky with it. I don’t like silk – it grabs.|
|If I were a taste, I’d be:||acquired||I’m not easy to get to know. I’m guarded and quiet with new people until I get a handle on them. I’m also dry and sarcastic. Not everyone’s cuppa.|
|If I were a scent, I’d be:||comforting||Whatever that smells like to you. Though in terms of preference and perfumes, The Body Shop has a mango scent that’s lovely. And I remain a fan of Britney Spears’ Fantasy.|
|If I were a body part, I’d be:||a forearm||They’re stronger than they look. They can also take a beating – I know, I broke the left one once.|
|If I were a song, I’d be:||pop music||I’m not someone who stans, at least not with music. Once upon a time, I could get intense about television shows. That’s mostly about routine, however. I have favourite songs, but new favourites are added all the time. I’m currently loving Ava Max and Meghan Trainor. They’re getting it done.|
|If I were a bird, I’d be:||an eagle||I’d soar over the world, looking down from on high, taking crap from no one. They’re fierce.|
|If I were a gift, I’d be:||thoughtful||People who buy other people what they’d love to get themselves amuse me. They’re good intentions married to bad execution. Buy people what they want and need. Buy yourself a gift of your own if you need something.|
|If I were a city, I’d be:||Vancouver||It’s familiar. It’s also lovely in places. There are mountains, as “must have” for me, and ocean-facing beaches. It has everything for everyone, though the too-high housing prices do deter.|
|If I were a door, I’d be:||red||I’ve always wanted a red door, though not in a red-light district way. In a The Gammage Cup kind of way. It was an in-book paen to being true to yourself. I love that book.|
|If I were a poem, I’d be:||Ozymandias||I don’t remember poetry very well. I barely remember the names of poets I like, and their works almost never. Except Ozymandias. I think perhaps because I studied Percy Bysshe Shelley back in grade twelve in preparation for scholarship exams. Plus, I love it.|