Yes we can! . . . . except when we can't . . .

Edward Lear

Just when you thought you weren't good at something, you jump in and . . . . realize you're really not that good at it.

I've been at the computer all weekend (and all of Monday) working on trying to put together the raw materials for my new website, which are due in the web designer's office at the end of this week. I have put this off out of genuine fear -- I am limited to approximately three (3) computer skills, all of which have been sorely taxed by this assignment. Chelsea did take time away from law classes to talk me through Photoshop today --

(this is me calling Chelsea for help, and yes I did feel this old and technologically impaired),

which was kind of her, but don't ask me to use it again. I didn't actually learn it, and I fear I never will -- I just fumbled my way through the necessary task.

So there's nothing like being required to do something you're not good at for three days to remind you that:

a) it's fall, and you hate fall

(but you adore this illustration by Dave Cutler. Awesome, right?)

b) there are lots of things you're not good at, and that's . . . . okay
(imagine Stuart Smalley saying that one)

c) it's also okay for there to be lots of things you wish you were good at -- this is obviously not going to change because I'm definitely heading quite deeply into adulthood and I still wish a lot of the same things I've always wished. Do you?

My older sister (who I idolized, although now I think we can both laugh at this hairstyle) wanted to sing on Broadway. I hope she has not completely given up this ambition, although if she has, I will understand and continue to idolize her anyway. I, on the other hand, have always just wished I could sing. I have a brother who can (and does) REALLY sing, and now I have a daughter who can also open her mouth and have THAT SOUND come out. Something I will never understand, but at least I get to hear really good singing and feel a little bit proud now and then.

I've always wanted to be the life of the party.

Let's face it -- I'm not. And it's because I don't even like parties, so this is a particularly conflicted part of my personality I still hope to grow out of.

Morris Hirshfield

I've always wanted to paint. Big, exotic pictures. Instead I sew. Teeny, tiny pictures. I'm just not that great at painting. All of this could have something to do with my fear of and
unfulfilled desire to . . .

Draw. Now this is one I could work on, if I dared. I'll own my chickenness here.

I've also always wanted to dance.

I took lots of lessons, I tried out for my high school dance company every single year and never got in. And there was one really fat girl who got in my sophomore year (she was nice but she was really fat for a dancer and that was hard for a high school girl to compute). This should have helped me realize that there must be more to dancing than what I was doing.

I did have a brief stint in the very late 1970's as the Disco Queen of Salt Lake City,


although my best friend Sue was actually a little better than I was and usually got asked to dance first. (I'm going to say that was the blonde hair.) I do still disco dance in the mirror every morning when I'm getting dressed. No one in my family has ever seen me do this. I DO love dancing even though I'm not really good at it.

This could lead us to a bit of philosophy: If a 45 year old woman disco dances before she gets in the shower every morning and there's no one there to see it . . . does she still make a spectacle of herself?

I suppose I'll just smile . . .

(sometimes I need instructions)
and get through this computer challenge with my three (3) skills and just accept myself the way I am.

I was reading today that "true creative energy arises when the impersonal and the personal meet. To let that magic happen, the personality, with its heavy luggage, has to get out of the way."

I think that's a great idea -- check my luggage and skip away across this autumn-leaf-strewn dancefloor. No one's watching, and high school is so over. Will someone put on some Earth Wind & Fire for me please? And turn it up . . .

Let's dance.


april said...

really, susan, sometimes your posts just leave me speechless. i read this post yesterday and i still don't know what to say. thanks for sharing your beautiful gift of writing and great perspective with us.

april said...

oh, and i forgot that i'm ignoring that comment about fall (who doesn't heart fall?). yes, you're right that picture is amazing.

susan m hinckley said...

Okay, here's some explanation about the fall thing (which happens to be Russ' favorite season by far) -- my mom always said it best when she said: "They call it fall because we fall." For people with anxiety/depression problems, fall is not a good time. The changing light (loss of it) really wreaks havoc with my world view. It only took me about 35 years to realize what was going on. Now Russ and I just say, "Oh yeah. It's fall." But it is beautiful. I'd have to be blind not to admit that.

april said...

oh, that makes sense. i'll forgive you on the whole fall thing. sorry you are in the throws of winter!! blah! keep me posted on the al franken thing. pat and i have loved him for years (and yes, i was wondering if you stuart smalley comment previously meant you had al franken on your brain). years ago, we actually watched (via C-span) him give a speech at harvard when his daughter was graduating that was filled with humor and wisdom.

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