Soul Doubt: Headless Chickens (of which I am one)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Headless Chickens (of which I am one)

At least at times this last week I have felt like one... running to and fro, frantically trying to get this or that together with never enough time, a memory which seems holier than the Pope's oldest pair of boxers (strangely enough, I seem to be able to vividly recall the most arcane details from kindergarten, junior high, and an insane amount of useless trivia- just not where I put the car keys or which bills remain unpaid this month as of yet), and most of all, I can't seem to keep that even, mellow keel going, which I've always prided myself on and others compliment me on quite frequently.
"How come you always seem to know the right things to say at the right time?" or, "Man, I wish I could stay as calm and collected as you always seem to be," they'll say.

I credit much of this from being lucky enough to spend most of my formative years being raised in Kihei, Maui, Hawaii; a dream come true for an 11-year-old with a troubled home life and who was about to become a ward of the state. Aunt Marcie and Uncle Larry stepped in and rescued me, whisking me off to what I was sure was paradise on Earth.
Well, my young envision wasn't far from the truth. It was more beautiful that my limited writing skills can convey on this humble blog, more breathtakingly majestic in every area: the sandy beaches (both white and black sand), the dormant volcano Mt. Haleakala, which as teenagers we'd drop acid and wander the ancient hollowed out dried lava tunnels, spooked but thrilled to be in the heart of a forbidden zone of exploration; the ocean... oh, Mother ocean. God, how I miss the salty warmth of turquoise caressing currents of what feels like a living entity, serene one moment but easily capable of tossing one about like a shred of kelp if she feels like it.

Maui was particularly unique in that it had a curious blend of locals (Hawaiians, Tongans, Samoans, Filipinos, Japanese, Chinese, various other Polynesians- then us. The haoli's. Whites. Foreigners. Or, if you were lucky enough to pick up the accent, dress accordingly, and look down your nose disdainfully on the tourists and hopelessly mainland whites, you could be referred to as "Kama'aina". That was me. I'd always been chameleon-like, figuring out my spiel as I went, if necessary, so fitting in was never a problem. So not only was I buds with the bradduhs, but I made friends with all the second-generation New-Agers, hippies, and Euros, too. Like I said, quite a blend there on the island. But I loved it. I hung out at the beaches where only the bravest of the white surfers went, haoli friends in tow- hey, they're with me- was all that needed to be said. In return, the ritzy, "trustafarian" rich kids dragged me from party to party up in the multi-million dollar beach homes out in Lahaina and Hana, providing the designer drugs to go with the designer clothes and Daddy's Lexus rides. It was a blast, years of experience I wouldn't trade for the world, and sometimes miss so sharply it's almost a physical ache, a twinge of longing for the sea air, a bonfire shooting sparks high into a star-studded sky on a sandy beach with a bunch of dancing, drunken kids cavorting late into the night- high on not only grass and beer, but the sheer ecstasy of youth and fearlessness, knowing we could do anything we wanted at that moment in time. No one could stop us- baby, we were born to run...

But back to the present, before I drown in nostalgia. There's just been a hell of a lot going on, to be blunt about it. Doctor's and dentist's appointments, probation officer meetings (the latest just informed me she'd been promoted so to finish out my last several months I'd have to have another guy take over my case. I'm sure he's overjoyed to have me, as I'm about as low-risk and low-maintenance as they get- I turn in my monthly reports, he files 'em. Nuff said). My boss had a surprise birthday party, where we all showed up at her yoga class to start off the evening, then caravaned to a gorgeous home of a lady friend of hers who put on a gourmet five-course meal, probably the best I'd eaten in months. Of course I sat through it in yoga garb, not having had time to change, while all these elegant female professionals reclined gracefully in their Donna Karan and their Givenchy suits. Bitches. Nah, it was okay. If anything, it made me vow to keep a gracious self-assured smile on my face throughout the evening, while I keenly observed every mannerism, every nuance, every possible hint I could glean of how they got where they did. I too have plans, and one way or another, I will get there. Not just naked ambition for status, success, whatever. Just... satisfaction that I have attained the goals I've set for myself, that I've reached the gold ring, and found it all I'd wanted. It may not be the multi-million dollar beachfront home, or even the six-figure income. But I feel certain that it will be joy in what I do, joy in how I've raised my son, joy in how my relationship with my husband is, and joy in my faith. That's my goal. Not peace, not power, not Cheshire-cat satisfaction, but sheer joy in life. And in living. If, meanwhile, I'm going through a phase where my head seems to have detached itself and I resemble nothing more than a barnyard fowl circling frantically, so be it. This too shall pass. It always has before. In fact, come to think of it, it's usually the precursor to a time of extreme relief in all I've managed to overcome despite all the obstacles stubbornly obstructing my path. And I find my faith strengthened as well, knowing that there's no way I could've possibly pulled off all that without some help from you-know-Who.

Side note, before I call this a night and get to work (yes, I keep oddball hours- it's easier to do my online stuff while Jameson's crashed out and we don't have to fight for possession of the mouse cord)...
The Blogfest was fantastic. I was super self-conscious of wearing my t-shirt which Digger was so kind enough to design- because although I warned him I'm just a little slip of a gal, he still ordered it in a Ladies' small (which hung to my knees like jammies). So, I walked in trying to look all cute and well put-together, not like your typical ex-junkie, but a regular 30-something who, yes, looks more like a teenybopper, but the effect was ruined when I had to drape myself in a giant shirt just because my name was on it and I felt like no one would recognize me or want to talk to me otherwise, were I not wearing it. So please, if I looked ridiculous, try not to tease me mercilessly about it- my ego actually is somewhat fragile, believe it or not, and I will probably obsess about any comments made (in good humor or not) about how silly I looked with my pigtails and pajama top at the 'fest. Sorry, I'm insecure like that. Being just recently digging ourselves out above the poverty line, I can't exactly afford an overflowing closet of trendy duds, so I was wearing the cutest, classiest outfit I could conjure up on short notice, and it got covered up by the (super-well-intentioned and very much appreciated, just ill-fitting) shirt. Wah!

Enough. I have a whole 'nother year to clothe myself in gloriously colorful verbs, adjectives and nouns of nonsensical alliteration, so hopefully by the time next year rolls around, you'll completely forget about my gargantuan tee and instead remember my pixie-ish smile and ready compliments to all you online commentors who, I hope to presume, I can now call you my friends. Believe you me, I am now indeed yours, so in the spirit of blogidarity, let the feelings be mutual.


  1. Don't be so self conscious, you looked great and it was good to see you again. It looked like you had a good time and I'm sure now you can put a face to all those strange names. As long as you met most of the women you will always be fine, I like them the best anyway. MamaJD of course, I got to spend a few minutes with her. Katrina, Cis, Dogwalk Musings, Mrs. Mac, JeanC, and all the rest. The guys of course too, we have many personalities that just happened to come together for one Saturday afternoon. I hope you had a good time and it was good to see you there, though I never had a chance to talk with you much. Take good care of yourself, The Stickman

  2. It was great to meet you at last, Kendra! Your family is beautiful, and you looked like you were having fun. I love your stories of Hawaii--I've always thought it would be a dream to live there.


Thanks for taking the time to read what I ramble about- I consider it an honor to get feedback from you guys, so please tell me what you think, feel, if you have a similar story... whatever you'd like! Thanks again and God bless.