So I’m from Jersey…
“Ew, the armpit of the country?”
“I hate Jersey!” (Oh yeah, where’ve you been?) “I had a layover at Newark Airport.”
“How can you be from Jersey? You’re nice!” (Ahem, you haven’t seen me watching hockey…)
Don’t even get me started on that effing reality show. They weren’t even from Jersey.
I’ve defended my home state to exhaustion! Growing up, I worked at a farmer’s market and partied in abandoned barns. My Poppop grew the best tomatoes ever tasted in his backyard garden and you’ve never actually had a real tomato until you’ve had a Jersey tomato.
Jersey gets a bad rap.
You know what else gets a bad rap? Being foolish.
There’s something to be said for naivete. The Fool card in the tarot is numbered zero. This is because at any point in our lifelong journey we have the ability to venture out into something new, all full of hope and faith and stupidity.
It’s actually kind of beautiful.
I’m not sure if it’s that I’m in my forties now or that I talk to invisible beings or that I (people hate when I say this, but it’s true to the extent that it’s true) lost my kids and everything I thought mattered in the world when I decided I wanted to get well.
I’ve shown my ass so many times it seems almost a waste of metaphorical cloth to put metaphorical pants on my mistake maker.
I remember almost four years ago sitting in the mental hospital and promising myself that I’d live even though I didn’t want to but that if I was going to live I was going to do what I wanted to do and I didn’t care who liked it or not because trying to be perfect and understood and beyond reproach and normal had landed me without shoelaces and my underwire bra in the dayroom.
It’s like that song that says freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.
I know lots of people dread the little game our minds like to play called, ‘But, What If?’ Once upon a time I hated that game, too. And my mind was a gold medal winning Olympian at the sport of scaring the shit out of myself with endless horrific possibilities.
In the past few years, though, my soul seems to derive some thrill from it.
“What of it doesn’t work out? What if we’re broke and homeless? What if people get mad? What if everyone thinks you’re stupid?”
For an instant my ego clutches her pearls.
And then my soul my soul enters stage left with a glimmer in her eye and a mischievous grin.
That’s when I smile and think, “Holy crap! Can you imagine? What on Earth would I do?”
The list of terrible things that have already happened is rather extensive for just one meat suit, and I’ve survived them all.
So, what if?
There’s this weird thing that goes something like, if you and the Universe have secrets and you don’t tell anyone what you’re up to, nobody really pays much attention, and unbelievable miracles happen.
But you have to step out in faith and it’s a lot more fun without fear.
I still defend Jersey, I probably always will. But I know for a fact in some circles I have a bad rap, too, and I don’t spend near as much time defending myself anymore.
Some day I hope it’ll be down to zero time. Fool time.