Pretty mess

October 16, 2016
Pretty mess

Fall. Again. My favorite season, as I am realizing these days. Since my birthday is in October, of course it was when I was a kid. Growing up though, once I let go of the idea that everything doesn’t evolve around your birthday, I thought that maybe spring or summer were the best seasons. It is only recently that I notice how much I actually love fall, when I let go of the anxiety about the upcoming cold days of winter. Those colors, those smells, that light. The cold wind, the warm woolen sweater. Playing outside, and seeking refuge next to the fireplace. And of course, the apples, and then the pumpkins.

However, beyond those obvious reasons to love fall, I think the very reason I like it so much is the mess it creates. As the leaves change color and die, as they fly up up up in the sky and then at our feet lie, we can’t miss to notice how nature can be messy sometimes. One shower, and you can add to those loose leaves some mud to create the best cakes ever.

Finally, the outside fits the inside. Fall’s mess reflects in so many ways the actual mess I am. I swear, I am trying very very hard to be put together, but it simply will not work. I am always all over the place, often with some dirty spot on my shirt despite my efforts to keep it clean, maybe even with a bit of peanut butter next to my mouth. As I have trouble saying no, this mess also applies to almost every area of my life, resulting in me getting involved in too many projects at work, in school, and in my personal life.

I think it has to do with the hair. How can you be all pretty and sleek with those curly hair? That is still a mystery to me. After years and years of testing this hypothesis on the field, I can confirm that curly-haired people are often super dynamic, very interesting, and a bit messy. In fact, the messiness might be what makes them super dynamic and very interesting, but I’ll leave that to further research.

Growing up, I craved that picture-perfect all put together state of being. Playing with my cousins, I couldn’t escape the truth that I was not that pretty and desired princess. With their long and straight hair, their always clean clothes, and their nicely applied make-up, my cousins seemed always ready for the next photo shoot. One of them eventually did become a supermodel, and the three others are as beautiful as she is. No need to say it was very confronting for the curly, rounder, almost voluptuous teenager I was.

I still think that messy is not good. I still have trouble embracing the chaos around and within me. I need to make choices, I need to create order. A mess can be pretty, but only in small doses. I needed to become a small dose myself to control that mess within, when everything around me was totally unpredictable.

But life is messy. Life is chaos. As one of my favorite teachers told us this week, even though we hate it, it is only in confusion that we can eventually access a special part of our brain that gets us to completely let go. In non-sense we find deliverance. So maybe, maybe, if I stop fighting so hard to make things right, I will eventually become free myself, a true and beautiful mess.


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