Not My Fault!?

My career as a stand-er, sitt-er, pass-er-outer, and pick-er-upper extraordinaire, began in 2004 when I began working at a chiropractic office in Amherst, NH. I loved working there, the positive environment, the message of health we were bringing to people, and I had fantastic colleagues to boot! It was also a perfect place for the exchange of many articles of hand-me-down clothing, shoes, and scarves….and just as many creative ideas.

As the Director of Joy, I had many duties and responsibilities there, one of the most pertinent and ever-present, included standing and greeting each patient as they walked in the door and handing them a daily read. These daily handouts inspired life and energy to flow into their brains, and exude out of their being as they would receive their adjustment and leaving the office. I faithfully conducted my tasks day in and day out, standing there in my little blue shoes sometimes, until I was blue in the face.

Next came hostessing at the Cajun Queen in Charlotte. Another job involving standing and greeting for days on end. Oh, how I longed to make banter with or lead interpretive dances for those walking in. But instead I just stood there, stone statue, smiling, sometimes not smiling when it hurt my face too much, and bringing six more people to a table “With the jazz band.”

What followed were many other bouts of sitting, standing, jobs, many of which I requested a treadmill workstation for, yet was denied.

Here I am in France. The mountains beckoning me to run through them, and ski down their slopes, yet for a little while each day, as part of my job, I am required to sit (or do sit-ups) with Tom as we wait for Julie to arrive from her daily mountain excursions. Thankfully, both Tom and I have oodles of books to read, mountains of our own papers to assemble airplanes out of, Justin Bieber songs to download, and Twitters to update.

My friend Molly inspired me this morning, by sending along the daily word of wisdom, which essentially said, when you’re in a situation, or with someone or something that is presenting you discomfort or frustration…who is it that needs the adjustment? Is it them? Or is it you? Are you in control of what you are stepping in? Perhaps it’s a way of leading you to shift yourself in a way that will bring you to where there is not this itchy, stinky, unsettled feeling. It causes you to examine how you got there in the first place, and I think, it may just be a great way to light the flame behind yourself to get you going in the direction that is right for you.

Yesterday, in the grocery store, I handed the woman a huge paper bill to pay for my seven shopping carts worth of Pillsbury doughed items. That was what I had, as that was how I had been doled out this week’s shopping budget. I sort of enjoy the feeling of carrying around 500 Euros and felt it was a pity to break it. The cashier thought it was a pity to break as well and gave me nothing less than A LOT of grief about it, even though I had exact pennies for the change! “Please!” I pleaded with her as she threatened to make me wear that awful dunce cap and do the dance again… “It’s not my fault!”

James Taylor sings in his wonderful song, “Shower the People” the words:

You can play the game and you can act out the part 
Though you know it wasn’t written for you 
But tell me, how can you stand there with your broken heart 
Ashamed of playing the fool.

Maybe I am misconstruing his message; but it does seem to ring true, when we are trying to wear shoes (or in my case yesterday, snowshoes) that are not ours, we find ourselves in defense of our actions, or sleep walking and doing something we regret. I tried to convince the people at the ski shop that it wasn’t my fault my foot was too small for the snowshoes, but they just were not buying it.

I have observed being here, that a lot of French woman do not wear makeup. For some reason, they don’t feel the need to cover up their serene as a crystal lake complexions. I   think this is the ladies that are truly living out their passions, they are in the right place and they are loving every minute of it. Every part of them just glows!

I’m not suggesting we stay stuck in our teepees, building our fires, conducting our rain dances, and never venture out into the world to explore. I am simply saying that when you are in your element, as WHO you are…the puzzle pieces begin to fall into place in ways that inspire, enthrall, and utterly surprise you with how amazing they really can be. You are constantly pinching yourself wondering when you will wake up from this glorious dream-like reality.

A few nights ago, I had a dream that I was seated alongside a pianist who was clearly possessing a bit of talent. He was telling me to do as he was doing, as he whipped out Mozart, Vivaldi, Bach, and Beethoven. In the dream, I could not for the life of me accomplish this feat and I wondered what on earth I was doing sitting on that bench in the first place, when it frustrated me so much that it was not the tune for me.

It could be that we have no semblance of free will and everything will happen as it may. Or it could be that making the choice to find one’s tune, it what means to be on your way home….

What do I know? It’s all French to me.

— Emily —


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