Coming Clean (I’m Not a Professional Tap Dancer)

In Mindfulness, Self-Reflection on January 30, 2013 at 7:22 am


I’m afraid that I may have given the wrong impression over the last few posts. The truth is that I’m no happiness expert. I’m a regular person, one of millions on this planet, just trying to live out a peaceful life. We all like to think we’re special, and I am no exception to this rule.

If self-importance were a drug or a disease, its prevalence would easily be classified an epidemic. I’m not certain whether Washington D.C. suffers especially from this syndrome or if it just seems that way to me because I know it best. It isn’t hard to find multiple examples each day that speak to this point.

Speaking of unabashed self-importance, I wish you could see or hear the things that pass through my brain all day long. You’d possibly be shocked or at the very least would realize that I’m no model of perfection (or sanity, for that matter).

Just this morning as I was shampooing my hair in my warm shower, a thought came to my mind: “What if the world were to end today? What would I do?” I spent the next few minutes exploring possible scenarios.

Scenario #1: Go to work anyway and just pretend everything is normal. Maybe have a glass of wine or two with lunch, just for the hell of it.

Scenario #2: Grab my partner and head for the hills – neither one of us is much of a survivalist, but we’ve got a lifetime supply of granola bars, which has to count for something. When considering this scenario, I rued my recent crossfit flunk-out (yes, it’s possible, but that’s a different story), thinking it would have been helpful to have serious muscles for end-of-the-world survival.

Scenario #3: Run out into the streets and begin a spontaneous tap dancing flash mob. I’ve wanted to do this ever since the urge came to me one rainy Friday morning a month or two ago. I should note that my tap dancing credentials are woefully lacking, but in the event of imminent apocalypse, I’m pretty certain that no one would bother to judge. Well, maybe a few people, but it’d be on them if they chose to spend their last few hours of existence judging mad tap dancers.

I probably could have spent all morning coming up with similar scenarios, but the fact is that the shower started running cold and after all, I had a bus to catch and memos to write. Oh, and it turns out that world isn’t ending today anyway, so it probably wasn’t the most useful exercise to begin with.

But enough of that. What I’m trying to say here is that if sometimes, in the course of these posts, I wax a bit too rosy or project an all-knowing aura, please forgive me. I’m just an imperfect person. I’m an idealist, an incurable optimist, and a quirky thinker (witness my end-of-the-world plans), but I’m certainly not a saint or guru.

Every once in a while when I start feeling a little too smug, I have to take myself down a notch (or else life gladly does it for me). In these moments, I remind myself of how little I know and of how much I have yet to learn. It’s a comforting, yet terrifying realization, knowing that the world can and will go on without you.


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