Enjoying My New City & Becoming INSPIRE
Yes, INSPIRE, not INSPIRED.
I’ve joined a book club here, as I mentioned earlier, and the last book we read was Eat, Pray Love. Much has been said about the book, and I read quite a bit of it before we even decided were were going to read it together; it gave us a very lively discussion and a fun evening as women.
One concept that comes up in Elizabeth’s beautiful book is the “Word” concept. Essentially, every city radiates one word. Here’s a really short clip that shows her explanation. Well, Elizabeth’s friend postulates further that each person emulates their own word. Her word can change as she flows through different stages of life. It can be a verb or a noun or an adjective, but this one word describes that person’s essence.
This came up in our book club discussion, naturally. We were sitting outside in the warm summer night, eating gelato around a low porch table, surrounded by small lights–torches, twinkle lights, paper lanterns– in the trees around us. We were snacking on light cookies, and most of us were sitting on the ground.
I was distressed when the women around asked me what my word was, even though I suggested PRODUCTIVITY for a friend of mine who felt like a Busy Worker Bee. You see, I was still settling into this new stage of life: new city, new motherhood, new home, new job. I figured out that, while I was in school, my word was DILETTANTE; I dabbled in every art imaginable. I relished in having friends from all sorts of different places. I was definitely a noun/adjective because I simply was.
I knew I was no longer DILETTANTE. I’ve dropped absorbing and being actively involved in most of those arts. I also knew that I had transformed from a noun, from someone who is content to sit for hours and just be, to a verb, someone who is always doing.
After listening and empathizing with my sense of displacement, my new friends absorbed my state of bewilderment and swiftly moved us all along. And I swept along with them to another topic of conversation; this book has many areas to talk about.
A few days later, my subconscious slipped into a word and decided for me: ENCOURAGE. A verb, clearly, and I liked it. I wandered to a dictionary and a thesaurus on my shelves and found that I could be INSPIRE as well, but that for the moment, it wasn’t quite right, partly because it was too powerful.
But yesterday, after depositing birthday checks and feeling liberated from a period of frugality that was a little too extreme, even for me, I stood at a bus stop with Toby to go home. I had a pretzel and an original Orange Julius in my stomach and a boy in my sling who was equally full after a successful milk feeding in the middle of a food court. He was cooing and playing with a straw and I was admiring the green balloon next to my shadow. The sun was shining and I felt pretty in bright orange pants and a bright plaid hat. And I slipped into INSPIRE.
So, if you’re feeling bad, my remedy is to go to the Lancaster Mall (Candy Tyme is having a relocating sale) or the SUU Bookstore and buy yourself a helium balloon for less than a dollar. Then splurge for a dollar and a half more and buy a cool weight for the string. Then take the balloon home and introduce your baby to it; he’s never seen the effects of helium contained.
Encourage or inspire play and exploration, depending on how good you feel. You’ll find the bounce of a balloon in the air cheers quite well.