So, I have bronchitis, and this spurred me to buy a chick lit book.
I mean, there was nothing else I could really do. I watched three episodes of LOST. I slept for over 16 hours. I can't go to a movie theater because it's rude to go to a place where people expect silence and fill it with the sounds of you hacking up a lung.
I finally went to a coffee shop because I needed to get out of the house and I'd heard that coffee dilates the bronchial tubes. This guy kept staring at me. Usually I interpret that to mean he might find me attractive, however today I think he was concerned that I should perhaps be in a hospital and not sitting across from him appearing as though I might have The Swine Flu.
I'd read 314 pages of this book yesterday, and saved the last 60 for today, finishing it at the café. I am unable to share the title because it resonated with my life so much that if I were to name it, someone could easily research it and find out one of my secrets. Plus it's somewhat embarrassing to resonate with a book that has a picture of a charm bracelet, complete with lock and key, on the cover.
The thing is — I enjoyed it. The book made me think about the subject of pride. One of the things I've been struggling with recently is my intense, unperturbed Leo pride. I read once, "The Leo woman’s pride is always at stake, and no matter how loudly she roars, her ego is delicate and fragile."
I used to be a person who spouted her emotions at unsuspecting loved ones at any given opportunity. Sometimes I wonder if people back in Maryland and D.C. would even recognize me now. I recently visited a friend in New York who met me in my early college years, and he told me that I've changed so much — that he can tell just from the way I talk about things and myself now — and I took it as a huge compliment.
But in addition to the more positive aspects of my growth since coming to Boulder, I've turned completely around and instead of upchucking my frustrations at people I'm involved with in an annoying and theatrical emo manner, I now keep them hidden and pretend not to care if they hurt me. Especially if they really hurt me.
My ex, who was a long-term recipient of my emotional upchucking, called me today and said: "Amy, I know you're trying to 'hippy' the bronchitis out of you, but I think you should stop trying to scare it away with patchouli and go get some medicine."
I am lucky he still talks to me, let alone calls and makes me laugh, or rather, make noises similar to laughing but sound more like the last wheezes of a dying animal.
What's ended up happening is that I've exchanged putting fem-angst lyrics in public journal entries in a passive-aggressive attempt to equate them with my life, for hardened smiles, for "it's fine," for the idea that not letting someone see you cry is a victory. And I'm not sure it's much better.
Someone just wrote to me, "Pride is the mirror image of shame." Once I get over my initial proud defensiveness triggered by this statement, I interpret this to mean: I have feelings that I am ashamed of. And so I use my pride to mask them, as a defense mechanism. Because I can swallow them easier if they come in the form of pride.
What is the point of pride? What do you end up keeping at the sake of what you end up losing? Isn't pride just a squeezing in of yourself? And, how do you know when it becomes suffocating?