Thursday, May 21, 2015

Getting In Touch With My Inner Rebel

     I am a Capricorn. If you're into astrology, that will mean something to you. If not, well, we're an interesting bunch. Think American Gothic, or Whistler's Mother. Are you getting the idea? Our symbol (or mascot, if you will) is the goat. That's how exciting we are. Because, as you know, when you think of the wildest and craziest creatures in the animal kingdom, the goat comes immediately to mind.
     I'm a delightful human being, with many lovely qualities, if you take the time to get to know me, but I was born cautious, and stodgy, and god help you if you suggest I lose control in any way. I did not have any form of teenage rebellion whatsoever. I didn't even learn to drive until I was 20, because it wasn't like I wanted to go anywhere anyway. We are talking grade A, first class snooze fest. But there's a funny thing about Capricorns, that's been fairly well documented. We're born old and stodgy, and are the biggest fuddy duddy killjoys you can imagine as children, and then, the older we get, the more crazy and uninhibited we become.
    My entire life, I've been well aware of how entirely unexciting I am, but haven't particularly cared. There's a fine line between frisky behavior, and giving myself apoplexy, and up until recently, I had no desire whatsoever to cross it. You either liked me or you didn't, and if it was the latter, I was perfectly okay being by myself.
     Inside me (deep, deep, deep) inside, there was an inner bad girl, who occasionally shocked people when she made brief appearances. But those appearances were few and far between. I had my eye on the prize, as it were. A college degree/ husband/children/suburban life (in that order), plus a gold star for not screwing anything up along the way. And I did it all. I jumped through all my little hoops. I did what I was supposed to do. I trudged stodgily through my twenties and most of my thirties without so much as an unbridled frolic. And then one day, with no provocation whatsoever, I woke up and thought to myself, "Well, I'm done with that nonsense. I'm too old for anyone to care what I do anymore. I'm going to embarrass my children anyway! It's time to party!"
    And then I did something really out of character. I started drinking. Like, multiple drinks with the goal of getting buzzed, drinking.  (I know... I know... Who knew this blog was so salacious?) This year, I bought myself my own personal margarita machine. I'm by no means an alcoholic, but I like what I like. Tequila makes me happy, so why should I deprive myself? And if my neighbors happen to see a tequila-soaked Brittany doing the Mexican Hat Dance on her front lawn--do I care??? (That was rhetorical, but no, I really don't.)
     Then, because I started feeling relaxed and happy, I started messing around with my hair color. I've stuck to safe colors so far--reds and chestnuts, honeys, and strawberry blonds (there was a brief period of time I experimented with papaya--not good!). And it's fun, but colors found in nature bore me a little. I'm starting to get some grey hair at my crown (boo hiss!), and I've decided that when that day comes that I have to start coloring a full head of grey hair, I'm not going to go silently into that good night with Miss Clairol. I'll be screaming into old age rocking purple, pink, and turquoise Manic Panic.
     And did I mention I'll be tattooed too? One of the first things that surprised me about New York was the sheer number of people with tattoos here. In 5 years, I have come to love them. I just emailed an artist in Albany who's Art Nouveau/Nature portfolio I'm totally salivating over. I thought I'd get my first tattoo for my 40th birthday, but the crazy kicked in a year early, and now I'm impatient and want it asap.
     One of my first favorite books was The Secret Garden. I've always related to Mary's loneliness, as well as her love for animals. I've read a lot of books (a LOT of books!) but I've always come back to this one, and even as an adult, read it over and over again. Then I saw this image and flipped my lid. The Robin is such a beautiful character, not to mention a wonderful metaphor for hope, perseverance, faith, and trust. And I like the idea of it holding the key--saying basically that all those things are necessary to open the locked parts of ourselves. Sure, I bare my soul on here, and you might think I hold nothing back, but of course I do.
 Hence my love for this quote from The Princess Bride.
 I want it somehow written in the doorknob.
 Maybe nothing this fancy, but in a script that appears to be purely decorative, until you look closely. I really like the idea of words being the literal and metaphoric means of letting people  in, or keeping them out, of my secret spaces.
 I like this robin, and I think I want it (and the lock) perched on my shoulder.
     This is just the first. At some point before I hit the nursing home, I also want to get a full sleeve pin-up of a naughty writer perched at a typewriter. But I'm not quite there yet. I think I need another 10 years before I stop taking myself (and the thought of  a visible tattoo) so seriously.
     In the meantime, I'm gassing up and starting the engine. It's going to be a wild ride.

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