To start off, you should know that my brother and I sometimes don't seem to have a lot in common. We're very different personality types with different values. There are a few things we do share, though, and that give me a lot of joy. For one, a love of jokes so stupid they're funny such as "Q: What's brown and sticky? A: A stick!" For another, we tend to like the same kind of music, or much of the same kind of music.
Since I've been ill, my brother's been calling me more, and trying to cheer me up. It's interesting, because for many years, he didn't think much of anyone's problems other than his own. It's also kind of fun because there are very few other people I know who I can absolutely bust up laughing with the aforementioned "stick" joke. (NB: Also "Q: What do you call a boomerang that doesn't come back?" works just as well but is not quite as funny, unless told directly after the first one.)
Anyway, he called me up one day and said, "Dude. Go to iTunes right now and get this song. It's called 'Bad Day' by Daniel something."
"What's it about?" I asked, half my mind still on the code I was working on.
"Just go get it. Go get it and listen to it now," he replied, "Gotta go, love you, bye."
He hung up. He's a FedEx driver, so half the time, he just stops off at random offices where he's delivering things and asks to use their phone just to call me and tell me the latest "stick" joke.
I sighed a little, but hell, it was a fairly bad day so far pain-wise (this was before I'd seen the pain management specialist), so I pulled up iTunes, and listened to "Bad Day." And I fucking loved it. I listened to it over and over and over.
Now, I realize that those of you who listen to music radio have probably heard this song something on the order of forty-seven million times by now, and are likely ready to shoot the next boom box to play it, but let's put that aside for a moment, and just accept the fact that it was exactly the right song at exactly the right time that day.
My brother has turned me on to some other songs, and I've sent some to him, but one in particular had lyrics that I want to remember every day. I know that a lot of other women I know should keep these lyrics in mind, not to mention a lot of men, or anyone who tends to be too hard on him/herself. Although it may seem like it, it's not solely about looks, but about how we define ourselves and what we demand of ourselves.
The important bit is this:
Mirror, Mirror on the wall, Have I got it?
'Cause, Mirror, you've always told me who I am.
I'm finding it's not easy to be perfect
So, sorry: you won't define me!
Sorry, you don't own me!
Who are you to tell me
That I'm less than what I should be?
Who are you? Who are you?
I don't need to listen
To the list of things I should do
I won't try, I won't try.
It goes on, and for those of you of the religious persuasion (assuming there are any in my friends list) the last verse leans more in that direction, but I'd like to ask that you give up your preconceptions of religion-based stuff for a second and just consider those words.
I view the talking to the Mirror as a conversation with myself. And honestly, who the hell AM I to tell myself I suck? Who the hell do I think I am? I have friends and family and multiple tests and accomplishments and talents that tell me that I am ENOUGH. I am good enough, I am smart enough, I am talented enough, I am beautiful enough -- I am sufficient unto myself. If I sit here and tell myself that I'm less than what I should be, and that I somehow don't meet the standard, I'm casting aspersions on the judgement of everyone who DOES think I'm just fine.
It's really not far from saying "I suck" to saying "my friends are stupid and ignorant for not recognizing that I suck."
And that's not really very friendly at all.
So, since I do respect and value the opinions and intelligence of my friends, I'm going to try to accept them. I'm going to try to realize that the fact that some people see good in me doesn't mean I'm somehow fooling them: it means that they actually see good in me, and are smart enough to recognize it.
A silly little rock song can help change your worldview sometimes. I'd like to take this moment to apologize to anyone who's ever had a good thing to say to me for doubting your intelligence or knowledge. There is good in me, as there is in all of us, and maybe it's not for us to condemn ourselves without a fair trial.
And that goes for you too.
Yes, you. You know who you are.