A new pair of jeans has an effect on one's confidence the way a sunny day has on one's disposition after weeks of rain. Confidence balloons in chests, vanity bounces footfalls, and embarrassment no longer haunts every incident of bending forward. But new jeans must be treated with extreme care. They must be completely turned inside out and washed in cold water, lest their indigo nature leak out, infecting everything nearby with a sickly pallor. Hot tumble-drying causes shrinkage after which floodwater inseams and squeezed upward muffin-top ensue, while hang drying leaves one with crispy plaster pants that gather in the wrong places, refuse to fall correctly, and generally make a nuisance of themselves. Sitting becomes an ordeal because of slipping waists, belt shifts, and rear cleavage exposure, but worst of all is the savage pinch and resistance provided when one attempts to bend more than thirty degrees in any direction. Though new jeans give one, or perhaps two, glorious days of buoyant self-assuredness, their first mash-up with real life dousing and agitation leaves little remaining besides a bundle of stress shaped like trousers.
Much like life.
Stepping into new things feels great. Initially. A seemingly perfect fit in work or relationships or new ventures gives you a secret arrogance, which causes you to believe nothing could ever go wrong. Then, what begins beautifully suddenly rejects every control you’ve attempted to enforce. Your irresistible cuteness has become sullied somehow; what made you loveable and desired reverses without notice and becomes hideous and irritating. Unexpected changes force you to hop around awkwardly, jerking this and tugging that and rushing to cover up humiliating exposure just to keep things running, though not smoothly anymore. You’re drenched with an onslaught of garbage that makes you choke and sputter, chafes you raw and tangles you into knots before spinning you into complete oblivion so that you longer have any idea which way is up. The result of this, of life, is the certainty of your infinite smallness, inflexibility, and fear of fitting the curves of another’s, possibly and probably better, ideas.
As all things do, this will pass, with excruciating time. Stay strong, despite being forced to face your weaknesses. Soon, you will earn the faded stripes of holding strong against tightly pulled wrinkles in not-quite-so-carefully engineered plans. You will display the bowed knees of hunching down and back to square one. You will exhibit the patched bottom of stretching thin, wearing out, and repairing constantly, sometimes with the wrong colored thread that shows so obviously in the bright sunlight of another’s observation. Patched and threadbare do not equal worthlessness. The uniqueness of being worn means challenged but not defeated, and tried but not overcome. Wear your life like jeans, for it will, though no longer new, fit better and more comfortably than anything you’ve ever imagined.
|The path of water in the sand. Taken at Gooch's Beach in Kennebunkport, ME. © Heidi Tauschek, 2011|