I’m someone who’s long suffered from a persistent inner push to do the right thing, say the right thing, look the right way, etc.. I don’t expect others to be ‘perfect’ and I’m not attracted to those who claim to have it all together, yet occasionally I put impossible pressures on myself.
Some say this drive comes from a sense of inadequacy, or too much responsibility too soon…or maybe it’s my 3 planets in Virgo that keep me caught up in debilitating details. Wherever the fixation comes from, it can be an imprisoning place to be, where little ever lives up my idealistic expectations.
Recently, I lost my beloved little cat Marvin. No matter how I prepared myself, my heart broke open and bled everywhere. We’re all touched by life and death differently…and for me, Marvin touched my heart in the deepest ways.
On his last morning alive, I laid him in the grass in the backyard, turned on I’m Ready by Alicia Keys, and danced for his little spirit…praising him, blessing him and thanking him. Hours later, he passed away peacefully.
The next afternoon, Chris and I buried him, and a day later I left for New York. I was very close to calling my agent and cancelling a big job. I had flown home only a few days before and wanted at least another day to pull myself together.
Choid, the masochistic alien-robot in my head, has a horrible habit of beating me up when I’m down. He has little tolerance for ‘feelings’ and expects me to be stoic and strong at all times. After all, “mature” and “spiritual” people don’t get angry after losing their loved ones. According to Choid, I didn’t get it when it came to grieving.
Even though the timing was terrible, a voice louder than Choid told me simply to show up the best I could and keep my commitment in NYC.
Hours before takeoff, I invited my husband to bed awkwardly. I had a million things to do, we were arguing, and I looked/felt like sh*t. Again, the timing was OFF. Initially, Chris’ response felt rejecting and my impulse was to run away in reaction. But something told me to stay…and stay soft. The intimacy we experienced as a result made me think of all the rich moments I may have missed waiting for everything to come together perfectly.
An hour after touching down in NYC, a profile piece about me appeared in the largest newspaper in the world.
Really? I wanted time to process Marvin’s death…and all that was right/wrong with what was written. In a perfect world, I would’ve had more time off before I had to be ON again for what was to follow.
But the world isn’t perfect, and god knows neither am I. The older I get, the more I drop the belief that I’m the one in the driver’s seat, expected to make all the right turns. I’m also better at telling Choid to chill.
A wise friend once told me, “Life is meant to disappoint you. It’s what you do with those disappointments that matter most.”
I had hoped when I returned home two weeks later, the lily we planted over Marvin’s grave would be in full bloom, representing a glorious rebirth!
Instead it looked like this…
…just another living thing, struggling to grow. How perfect.
Marvin was messy and impurrfect, and all I did was adore him. After professing my limitless love for him, he once said to Sonya the cat communicator, “I don’t even have to do anything.”
That last day, when I danced and sang Marvin into the sky, he decided to leave a large brown liquid stain on my white shag rug – another reminder from Master Marvin that shit happens.
It’s up to us to show up the best we can, with all our magnificent imperfect parts.