Someday, I think, I won’t be so naïve.  I won’t believe every blessed rumor or scrutinize every photograph or allow myself to be sucked in by the relentless tide of the tabloids.  I will learn to stand with my head tall, not cowering under the covers, away from the pointed lenses of hungry photographers.

I’ll be able to look reporters in the eye when they ask me questions, and answer them truthfully and without hesitation.  I won’t have to spend hours in front of a mirror, practicing those perfect statements that reveal absolutely nothing but speak volumes.

Maybe I won’t have to be embarrassed walking down the street in clothes that are very fashion-forward but nothing like me.  I won’t feel ashamed when I throw on my favorite pair of comfy jeans and a ratty old sweater, because I won’t give a damn what people think.

I’ll learn not to hold my breath when my name is announced at major award ceremonies, and learn to accept defeat gracefully instead of cursing loud and long at my own follies.  The words “it’s all my fault” or “damn judges” or “it’s not fair” will be all but banned from my vocabulary, because I won’t have that bitter drive to win everything, want everything, need everything.

I’ll learn to appreciate my girlfriend for who she is, not what she does.  And I’ll learn to listen when she tells me about her day, instead of brushing her off just so I can babble about mine.  Maybe I’ll take her advice seriously instead of just using her as a sounding board, and I won’t get uptight when she takes someone else’s side instead of mine.  I’ll learn that maybe I’m not always right, and that the opinions of others, though different from mine, are not automatically wrong.

I won’t be afraid to let people get close to me, nor will I refuse to acknowledge that closeness.  Phrases like “I love you” and “I need you” and “I’m really glad we’re friends” will become regular parts of my vernacular, instead of fleeting statements made in an alcohol-induced stupor.

I’ll learn to ask for help…to go to those who love me when I’m tired or scared or lonely or down, instead of holing myself up in my expensive house with the sophisticated architecture and modern furnishings.  I won’t feel weak or vulnerable when that help comes willingly, nor will I feel a need to “settle the score,” to repay a debt of kindness that was given altruistically.  I will thank sincerely the generous friend or lover or member of my family and earnestly remind them that if they need anything, ANYTHING…they can come to me.  And I will live up to that promise.

Maybe, someday…not too far from now…I’ll learn to relax.  I won’t feel quite so bad about going outside in my bathrobe or taking a weekend off, because it won’t matter to me if a picture with bad lighting or a funny expression shows up in the Star.  When I’m sitting at my piano, frustration clearly evident, the words elusive and the music nonexistent, I’ll learn to snap down that black lacquered cover and just let it go.  I won’t force the issue and make myself write, when I am not feeling the music.  I will learn to write for me.

I will smile more, not fearing the awkward nature of my teeth or the way my eyes crinkle up or the fact that I emphatically believe I look like a chipmunk when I’m laughing for real.  Maybe I’ll learn to take teasing a little better, instead of taking the jokes to heart.  Maybe I’ll learn to joke in return, and not spew cheesy one-liners that I heard on some comedy show or other.  I’ll learn to make people laugh…and not because I’ve screwed up yet again.

…And about screwing up?  I want to think I won’t mind it so much.  I want to think that it won’t bother me when I can’t do something perfectly, or when somebody doesn’t do something the way I want it to be done, or doesn’t bother doing it at all.  I won’t grind my teeth and purse my lips when someone messes up things in my kitchen, or borrows my stuff without asking, or doesn’t take me seriously.  I’ll just roll my eyes and count to ten and take some deep breaths…and let it go.

This year will be better.  This year will be perfect.  This year will be the one when I finally come into my own, loving myself and learning to love those around me…and letting the work come second, because life is about relationships, not about what you do for a living.

Someday, I think, I won’t be so naïve.



© 2002 ~A