Why do we live in a neutral zone? I recently heard the comment, “If everyone is special, then no one is special.” It’s common and customary to homogenize everyone and everything. Every Little League player gets a trophy. Every second grader gets a certificate. We’ve widened the Bell curve so everyone is underneath and there are few is any outliers. There must be some herd immunity or safety in numbers that if we aggregate we are protected. But I think it diminishes so much of the vitality and vividness of life. It rounds all the corners and puts bumper pads on everything because, God forbid we run into anything that might hurt. And so, life is safer and more predictable and sadly…. really boring. When I’ve been really sad and miserable, I beg for numbness; I seek the doldrums of neutrality if for no other reason than to feel nothing. It’s bad form and impolite to lose face and show our “backsides”, right? But the odd realization I have made is that we – and I mean the collective ‘We’ – are far more accepting of the bad behavior than the good. Someone has a meltdown and ends up crying in public or they throws a conniption in the electronics department at Target, we all frame that as, “Poor bastard, I feel for him.” We are tolerant of the miserable and the suffering.
We are far less tolerant of joyfulness and bliss. If some random fool stood up in the middle of church wailing and flailing, distressed and stricken with grief, we’d permit it. They’d have our sympathy even as we averted our eyes. But flip it around and have someone stand up and rejoice, sing praise, be filled with glee and unadulterated happiness, we’d shrink from them as if they had Ebola; we’d shun them for their egregious, flagrant, ostentatious spectacle. Instead of our applause and congratulations, they’d earn our scorn and maybe, secretly, our envy. End up on a transcontinental flight with a giddy and exuberant traveler, the aversion is swift and early, by the end of the flight either the celebrant will have been muted or everyone will have deemed them MENTAL.
No one is THAT HAPPY. It’s just unnatural. And so, as I have started to experience true wonder and awe, I am fighting my own programming to tone it down. I feel the joy percolate up from deep inside like carbonation in a shaken can of soda and I want to squeal and clap and hop and twirl. I want to twirl. I want to twirl like that 8 year old girl in the party dress. I want to squeal and twirl until aI make myself drunk with dizziness. And I know – in my adult, logical, mature mind – that I need to contain it and act rational, act sane and not boast. No one like a braggart.
But I am happy. Overjoyed. Thrilled, Punch drunk with glee. My heart feels like 4th of July, Christmas morning, Thanksgiving and Surprise! all rolled up into one tight ball in the center of my chest and I am doing just about all I can do to keep from acting like Gene Kelly singing in the rain. I feel like Amy Farah Fowler when Sheldon gives her a tiara.
I have worked so hard, been tested and tried and tormented. I’ve kept my faith and listened to my heart and encouraged myself to twirl, to dream and to keep dreaming. And the reward is that I have every reason to twirl. The whole thing is Captivating. I am a Princess, nay a Queen, and I shall have my castle. My handsome and wonderful Princes and I shall have our castle.