Saturday, March 07, 2009

Conversations with Cordelia

(Background - Cordelia is what I'm calling my inner critic these days. She's a chameleon that changes depending on the situation. She's mostly a composite of that girl we all knew in high school - you know the really good looking, popular girl that always made you feel like the brainiac nerd who couldn't dress properly and didn't know what to do with her hair? She's the Buffy to your Willow, off partying with the hot guy in school while you're stuck in the library doing research with Mr. Giles. And, she's partly made up of that friend I had in high school who was always trying to "help" me by pointing out what was wrong with me, and who once gave me a copy of "How to Be Your Own Best Friend", which to this day I'm still trying to think was well intentioned and not just a cruel hint. In short, she is mostly everything I am not.)

I'm working on my application for Spirations Institute and have gotten to the essay part. Write your spiritual journey in about 1,000 words. I'm stuck and avoiding it, and Cordelia pops in and plunks herself down in front of me. Well, plunks is probably not correct since Cordelia is anything but awkward. As usual, she looks good - perfect hair and makeup, nice slim black jeans, powder blue cotton long sleeved tee and a scarf perfectly wrapped around her neck. Damn, she does know how to dress well. That's so annoying.

Cordelia: "So, is that the latest?" She points to the papers spread out in front of me.

Me: "Latest what?"

Cordelia: (Tossing her head lightly to one side.) "You know, your latest thing, dream, whatever you want to call it. Is that what you're working on?"

Me: "Ya its an application for spiritual direction training, kinda stuck on it right now but I want to get it done this weekend."

My cat, the traitor, jumps up on her lap and Cordelia begins to stroke him, somewhat absentmindedly. "Hmm...I thought you were going to be, like, a writer or something? Or a creativity coach? An artist? I don't know, I can't keep up (she sighs) you're always changing it."

Me: "Well...I've done some writing and that, but I don't know I just feel pulled to explore this right now. I think I want to combine the creativity and the spirituality into something."

Cordelia gives me that haughty look she is oh so good at. "Something?" she snorts "see that's your problem - no focus. You don't really know what it is you want."

Me (defensively): "I can focus when I want." I briefly focus on a fantasy involving tightening that cute little scarf around her neck.

Cordelia looks around. "Ya sure - looks like you have piles of focus. I see your art course over there waiting for you to get back to it, a couple of half finished journals lying around, a bunch of unread books, files that have to be put away......girl, procrastination is your name."

Rather childishly I reply, "Ya, so what? I work full time too remember? And I did finish my Certificate of Spirituality so I am capable of finishing things,"

Cordelia smiles. "Well, where's all this playing going to get you anyway - don't you think you're just wasting time and money?"

I bite my lip. "No, I'm not playing. I'm trying to figure out what it is I want to do."

Cordelia (snarkily): "So what will this, (she waves her hand in the air) spiritual direction thingy get you anyway? What can you do with it exactly?"

"Well, I'll be companioning people on their spiritual journeys, I'll be listening to their stories, encouraging them - kinda like a spiritual coach I guess. And I want to do more retreats..." My voice starts to trail off.

Cordelia laughs. "Aren't you worried people are going to start thinking you're a little flaky?"

"I'm talking to you aren't I? How much flakier can it get?"

"But you can't make any real money at this can you? It's not like you're going to quit your job or anything, so why bother?"

I let out an exasperated sigh. "Because I need to do it. Because if I don't, I'll just dry up inside. No, I can't quit my job right now but that's not all of it. It's about growing, and discovering me, and not squashing my creativity, and connecting with something greater."

Cordelia picked that cat off her lap, got up, brushed the cat hair off her jeans and stretched, an obvious bored look on her face. "Ok honey, if that's what you really want" she said in a tone that implied why the hell would anyone want that? "Anyway, I've gotta run, important meeting. We'll catch up later, maybe by then you'll figure out what it is you want to be when you grow up (giggle). Call me."

Cordelia glided out the door and for a long time I started at it. Truth is, I probably will call her later. That's just the kind of co-dependent relationship we have. * o


lucy said...

oh my, we all have those cordelia's don't we? i sincerely think i could have written just about every word of this post! leaving my writing class the other night, my cordelia was right by my side...fortunately a good friend was there too and asked why i was doing it. my response was almost word for word:

"Because I need to do it. Because if I don't, I'll just dry up inside."

let's you and i hold onto that one as we forge forward, flaky or not!!


lucy said...

thanks for stopping by. i think you'll like the post i just put up...your words inspired me to transcribe the scribblings i wrote last night in class.

Eveline Maedel said...

Lucy you're awesome!

Next time Cordelia shows up, I'm going to come over and borrow your Rodeo Queen!

lucy said...

the queen is available for round-ups any time! just give us a holler...i'll be that makes cordelia shake in her boots :-)

Anonymous said...

Was nice to meet your Cordelia...Strange...we all have a Cordelia in our lifes...I am happy you stood up to her and let her know that you are taking care of yourself...with or without her help!


Eveline Maedel said...

thanks Simonne (((hugs)))