Thursday, February 5, 2009

"Great, or maybe we could go somewhere and just eat a bunch of caramels."

My dear friend and I had dinner last night and the conversation drifted towards her study of Gestalt therapy as it often does lately.
It happens because she is surrounded by it and because I am seduced by it.
I like the word. Gestalt.
I like saying it and jutting my chin and placing hands on hips and being very German sexy.I just like it.
And like other fantastic foreign words it cannot be translated into a single equivalent English thought. It means many things like pattern and shape and figure and whole form. I like that. My friend talks to me about the holistic approach to therapy and life. I like that. I never want my whole to be necessarily the sum of my parts.
I like that I am special and you cannot carve me up and serve me crazy or sane.

I like that my friend is working on all of this and giving it to me in small slices over beers and nachos. I should be in therapy- I am an artist. But I never have been and I don't think I ever will be. Much like religion I tend to really do most of my work right there in my noble frontal lobes. I really am rarely without thoughts and work in my mind. I know it sounds stupid, but it is true. But if I did buy into some sort of mode I might like this Gestalt thing. I don't know much more than what she gives me, but I am sorta thinking that at the crux of this philosophy is this little bitch called awareness.
I think it flows throughout the whole shebang and means that one can try and realize what they are doing psychologically and change the path. Their path. Or something like that. But awareness is frightening. It is raw and transparent like onion skin. It is what can perhaps hold us back forever. Our paths get so worn and traveled down don't they? We know them by heart and we don't even have to walk anymore or open our eyes- we kinda fly. But I think if we go outside of our comfortable zone and harness our inner Ferdinand Magellan then we can plow new paths and even invite others to walk down them with us. Right?

So anyways my thing I am working on is me. And it is hard work.
I want to believe those older ladies about ten years ago at weddings or other social functions. They would look at me and my unlined perfect skin and tell me things like "yr thirties are the best!" "Yr thirties is where you really know yrself"
You know shit like that...
Well, I am smack dab in the middle of mine now and fairly certain that there is a whole bunch more about me to learn.
What do you think? When do we ever know ourselves all the way?
When do we stop working it all out?


title post- Good Will Hunting 1997

17 comments:

Momo Fali said...

I'll be 38 in June (e-flipping-GADS) and I still don't have a clue. I don't want to stop learning about myself though. It seems like life would get boring that way.

Jen Grant said...

i like it. it reminds me of much of the self expression stuff i do too, but in a more 'mature' fashion--i think it must be the foreign language thing... but like you, i like it.

nichole said...

I'm finding my thirties to be exactly what I had hoped. I am happier now than ever. I wouldn't go back to my twenties for any amount of money, even though I used to think I would long for youth.

Kids really make it difficult to truly enjoy your thirties on a "me" level, but they bring me a whole other level of joy.

I do wish I had the time to truly enjoy these years, but because I am so busy working/raising kids, I know they'll pass by quickly.

vincent said...

At the age of 42, I personally think that we just "change" constantly- grow, whatever you want to call it. I am finding myself even enjoying movies I never would have liked at all, even a year ago... My idea is, just enjoy yourself at whatever point you are at... Just never stop growing and learning- snatch up every and any thing that you can along the way... That is what makes living so great!

village mama said...

I'm 7 days from 39. If I could have had a tiny sliver of a peek then into what I know now I would have been WAY more daring, laughed at myself a heck of a lot more, and let the cat out of the bag: 'your dreams will come true, but they won't be served on a silver platter'. Good luck Amy. xoxo

Alexis said...

My thirties were all about trying to get pregnant, being pregnant, post-partum depression, sleeplessness, breastfeeding, diapers, potty training, reading Sandra Boynton books 700 times, and all other things baby-related.

Now that I'm consistently sleeping through the night, I'm hoping I'll finally get it together...in my forties. I'm not sure but I think that might involve taking up yoga and eating more whole grains.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

It's only recently that I started feeling like my profession is at all linked to my identity. Seriously - I always figured that I had the day job to pay for the rest of my life - which is who I really was. But now I want more than that. I want to be someone in the world - not just in *my* world. And I don't like the idea of the world at large labeling me by my totally boring day job. I should be more interesting than that. It's advice I wish I was given in college (with the caveat that I would actually heed said advice of course). Anyway - I hope that my 40s are the best, because my 30's are already half over. And I feel like the party just started. (of course I've always had the tendency to stay just a little too long at the party - but that's another story...)

Angella said...

The thirties have been the best decade yet, but there is still so much more to learn...

Deb on the Rocks said...

Gestalt theory is mind bending. Led me to Buddhism. But I think artists know if deep in our bones. And mothers, mothers know it too. So who knows what led to what.

Each year holds what's happened in the past plus right now, so the gestalt of that is amazing.

I also like "schadenfreude."

Jane said...

I like my thirties. But I think nowadays, it's possible to stretch these confident, energetic middle-life years into several decades. My forties and fifties are going to rock the house!

Sizzle said...

I'm nearing 36 and have been wondering this same thing. I feel like I will always be learning and once I make peace with that, I'll be ready for my forties. The thing I struggle with is living in the moment. Time really is flying by me and I have so much I still want to do!

Rowena said...

I think the 30s are really where you start to KNOW yourself and not be so confused. Doesn't mean there won't always be more to learn. But the insecurity of youth starts to fade away.

And as to therapy, I think my writing and art are my therapy. And my spiritual practice.

Suzanne Casamento said...

I'm almost 37 and I feel smarter and stronger than ever. I don't know everything and don't want to either, but I do know how to say "no" now. I think it's one of the most important things a woman can learn - even though sometimes it takes balls to do. ; )

Poppy and Mei said...

36 & damn tired...XXxx

Poppy and Mei said...

OK. Just went & googled Gestalt.
Now I'm tired & my head hurts...in a good way...XXxx

Alli Bozeman said...

gestalt! the last time i heard anyone talking about that was in design school. never thought of it applied to myself though, only design. i feel as though i am in an introspective phase as well, maybe it's all of the "25 random things about me" questions or maybe it's just something that happens at mid-thirty with 2.5 kids, who knows, but i'm kind of enjoying it right now ... getting to know more about me.

fruitlady said...

I have immensely enjoyed my 30s. I have also been through the hardest shit of my life so far as far my relationship is concerned. I have a lovely aunt and we take psychology all the time. She is figuring herself out again as she nears 60 after a very traumatic divorce. But she is coming out the other side built back up again after being so broken and somehow more whole and real than ever. She and I talk about this a lot, as I am constantly trying too figure myself out. Whether it's sparked by a friendship gone sour, a career change, or just a bad day of parenting, I am always searching for the meaning, the message, the lesson to be learned and improved upon. I'm right here with you love.

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