Reinventing the Girl
"What's the matter?" he said after a while, as my gaze boozily drifted off into space.
I paused. Then I abruptly swiveled around in my stool to face him dead-on.
"Okay. You want to know what the matter is?" I said. "I've met all of the goals I had for myself as a little girl, and now I don't know what to do next."
This is usually the line that sends guys scrambling for the door -- or at least the next blonde over. But this British boy was different, for some reason. He asked my Brazilian bartender of yore for a scrap of paper from the cash register tape and set about to scribbling with a blue pen. Then he handed the note to me. Here is what it said:
"REINVENT YOURSELF" Program
-Google & read "Desiderata"
-Get & read "The Law of Attraction"
See you next week!!
His "plan" was so incredibly sweet and young and optimistic and well-meaning that I had to keep the piece of paper, and I had to at least do some Googling to find out what the hell he was talking about. There's no way I'm going to spend my money on Law of Attraction, because I refuse to suspend my disbelief long enough to buy into notions like "good energy" and "bad energy" and "vibrations," etc. I think books like that (see: The Secret) are bullshit money-making schemes -- peddling half-baked psychological ideas to the weak and stupid who are willing to slap a credit card on the counter in exchange for a glimmer of hope. But I did find "Desiderata" online, and I liked it. It was enough to make me think and make me smile for two seconds today, so I'm posting it here for you guys to read. I hope you enjoy it for at least as long as I did:
by Max Ehrmann
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.