If I’m Blanche Devereaux, Then I Got Some Things To Work On
Ask almost anyone*, and they could tell you which Golden Girl they are (*anyone with taste). Some instantly know their sass, smarts, and sense makes them a Dorothy. Others relate to the storytelling and comeback queen of Sophia. Others realize their sweetness, pragmatic selves are Rose.
Recently, I’ve found myself to be a Blanche. Your immediate thought is that I’m a promiscuous drama queen with a penchant for selfish behaviors. And to a degree, I’d accept that label. In a world where things can be boring — why not be a Blanche Devereaux who shakes things up? Both Blanche and I have an appreciation for strong dating life, a natural eye for the arts, and we’re not above wanting finer things.
But recently I’ve been wondering if I relate to some of Blanche’s more problematic moments. For example, in one iconic episode for the 1990s, Blanche’s brother comes out as gay. Blanche immediately is in shock — how could her brother be gay? Certainly, Blanche supports gay men, but her own brother…it’s almost social macabre! Blanche certainly comes around — but only after having to
Blanche is arguably the most judgmental character of the girls. There are episodes devoted to her uncertainty to date men for all sorts of different episodes: “He’s so old”, “He’s in a wheelchair”, “He’s blind”. And while the common theme is that Blanche lets go of her judgment and preconceived notions, karma lets her off with a slap on the wrist.
Her judgment carries over to her personal relationships: she judges her daughter for deciding to get pregnant of her own volition, she blames her deceased husband’s affair child on the child. And that same gay brother whom she learns to accept comes back with a boyfriend — to which Blanche cannot accept.
One might argue that in the world of a sitcom, characters aren’t meant to evolve. They’re supposed to stay relatively the same. Which holds true in The Golden Girls — where much of the character evolution doesn’t really stick like Sophia’s homemade pasta to the wall. You’d think after judging a man, for one thing, she could let this go. But she doesn’t, she continues to make the same mistakes.
And I do the same thing — whether it’s in my professional, personal or romantic life. Except there’s one difference: as much as I may demand my life to be a sitcom, it’s not. I can’t approach each week or month of my life as an episode that causes my character to reset to a baseline of flaws and benefits. I have sharp initial thoughts regarding the world around me — the same way Blanche does. But what am I doing to actively change myself for the better?
We love Blanche Devereaux for her outrageous and confident self — but we also love who she is when she’s flawed. We shake our heads and roll our eyes when she succumbs to her judgments and weaknesses. And maybe that’s the approach I need. It’s okay to acknowledge your issues and move forward to be better. But it’s more important to realize the wholeness of the soul. I am as bold as I am a coward; I am free as I am chained. Perhaps the only difference is I’m not an old lady in 1990s Miami?
I know it doesn't feel like spring in Cleveland, we're almost halfway through March and we're still battling blizzards. But I've been doing a little spring cleaning lately and I wanted to give a reminder of how fulfilling it is to take the time to purge in a multitude of ways.
Last month I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Maire Kondo. And let me tell you, the book definitely changed my attitude regarding all the collections of clothes, books and accessories I had been holding onto. Marie called out all the thoughts I had experienced: "Well I could use that one day", "Well I might need that in the future", "I kind of want it'. And frankly, she read me for filth. She was right, and now I've been able to end my nostalgia over random pieces of paper (okay, it wasn't that extreme but still!) So far I've gotten rid of four bags of clothes and four boxes of accessories.
I've had to tackle my books and journals, which will be the hardest part of the 'spring cleaning process'. I've amassed hundreds of books which have sat on about six shelves and a trunk. Knocking down that collection of books will be tough, but as long as you're slowly cleaning out all the access, you're doing what you need to do.
But spring cleaning has also involved being healthier (says I, after eating pizza earlier today). I've been a bit stricter, still lax on occasion (which is ironically healthy), and instead of viewing what I'm doing as a diet, I'm thinking of it as spring cleaning too. And trust me, after eating a lot of salad I feel pretty clean.
I'm really digging my latest workout regime and I've been eating a lot more protein. I might be able to debut a beach body, we shall see how it goes. And weird enough, I do feel like I'm losing a bit of weight. My stomach doesn't feel as excessively prominent as it usually does.
Spring cleaning can be an emotional/mental metaphor as well. Lately I've been struggling with some of my current obligations and opportunities and I think I've come to a consensus about where I want to be and what I want to be doing. And that feeling is glorious let me tell you.
So whether it be the luggage in your house, the baggage in your heart, a mix of both or somewhere else, I hope you can get to some spring cleaning this spring.
It's been a second and I apologize for people who were ready to jump aboard on my blog posts. Sometimes, life gets in the way and it's hard to prioritize what needs to get done. I think I do a good job in putting life in order, which is why the blog had a two-week siesta.
My busiest season is most obviously the summer! All the events and programs I do mainly come together in the months between April and September. However, I have managed to have a busy winter! I've tried new work opportunities, while gearing up for the upcoming summer.
I've changed up my diet a bit, adding more protein and more greens. Granted, I've always eaten rather healthily (not a word, but let's let 'healthily' slide), although I'm sticking to getting rid of the few frozen meals I'd supplement my week with. My workout didn't need adjustment, but I needed to include more protein in my diet. As a vegetarian weight-lifter, it was clear that I was lacking a chunk of protein input!
I'm not a hoarder, but I have a bit of clutter in my clothes, books and knick-knacks, and I've slowly been getting rid of the excess. I read an excellent book (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo) which really cut things into perspective. I've gotten rid of three large bags of clothes, cutting my closet to half. I felt a lot of joy getting rid of clothes I was holding onto till the end of time (as if I was going to wear a medium-sized Slurpee bear t-shirt).
I haven't yet touched the hundreds of books in my library. Mainly because I know that's going to be a bit more painful. But I know what I have to do...but yikes, it's going to be tough.
I'm also in the process of (potentially) moving to the west side. I say potentially because I'm super indecisive and never know what I want (typically Libra here!). But you know what, like I scream a hundred times a day, I'm going to live life day by day.
Okay, that's enough 'look at me'. Aiming to post a bit more regularly, no worries.
I keep saying "I write" but don't share anything. So here we go, let's share.