My friend Rob and I (shout out to Rob!) were talking one day in class and he said something that totally caught my brain. We were talking about what we learned from last week’s lesson and he said he still wanted to, “tease it out,” meaning he wanted to think more over the topic, to process and reflect.
It caught my attention because when I thought about “teasing something out,” I immediately went to when my mom would tease out my hair to make it appear bigger (child of the 80’s). I tried finding a picture, but none to be found (obviously your loss and keeping my reputation intact).
Madre would tease my bangs up and then add extra volume to the rest of my hair. To seal the deal, about half a bottle of Aquanet would be sprayed around my head, like a bad fumigation cloud. Good thing there are no medical reports of cancer being linked to hairspray usage or my generation is in trouble.
Anyway, as I process particulars in my daily life I think the ability to “tease stuff out” is important. That we get the space to think things out as far as we want to take them—to see all the aspects of it, see if we like the way it looks on us, and then add some hairspray to seal the deal, making it a part of how we enter the world—either that day, that year or that decade.
I don’t know about you, but I am a verbal processor and I have a dual system of processing the things I’m thinking about both in community and by myself (yes, I talk to myself 🙂 ). One of the hardest things in processing within community is finding those people who are safe to talk to. That if I said something that seemed crazy, slightly illegal or even somewhat blasphemous that my character, integrity or sanity isn’t immediately called into question.
Granted, yes. I do not have to say everything that comes to mind and I don’t always, but I tend to like to get it out of my brain and see what it looks like on paper or in people’s reactions. That I would have a bit of that freedom to “tease stuff out” before the hairspray is added.
There is a fine art to being able to be that safe person where people can try on different looks around you. It also bears the burden sometimes of having to possess the wherewithal to not allow people to go out looking like idiots. Let me describe that…
Sticking with the hair analogy it makes me think of when my brother shaved his head while we were growing up. He would ask, “did I miss a spot?” and if he did, I literally, “helped a brother out” by letting him know where and how much. I did this because I care about him. I wouldn’t want to let him walk out of the house looking like a crazy chia pet, so I’d point out where he had unevenness or completely fell short.
Being a safe space for others means that you are able to let them work through their thoughts but then you make sure you’re not letting them leave the house where they would easily get made fun of or attacked for what they look like. Offering some accountability as a sounding board, bouncing back ideas or telling them they look ridiculous.
I want to let you know that teasing stuff out, asking questions, and being different than the majority is totally acceptable. But stepping out of the box is easily sidetracked when our “what would people think” demons rear their ugly heads. It’s scary; and the task becomes even more daunting when we feel like we do it alone or when we actually are flying solo.
What I’ve settled on is that as much as pray, soul search, get input from others, or whatever…in the process of teasing things out in life, it is inevitably on me to wear and rock the look.
I am the one who has to live with my thoughts, viewpoints, and opinions and will bear the looks or opinions of others who encounter me. Real life: that is totally easier said than done.
My encouragement to myself is to not be afraid to be different because it is those who dare to be different who are trendsetters–changing culture, challenging popular opinion and creating new norms. Honestly, I’d rather be the person who rocked the first Mohawk, then the person who stuck with the bowl cut. What about you?
Until next time…Live as a Masterpiece!