This is my third "guest column" as published in the Long Island Advance on June 22,2006.
“IHD2HVIT” was what was written on the license plate of the red Corvette that pulled out of the 7-Eleven parking lot in front of me. It took me a few seconds to figure out exactly what it meant, and when I did, I laughed out loud and thought to myself, “how very creative.” While riding down Roe Boulevard behind the “I had to have it” guy, I continued to smile and decided he would be my act of bravery for this day.
Recently a new friend suggested to me that in order to continue down this path I’m on; there are some things I need to do, with becoming fearless in the forefront. Although much braver than I have ever been, I’m still nurturing this trait that in some ways is so foreign to me, yet in other ways, not. My friend suggested that I could either ask myself in certain situations throughout my day, “What I would do if I were not afraid,” or I could actually do one brave thing every day. I haven’t actually done one brave thing every day, but on the days that I haven’t, I do ask myself that question.
My act of bravery for this day was to pull up next to the man in the red corvette, lean out of my car window and compliment him on his license plate, telling him that it made me laugh. I should also have thanked him for giving me something to write about, but at that time had no idea he’d be making an appearance in this piece of writing.
I am much more comfortable initially being an observer, a watcher… prior to opening my mouth to express an opinion. I like to have a sense of who people are and where they’re coming from before I reveal myself. But, certainly there’s no reason to hold back complimenting someone on an item such as an amusing license plate, or a cute dog they might be walking, or in my case a really nice pair of shoes or a bag they’re carrying. My friend Nina will chat with anyone, on any line, at any time, and by the time she’s done paying for her purchases, will know all kinds of things about them. I have not completely developed this skill, and I’m working on it as a means to change old patterns. And although sometimes just a little stressful, it’s very exciting as well.
The same friend who suggested that I might want to try being brave on a daily basis, also recommended that I clean out my closet. Somehow, at least in my mind, these two ideas go hand in hand. She said that I should get rid of anything in my closet that is no longer “me,” regardless of what it is, or how much it may have cost, and to wear what I want to wear, no matter what anyone else may think or say. This would have been my sister’s philosophy as well, so I’ve decided to adopt it and think that I may very well shop for that black tulle skirt and combat boots, an act of a woman not afraid to be who she really is. Maybe they won’t be items of clothing to wear to work, but I would certainly wear them to lunch in Chelsea.
Also in that closet are many, many boxes filled with items from my old life. For some time now, I’ve been thinking that I needed to go through them as I cannot possibly take all that’s in them, to a small apartment somewhere. The other reality though, is that so many of those items in those boxes, no longer “fit me,” physically or emotionally.
So, I’m going to continue to compliment creative men in red corvettes, women who have their own sense of style and don’t care what others think, and practice chit-chatting while waiting on lines. I’m also planning a really big yard sale in July in order to finally divest myself of all those items that are no longer me. And, if I see the man in the “IHD2HVIT” red Corvette tooling around town, I might just have to beep my horn and wave at him.