I just did one of those ridiculous personality tests someone emails you. I had some time before going to pick up the kids. I couldn’t really start anything or finish anything, so … what the heck.
The test revealed I valued family, first and foremost. You rank an animal from favorite to least and this is supposedly is a direct correlation to your values. I’m not sure what liking horses has to do with family, but I do like horses, always have. The next most loved animal was a tiger that signifies pride. When my pride is hurt, I am deeply affected. I have a hard time letting go of pride wounds. The next on my list was Love. Why sheep signify love, I think only lonely Shepard’s can explain. I find it interesting that family and love are two different things. To me, they are the same. I cannot imagine family without love.
Which is ironic as I had a lot of family in my life without love. Perhaps that’s why I value it so much. And find it hard to separate. I want it to be one thing.
Last on the list- my career. I guess that means the multimedia iPod casts I’m working on will take a while.
The next part of the test had you write a single word of description for different things to signify your partner, your enemies, your life and sex. A word to describe coffee was how you felt about sex. I said fabulous. I love coffee. I love the aroma, I love the taste, I love the heat… and I like both in the morning. Imagine that.
I found it interesting how your one word description of a dog is how you describe yourself. This means deep trouble for those who hate dogs. I wrote loyal, as my own dog sits with undying affection and perseverance at my feet every day, even when she does not get a long, unleashed walk in the woods. She’s still there. Even when I accidentally roll over her tail with my chair. She whimpers, sure, but then settles right back at my feet.
I realize I am that kind of loyal. Just roll over me, crush my tail- don’t worry, I’ll still be there.
And then the test had you list people associated with colors. Yellow was easy- I think yellow, I think flowers, and I think Walter. That is the person I will never forget. How could I forget Walter? I talk to him about 100 times a day.
The next was orange and I picked Jeanine. The truth is, orange rarely matches much and Jeanine never matches. If there was ever a case for adult geranimals, it’s Jeanine. Orange represented the color of my true friend. She is my true friend. She drives me nuts, but she knows me more deeply than anyone else.
Red… for red I picked someone who has been rolling over my tail, again and again. The color seems angry and hurt to me. In the test, it represents someone you really love.
More Jerkaholics Anonymous for me.
The last color was green and I immediately thought of my mother. I don’t know why. I don’t remember her especially liking green. It was, however, the color of the rug in the house I grew up in, and spent long, painful moments with my face pressed against. And then, my father once gave me a green sweater. He said it would look pretty on me.
I promptly got rid of it.
Over the years, I’ve come to see the color as life and spring. Walter planted a shrub in my garden that was a dazzling bright, spring green. I loved it. After being on vacation in Arizona a few years ago, I remember coming back and seeing green in a different way. It felt like it washed my eyes, softened everything around me.
In the test, green was for someone you will always remember.
I will always remember my mother. And maybe, like the color green, my memories and associations with her will shift and change. I will no longer be drawn to the pain but start to see the kindness. Because there was kindness. Moments when she would shine. The times when she loved me, deeply. When I could do no wrong.
Then I realize- it’s a time bomb. I’m feeling sad and lost right now. My writing seems stupid, irrelevant. I have no purpose until my children come home. The pain shoots through me- I will never hear her voice again. I will never have a chance to be the star again. And so I seek a stronger voice to tell me it’s okay. I am worthwhile. I am a good person. Someone like my mother.
It is a path I’ve taken over and over in my life. Where I have sought the same golden light from others, the same approval from someone who has my mother’s timbre. Nothing else feels as healing.
Nothing else hurts as much.
I end up being used. Green becomes the carpet when I thought it could be soft forgiveness.
This is, in fact, about the red person. Just like my mother, there was just enough to keep replaying the tapes of the golden light, of the positive, of the love in my mind that ends up being like a time bomb, waiting to explode. I forget how much it hurt. And I believe the kindness, sincerity and love could happen again.
Because otherwise, I’d have to face how disposable I was. How completely replaceable my willingness to adore, regardless of the damage, was. The minute I believed I should have something, that it was no longer okay to give my heart away for nothing in return, the door was shut. Just like my mother.
My mother could not give freely. It meant being caught at being incapable. Broken. It froze her. The red person is the same, with her mirror held close, the rooms disappears. If it were put down, she would have to see the long line of thrown away friends and lovers as equals in pain. She would be caught in her selfishness.
And just like my mother, her pain is the greatest. The most important. The hardest. No one can compete. I always lose. I am merely someone seeking to heal my small, inconsequential self.
The test results did not surprise me. It was a reminder of what I know.
Green is a beautiful color. One of life and spring. One that makes everything a little softer, easier.
And if I forget the green carpet on my face, I forget my own voice. I forget how to speak, loudly enough to be heard.
And then I start looking for someone to roll over my tail, again and again.