I know that at some times it looks to people outside of me – even some close friends – that I have completely lost all my filters. But I am aware of some of the ways that I still hold back, choose to “leave it out” or let it go – or ways that, underneath what may seem to be totally wild behavior, I am actually still making choices…or rather, choicefully listening to a guide that is much wiser than I.
My great new psychotherapist Jenna and I agree that “leave it out” is akin to “let it go”, but has a different feel to it. As I’m parsing it out this morning, what I get is that when you “leave something out”, you have not fully “let it go”. You are still holding on to it – you could choose to go mano-a-mano five minutes from now with the asshole physician – but for this moment you are choosing to “leave it out”.
For about six weeks, after desperately reaching for cigarettes out of the fantasy that they might somehow help with my chronic pain – which they did not – I patronized the Up In Smoke smoke shop next to the Tunnel Rd. Ingles.
(All that ended when I checked into the hospital two weeks ago tomorrow. I knew I was going to grab this chance to jump free of cigarettes and not go back, which I have not.)
Erin, the cute and very savvy 40ish woman at Up In Smoke, gave me the word that Diana and I would quickly adopt as insider code for “leave it out”. On the last occasion that I patronized the store, there was some pretty hot music playing as I came through the door and – as I might always have done, but am especially wont to do these days – I danced from the door up to the front counter.
The young guy customer guy already at the counter, who had come through the door just ahead of me – seeing me dance up – shot me a playful-curious little look and I said, “You didn’t see the sign on the door? ‘Please dance into the store today.'”
“Oh, man – I missed it! I better go back out and dance in!”
“Don’t bother – just dance back out.”
“Oh, OK – that’s cool.”
Erin points to me and says to this other young guy, of me, “He keeps me young.”
Me: “No, you really are young! You’re so young I don’t even dare hit on you!”
Erin, who probably does actually get hit on by lots of guys (and maybe women) in her job there, says enthusiastically,
“Thank God someone around here has some discrepancy.”
I was pretty sure she actually meant “discretion”, but had no desire to point out the malapropism. But when I got back to our rock wall in front of the Battery Park Apartments, Diana and I quickly picked up “having some discrepancy” as our code for “leaving something out”.
And – at a time when I am overall erring on the side of self-expression, spontaneity, risk-taking, genuineness, being overall a general wild-ass mother-fucker – it is enormously comforting to me when I do see myself leaving something out. “See, I do still have some discrepancy.” I report a lot of these instances to Diana – and some of them happen right in front of her, and then she or I will point it out.
I describe several of these instances in “Grounding like a mother-fucker“.