Y’all have a seat and strap in… this is gonna be preachy.
Ever find yourself in a situation and suddenly realize “Wait… I ALREADY STARRED IN THIS MOVIE!” Even if the exchange is in the premature stages of blossoming into some full-blown bullshit, you can already see far enough down the road to know it’s time to exit stage left. NOW.
I think that’s called passing the test. They say you will repeat a lesson until you learn it.
*cue flashback reel*
About 100 years ago, when I was a wee one with the body of a lil’ Goddess and was flittin’ around being happy and showing skin that for real probably should have been draped in some kind of textile… I decided to start a skin care company. I also fell in love. A LOT of good things were happening and I was flying high without a care in the world. I was also experimenting and learning everything I could about scent, senses, skin, Ayurveda, aromatherapy… all the things. In my exuberance and youth, I was bouncing around sharing all my newfound knowledge with anyone who would sit still long enough to listen. This includes a human who, in hindsight, I should have made a wide-ass berth around. At first it was cool. She was about 20 years my senior, and like any zygote looking for guidance, I mistakenly thought that she had my best interests at heart when she smiled… nodded… and offered the occasional nugget of sunshine. In my self-absorption, I failed to pay attention to the bitter droppings that went from being sprinkled every now and again, to full on hours-long tirades that left me drained and a little freaked out. We went from good relations, to cordial, to some ratchet legal shit that I can’t get into. Bottom line is, this person who I’d been working with for the better part of a decade developed a sensitivity to fragrance (and eventually a common chemical used to preserve fragrance… that I’ve never used for the record) that could potentially endanger her… life? No, I’m serious. Policies were implemented, including one that mandated all (several hundred) employees in my department wear unscented everything… from cleansers, to shampoos/conditioners, deodorant… not even air freshener or cleaning wipes (you know that crap you use to wipe down your desk/monitor/keyboard) were allowed. Space-age filters popped up around our work space, designed to detect/destroy common allergens in the air. People were threatening to come in reeking of BO after running 5 miles in the August heat and eating pickled eggs & garlic. It was bad y’all. In the middle of it… I was sitting there looking at my bootleg bottle of lavender essential oil and wondering what the hell happened.
Seed Pain + Projection.
“My mother never loved me…”<— very common beginning to our conversations.
So now that I’m a little older (incidentally, about the same age as she was when all this crap went down), you might say that I’ve learned a thing or two. The notion that ‘hurt people hurt people’ is not new… but I don’t think we really pay attention to it until it happens to us, especially when it comes from a person whose pain you initially failed to recognize and respect.
Fast forward to several days ago, when I was sitting in a happy sweaty heap after a yoga class, and was approached about my ‘scent’ and how my behavior needs to change.
Say what now?
Now, to be fair, there are some specific differences between my last saga and the introduction to this one:
1) I’m older, wiser, and more f-deficient than ever.
2) I actually know what I’m doing with aromatherapy now. I understand potential allergy triggers, processing for essential oils, and elimination of reactive blends and substances. I don’t wear any perfume or fragrance oils or essential oils beyond lavender or lemon when I’m practicing or teaching… and those are by-products of whatever lotion/hair oil happens to be on my person. I don’t wear any added fragrance in the studio. Ever.
3) The person complaining actually uses all manner of essential oils (from a brand that happens to be full of solvents and allergy triggers) with no regard to anyone around who might catch a whiff.
4) On this particular morning, I happened to be wearing nothing at all. I took a bird bath (shut up) because I was rushing and wanted to make it to class on time.
Talk about hypocrisy. People got some damn nerve.
So guess what we’re not gonna do? We’re not gonna have this conversation. NOPE. Because I see you. I SEE YOU. I see your pain and I see your projection. I see how you speak to/treat other people, I see how you are generally bothered by things that no one is paying attention to because… TRIVIAL… and I see how you (I’ll assume for the moment unintentionally) tend to make your discomfort everyone else’s concern.
I See You.
Listen. I starred in this movie. And I’m too old to let some unhappy human bully me about some shit that I know. Good, bad or indifferent, this is my reception. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m saying it has evolved(?) over years and experience and at the moment, this is the space in which I breathe. I’ll tell you what though: in the 48 hours that I mulled over whether to move forward with my response, I didn’t sleep. I was agitated and uncertain. Since moving forward, I’m sleeping just fine.
For now, that’s enough.
*that lipstick is Urban Decay Hex (over Ex-Girlfriend lip liner). Supposed to be a mega-matte. Does that look matte to you? Yeah, me neither.*