Wednesday, January 23, 2013

At least I'm sure about my nail polish

I sometimes think my ultimate quest in life is to feel certain. About anything. I second guess most things I do-- before I do them, while I'm doing them, and after they are done. This self-doubt might stem from being a twin. Until college when my twin sister and I split up to go to college three states away from each other, I pretty much followed her around. She was cool, new-wave bordering on punk, the kind of high school kid who dyed her hair platinum and wore the wishbone from dinner as an earring to school the next day. I was a nerdish jock. I tried to be as rad as Katherine, but the farthest I really got was dying a chunk of bangs peroxide orange. The result was a really bad Flock of Seagulls look and really irritating grow out. College for me was kind of a disaster. I hid in the familiar nerd-land that was mostly where I was comfortable, and let all that stuff that Kat exposed me to go by the wayside. And I think I missed that stuff. Even though it was Katherine's it felt kind of like part of me too.

My adulthood since college has been twenty years of exploring different "ways of being." Deep down my foundation is still N E R D and as the years have ticked on, I've been able to expand that identity. But I always have been and always will be a twin, so the self-doubt persists. In 1990 Katherine and I drove our grandmother's 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme from Chicago to Seattle. We were going to open a restaurant in Portland but kept driving because we had friends in Seattle. Katherine stayed for about seven years and during those years I still followed her lead. After she moved, it was like college again, only I was a moderately less nerdy.

Yoga is the one really clear thing in my post-gcollege life that has helped me to feel more secure in my decisions. When Katherine left Seattle, I was already doing yoga, but after she moved, I got way more serious, practicing several times a week on a regular basis. Three years after she moved, I was becoming a teacher, opening a studio. In many ways, I think this was my first big breakthrough, leaving my old "do-gooder" social worker job, taking a big risk to open a business, stepping out into something totally separate from Katherine. Since then, I've made lots of little decisions that are just mine. The other day in yoga, I was doing Padahastasana (hands-to-feet pose) and I noticed my newly manicured toes (I'll call the color coral-persimmon). I had a moment when I thought to myself, "Laura, you made the 100% right decision about that color." It felt so good, that feeling of being certain. These days Katherine wouldn't be caught dead wearing nail polish. Funny how things change.

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