“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.”-Gustave Flaubert
I noticed something recently with my kiddos. I forget what in particular we had been talking about, but I had asked them what their favorite thing was (of the day, activity or whatever from the where ever we had been). One child answered with two items and the other answered “everything”. I then tried to explain that “favorite” denoted one thing that stood out amongst the rest. To answer “everything” went against the very grain of what I was asking.
They actually had a hard time whittling down their answers. I could hear their brains hitting the proverbial wall.
I used to be the same way and honestly, in many cases, still am. You know those questionnaires that seem to surface and circulate every so often on Facebook or email?….what’s your favorite movie? favorite book? favorite flower? favorite comfort food? alcoholic drink? non-alcoholic drink? I was as bad as my kids. Usually, I’ll stick two answers in one of those slots instead of the required one, followed with a bear-with-me-smiley-face. I…Can…Not…Whittle…It…Down…Sometimes. But I’m working on that.
I’ve come to discover that whittling it down is tantamount to knowing yourself. And growing up. Or shall we say….maturing.
Part of me used to think that having such solid answers to things was somehow high-maintenance or inflexible in a way. I like it only “this” way. I only buy “such-and-such” a thing. I eat “this brand”, not “that one”. I like “this” quality, not “that” one.
Nope. It’s how much you know yourself. Things you can take. Things you can leave. What makes you tick. These days, when I come to a singular-I’m-sticking-to-it answer for something, I quietly applaud myself. One less thing to be wishy-washy about.
Maybe that’s why older folks are often perceived as being “set in their ways”.Maybe they just have all of their answers in place. After all, they’ve spent their whole lives whittling down the questions. No wishy-washies there.
More good answers = more clarity.
(Start the the trite and simple, like below, and work your way up to the big stuff-ha. It’s an evolution.)
I keep searching.
And in case you are wondering…
1. The Notebook
2. I hope I never find an answer to this one. Too many good ones out there.
4. Au Gratin potatoes
5. Bellini, French 75, Dark & Stormy or a G & T. See? There I go again.
6. Pink Grapefruit juice