Monday, January 31, 2011

BAM, i'm purple!

What was I born to do, asks the Born to Write, Save the Children Blogging Conference? Well, I can tell you what i'd like to do. You know, write. But was I born to write? No way. I wouldn't have nearly as much trouble with spelling if I was born to write. I would have never been put in the team-taught, super slow English classes in Middle School if I was born to write. But, then again, what does it even mean, to be born to do something? Is anyone born to do anything? When I was younger I was convinced I was born to get the TV remote control for my parents. "That's why you had kids isn't it?" I would ask. They just laughed at me, but never denied it.

I don't necessarily think that what your born to do is what you happen to be good at either. Like, if people said Bobby Darin was born to sing or Michelangelo was born to sculpt and paint (Bobby Darin was actually a mistake, so really he was not even meant to be born at all). If this were the case, I could say I was born to procrastinate, start projects I never finish and occasionally dress silly. When I think of people born to do a certain thing, I think of people providing a service, like if they were not born, so and so would not happen, or be saved, or created. SO in that way, I guess Bobby Darin was born to sing. Born to struggle through his 37 years of life with a heart condition, give us beautiful melodies and then die young. So what does it all mean? Oh no, not another silly identity crisis based on nothing (see previous blog post on horoscopes). How am I supposed to know when I'm alive if I don't even know what it means to be born to do something? 'What's my purpose?' (Oh Princeton. That little puppet and I have a lot in common.)

Not being able to figure out what I am born to do plagued me for the last few days. Plagued is probably too strong of a word. More like it bugged me. A deep bugging. But, today I figured it out while checking the signage in the shop.

So, when one checks the signage, that just means going around and making sure all the signs and labels for all our products make sense, are in good shape, not repetitive, or think of ways to make them better. Usually i'm clueless, but today when I hit the children's bay I felt inspired.

There were no signs about the Very Hungry Caterpillar games and puzzles, or the lovely editions of the Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen and The Secret Garden OR even anything about the awesome Little Red Riding Hood pop-up book. This bay is normally over-looked and it's products rarely sell. So I decided to make some new signs, thinking that maybe if there were an exciting sign, someone might be more inclined to buy a puzzle.

I divided the stuff into games and books. The books were then split into 'classics,' and 'fun new titles.' The games turned into 'Adventures with the Very Hungry Caterpillar' and 'Imagination Builders' for the other fun things. When it came time for me to explain myself and my new sign designs, I started getting probably a little too animated about how awesome our classic books were and how cool I thought these Story World card packs were and the importance of imaginative play for kids. I got to the point where I could tell no one was following me or cared and could read in their glazed over eyes, 'God Maria, chill, you just had to make a sign.' Except in a British accent, thus not using the word 'chill.' That's when it hit me, I cared a lot about this stuff. And thus, I was born to care.

I care about a lot of things. YA literature and it's importance in kid's and adult's lives, the responsibility YA authors have to their audiences, imaginative play, beautiful book cover art, old buildings, red things, Harry Potter, Twilight (in an, I HATE IT sort of way), remembering things, taking pictures, graveyards, banned books, movies and how they make you feel, soundtracks, Star Wars. I'm asked often when I start to ramble on about things (mostly Twilight and Star Wars), 'but who cares about that stuff?' The answer is ME! I care! I care a LOT, because, to me, it matters that Bella Swan is a horrible role model, so I'm going to talk about it because I CARE about how she is affecting the youth of today, aka the next generation! I care that 'Lost' is over because I loved it, even when the plot got ridiculous, because it's characters stuck with me. I care about the Star Wars Prequels although I recognize and acknowledge their faults. I love them anyway because they are a continuation of the story world I love so much. I can't help it, I get so worked up about things because I care. Why? No idea. I just do.

I care about people too, sometimes too much. I think one of the saddest things of all time is when a little kids gets an ice cream cone and then drop it on the ground. I want to get them another one immediately, but even that wouldn't make that one awful moment of joy to devastation go away. It will always have happened. When we were little, I used to feel guilty whenever my brother would get in trouble, even when it had absolutely nothing to do with me. If a close friend is upset about something that I can't help them with, or is just having a bad day, I have a bad day. I'm a fixer, I like to fix things, including people.

There are SO many topics in life where I just end up saying, 'don't get me started.' On the flip side, of course, there are lots of things I don't care about at all. Don't get me started.

I feel so lame, being born to care. It's like having a super power, only it's the ability to turn purple on command, so good for nothing. Unless you're... no, there are no situations where the ability to turn purple would give you an advantage in any way. You could not even make it in the Blue Man group! Lame! One shade wrong.

So that's that. I was born to care about a great many things that many would deem unimportant or useless. But this is never true. Everything is important to some extent.

I would love to hear what my readership were born to do, all five of you. Just do yourself a favor and don't over analyze what it means to be born to do something. You can leave that to me, I've got you covered. Because I care.



Rafael's Mum said...

The world needs people who care, just preserve your energy for the right causes and chill inbetween! :-)

DeeRoo said...

That's a thinker....but I think I was born to talk to know...never met a stranger type know..."Mom, why do you always have to talk to everyone?"

Oh...and of course I was born to have you and your brother!!

Tanner said...

I'm an existenitalist, I was born first and made my own durn reason.

You know how being able to turn purple can be useful? You walk into a room full of bored, tense or angry people and you up and turn purple. And it's completely wierd and awesome and that whole room full of people had their day made, their tension broke and their attention turn away from their differences.

Caring about that section will probably boost sales and enrich children's lives. Caring about people... well we've solved the mystery of why so many people turn to you when they have problems no one can solve. Caring about how poor of a role model Bella Swan is might just spread that news to some young people who needed to know it. Really, it's a way cooler super power than turning purple. More like flying.

Kelsey Austin Threatte said...

mariaaaaaaaaaaaaaa I love you so much. You rock my socks endlessly. And I completely agree with your decision on what you think you were born to do. Getting the remote is caring : )

Liz said...

Thanks for your Born to Write post! Best of luck with the competition.

Save the Children

ellie said...

Wow, so glad to read your post. All the best on your writing.