Dirty dishes

I fancy myself to be an artist and a philosopher. I don’t have a degree in either art or philosophy. I’ve never made any money to speak of for my art or my philosophical thoughts but for some reason that doesn’t seem to bother me. I keep doing it because it is what I do. I guess that’s really all the justification I need. It would be nice to be taken seriously and perhaps even financially rewarded for my efforts but I find that when I place external validation as my goal, the creativity suffers. Still, I find it hard to believe that I would put myself through such hell if I wasn’t receiving some sort of validation. I pride myself on being a lazy person who only does what is absolutely necessary for survival yet I find myself doing all sorts of thing that are really very difficult for me. I must be getting something out of it.

Validation is one of the things that I get out of what I do but I’m starting to question if my motivation is actually external validation. I’m starting to think that it really comes from within me and I project it onto the world around me so as to feel less selfish.

So let me tell you a story…

I was at my friends house the other day. She informed me that she had some things to do and left me alone in her house. I have a key so there was not problem with locking up after she left. I didn’t have anywhere else to be so I looked around for something to do. My friend had recently had a party so the dishes had kind of piled up. I figured I could at least do some dishes while I was there. I like doing dishes. It’s an easy way to help and pretty hard to fuck up.

As I was washing the dishes I found myself thinking about how much I would be appreciated for doing this. I thought, what a pleasant surprise in would be for my friend to come home to find a nice clean kitchen. Certainly there would be some future reward in it for me providing such a valuable service.

Then I realized how ridiculous I was sounding. All I did was a few dishes. Even if it made things better for one day it would be completely forgotten by the next when a new pile of dirty dishes arrived. But it didn’t matter. In that moment I felt good. I didn’t even care if there was any acknowledgement of my actions. I had already given myself more validation than I probably deserved. I didn’t even do all of the dishes after all.

When my friends returned home she was pleased although by this time I had completely forgotten what I had done. When she sent me a text message which stated, “You little fairy” I thought she was referring to my sexuality. I still found it endearing but when I realized what she was really referring to I got to feel that sense of pride all over again.

And I’m pretty sure it was pride that I was feeling. I even took a pictures of my accomplishment.

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I could show you a picture of what it looked like before but I didn’t take a one of that nor would I post it because I wouldn’t want to embarrass my friend but I will show you a picture of my dirty dishes. 

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I like a clean kitchen but not enough to actually clean it. I clean when I have to. I clean when I run out of dishes or counter space. I cleaned my living room yesterday because a friend was coming over to give me a massage. There was no way she would have had room to work if I didn’t do some cleaning. My motivations are very practical; they are utilitarian. I’m sure that gives comfort to those who see me as a selfish prick and not the struggling soul on a path of enlightenment which is how I see myself.

I have no conflict with people who see me as a selfish prick. I also don’t consider enlightenment to be a higher form of being. I still think that we are all equal and we all kind of suck. The only thing that I think enlightenment offers is the understanding of how shitty we are and hopefully the insight to do better. But what do I know? I’m not there yet. 

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About lefreakshow
A walking contradiction attempting to make sense of this crazy world though the power of creation, exploration and communication.

4 Responses to Dirty dishes

  1. girlforgetful says:

    I do the same thing, think about how my little favors will be appreciated, and realize how I almost never do something without expecting some sort of reward for myself. It’s something I struggle with, realizing how weird and fucked up I am, admitting that to myself yet still finding some way to be ok with myself because I truly believe that if you can’t love yourself, you can’t really love anybody else either, and perhaps they can’t love you for that reason. I, also, would rarely clean if it wasn’t for my husband pushing me to help him do so. I think sometimes that I’ve given up, but he’s there to motivate me and for that I must be thankful, even as I am resentful on the surface. LOL!

    • lefreakshow says:

      Thank you for commenting. I do appreciate it. I think it’s human nature to want to be rewarded for the good things we do and punished for the bad things we do. We often look outside ourselves for this validation or condemnation but the truth is, at least the way I see it, is that feelings emanate from within us. External forces can reinforce that feeling but it needs to start from within. It’s hard to feel resentful when we realize that we are responsible for our own emotions. I find it interesting the resentment when applied to oneself is called remorse. A friend of mine posted a quote from Cheryl Richardson, the author of The Art of Extreme Self-Care which simply asked, “What if being kind to yourself really could change everything?”. My response was, “It always seems to make my life better. I like it when other people are kind to me but nobody wants to be the first.” My thought being, as someone who believes that kindness can heal the world, is that kindness needs to start somewhere so it might as well be with me and before I can give it, I should probably practice it on myself.

  2. RV says:

    I had a similar conversation with a friend recently. He was talking about his ex-wife, and how she would not let their young son visit him on certain occasions, for what I perceived to be a weak reason. Even though he didn’t seem to be too bothered by it, I still pointed out – “well, she COULD have given you more respect/ >insertmoralexpectationhere<." To which he responded, "You're right, she could have. But she didn't." He did not say anything more than that and I just stared at him, renounced by his position on the matter. Such a simple sentiment – to stop expecting, and just let people be people – is so foreign to us sometimes.

    But then there is also the flip-side of it, that giving a simple gesture of gratitude for a favor or kind deed, is also never a bad thing. If I talk to a friend all abotu a job interview, and they help me through it and show they care about my success – yet never go on to ask me about how it went when it is over..is it rude?

    Thanks for inspiring thoughts. 🙂

    Love ~ Ruby.

    • lefreakshow says:

      I would agree that would be rude. Whether is was an oversight or lack of gratitude it would still be rude. How we respond to someone being rude is totally on us however. Different people respond differently. I tend to let it roll off my back but there are less obvious implications of being treated rudely. The idea of doing something nice for that person will probably enter into my head less often.

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