Liquids and Solids

My grandfather used to say that there were two kinds of people in the world. Liquids and Solids.

Solids are who they are. They are defined and strong. They are the type of people that you make room for because they know who they are and they aren't afraid to show it. These people are decisive. They KNOW where they want to go for dinner.

Liquids...well liquids take the shape of their containers. Liquids are people who let their circumstances and relationships define who they are a little more than they should. I don't know why THEY do this.  Perhaps liquids are a little too afraid of hurting other people's feelings and so they tell people what they want to hear a lot. I mean. I'm guessing this is what they do. I don't know. Me being all solid and such.

I like these descriptors. It has always bothered me that I'm not a true solid. I'm a solid in certain areas, but a liquid in a whole lot of others.

Stealing (Solid) - Absolutely not.
Cheating (Solid) - Heck No.
Cilantro (Solid) - Get thee behind me Satan.
Lying About Not Wanting to Go Out (Liquid) - "Gosh Jackie, I would love to go - but I have this old war injury that prevents me from eating tapas *mutes phone to open Cheez-Its* "

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash
As I get older, I feel like I get more solid in some areas, but there are a lot of areas in my life that I think I'm just flat out waiting for other people to come tell me who I am.

But I'm 41 so...I feel like those people aren't coming.

But then I got to thinking. When my grandfather spoke of liquids and solids, he was talking about people who are strong versus people who are weak. But he was from a generation without much gray area. There wasn't time for gray area. There were wars to fight and shirts to starch.

But in my pontificate-life-whilst-playing-candy-crush, walmart-grocery-now-delivers-to-my-freaking-house generation, liquids and solids don't describe a full person, in my opinion they describe aspects of people. Thank God for gray area.

We all have deal breakers. Things we can't fathom changing our stance on.

For example, Target is pretty solid on a $.05 discount deeming something a clearance item, yet pretty liquid on the amount of open checkout lines to customer ratio. *side eyeing Target with my $5 coffee*

I was just thinking the other day while I was organizing all of my secret dieting Pinterest Boards (I felt like it was a bit disrespectful to have 'Pontificating Paleo' next to 'Goin' Vegan' so I put 'Weight Watchers' - Smartpoints not freestyle - in between to keep it respectful) that there are so many things I still don't have together.

Now I'm not at all proposing that we are all solids all the time, because someone else should get to pick the movie from time to time. But wait...what movie were you thinking?

I guess my point is that this indecisive side of me for so long has been troubling. Like, why don't I have a solid stance on everything? Why don't I know who I definitively am at this point? Why do I not have a solid system for everything in my life?

And it dawns on me...isn't a little liquid just room for growth?

When I was a little girl, I wanted my grandfather to see me as a solid. And I think that I am in the way he was viewing it, but as I get older, I see the beauty in some liquid in all of our lives.

Sometimes being solid means being closed off. For example, there is no speech, facebook post or 20/20 episode that will convince me that I should eat cilantro. I don't like it. Period. End of discussion.

But who am I to close myself off to issues and discussions that are personal to other people? When do my feelings on something outrank another person's.

Photo by Samara Doole on Unsplash
People are pretty much made up of DNA and life experiences.

And both of those things are very real.

It makes me realize that age isn't making me more solid, it's making me more liquid because life can be hard. And the longer you are in the game, the more your heart softens. The more experiences you used to judge then happen to you and you realize you had no idea what you were talking about before.

Enter motherhood.
Enter a child diagnosed with something.
Enter profound personal loss and grief.

I'm not advocating that we become a wishy washy group of non-decision makers (sorry Congress, you do you, Boo), but we can all stand to forego a little judgement.

Sometimes it's hard to see the bright side of getting older. Seems like a silly process at times because our current culture celebrates youth...but then I remember my dad telling me that the thing he valued the most as an older man was kindness.

And I think of all the ridiculous things that I value. And how they really don't mean much.

Fluidity and kindness. The ability to mold and grow as a person coupled with caring about my fellow man.

With all due respect to my grandfather, I think I won't resist those gushy parts of who I am anymore.



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