Sometimes I want to be my niece Caroline who’s cool and groovy, an awesome swimmer with a butterfly stroke that makes you jump up and down with joy (she’s 8!) and a growing leaf collection. Caroline loves girly things AND earthworms. She thinks slugs are a bit disgusting, but that doesn’t stop her from examining them up close and personal and telling me that I should make a new massage kind of crème from the clay she’s found on the Whidbey Island beach, plus slug guts, ginger-ale (to make it more liquidy) and cinnamon—she only added cinnamon when I said my clients might not want to leave a massage smelling like slug guts. Always creative, Caroline takes things in stride and can sit back quietly. She takes her time to answer a question that she doesn’t know the answer to off the top of her head. She won’t say just anything to make the asker happy.

Sometimes I want to be my quiet writer friend who’s taught himself to play guitar. At home he will sit down on his awesome antique art nouveau couch and just make up songs. He says things succinctly if he says them at all and when he says something it sits there strong and tall like a mountain, sometimes even for days. Or weeks. It is enough to drive an impatient Mexican jumping bean girl crazy but there you have it. Sometimes I wish I could be more like him.

Remember the laps that were comfortable to sit on when you were a kid? Sometimes I want to be like my friend Barbara’s big lap. Figurative big lap, people, figurative. What I mean is that when you talk to Barbara you feel so at ease — she doesn’t have an agenda for you because she knows that you, somewhere inside yourself, know what’s best. People who love you and don’t have an agenda are amazing people to have in your life and hands-down the best listeners. They aren’t just nodding their heads and pretending either. Neither are they playing devils advocate to every thing you mention that sounds the least bit “negative”, neither are they thinking of what they will say next. They don’t freak out if you cry and quickly smother you with Kleenexes. They aren’t afraid of snot. No. They are really just right there with you. Even a half hour of presence like that can turn a whole day around. I can be that way with my clients. And sometimes I am that way with my friends too. I like that.

Sometimes I want to be my stuffed bear Humlum because he never ever tries to change anyone. That doesn’t mean he hangs out with people he doesn’t like for very long, mind you, and I have seen him roll his eyes on occasion, but still. Point made. Humlum does not even try to fix my obsessive habits, like refreshing my email or facebook page to see who loves me. Or who doesn’t. He knows that when I finally have had enough I wil sit still and write or cry or go to the park. He never says I told you so, Heidi. He is endlessly patient. He knows I’m creative and persistent and that in my time I will figure how to wear myself with ease.

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