I’m the type of person who complexifies everything. I’m jealous of those who can see clearly enough to grab onto simple truths and explanations. Because of my nature, I never could succeed in school. I couldn’t ever think of the simple answers, and so most of the time, when put on the spot, I shut down and didn’t say anything–which was better than the reverse. Trust me. When teachers want answers, they want the right ones, not some long drawn-out explanation that makes no sense to anybody but the person giving it. In case you’re wondering, I did succeed in college, where complexity is often tolerated.
What bothered me as a child was a lack of facts combined with a lack of complete understanding of those facts. Now that I’m an adult, I can search out the facts and attempt a mature comprehension of said facts. But this ability doesn’t make my life any simpler. On the contrary, I tend to find myself suffering crises daily that most people would laugh at or, at the very least, cause them to bug out their eyes at me and reach for their cell phones and stealthily dial the local mental health officials.
For example, I recently had a shampoo crisis. If you live in a small town as I do, you’ll know that the variety of shampoos available at a local supermarket is actually quite large. What you may not know is that they are all the same. They all smell toxic in a way that I don’t remember synthetic fragrances smelling in my youth. They smell so hideous that they trigger migraines and make me want to put a clothes pin over my nose while showering. Sometimes, they make feel woozy, and I’m constantly in dread of passing out in the tub.
If you think it’s any easier to find a pure, sweet-smelling organic shampoo, you’re wrong. Organic shampoos use synthetic fragrances, as well. Add to that the propensity of health nuts to add allergenic ingredients such as soy and wheat in their products, and I’m no closer to discovering a suitable choice.
You see, having too much information is not good for day-to-day living. Why do I have to know what all the chemical names mean on the product label? Why do I have to know that using essential oils on your skin every day is dangerous? Did you know that? Did you even care that lavender and tea tree and rosemary contain estrogen-mimicking compounds that will almost certainly trigger your PMS and do funny things to your male offspring?
Why do I care? Why can’t I just buy a bottle of Pantene and be done with it?
I would be fine if my nutty search for information and facts stopped at shampoo. But it doesn’t. Most days, I feel frozen by simple acts like shopping for food or cooking or reading the news or educating my children.
Good God above, I need simple answers. And if it weren’t for my dream life, I wouldn’t have enough simple answers to do what I love most–writing. Somebody commented once (I think it was Tana Adams) that she wished she could dream plots. But, you see, my subconscious literally has to dream plots, or I would never, ever know what I want to write, let alone what I should write.
I’m a complete basket case. Forgive me. I wish I could dream the chemical formula of a perfect shampoo because, yes, I’ve tried to make it at home more than once. I guess I don’t need shampoo as much as I need to write. I guess I don’t need to fling my head about while a Frenchman in a black turtleneck cries salon! Nope. I need my own dream-scape person to yell, ¡Escriba ya!
p.s. I tend to dream in Spanish. If I explained that one to you, you’d really think me neurotic, so I dare not.