…and I want to be everything sometimes too…

I have a favorite poem I want to share with you. I discovered it in high school, and it has always meant something to me (though the meaning changes to me as I grow and change):

I Am Cherry Alive

By Delmore Schwartz

“I am cherry alive,” the little girl sang,

“Each morning I am something new:

I am apple, I am plum, I am just as excited

As the boys who made the Hallowe’en bang:

I am tree, I am cat, I am blossom too:

When I like, if I like, I can be someone new,

Someone very old, a witch in a zoo:

I can be someone else whenever I think who,

And I want to be everything sometimes too:

And the peach has a pit and I know that too,

And I put it in along with everything

To make the grown-ups laugh whenever I sing:

And I sing it is true; it is untrue; 

I know, I know, the true is untrue,

The peach has a pit, and the pit has a peach:

And both may be wrong when I sing my song,

But I don’t tell the grown-ups: because it is sad, 

And I want them to laugh just like I do

Because they grew up and forgot what they knew

And they are sure I will forget it some day too.

They are wrong. They are wrong. When I sang my song, I knew, I knew!

I am red, I am gold, I am green, I am blue,

I will always be me, I will always be new!”

I usually make it a personal policy not to comment or respond to anonymous comments. I also make it a policy not to delete them. Anonymous is always entitled to their opinion. Anonymous can sometimes be kind, thoughtful, and flattering, but sometimes Anonymous is just doing a drive by shooting. Spitting out their own mean spirited thoughts that are meant to do nothing more than attempt to break you down. That said, I am going to respond to this anonymous comment, because it actually got me noodling a little. I wish that I could thank Anonymous by name, but Anonymous did not leave me their name… oh well…

This was the comment: Are you often overcome with such silly delusions of adequacy?

This was my response: Anonymous,
I know you were trying to be mean spirited, but actually, the answer is, yes. So, there.

The truth is, I am very often overcome with silly delusions of adequacy. I suspect I’m not alone in this. My default position is to feel like I can’t be everything I need to be. I cannot be the mom I want to be because I am busy trying to be the wife I want to be, I cannot be the wife I want to be because I am busy trying to be the friend I want to be, I cannot be the friend I want to be because I am busy trying to be the ____ I want to be, and I cannot be the ____ I want to be because I am busy trying to be the mom I want to be. Lather, rinse, repeat. That is my neutral. So, in the rare moment that I feel like I am good enough… yes, it feels like a silly delusion. Are you with me, so far?

Here’s the secret: I don’t have to be adequate in the eyes of “Anonymous.” You don’t have to be adequate in the eyes of “Anonymous.” (It bears noting, that “Anonymous” is not by any means “adequate” in my eyes, because an adequate person would not hurl mean spirited comments behind the veil of anonymity.) Anonymous doesn’t care, and frankly, neither do I, because what matters is that we are adequate to ourselves, and to those that we care the most about. That is what unconditional love is all about. The tricky thing is being conscious about loving yourself unconditionally, and making THAT your default position, and believing that, yes indeed, you are adequate (and in fact amazing) even (and especially) when you are having one of those times when you want to be everything. And even if “Anonymous” thinks is a “silly delusion,” you can be sure that it is not. So, there. Thank you, “Anonymous.”


  1. I would say that having to speak to someone without identifying yourself is, in and of itself, a true sign of one who feels inadequate. And . . . FYI, Colleen, you are much more than adequate!

  2. Personally, I think you are awesome! :)

    I think some people just like going around to different blogs and "pissing" all over total strangers. I don't understand it. Does it make them feel better?

    Just before my birthday in April I had an anonymous person make a snide comment on my little blog. Here it was:

    I don't know if I was supposed to apologize for being happy with my life or what....but instead I was just a snot back to them. :)

  3. Anonymous negative comments are made by unhappy cowards. You are fabulous Colleen! Have a great weekend!

  4. It seems most Anonymous comments are posted by people who only think about themselves. They don't even try to carefully think their comments all the way through, but instead write something negative in a superior tone, only intended to shock offend and make THEMSELVES feel better. In a sense a verbal IED.

    Normally they really don't contribute to the conversation and, as you know, should be ignored. I like the way you carefully examined this one, turning this one on it's head and defused it.

    Thanks for taking the thoughtful approach. I can never see the point in just lobbing a verbal grenade back. That just doesn't advance anything or help anyone.


Comments are cool, being mean is not, so please... just don't do it. Hey, thanks!

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