Manifesto

November 28, 2012

Manifesto: a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.

My goal in life is to become Tina Fey and then slowly transition to Maggie Smith. I believe I can achieve this by doing three things: pursuing greatness, expecting surprise, and surrounding myself with the kind of people who snort laugh over absurdity but also know the value of impeccably delivered wit.

I will never be the kind of person who prioritizes a clean kitchen sink or an organized day planner. I only work hard at the things I really care about, like my marriage, my son, writing, and friendship. I wish the list included things like exercise, housework, and mod podge, but it doesn’t. And ever since Waylon was born, I’ve let that go. I’m never going to be my sister-in-law who plans her meals weeks ahead of time and doesn’t sit down during the day because that would be lazy. I’m never going to have a handmade quilt on my bed or a well kept garden in the backyard. Instead, I spend hours a day writing things no one will ever read. If that’s a waste of time, then I like wasting time. My mantra is let what you love be what you do.

When it comes to romance, I don’t believe in soulmates. I don’t believe in love at first sight. I don’t think there is one perfect person floating around in the universe just waiting to buy you diamonds and bring you breakfast in bed. I also don’t think marriage is synonymous with forever. I want it to be, but no marriage is fool-proof. Anyone is capable of anything, good and bad. If you’re wondering whether or not you should marry someone, consider how they chew their food. Can you live with that the rest of your life? If the answer is no, better not risk it.

As for religion, I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. I believe if we threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back and say a prayer of thanks. I do not believe in low fat cream cheese or speaking before 8am.

Regarding absolute truths, I’m mostly gray. Black and whites are rarely what they seem.

There are some things I fiercely oppose. Like capital punishment and bullying and the misuse of “your.” I also think swearing is stupid unless it’s funny and that brushing your teeth in front of someone else is just awful.

My greatest fear for my children is that they will peak in high school. Also, motorcycles.

I believe every person needs someone they can say absolutely anything to. Otherwise you’re bottling up a lot of repressed fart confessions and that’s just not good for digestion.

In general, I think we often confuse bad luck with bad choices. The truth of it is–we are exactly where we have chosen to be.

I refuse to be one of those people who blame age for ignorance. I also refuse to be one of those people who says things like, “We don’t eat dessert in our house.” Those people are the worst. As a rule, speaking your opinion is 99% less effective than living it. Agenda pushers, take a few deep breaths. I know you love breastfeeding and kale. I’ve heard you say it one million times.

We live in a universe of sickness, greed, inflated egos, hatred, and incredible suffering. On paper, I am a self professed skeptic, but the truth is–I believe we are capable of great kindness. History repeats itself with heroes, and that includes former bullies, cheaters, and thieves. We are all fighting the same battle. We are all connected through an invisible thread. All the cliches about love are mostly true. In its truest sense, love always wins in the end.

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46 thoughts on “Manifesto

  1. Kristin

    Truth: When I read “I’m mostly gray”- I thought “Wow- you’d never know you dyed your hair!” Sorry.

    Thanks for the reminder: “I believe if we threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back and say a prayer of thanks.”

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    This – every last word – is fantastic. I am giving you a round of applause in my cubicle.

    I remember writing a “philosphy of life” during 9th grade health class. It may be time to revisit that project and see how my own philosophy has evolved over the past 10 years.

    Keep up the FABULOUS writing!

    Reply
  3. Hannah

    I just love your writing… whenever your first book is published, I am first in line… seriously! Also so much of your heart shines through this manifesto and it is beautiful. It also reminded me of several important things… things I believe myself but that I am slipping in. Thank you!

    Reply
  4. Jennifer Jo

    1. “My greatest fear for my children is that they will peak in high school.” I stared at this line for awhile. Peak at a test? Peak in someone’s pants? (That can be taken both ways.) And then I realized, PEAK. OH! Got it.

    2. I asked my mom to bring kale when she comes this weekend.

    3. Was it hard to write this?

    Reply
    1. Kate {motleymama} Post author

      I know you so I can say this, you are the opposite of an agenda pusher. I mean this very truly.

      RE: Peak….Apparently I was unclear in multiple spots throughout this piece. My bad. Also, YES (thanks for noticing), it was hard to write. My manifesting thoughts got scrambled up by trying to transition and maybe it’s all too confusing to read. I spent way too much time staring at it, which is never good for grammar. Commas start to look very wrong.

      Reply
    1. Carlie

      “History repeats itself with heroes, and that includes former bullies, cheaters, and thieves. We are all fighting the same battle.”

      Thank you for reminding me that we are all capable of change. Having a rough time this week, and I have to remind myself that we are all in this together, even those who are making my life harder. Everyone is fighting their own battle, yes. Some of the greatest people are those who rose up from physical, mental, etc despair.

      Love this manifesto. Thank you for publishing it!

      Reply
  5. Chelsea

    This is awesome and I want to write my own now. Favorites: “Anyone is capable of anything, good and bad.” … “As a rule, speaking your opinion is 99% less effective than living it.”

    I don’t think you have to worry about your kids peaking in high school, because you’re setting a good example for them by living a full life and having plenty of post-high school joy and success. But I know what you mean. I pray my (future) kids are late bloomers like I was. It keeps you humble and out of trouble, and gives your dreams time to grow.

    Reply
  6. Jessie

    “My greatest fear for my children is that they will peak in high school. Also, motorcycles.”

    THIS is the mark of a good parent. The peaking specifically. Also, the motorcycles.

    Write a book of the things you think and the things you learned, this is best seller material.

    Reply
  7. Nikki

    Loved this!

    My favorites: “I believe if we threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back and say a prayer of thanks.”
    “Regarding absolute truths, I’m mostly gray. Black and whites are rarely what them seem.”
    “As a rule, speaking your opinion is 99% less effective than living it.”

    Regarding absolute truths, I’m mostly gray. Black and whites are rarely what them seem.

    Reply
      1. karen

        ditto. i’m writing this from my tent outside of B&N. Better get hoppin’ on that book because I’m probably going to die of hypothermia if I don’t go home soon.

        Reply
  8. Elizabeth Rossi

    Bravo! This is fantastic.
    I feel certain that one sign of a good writer is the ability to inspire others to write. I always feel inspired after reading your posts and, based on the comments I’ve seen, so do others.
    This was a particularly inspiring piece. Thanks for sharing it!

    Reply
  9. Kimberly

    Love this! I’m super inspired so maybe I’ll try and write one. I don’t know if I can do it this clearly without starting to ramble. I love what you say about marriage. No such thing as soul mates means I CHOSE to love my husband (so much more romantic than being forced) and I choose to stay in love with him and I choose to work hard to stay together. Anyway, good stuff here.

    Reply
  10. Amy

    “In general, I think we often confuse bad luck with bad choices. The truth of it is–we are exactly where we have chosen to be.” I really like this!

    Reply
  11. Candis Jones

    I do not believe in fat free cream cheese either.

    If you ever want someone to read those things you spend hours writing, I like to read. And I like to read what you write, so yeah.

    Great manifesto!!!!

    Reply
  12. Page

    The part about not prioritizing the kitchen sink dug into me a little bit. Lately I’ve been thinking that I should have more to show for my stay at home mom-ness, like shiny floors and baked goods in the freezer. But not if it stresses me out and not if my kid doesn’t see his mama playing in the floor with him more often.

    I’m trying to learn to waste my time on better things and this made me a) feel better about that and b) want to figure out what I’d put in my manifesto. I think that’s a healthy exercise for anyone.

    Reply
  13. Meggie

    “When it comes to romance, I don’t believe in soulmates. I don’t believe in love at first sight. I don’t think there is one perfect person floating around in the universe just waiting to buy you diamonds and bring you breakfast in bed.”

    Yes. I think marriage has a fighting chance at forever when you realize it’s not finding the magic person but choosing one person and working like crazy to chose them again, day after day.

    Loved this whole thing, agreed with most all of it and think we’d be friends in real life. But I am a morning person who definitely talks before 8am, so that may be a deal breaker.

    Reply
  14. Kate

    You are a fantastic writer! I was nodding along with everything you said. I love the part about soulmates…totally agree. Oh, and my husband is a polite mouth-closed chewer…phew! Also the part about throwing our problems in a pile? YES.

    Reply
  15. Katie

    I loved this. the whole thing. Maybe this is why I could never meal plan or keep a planner. I worry about bullying every single day. I worry my kids will be bullied. I could sob right now thinking about it. Was nodding along with the speaking your opinion thing. right on. that’s all ;)

    Reply

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