Caryn: So, this is weird. And sad. Since our fantab-u-oso fun time hosting the Mommy Revolution webinar Monday night, I’ve been meaning to start a post on realizing you’re not alone. Because, I think, one of the premier themes that came out of that night was that it’s just so great to feel like we’re not alone in our struggles or craziness or whatever. It’s what women were chatting about—and the feedback we got back afterward.
But alas, two things kept me from writing this earlier: 1. It’s summer vacation and I still haven’t figured out how to do anything with all three kids around me all the darned time (especially when it’s 95 degrees with 95% humidity and I’ve pretty much moved into our local pool).
And 2. (here’s the sad, weird part) Because every time I’d think, “it’s so good to know you aren’t alone,” I’d get Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone” running through my head. Then, I’d picture the video—where he had that shortish haircut and slunk around with Lisa Marie Presley—and then I’d get to that sad place I always get to when I think about Michael Jackson and his life. And it was too hot to be sad this week.
So then, the other day, FINALLY, I had blocked out some time to work on this—and what do I discover as I sit down at my computer? He died! Michael Jackson is dead (of course, you know this by now). Argh. Sad. Sad. Sad…. Sad life. Sad death. The guy just makes me sad—and the sadness I feel for him comes straight out of the loneliness factor.
Any time I’ve ever read about him, that’s the resounding theme. He had a lonely childhood (okay, so I’m basing this one on the made-for-TV movie where he talks to that rat in the house in Gary)—not to mention an abusive one. He had a lonely superstardom (though it sounds like loneliness and superstardom go hand in hand more often than we’d think). I imagine his more recent years were just as lonely. (Do you think someone surrounded by love and care and concern for his welfare would allow him to subject himself to all that surgery?)
So anyway, I just thought as an homage to Michael Jackson—who, as weird as he was, happened to be an amazingly talented child and man, who kept me dancing and singing all through my childhood—I think we need to do a big Mommy Revolution push toward easing the loneliness of this life.
Even in our own feeling of being alone, we need to help another mom, dad, child, superstar, anybody feel less alone. How? You might take a queue from MJ: You can tell them, “I’ll be there…. Just look over your shoulder, honey!” Or, “You knock me off my feet now, babe…..” Or, “Mama say mama sa ma-ma moo sa…” Or whatever comes to mind.
It’s just that if you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change….
Carla: Caryn, it’s times like this when I love you more that I can possibly say. Only you could connect MJ and loneliness so beautifully and in a way that makes perfect sense. You make it seem as easy as 1-2-3, simple as do-re-mi.
MJ’s life is an example (albeit an extreme example) of what loneliness does to us. It turns us in on ourselves until we are no longer the people we used to be. I mean, the man was ill in every way a person can be ill and I think most of it had to do with the lack of true connections to other people.
So while none of us will ever live a life like that of the King of Pop (and thank God for that), I think he can serve as a reminder that what is best and brightest in us quickly becomes broken and dimmed when we don’t have meaningful relationships. Loneliness is a serious problem for parents and yet when we are willing to be vulnerable, to be honest about our struggles and joys and doubts and questions and hopes, we can find the connections we long for.