The Thinker of Great Thoughts

When I was young, I distinctly remember wanting to be the first girl to think every thought there was to think...

There had to be some wildy impressive prize for accomplishing such a feat, probably even a Nobel prize...which I imagined must be cast in 24K solid gold and encrusted with precious gems. Not just anyone was capable of the brain power it required to ponder everything in the universe, however, at the age of seven, I was without doubt that I was more than capable, and ready to add that prize to the mantle I would one day need to display all of my most stellar, incredibly impressive, accomplishments. The mantle, I imagined, of course, would rest over the fireplace in the main sitting room of the fabulous mansion I would own in the future, (Maybe by age eleven...) because the house on Thousand Oaks was no kind of place for a rockstar/author/lawyer/ballerina/princess/supermodel/thinker of great thoughts to be living.

I would sit outside St. Thecla's church after my catechism lessons every Tuesday, plugging away mentally at the tiniest of thoughts, I figured I should get those out of the way before I moved on to the big ones. "What if I was that brick...What if I was that brick...or that one...or..." (seriously) "What if St. Thecla looked less like a giant, tacky beige & purple miserable prison & more like churches should look....like the ones on television where everything is shiny & golden & expensive, adorned with beautiful paintings" (I wanted everything in my world to look like the giant rhinestone clip on earrings my Yia Yia had bought me at the dollar store)Yes, I went to catechism. It obviously didn't work, because I have only three distinct memories from that time, outside of the general remembrance that I was bored out of my mind one hour out of every Tuesday for five long years. My relationship with God was fine, we chatted every night:

As I lay me down to sleep, I pray to God my soul to keep, & if I die before I wake, I pray to God my soul to take. Amen. Dear God: please let my parents give me their credit card and drop me off at Toys-R-Us for an entire day. Please let me be home schooled. Please let that younger, less brilliant version of me with freckles & blondish hair that has been occupying the other half of this room for the past few years go back from whence it came...Jesus was an only child, so why aren't I? Ask him on this one, I'm sure he'll understand. Please let Princess Diana realize that she is missing her beautiful, talented princess daughter & send for me right away...oh & that my name isn't Nicole...it's something with more letters & more exotic...like Violet...or Violetta...or...well I'm sure she will figure out. Goodnight God.

What? I said please. The undiscovered daughter of Princess Di must have manners. I was, of course, royalty...Another reason I didn't need catechism. Third grade, my second year of catechism, I had the hiccups so badly, it was disrupting our lessons & they had to call my mother to come pick me up. Only after a scolding from Mom, for the smug smile I had on my face, between hiccups, the entire ride home, did they stop. That's the last time I've ever had the hiccups. Honestly...cross my heart. You tell me that wasn't God himself excusing me from that hour of nearly lethal boredom. I got it. Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not commit adultery (which at the time I thought that meant allow yourself to grow into a moldy, cranky old bat like my mom & dad) thou shalt not covet thy neighbors stuff, (mine was better anyways) thou shalt not ground their eldest daughter for mouthing off to a nun...common sense stuff. They weren't real nuns anyways. Real nuns wore those big, homely, blocky penguin dresses like they wore in Sister Act. So it was up to me to find other ways to occupy my brain for that hour...Following year, fourth grade, instead of spending the hour choosing a scripture to memorize & explain to the class what it meant to me from some giant outdated book with no pictures & no interesting characters, (Rainbow Brite, He-Man, Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, Johnny Cash, James Bond, Indiana Jones, Bob Dylan...I would have accepted any of the above.) I found it much more interesting to see how

many numbers of pi I could memorize within that hour. (It was displayed on a runner that ran around all four dingy grey walls, up where they met the dingy grey ceiling) Unfortunately the nun wasn't impressed with my recitation of the first 38 numbers of pi...mathematical prowess is not next to Godliness apparently...which I would find out a few years later, was a good thing anyways.

Which takes me back to my last memory of catechism, sitting outside waiting for the giant blue Lincoln Towncar to come flying through the parking lot at maybe 50 MPH, & swoop around the curved drive where it would finally screech to a halt in front of me. (I'm fairly certain the Macomb Township Police Department could pave their entire lot in solid gold using only the money my parents have paid out over their lifetime in speeding tickets. (& Lord only knows what else) The moment I realized that it was absolutely impossible to think every thought there was to think, because there was an infinite number of thoughts floating around the universe...Infinity...my favorite number. Imagine that. I was devastated, well, until I realized that there was no shiny gold prize to be had either. Oh well, I had enough on my plate as it was as a rockstar/author/lawyer/ballerina/princess/supermodel anyways. I would still be described as a thinker of great thoughts, brilliant perhaps, in the many television specials & newspaper articles that would be written about me..."the rockstar qualities of Janice Joplin & Joan Jett, The demure & timeless style of Audrey Hepburn & Jackie O. Smarter than Albert Einstein & modest as anyone could be." That would do I guess...

That particular childhood endeavor is what I blame for what now has become a nearly compulsive need to consider every

bad thing that can possibly happen as a result of every tiny situation I encounter throughout the day. Mental sanity suicide. Almost twenty years later, & I still have the same amount of "what-ifs" running through my brain at any given moment. For example, as I just took the elevator down three floors to check the progress of my laundry, I couldn't help but think there was a possibility that the elevator could malfunction & suddenly drop down to the basement the same way it does in the Tower of Terror in Disney Land. (scarred me for life) However, the mere fact that I considered the possibility of that happening, completely removed the element of surprise & therefore lessened the odds that it would. Make sense? No. Probably not. It's like an addiction, ranging from small scale crisis to unbelievably outlandish, 10 out of 10, life changing disaster. Paranoia? Kind of. I don't like being surprised & these things only happen when you least expect them, right? I'm just taking extreme caution & mentally preparing, constantly. If you really think about it, like I said, it's most likely suicide for my mental health, but on the other hand, I've already considered every possible (& impossible) horrible thing you could ever do to me, so when it happens, I'm at least not completely blindsided. As crazy as it sounds, this whole thought process, although mentally exhausting, has been serving me well.

Some people should come with a very detailed disclaimer, I'm one of them...

1 comment:

  1. You are one interesting girl, Nicole.
    As a kid, and a little bit now, I was accident prone. I was in the emergency room every other year or two. A baseball bat to the face. A foot caught in the wheel of a bike. It was always something. And through all those experiences, I kept thinking "Why me?". Sometimes now I still ask the same thing. Yet I am still the same reckless girl with the same dreams. It's still amazes me how something things never change, eh?