Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"it is what it is."

Subtitle : Jen invokes the privilege to engage in indulgent navel-gazing

"It is what it is."

My husband says this phrase a lot. I get incredibly irritated every time. I told him it sounds awfully condescending to me. Why not just say,
"I am mature enough to view this problem that is making you curl into a fetal position and sob as the simple event it is, all contentedly set in its proper place in the universe and I'm cool enough to shrug it off with a flip saying."
or more succinctly,
"I'm not stupid enough to make a big deal over this."
(I know. Poor John. Sympathy donations to him for dealing with such a shrew are welcome)

So then I started noticing that at the many band boosters meetings I'd go to, the band director would very often shrug at any given complication, give a half smile and say "It is what it is."

(Of course, I initially had a different reaction when he said it. I thought it was cute and laid back...the first 100 times or so. Now, I'm having a reaction more similar to the one I'd reserved for John).

I've started to notice more and more people throwing this phrase around. And my dislike/morbid fascination for is increasing. Why does this phase make me so completely crazy?

Here's what the urban dictionary has to say about it. Some of the suggestions resonate with me and my annoyance:
A way of demonstrating apathy; an unwillingness to evoke change; a way of saying "It's not of interest to me."
OOOOhhh. There you are. That's exactly why that phrase makes my toes curl. Apathy is one of the things I hate most. Ever. I despise apathy. Apathy is lazy, and I hate lazy almost as much as apathy. Apathy is action by inaction; committing yourself to live in isolated boredom. Passion is where it's at!!!! PASSION and engagement and putting yourself out there - now that's the way to be, right?

But as my recent "beloved-teacher-from-my-past-getting-irritated-at-my-posting-a-link-to-an-article-about-cutting-spending/raising taxes-and-my-general-liberal-crap-and-then-calling-me-a-bitch-on-facebook" episode might have taught me, putting myself out there - embracing my passions and wearing them on my sleeve has certain drawbacks. (I am still smarting from that episode and trying to figure out if there is more than a negligible smattering of bitchiness to me - I think there is - and I'm trying to come to terms with it). But even still smarting from that virtual bitch slap, I can't retreat in how I attack life.

Life is a sine curve. You can let life wash over you without engaging, and flatline. Or you can engage and actively push those peaks up there and ride the resulting wave, including the valleys. It only is what it is if you let it stay that way. Change can be evoked, and it's passion that evokes change.

Did you read that?

Change can be evoked.

And thus is the conundrum of my life. While I am not a fan of change in the "Lassie is going off the air respect", I don't feel engaged and alive unless I invoke it. So I engage and push for change and feel wistful for the way things used to be. Repeat. It's just the way I am.

Indeed, you might even say, "it is what it is".

1 comment:

Mom said...

I hope you go beyond two posts, Jen. I do enjoy reading your blogs, but get tired of checking every day with no new updates. I know you have tons of time on your hands (tongue in cheek!)