I have had the most interesting and profound July. It has been full of personal revelations and smatterings of this song in my daily soundtrack. Have you ever realized that someone you thought you knew so well was actually a figment of your imagination? The truth is that you probably only saw what you wanted to see. Did you also notice every time they did something that you found offensive it came as a complete shock? How could this person do that to you, right? I mean, who does that anyway? Sometimes you even questioned their mental development. You found yourself using offensive and antiquated terms like "mildly retarded" to try to make excuses for their behavior and mannerisms. Maybe they were just tired or they had gas. Is it just me? I can't be the only one who walked around calling people "dumb country" and "mildly retarded". If it is just me, I can handle the head shakes and finger wags of disapproval since I have already forgiven myself, but on the off chance that it isn't, keep reading...or just keep reading.
In the past, I have had a very interesting way of learning in life. It seems that whenever I did something for the first time, from relationships to card games, I did it perfectly (or darn-near). It is when I tried to repeat my gloriousness is when the lesson started to kick in. The first time I played spades, I was a champ. The second time was forgettable. The first time I played laser tag, I slayed all of those little kids. The second time..well I remember feeling a vibration sensation more times than I would like to mention. The first time I decided to fall in love, I knocked it out of the park. When the second time came around, I was in a delusional haze with an absent-minded professor.
It was a funny time in my life. I had been doing yoga for some time, reading lots of spiritual books, worked in the backroom of a bookstore, and was convinced I loved the world. I remember sitting in a crowded NYC subway car imagining hugging all of the passengers. I did that as a ritual. Yes, I was that weirdo with the big smile on her face in a sea of stone-faced commuters. I truly thought I was love on two legs. Mind you, all of this love that I had was in no way being directed to me. Of course not, I was too busy loving the whole world. I fancied myself a beautiful, flexible butterfly in a pink and aqua tutu sprinkling love and joy to everyone I fluttered by. By the time I met the absent-minded professor, I was deep in the trenches of my loveland illusion.
Without having to go into detail about what happened, I rather fast forward to the song. It is all in the title really, I really didn't know the absent-minded professor. There are often two sides to us, the person we project to the world and the person we truly are. When you really get to know yourself, you can see how they can work together, but before then life is just a big mirage of our colorful projections. I was doing a lot of projecting at that time while my true self was in a coma. I loved everyone and walked around very confident, but if you asked me if I loved myself, I would have had a confused look on my face. I then would have said, "yeah" hoping it was true only to question it later when I was by myself. The truth was that I didn't know myself and I had yet to begin the journey of self love. Yeah I knew my personality traits and such, but I didn't KNOW myself from a place of true love. I was caught up on the cartoon-like yogi projection of me and not who I was. I projected so well that I thought that the absent-minded professor was just like me. Sometimes I even thought he was me. This lead to great disappointment as he revealed who he was to me because he did things that I wouldn't do...and how could he do them if he was just like me? He was screwing with my perfect picture of love, sunshine, and daffodils. I was devastated and wanted to place blame. It had to be the absent-minded professor, right?...Nah. I failed to get to know him and I didn't really know who I was. I failed to realize that I was in a relationship and fundamental battle with myself and not him. Poor thing, but the absent-minded professor had very little to do with the whole debacle. In many ways, the whole thing was my grand attempt to hold onto a false absent-minded image of me.
The failures of that experience became a great catalyst for where I am today. I have learned to love myself deeply, know who I am and accept myself with a full heart, and on top of that, I really like myself. Hopefully he learned something too. In writing all of this the question still remains, why did this song come up now? Recently the absent-minded professor contacted me using very similar words that he used years ago. Years ago, those words erupted an anger in me that burnt little holes in my butterfly wings, but this time it was just kind of funny. I took it as a test, happy to find myself passing, and in my head I heard the song playing. Ben and Regina tickled divine confirmation in my ears! Immediately I realized that all of that time, I didn't know the absent-minded professor at all...and with relief and joy, I laughed. I took the last bits of my false projection down, saw the clear picture, and I laughed.