Every day, I encounter a new challenge to the idea that things can and should be open and real.

Be it social, political, or personal, serious or trivial -- every time, I ponder the implications.

I hope you'll join me in the conversation!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's All About Believin'

About fifteen years ago I lived in a great little house in Hillsborough, North Carolina. I was the second owner of a “spec” house in a new neighborhood. I’m not sure if it was the builder or the first owners, but that place was literally covered in, well, horrible wallpaper.

As with any wallpaper take-down project, the worst part involved rooms where no one had bothered to prime the walls before gluing the paper. That’s right, just glued down on drywall. I will admit, one room was too much for me, and I just painted over the wallpaper; but I made this decision after what happened in my bedroom. Let me explain.

My sister was there helping me. We used something called a Paper Tiger to score the paper, then used special glue dissolver to soak through the holes. It was a fairly big room, and when the paper came off, it came off in thin strips that snapped after about 2 inches. AND – total nightmare – we realized that only one layer of the paper was coming off. So after all the effort in any area, there was the same amount of work left to be done to get the second layer off. Chunks of the wall were starting to come off as well.

This is a lot of detail, but I really want you to “be there” with us. It was a total disaster. The glue stuff smelled bad, and we opened the upstairs windows, only to bake ourselves in the summer swelter. I was in despair. I felt like I had destroyed the most important room in the house, and I couldn’t go forward and I couldn’t go back. I was starting to freak out.

That’s when my sister said, “Look. We can do this. We just have to believe we can do this. There is no way wallpaper is going to defeat us, that is ridiculous. No one can make us stop working on this. This is your house, and if we have to scrape in here for a hundred years, we will because we will not be defeated! It’s all about believin’.”

“It’s all about believin’” became our rallying cry, and damn if it didn’t work wonders. Fingers bleeding? IAAB. Arms ache? IAAB. Light headed from the chemicals and thinking about passing out? IAAB. Somehow this hilarious phrase, whether screamed, whispered, sung or chanted pulled us through that craziness.

Now I’ll admit, it helped that I was 15 years younger on that particular project. But I have pulled this concept out a few times since to get through my most challenging efforts, and it still has a way of working magic. I use it sparingly so as not to diminish its power, and also because believing is harder now than it used to be.

It helps to have no massive failures on record when you chant, “It’s all about believin’”; but I can say from experience, even if you do, it still works.


KathArine said...

Your sister is so awesome.

It is becoming a bit surreal how often the "believe in yourself" conversation has happened with and around me lately.

Check out this blog.

The EDG said...

I love Maggie's journal! What great points. I think she is right on with simply tagging her post "butt-kicking."

Skip Lineberg said...

What a great story! I cannot tell you the number of times I have applied this same "will it to happen" to get things done. It works!


PS- Love your blog!!