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The Sherpa

"Sherpa" 2011
Acrylic, Spray Paint, on Canvas
Kim Barry
I unloaded another's pack of life force and laid it down one more time. Being an Aries, I am perceived as being able can handle big loads. So, I am noticed, sized up, packed up, and shipped to fill in where another intends to conquer as their diplomat. Being a Dragon, my personal load is in manifesting many grand adventures for myself and those around me. So, people get inspired and take notes. Most of the time, I am comfortable and very happy with my purpose. It is lonely, though. I have been misunderstood, studied, teased, admired,  seduced, resented, celebrated, drained, undermined, stalked, and dismissed.
I get passionate for life and encourage other to get passionate for theirs. THIS IS IT, FOLKS! Right now. Make it happen and make it fun. Nothing fires me up more than entering a hole in the wall bar where everyone is having the same conversation of "if only" as if the god of "If Only" was torturing their minds not to realize they have all they need this very moment to begin. My guess is if only the table of folks bitching could take off their "We Need A Savior Glasses" and trust their guts (and each other), they would get their individual goals done by collaboration with present company. I mean, there is a reason each one has found themselves sitting around this table with each other. The god of  "Here's Your Opportunity That You Are Clearly Ignoring" is sitting in the corner blacking out from his fifth whiskey shot that is dulling the pain from banging his head on the table in frustration at them. 
I used to be that banging head as I sat amidst the immense but latent beauty, talent, and value I saw and continue to see in people that refuse to see it and set it in motion for themselves. Passive encouragement with strangers in good conversation to full on sherpa mode with lovers and everywhere in between with many friends.
After one conversation with a certain Swedish Explorer,  the word came to me as a metaphor to make a point. 
So, an explorer wants to conquer a mountain. He is equipped as a leader with ego and entitlement,  but to his credit, plenty of both. So, he searches out the sherpa who not only can pave a way, but carry the packs, clothes, air packs, food, and dude's 20 cases of Smartwater up the hill all the while knowing it's the Explorer's Show.  As they arrive at the top, the Explorer asks for the flag from the pack and sets in the mountain (not before the sherpa digs the hole, of course) And the world rejoices! How did he do it? AmazinG!!! As the sherpa wisely smiles and is happy to help. But in the story, the sherpa does this as a means to provide for his own and take care of his lady love. 
Point? An explorer has a sherpa or a prize- not both in one
It begins with a conversation. I say,"Wow, you are amazing at _____________ . (Their value noticed and celebrated.) The attraction sets in. Then comes the question to myself and from them "How can I help?" Because I am totally digging their --- scene, project, music, film, ..........just not anything that has to do with accounting, sorry Mr. Accountant. It is just how I am wired. I enjoy helping to create something I believe in. And when it comes to relationships,  most of us ladies raised in refinement were taught never to seem to shine too singularly bright as to give the impression to overshadow your man, otherwise you seem over ambitious and (dare I say) unfeminine. A true lady is the silent backbone, private muse, public trophy, charming attache, saintly sacrificial, vixen behind closed doors, and mom. I fall way short beginning with the silent part these days. But,  in the past, and this is where is gets bad, next thing I know I went from the "beautiful muse princess" to "pack mule" by following bad advise.  From dinner dates at Le Frou Frou to a barn shed. From being my own person to theirs. 
Uhhhh......... hold up. 
I know we are "sacrificing" for the sake of our, oh wait your thing, but when did I become your personal every girl that doesn't even get a date occasionally let alone help when I have a vision of my own from time to time? Now I am supposed to make your visions come true as you play the latest video game the never has an end? Then look like a supermodel for the event after a full day of creative construction? 
Damn. I'm the Sherpa.
Truth. I let the balance slip. I forgot a major key point. If you have to encourage what's in someone that they themselves constantly take for granted, the universe will promise that until they value it themselves, they will continue to take everything that comes their way, including you, for granted. 
Oooo hard lesson for an Aries when I was used to see my potential Shining Knight in the diamond in the rough stage. I wave my magic wand of love and inspiration and there he is. My personal hero. 
There is beauty in taking the journey together from start to finish, but unless both value each other equally, the  romantic version of that story is gone when you find you are weed whacking a path, like Kathleen Turner, through the jungle while Michael Douglas over there is 20 feet behind picking daisies, watching my ass and asking when we are going to eat next? 
After having these experiences, I have had people look me in the eye and argue their principled resistance to investing in a lovely experience for a first date while simultaneously trying to get the cheapest version of one with me and with that amazing offer, the hope of a happy ending. UHhhhh. Wow. Shall I just move right in with my housecoat, 40 extra pounds, and 5 kids including him? What a charmah'! 
Truth. Until now, I hid behind the strongest voice I could find in my immediate surroundings because a)I wanted a champion b) I truly didn't believe in my own abilities alone and c)accepted very little in return for all my action because I believed so much in theirs. I was a partner in my eyes, an assistant in theirs, as fast as I was a girlfriend. Why? I love the creative in all forms and I crave love and purpose with a beautiful, talented, sexy man. Hey, I make no apologies for wanting it all. But I was impatient I did not allow for my abilities to be duly noted and celebrated in their eyes before giving them away like Santa's presents every day of the year until I was empty. After setting that kind of tone, no wonder they looked at me like I was the chick from Misery when I finally went Coo Coo for CoCo Puffs from neglect.
 I always had a man present to give me an illusion of security and strength in our actions so I could still feel feminine in striving for vast dreams. I took care of myself in their eyes so I didn't need the care factor from them. I pretended they were my champions but did not allow time to reveal how as strong their conversation was with their own visions and their intentions with me. They only championed themselves in feeding their own egos while dulling my own. At one point, arguing jealously, that it was me and not my abilities someone was after when an opportunity for me arose from outside our own bell jar while lowering our standard of living daily.  Gee that's NOT dehumanizing or anything. So I continued to hide behind them in the fear they were right. I believed that in the end, I was most valued silent and pretty on an arm with a hazmat suit hidden under my evening gown when I had to clean up the next issue that arose but of course never letting on I cleaned it up. 
A Sherpa in an evening gown. 
Three (or ten) times is a charm and now
I want a champion.
I want to enjoy giving again on two way streets. 
I want to feel grateful for not being taken for granted.
I want to feel my full conversation with life only shines stronger with him present and championing the cause and prizing my presence 
Until then, 
the empty space has brought in so many new adventures to breathe in
I'm no longer The Sherpa.
Posted by Kim Barry on 5/19/12

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