Apr 13, 2015

Deception And Deception Pass.

 I love Deception Pass. I am confident you all know that. Every time I go up to Washington State I simply must go to Deception Pass. My parents took me there as a baby and again as a child. There are pictures of me in my baby carriage on the beach there. I have been there with an old high school boyfriend. I took my two youngest kids there. The spot means a lot to me. The bridge, the views, the bridge, did I mention the views? It is amazing there in every way. But lets start at the beginning.

I woke up this morning in a hotel room in Everett, Washington. I immediately got up and opened those thick, very annoying, but necessary, hotel room curtains and felt immediate relief. Seattle had come through for me and it was sunny with puffy clouds. Not that I do not love rain. And not that it would have changed my plans in anyway. It just was nice. It was a little after seven o'clock. I hurried and grabbed some clothes and packed up my stuff. I quickly took advantage of the complimentary breakfast.... bowl of raisin bran and half an English muffin. Checked out of the hotel and headed North on I-5

Wait, I confess, I took a small detour into Snohomish, my hometown. I have had a long couple of weeks, a lot has been on my mind, and I got some notion that I needed to see this big old tree in front of my high school. So before I really knew what I was doing I was taking Route 2 across the Ebey Slough towards Snohomish. Every one who has gone to Snohomish High School knows about the tree in front of the school. I have no idea how long the tree has been there. But I imagine almost everyone who has attended Snohomish High School has a memory connected with this tree. The tree is surrounded by a wooden bench....all the way around in a complete circle. That bench encourages us to sit there and have life experiences there so most of us did. The tree grows next to the street that the school buses stop to pick up the high school kids. I have some memories of sitting on that bench and I was just feeling nostalgic for a minute so I stopped there to remember and take a picture.

THEN I headed North. I love this drive to Deception Pass. Once you get past the town of Marysville the traffic on I-5 seems to thin out and it is just wide open, 70 mph road up until you reach the town of Mt Vernon. It is a beautiful drive no matter what the season or the weather. When you get near the top of the Skagit Valley you take Route 20 west and head towards Anacortes. I know this drive very well. You could choose to take the Mukilteo Ferry, way back in Everett, to get to Deception Pass but I usually choose to take the drive up I-5...you know because of the memories :) Route 20 splits at some point and you head South towards Oak Harbor and it is on that road when you go over the Deception Pass Bridge and see the most amazing views ever.

I was relieved to see it was not to crowded as I came upon the bridge. Often all the turnouts for views and the parking lot are bursting with cars. I parked and quickly grabbed my scarf, and my hat and headed out to explore. I can never get out of the car fast enough when I get to Deception Pass, There are stairs on either side of the bridge so that you do not have to cross the road to get from side to side. I usually spend most of my time exploring and admiring the views to the west of the bridge but today I explored the east side. When you look to the east you can see the Cascade Mountains in the distance, more land, and little plops of islands in a narrow waterway. When you look to the East you see...well here let me tell you what is says on Wikipedia... "Deception Pass is a strait separating Whidbey Island from Fidalgo Island. It connects part of the Puget Sound with the Strait of Juan de Fuca." Which is why when you look to the West you see wide open water with a few distant islands and when you look to the East you see more of a bay with narrower water...does that make sense? Narrower water? Did I just write that? It goes from wide open on the West side to narrow on the East. And the Deception Pass bridge is over the top of this water.


I climbed down the steps and down a hill to some rocks and found a perfect place to sit my bum and immediately felt the contentment wash over me. Do not tell me you have not felt contentment washing over you before? I was wearing my most favorite blue and green wool plaid skirt, my black leggings, white button up shirt, my black, tie on the side sweater that I could not live without, my black Keds, my blue pea coat, and my white scarf my sister Sarah bought me in NYC. Yes, part of contentment is always what you are wearing :) The sun was shining on my left leg and left side and it felt nice and warm. There were wild flowers growing out of the rocks all around me. To my immediate right was the enormous historical Deception Pass bridge looming up and stretching across the strait :) In front of me and down was the most amazing green colored water. I could see the other side of the strait and all the evergreens and rocks on that side. The water in this strait is fascinating to watch because there are so many currents and tides all meeting in this strait. I did not realize until I was reading about it today how dangerous and challenging the water in this strait is. All I know is it is a most beautiful color. And that it is so cool to stand up on the bridge and watch all the movement.

While I was sitting there thinking about my pathetic life and all the twists and turns it keeps taking I found myself wondering about the word deception. All these years in love with this spot and I never had even given time to the name?? I decided that something about this area must have tricked someone which is why they named it Deception Pass. When I got home from Seattle I read about it and I was right...I am rarely right so I had to mention that :) When explorers originally came to this area they initially thought Whidbey Island was Whidbey Peninsula until after more extensive explorations when they found this sneaky little strait and realized that this strait would make it so Whidbey and Fidalgo were islands not peninsulas.

Deception...what does it mean? It is the, "art of deceiving or the state of being deceived." A trick, a ruse, a hoax. Sitting there in the best thinking spot ever I thought about being deceived. I may or may not have thought of sentences like...

She was deceived by him.
He deceived her.
Was the deception innocent?
She kept deceiving herself.

Self deceiving...ugh, there is a good one. I am adept at this one. You know, "deceiving yourself by justifying a false belief." I tend to adore deceiving or fooling myself. Denying, rationalizing? Oh I do it all :) Before you judge me apparently all humans are masters of self deception. Who wants to think of themselves as a liar?Yeah, no one I know. So we deceive ourselves instead.

"Self deception is not deliberate, bold faced lying it is the kind of lying that comes from not being psychologically strong enough to be honest with ourselves." Dang, that hurts. While reading I found this article entitled, "The Truth About Self Deception" written by a clinical psychologist named Cortney S.Warren. The article was interesting and I wondered if you could all come over and if someone could please bring a hammock and we could all lay in the hammock and talk about it?

 She listed some things we lie to ourselves about and I found the list alarming and found myself thinking, is it possible to tell the whole truth all the time not just to others but to ourselves?? Check out this list....

We lie to reflect our aspirational goals

We lie about our most important life choices..why we married who we did or why we chose the career path we did.

We lie to reflect our desire to maintain social appropriateness. An example she gave of this is that we tell ourselves it's okay to tell an acquaintance we run into in the grocery store that they look great even though they don't because we do not want to hurt their feelings.

We lie to reflect our social ideals. For example, we would say to ourselves I am always physically attracted to my spouse and I would never flirt with anyone else because that would not be acceptable to admit to myself or anyone else.


The list really interested me and when it was over the author kicks you in the gut with this sentence..."although normal and commonplace self deception comes with profound costs because we live our truth whether we are honest about it or not." Yeah, good times. Did you know we hurt ourselves and people we love when we do not take full responsibility for who we are?

As I have made discoveries over the last few years about myself I have tried so hard to be honest with myself. It is not easy in anyway and so not pleasant. And here I was at Deception Pass thinking about how important it was to admit some things to myself and move on....give up hope.

I definitely have lived a lot of my life not being psychologically strong enough to be honest with myself. I have regret because of the times I deceived myself into thinking something was going to be okay and made a bad choice. I have definitely made choices with incredibly yucky consequences to avoid being honest because I did not want to hurt someone. As I have become aware of these things I do in the last few years I have been trying with all my might to be true to myself and it is hard work. It is why sometimes a girl just goes away for the weekend and finds herself visiting a silly tree at her old high school and sitting at Deception Pass thinking about the word deception.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Jenn,
I highly recommend "Leadership and Self-Deception". I read it maybe 20 years ago. The manuscript (before it was published) was kept under the counter at Kinkos in Provo for a BYU Prof 's class.
Then The Arbinger Institute made it a bestseller and created consulting seminars etc.
Call me sometime. We can't sit on a hammock and talk but we can imagine we are☺️.
--Susan