Martha Randolph Carr Martha Randolph Carr, 8/12/2009 [Archive]

Martha's Big Adventure - Standing Room Only

Martha's Big Adventure -- Standing Room Only

By Martha Randolph Carr

There is a certain question I keep asking myself lately. Does this behavior really serve me or just make me look good? Too often in the past I went with the look good answer as the more desirable choice. I did it so often I wasn't really aware of how it was affecting my life.

The other half of that conundrum was how often I stopped myself from doing something I wanted to do because I thought it might make me look bad and so I would hesitate. The definition of bad was of course according to some internal criteria that I had arbitrarily decided was necessary for my image to the outside world.

It's amazing how much of that stale thinking doesn't survive once it's shared with another reasonable human being and how often in the past I resisted saying any of it out loud. My constant fret was that I might turn out to be right and by not risking the answer I locked myself into a self-fulfilling spot.

Fortunately, I have hit a spot in life where being right all the time just isn't worth it anymore. I'm hoping that means my internal self esteem has grown to a place where I have figured out that my own opinion of me is the one that really matters.

It's all a side benefit from the Great Recession, losing one place to live in New York City and finding out that things can actually work out even better.

Now, I'm faced with another new big American city, Chicago, where I need to reach out to others and build yet another new web of friends. For just a moment there I hesitated because of my lack of furniture. I didn't want to look like I was somehow failing at being a grown up because I didn't have a collection of matching furniture and other possessions that signal, I've made all the right decisions.

The truth is there are four chairs in the entirety of my new living space in Chicago. One of them is a small wooden chair from my late father's church in Longport, New Jersey. Upon his retirement he made sure each of his children received one as a memento of those summers at the shore. That leaves three grown up chairs and no other kind of seating.

Fortunately, some new neighbors, Sheila and Andrew Love dropped by my back porch with a bottle of wine and grapes and kept inviting every other neighbor that walked past. Before I knew it, the porch was full of people, more food, and even candles from Patrick with Andrew playing the banjo and Mimi leading a tour of the apartment. I pointed out the lack of furniture out of my own awkwardness and suddenly neighbors were offering up furniture they had been thinking of giving away. It was all so easy.

A computer desk and a rug from the Love's and a possible love seat from Lorena and Dave and suddenly I had not only made new friends but found a few more seats. There's even a possibility of a purple wooden chair with some history behind it.

This is the magic behind finally being just who you are and letting the rest of the world in on the secret. Often, those who are destined to be your friends will meet you where you are and help you with that next step. Suddenly, I'm not trying to do it all on my own anymore and I have created that new network of family and friends and realize, I'm once again at home. More adventures to follow.

Martha Randolph Carr is the author of the novel, The Sitting Sisters. Martha can be found on Twitter at MarthaRandolph or email at or visit

© 2009 Martha Randolph Carr. Martha's column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate. For info call Sales at (805) 969-2829 or email

Download Martha Randolph Carr's black and white mug shot photo.

Download Martha Randolph Carr's color photo - Download Martha Randolph Carr's black and white mug shot photo
Why not run a cartoon with the column? We recommend the cartoons below as a good compliment to Martha Randolph Carr's topic.
Click on the thumbnail images to preview and download the cartoons.

Related Cartoons

Social Networking COLOR
By: Mike Keefe
The Denver Post
August 11, 2009

Friendship Tree -- COLOR
By: Arcadio Esquivel

March 17, 2008

Friendship Tree
By: Arcadio Esquivel

March 17, 2008

Facebook Friends COLOR
By: Cameron Cardow
The Ottawa Citizen
July 30, 2009

Facebook Friends
By: Cameron Cardow
The Ottawa Citizen
July 30, 2009

We do not accept and will not review unsolicited submissions from cartoonists.
Sales & Information: (805) 969-2829
Billing Information: (805)
Technical Support:

FREE cartoons for your website if you're already a paying print subscriber!
Artwork and columns are copyrighted by each creator. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service