I Wanna Be Pat When I Grow Up

Fifteen years ago and still going strong …….


This was my first visit to the office of Pat Buxton, MA, MSW, board certified Alexander teacher, and already, she was getting way more than she bargained for. She’d greeted me like an old friend. Settling into her chair, she slid open an elegant box, struck a wooden match and lit the votive candle on her desk.

“Tell me why you’re here today,” she said pointing to a tilted footrest under my chair. Certified in the Alexander Technique, Pat believed proper body alignment heightens self-awareness. No more than a hundred pounds, soaking wet, she was fine-boned and dressed in beige cashmere. She carried herself with the soft, fluid movement of a dancer.

I took a breath and steadied myself. I had what appeared to be a lifetime of turmoil bottled up inside and the cork was about to blow. I couldn’t help myself; I wanted to tell her everything all at once.

“Okay,” Pat clasped her hands like she’d just caught a lighting bug, “Let’s hold those thoughts.” She radiated serenity and I let out a staccato exhale. Surely, she could help me corral the wild horses trampling my left brain, like Edith Goldman had when she shushed my Stone School diatribe.

“Here’s how I work,” she articulated. “It’s a little different from traditional therapy.”

Pat explained that “this” wasn’t about my son.

Or my daughter.

Or their father.

Not just yet.

We weren’t here to analyze my childhood,

my passion for camellias,

or my high school boyfriend.

Not today. 

Our work, she went on, was about how I responded to what was happening right under my nose.

“Right here,” she said.

I squirmed in my chair.

“Right now.”

She sat quietly.

Holy shit. I want to be this woman when I grow up.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *