October 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’ve been listening to the song Same Love by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis nonstop since the official video was released last week. It’s a song supporting gay marriage, but the more I listen to it, the more I feel like there’s something beyond that, something universal to the message in the hook.
i can’t change, even if i tried, even if i wanted to
I’ve been turning it over and over in my head, letting the idea resonate. There is something fundamental about the human experience in those words. It’s about that moment when you draw your line and stop listening to other’s ideas of how you should be and just realize it. This is who I am.
That moment has been a long time coming for me. Somewhere along the way I became so focused on the things that I could be for other people that I forgot that it was okay to be something for myself, to be me. I don’t know if I lost who I was or if I’ve just never been real about who I am. I don’t know if I ever realized until now that there is a difference between being open to personal growth and trying to change the very essence of who I am to meet others’ expectations.
There are things about myself that I have worked so hard to change, but that I don’t think ever will change. Things that I shouldn’t change, because they define who I am.
I think for some people, this is never a question. And it’s not self-doubt or insecurity that makes the difference, I don’t think. I think there are some people who just know themselves, and then there are some of us who have to do some searching first. The answers are found in the same place though. They never went anywhere, it’s just a question of whether we have been attuned to hear our inner voice or to something external.
I am done listening to everyone else tell me who they think I am. I just want to be me, unequivocally. I am emotional, I am an overthinker, I am a tiny bit lazy and I have horribly inconsistent taste in music. Is that good or bad? You know, maybe that doesn’t matter so much anymore.
September 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
This has been my focus lately. Letting go of my perceptions, my unrealistic expectations, of others’ unrealistic expectations, what I think I should or shouldn’t be doing, of my worry.
It’s so hard. I’ve been holding it all together (holding it in, even) for so long that pulling at one thread just tugs at the whole thing. Some days, I’m not sure where to start. Will this one hold on tighter? What if that one is real and I should hold onto it? Maybe I can still hold onto it all (I can’t, I know that now). But little by little I’ve been cutting strings loose and letting them fly away in the wind. It’s not giving up, but rather, acceptance.
- One string for my in-laws and their passive-aggressive, do nothing about anything but still be victimized behavior
- One string for shewhomustnotbenamed, her roller coaster now-we’re-together-now-we’re-not marriage, and her need to cause chaos
- One string for the s-kids, who didn’t ask for any of this and can’t help that we end up so disconnected between trips
- One string for my job, and all the uncertainty and stress that comes with it
- One string for trying so hard to try to change my life
- One string for my Master’s degree and whether it’s ever going to get finished
- One string for all the expectations, real or self-made, that I cannot even begin to understand how to live up to
There is something powerful and amazing and freeing about just letting go. It has been such a process, learning how and then actually doing it. Because when I let go…what will be left?
It turns out, it’s just me. I’m just here, being me. All my flaws and all my good parts and all the things I try to be and all the things I’m not. And that is good enough. I didn’t understand that before, that good enough is an acceptable place to be.
April 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
Sometimes all I can think about is how incredibly tired I am. Mostly the tired comes from all the ways I mistreat my body. Putting crap in, spending most days in a sedentary mindset, staying up too late, getting up too early. My existence, my experience of day-to-day life is subpar, as a result.
I think back to the person, almost two years ago (how has it been so long), who was fearless, excited about life, willing to get out of the kayak in the middle of the ocean (okay, the bay) to stand on a rock and hold a paddle over her head like she just OWNED life, and I wonder where she went. I feel lost from her.
I can think of a million excuses why life was so hard, all the things that took her away from me, but the truth is, I let her slip away. It was a choice and I can just as easily choose to find her again. I’ve seen snippets over the last year – camping in sub-30 temperatures, moving across the state months ahead of my husband, hiking to the top of a trail to see the whole valley – I know she’s there. It will take work, hard work. Work that seems impossible some days when all I can think about is crawling back into bed.
I’m desperately afraid that this will turn out to be another in a long line of failed attempts to get back on the horse, but which is worse? Trying and failing, or never getting off the couch to even try?
So, today I am tired, but not because I stayed up too late (I didn’t), not because I’ve been putting crap into my body all day (I haven’t), but because it’s 1:30 and I’ve already used my break to take a walk and haven’t had any syrupy coffee or a Diet Coke (more syrup) to give me that short-term fuel. I’m going to not be discouraged by the fatigue but instead crank up the Nicki Minaj and try to embrace it, because I’m going to see it as a sign of progress, not of limitations.
August 28, 2011 § 1 Comment
It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon in late August, one of those days where I should be counting my blessings and other various and sundry things. Instead, I am feeling morose, comtemplative, cynical even.
It started with a facebook group celebrating the fact that my 10 year high school reunion is just one year away. I would just like to state for the record that I cannot fathom any world in which a person should be so excited about reliving their high school days that they are looking forward to it a year in advance. I just don't get it. I feel like 80% of the people on the board didn't get the message that high school WASN'T the time of their lives. Isn't there just…so much more? I wish we still lived in a time where we could go about ignorantly living our lives and freak out when we get the invite in the mail just 3 months in advance and go on panicky crash diets like normal people. Not this crap.
Then, I started looking around, wondering if other people who were on the fringes in high school (not quite the outside, but not the inside either) were equally as irritated and/or anxious about this whole business. I found a very small contingent, which only confirms the fact in my mind that growing up in a small town means that the high school bullshit never really ends. There will always be the inside group that is completely oblivious to the feelings of everyone else and just tramples over everyone with their shiny hometown pride zeal.
I don't know. That sounds like I don't like my hometown, which isn't accurate. I love my hometown, I love my former high school. I just didn't fit with the people in it and it took many years for me to even realize that. I was trying so hard to fit my square peggedness into their round hole for so long that it didn't even occur to me to look for a square hole. And now that I've found it, I wonder if it's worth the energy to explain that I get it now, that I'm square, and I'm okay with that and can all of us squares just be friends?
But of those squares, I've realized, some of my (very few) close friends no longer belong. They've become so very very round that I scarecly recognize them. And I don't want to go to a place where I am placed right back on the outside again. I mean…what is the point of that? I don't want to be mourning the loss of my childhood friends. It's easier to live far away and pretend that no one has lost themselves and the only problem is not enough time to see one another.
But I graduated in a class of only 160 kids. In the whole town. There is an immense amount of pressure (probably all imagined in my own mind) to go and do ones duty and smile that fake, cheesy, "I missed you all so much" smile, when really I'll be thinking "you're all just as stupid as I remember, only now I realize that I thought you were stupid when back then I thought I had to be one of you so much that I was willing to overlook that fact."
I wish I could just pretend the invitation got lost in the mail.
June 15, 2011 § Leave a comment
It's late. I can't sleep. The later it gets, the more I seem to be worrying.
[they say i'm supposed to give my worries up to you]
We don't have a plan right now. We have lots of obligations, lots of things that are going to cost a lot of money, but no plan.
[they say that you always have a plan, that you know what you're doing]
We are saving every penny, but it's not going to be enough, not even close.
[they say that your love is more than enough, more than we could ever need]
How are we going to do this? How is it all going to come together?
[they say that with faith, you will provide]
I need a miracle. I need that window to throw itself wide open, right about now.
[they say you don't close a door without opening one]
Please…let today be the day.
[ask and ye shall receive, right?]