What I wish I was doing right now
What I wish I was doing right now
Imagine walking into a door to check-in at an all day event where 600+ folks have come to relax, gain nuggets of insight, and prey upon peaceful moment after peaceful moment. An opportunity to unlock areas in your body that have been strained, tightened or turned off. A chance to let your inner child out, your true self shine….you get the idea. Basically, you’re about to walk into a room full of women at an all-day Saturday yoga event. That’s where I was last Saturday morning. Except I wasn’t having the graceful entrance I had envisioned, I was being pushed, bumped, and prodded through the funnel of a line that was headed towards the registration desk. I could feel myself being ogled and sized up by a lady, I was told to sign my life away on a waiver and then a tight concert-reminiscent bracelet was strapped around my wrist. “So, this is how it’s going to be….” I thought to myself. I’ve learned after much experience to let yourself down with the least of expectations at the beginning, that way there is room for pleasant surprise if things turn out well or better than expected.
I entered the main room to hear the sounds of a gong. So naturally, I did what any inspired and experienced yogi should do, I laid down and took a rest. Ommmm
After the nap, I sat up and wiped the sleepy seeds out of my eyes for the second time that morning. My body has been under so many excruciating changes lately and was starting to feel a little better. I figured a day of contortionist poses and “Namaste” was just what I needed to get myself back to equilibrium. The room was packed full of people. A woman stood up and began speaking about her experience with Lyme disease, my friend sitting next to me, having experienced the same awful symptoms and hardships began to pour tears. I tried to console her. Soon after, I began my own set of water works because my body has been feeling like such a train wreck, with my emotions closely following in a twenty car pile up. This concept of loving and accepting yourself has been such an elusive one to me, and the effects of not working on this more have erupted in my face over the past month. It was at the moment that I decided that even though this event had some people I may love, some people I may not be crazy about, and some people I was probably never going to see again….it is just an event full of you’s and me’s and therefore, I had the freedom to just let this be what I wanted to make it into.
My boyfriend and I had a bit of an argument on the Friday night before the yoga day; you see, I hesitate to even call it an argument because we never do that….but, I suppose it was a bit rattling and therefore warrants deeming as a disagreement at the very least. I was driving us home from a party which I had gone into very tensely. I was meeting all of his friends, a whole huge GROUP of his very best friends! Would they like me? Would I like them? Would I say something stupid? Would I look OK? I don’t feel OK. Was I a huge embarrassment with how bad I looked? I tried on a new sweater and asked if he liked it, he looked hesitant before answering, which was answer enough, “It doesn’t really look like your style.” I nearly burst into a flood of tears, because I actually liked it a lot, and if he didn’t know my style, who did? Did I even know it? What if we don’t like the same things? Maybe we’re not meant to be together. I should stay home from this party. They’re not going to even like me. You see how I can torment myself? It’s so darn easy.
Fast forward five and a half hours when we’re driving home, I’ve had a great time and loved everyone there, mostly because I end up loving everyone, but these people were exceptionally awesome and noteworthy of praise. I am tailing a little close to the car in front of me, who just so happened to be my boyfriend’s friend and his wife (who was driving their vehicle home). I have a hard time seeing at night, but FURTHER, I have a hard time getting things RIGHT. So, of course when a comment was made about my tailgating, I held back the water works and instead let out a snappish comment. One that was enough to put a rift between us, as he likely wished he had never met the psychotic lady driving him home, and I wishing I was never born, and down into the rabbit hole I spiraled.
I woke up the next morning with these feeling of self-hatred weighing heavily and took them to the yoga practice with me. They’re still not entirely gone yet, but the day was so blissful, so opening, and so revealing that I couldn’t help but let a tiny bit of it go. There was one class where she discussed how it’s almost impossible to be positive in your projections for yourself and others, when you are tightly bound. Lord knows, “Rubber Band Chi” is my favorite posture!
I’m not exactly sure the tangible lessons I can bring back home from the day of Yoga, only that it turned out well when I took a stroll inside myself and let myself just hang out there, rather than running away from discovering my loathed self and I gained sheer and total enlightenment after levitating a few times and vowing that using my iPhone and checking my Facebook is un-spiritual and most un-yogi of me (as evidenced by the below photo where I was caught TEXTING!!!). After seven hours of yoga, I had a nice chat with my boyfriend and we talked through, he let me explain my entire childhood, all of my life experiences, my past ten jobs, and the weird dream I had the other night so I could explain how that was what had culminated into my outburst. And I accepted his practical explanation that he was just trying to offer a solution accompanied by his apology. And I came to the conclusion I always come to, C’est la vie. Life is what you make it.
For those of you who know me personally, you will know that for the past few weeks, I have been in the throughs of relocating from North Carolina back to my homeland, New Hampshire. We went from a comfortable 1,100 sq. ft. apartment in bustling, hot, humid, Raleigh, NC to a squishy, 800 sq. ft. apartment attached to an Inn and Tavern in the town of Temple, NH. I believe the population in this town is less than or equal to 1,500. The weather has still not quite warmed up yet, and I’m sitting here beside my propane heater with wool socks on and dreading the inevitable fact that I will indeed be going outside for exercise today and freezing my butt off all the while. The transition from sleepy North Carolina to a rapid fire pace here in New Hampshire has really rocked my world in ways that I could not have predicted that it would. I have known for quite some time now that I was not operating to my fullest potential, I felt myself like a caged bird and simultaneously a self-destructing monster. Now, usually people move to the big city to find themselves, or to get into a new environment where there eyes can be opened up to new perspectives. For me, it was about going home, returning to my roots, and settling in to a place that feels more “me”. Little did I know, things have changed and you cannot simply sink into who you were, and who others were, and how things were in the past. Time has a way of carrying along Change on it’s coat tails. While it can feel disorienting or upsetting as it’s taking place, change is, I have come to learn, usually a good thing.
Last night we had dinner with my boss. My boss and I have always been very friendly acquaintances; but I have never yet been in the place in my life where I’ve had the exhilaration of being her FRIEND. It’s a very welcome, warm phase that I get to move into! Maybe it’s the grey hairs in my boyfriends beard, but I’m finally starting to have “couple friends” like I’ve wanted for so long! As we were at their house, I had two epiphanies. One, I realized that the slight awkwardness, and any misunderstandings that came up in the conversations and throughout the evening are TOTALLY NORMAL. I think back to some of the early days in my friendships. You always have to go through this slightly strange bit at the beginning where you’re working to get to know each other. There are moments of strange silence, there are misread looks, and unlaughed-at jokes. But, as the dust settles and the true magical connection of friendship begins to set in, you begin to understand each other and a relationship. You can’t wish these times away, and likewise, it will never again be quite how it is right now.
Another epiphany I had, is that while I have always thought of myself as exceptionally funny, witty, I’m not really the most interesting person to hang out with and I’m not always really proud of the questions I ask, the stories I have to tell. Is anyone super interesting? Perhaps the most interesting people to be around are those who are interested in the other people they are around? Does doing more yoga make more interesting? Should I show off my arm balances and my hand stands?
These are the beginning questions which I hope will lead me to another year of learning, loving, and become a little more of a desireable hot commodity. I want to be the girl that people not just invite TO the party, she MAKES the party. Maybe that’s not who I am or who I can ever be. But I can certainly set my sights on it and wish for the best. Cheers!
And as always, the realization that each journey has a destination of which the traveler is unaware.
You know what I really want? What keeps me up at night wishing and hoping for? A repository.
A place where I can dump everything, every thought, dream, word, friend, contact phone number, email address, schedule, I just wish I had some sort of binder in which everything in life was safe and sound. My passwords, names of everyone I’ve ever know, job descriptions of every job I’d ever have to describe. A place I can put my weekly horoscope, positive messages, or the fact that I just got my haircut into a great new style. A record of what I eat, the nights I can’t sleep, the days I workout, the days I don’t have a glass of wine (that would be the smallest category in the repository). A filing system, a series of tabs for the inner life. Wish lists, finances, an organizer’s bliss.
Yesterday was my last formal day at my job here in North Cackalacky. Now of course the first day I can actually sleep in and I’m wide awake! Perhaps I’m just excited….nervous….stressed?
I’m moving North to my homeland with the love of my life to start a fresh and likely very fun future. As we pack boxes and prepare to kiss the Carolina’s farewell, I have this urge and desire to streamline. All of the trains in my life, still in different stations, collecting passengers as the many different parts of me run their routes. Running my ragged. I want to become unified within myself, so that when I talk to myself, the voices inside my head become one voice.
Organizationally speaking, work was my happy place. Everything under one neat folder, labeled, organized, dated. A crystal clear record of each day’s work. I guess that is what I want to start creating for myself so I can feel less scattered and more on purpose. And some of it will require purging of the old. That which was and no longer defines me.
Maybe in my few, short days of unemployment I can make this happen. There is a nice sunny airplane ride in my near future.
My boss’ new slogan for the year is “Be Brave 2014”. She had me blow it up in big letters, add a Chinese symbol on it, print it on a piece of 11 x 17″ paper (my new FAVORITE size paper, by the way) and hang it on her office door, facing in so she can see it. So what does the word “brave” really mean? I’m not part of the world where tigers and lions run rampant, where we defend our young against various attackers, and we have to stand up for what we believe on a regular basis. I’m a girl whose daily ritual has her driving the same roads, walking into the same office, and living the same mundane life day after day. How do I “Be Brave” in this kind of environment?
Perhaps bravery is mastery of the mundane, making your environment work for you, rather than feeling a slave to it. Perhaps bravery is sticking with something that you start, being bold in who you are, or the choices that you make, or the projects you take on. Perhaps bravery is taking that tiny inkling of fear that is inside you –the fear that makes you uncomfortable to take a step into the realm of happiness. The fear that makes you cross your fingers and hope this is not all a big, huge mistake. You do it all because you are infinitely hopeful that this is part of your journey. Your bravery stems from knowing that you have a journey, and taking it upon yourself to embark on it.
Maybe that’s what bravery is. Maybe courage is about taking the steps to live to your fullest potential, despite the status quo barking it’s regimented numbers and rules to you….
Here is to being Brave this year! Like never before!
I know this is shocking, it’s 9:15pm on a Tuesday night and I’m awake. You know, it’s actually not shocking, it’s when normal people would be awake, still cleaning up after the day, putting their kids to bed, maybe turning on the news or a movie, or catching up in something more relaxing like yoga, journaling, calling a friend. But not me, I’m busy having an argument with myself. It’s for a good reason. You see, last night, I kept myself up for three extra hours, completely uncalled for and for no reason other than I must have had a lot on my mind that I needed to share with myself. So, instead of keeping it bottled up inside, I tapped myself on the shoulder in the middle of a nice, healthy slumber and woke myself up. I made myself a cup of tea, I forced myself to think about what was bothering myself, and to share it without holding back. Unfortunately, it didn’t get my anywhere. You see, today, not only was I the same me that I was yesterday, I was a more groggy me, a more cranky me, a more hungry me. Tonight, I would’ve wanted to let myself get to sleep early, to make up for the lost hours, to feel for once refreshed and rejuvenated upon awakening, but no, no, no….apparently there is more I need to deal with. Hence the reason I’m awake. When all I want, is to be asleep. I want to be awake less, I want to feel less, I want to just enjoy and relax more. And no matter what I do, no matter how I try to talk myself into this state of being, this frame of mind, it’s like it just keep further eluding me. Not much longer though. Perhaps I just need to spell it out for myself, what I really want, who I really am.
Maybe what I want most of all is just to know, to be sure that what I think I want….is not some sort of horrible mistake that my mind is playing on me. I think what I want is to know that I can be happy, trick myself into feeling like everyday is Christmas. That’s all I really want, is that too much too ask of myself?
The feeling of everything coming at you at once is a relative one. What overwhelms one person and results in sleepless nights, renders another unfettered.
So why do I have such a small capacity for carrying around large quantities of thoughts, feelings, and ideas. I like to think it’s because my brain and heart are interwoven tightly and I’m deeply involved with everything that goes through my head. But that’s probably not it.
I have been seeing a counselor lately to try to get over this unreasonable hump, the one where I feel worthless, unvalued, and ready to plunge into another portion of life without having fully thought it through. It seems the more I see her, the more stuff I have to do. Now I have even more to think about and analyze, and more I want to say and talk about! Maybe I was never meant to shine, and I should’ve left well-enough alone. I should’ve let sub par be sub par. At least I could’ve gotten some sleep that way.
Who knows the reason for this needless awakening this evening, maybe this is the night I will find that perfect apartment on Craigslist, make the life-changing Linked In connection, finally catch up on paying all my bills…probably I will do nothing productive but look on Facebook at pictures of cats and go right back to where I started. OH well, at least I banked my insomnia on the opportunity to catch up on my Scrabble turns, get some thoughts out, and then get a jump start on my 5am kettle bell workout.
It’s looking like I have to get re-addicted to Valerian root if I want to survive.