Just Breath

There’s days when I let the over-thinking go to my head. Anyone that has known me for more than a conversation will tell you that – but other times… Other times – these times –  I think that I’m a little bit ahead. I’ve already ripped off the band-aid of good wishes, polite courtesies, and soft cushions. 

It’s time to let go. It’s time to push forward. It’s time to forget. It’s definitely time to hurt. Acknowledging the pain for what it is is the only thing that will allow you to let go of it. Breathe in the moment, understand that it hurts, and know that in a few days, weeks, months… you‘ll be okay. You’ll be stronger and have that much more awareness. 

Fixing things isn’t always an option. Sometimes the best course of action is to just let it slowly fade away. Not everything is meant to work out, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t need to experience it. Love is messy, all types, but it’s where we learn the most. It’s where we find the truth in ourselves and understand what we’re truly capable of. 

Whether other people tell you or not is irrelevant. After a while you begin to recognize that small bit of distance and the cracks that are growing until the whole thing comes crumbling down. 

 

Changes or Simply Put – Do Better

Change – Do Better

Sometimes we’re not aware of the changes happening in our lives. You wake up one morning and something is missing or something new has arrived. The days blend from one to the next and you don’t necessarily remember when it happened, but it’s different now. Those are the changes we’re used to.

Other changes you have to make. You can’t wait for experience or a slap in the face from reality – you just have to decide and make it happen. It’s not an evolution or growth; it’s a decision. You understand that you’re not backed into a corner, but unless you do better you’re not going to move forward OR you’re going to lose something very important.

It’s been said that talking about our struggles is our biggest [unhealthy] addiction. As an only child with a limited social circle, this has always been true for me. True, unfortunately, to a very undesirable and unhealthy degree. I over think things and create problems that don’t exist. Instead of just acting in a way that will benefit me, I stew. I worry, I think, I anticipate, I discuss, and I circle the problem until it’s a million times worse than it was and I’ve isolated several friends who just can’t hear it anymore.

Writing was always my go to relief when friends weren’t an option. I’ve gotten lazy about it lately with new friends and a whole new variety of social interactions opening up. I started talking again. Recognizing this as a problem, I’m taking the initiative to start working my problems out through words instead – at least until I get to the point where I’m confident enough to just react. Okay, maybe the initiative had some prodding, but no one can force me into that.

Greek Mythology is filled with stories about self-fulfilling prophecies. It’s something we’ve long been amused by and have carried throughout time as cautionary tales against not being self-aware. The only problem is you can be too self-aware. So wrapped up in the things you know about yourself – the patterns you recognize, the behaviors and mistakes you repeat, your habits, etc. – that you forget to actually act differently. This is where I’m at.

I want to understand and I want to explain. I want to show people and have them love me regardless. Most times, they do! It’s surprising how loving people really are. What they aren’t is supportive of your own self-destruction. They want to be nice to you. They want to have fun with you. They want to love you. What they don’t want is to have to convince you of that on a regular basis.

Be in the moment –  all the moments. Invest in the people around you. If you’re lonely, sad, insecure, and want to stop feeling alone, then look up from your own worries at the people who are right in front of you. You’re not alone. You’re just feeding the fear. It’s not a battle they can fight for you. Chances are they’ve already tried.

They have told you they care. They have shown you that you’re safe. They have encouraged you in every way they know how. It’s your turn to show them that you noticed – that their effort was worth the investment because you are changing. You are growing up and you’re ready for the next phase of life. It’s going to be awesome.

So often, we run from the very thing we’re afraid of. What if it’s exactly what we need. Everything we have EVER needed. Does that make the struggle a lie? Our identity a lie? I think we have to acknowledge that we are a fluid being, something that changes. We are mayhem: instable-chaotic-imperfect-perfection. Embracing our own brand of crazy is not only what makes life colorful; it’s what gives us the flexibility, perseverance, and spunk to survive.

I write to process, but even though I feel like words are my heart, they’re not my life. My life is in those moments where I forget about thinking and just experience those around me. We connect because we need it to survive. By staying trapped in our own thoughts, we’re literally starving ourselves of affection, acceptance, and love. 

Accept the Moment – Then Move On

This feeling of discontent within me is starting to be more than just bothersome. I have spent the better part of my day blaming myself for not acting better and then rebounding into acting worse. It wasn’t a consistent problem, but a back and forth all day that left me very unproductive and annoyed.

The thing about it is that even though I know I’m the one who created this situation AND the one not making it better, I’m still trying to forgive myself. I just know that I don’t want to forgive myself if already crossed that line of irredeemable. I want to do the right thing and I want to make better choices, but instead I keep punishing myself by making the wrong ones.

Why do we all feel the need to push love away so damn much? I don’t just mean sexual or romantic love, but all forms. Any fracture in my walls and I’m spiraling through the emotions of both joy and fear. I don’t want to do this anymore and the simplist answer is just stop. Anyone who’s heard of ‘the white bear’ knows how pointless that is.

So here I am, breathing, trying to accept that I feel this way. I’m trying to understand that this is just a moment in time and not a permanent state of being. Even if I can’t fix this, I can learn from it and do better next time. I just don’t want that to be the case. Maybe part of accepting this moment is to give into that and allow myself the liberty to cry. I’ve been pushing it away – trying to get a million things done – but maybe it’s time.

I can only hope that while other people may not understand the struggle, they do understand that I’m sincere. I don’t want to keep being this way and I’m trying to change. I just need to make it happen and stop being afraid. How hard is it to just let go and accept this? I see so many people doing it every day and even though we all know we’re going to get hurt eventually, we also know we can and will survive.

Maybe it’s time to accept myself. I know that I’ve survived a lot and I’m not even going to downplay what those incidents were. I’m just accepting them. I came through stronger. I can do it again.

Ramblings

We’ve been reading Trinh T. Minh-ha in my Global Feminism class (thank you Professor Tweed!) and inspiration struck. I wouldn’t ever dare compare my own writing to hers, but I wanted to give credit to the inspiration and driving force behind these words.  Also, this was written in a time when I had very seriously considered giving up on writing and am ever so glad that I found the courage to get past that (thank you Kelly Mcgonigal!)

*hasn’t been edited

I come to this space with no apologies. It is not my own, but a borrowed corner that has been overlooked. Empty and isolated, it is a good space for practice – half exposed, half guarded. Four sides of a space that allows me to dip my toes into the world of bodies and thoughts without having to submerge or commit.

I do not speak so that others may listen. Yet, I am mindful that these words – if observed – will resonate. I am still playing pretend with this life of mine. Still unraveling the pieces and gluing them back together in a way that is better suited to my needs.

Needs and wants. Two sides to the same coin. One a powerful driving force that can allow us to transcend our own desires and surpass all expectation. The other side a paradox of confusion and complexity that craves to be sated. But which is which? How do you know, when the situation is staring you down or breathing on your neck. Hurry, it cries, make your decision known. Time is not on your side, my darling.

When my grandmother passed away last year, they spoke of things like a legacy of love and family. While true, it was not enough. She wasn’t a cookie baking, storytelling, craft fixated being. She was a cookie stealing, story creating, crafty person that impacted all she touched.

I see more, though. I see a girl left behind with an imagination fed on books, a heart of hope that can always find it’s way with a song, a temperament that, while always compassionate and forgiving, is fiercely protective and wickedly quick witted and an independence that borders on strength and leadership (no matter how much she resists).

This girl is me, but she is also my grandmother. Lost in the 1940s, my mind is full of passion in the struggle. We shall unite. We shall overcome. We shall spread hope. *side note* We might also take a moment to pause this action and burst into song and dance just to put a smile on your face.

This girl inside me, not the woman I am by daylight, can fly so high off of creative juices that there is not a situation she cannot face and learn from. There is not a puzzle she cannot work out of. She knows the rules, but she also knows their secret. This puzzle, story, world is hers – and changing the rules is always fair play.

Change your thoughts and the illusion of perspective crashes down and you are left alone. Alone, wrapped up in the words you use to tell yourself who you are.

Words have power. They are magic. A special sort of alchemy that we will never fully understand. They are the very essence of what keep you and I from being one. Our bodies are machines – the same needs to keep each one running. That does not create us.

We are forged through experiences created and responded to with thoughts – words. Even the passions and emotions we claim as our own are created and instilled within us by the experiences we live.

We are but words forever talking, thinking, being. We can be played with, organized, manipulated, conjugated, scratched out, misspelled, written over, and even erased. Or – we can call out to the universe and claim our words, name ourselves as something else, something other and become.

I am here. I matter. Because despite what you tell yourself, you DO matter. Your words don’t just create you. We create each other. A world without that creation of literary perfection and all of it is beauty perfected by its/our own imperfections, would cease to matter. Cease to exist. Machines, working in conjunction, filling needs.

So I am here, taking up this space and making no apologies (any longer). Writing is my superpower, I have come to understand. I must use it. “Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.”*

The scene is always changing, but my words continue to forge a path that I must follow. They have saved my life and my sanity, but more importantly, they are constantly keeping me alive.  I am my words. The same words that are now a part of you.

As you pick up the pen, place your fingers to the keys, or part your lips to whisper, “I matter. I have substance,” the words pass from me to you. Even if the only thing you did was scan your eyes across the letters, you comprehended and the thought transcended – words. There is no escaping from this chain reaction, so be mindful of your words. Be mindful of how you give yourself to others. As others have said before me- be kind in your thoughts, for you are always listening.

*H. G. Wells