Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Words I Needed

I used to think that affirmations were sort of silly.  The whole standing in front of the mirror, repeating positive "You can do it!" sort of messages to yourself.

I mean, I grew up on the mockery of Stuart Smalley.

But maybe I was wrong.

The other night, my mind just wouldn't shut up. You've had those nights, haven't you? I'd read something online that had made me feel criticized for a super hard and personal decision I'd come to, and my mind immediately jumped into hyper-defensive overdrive.

Of course I'd read it approximately 90 seconds before heading to bed, which meant that I was lying there, trying to go to sleep, my heart racing and my head composing everything I "needed" to say. Every defense, every reason, every everything -- all the while, interjecting every so often, "OMG, stop thinking. You have to go to sleep!!" which didn't stop the overthinking at all, just added to the cacophony of noise in my mind.

I have so many people in my head sometimes. Stern but Sensible Me suddenly spoke up with authority. "Listen. You do not have to choose for anyone but you."

"But--!!!"

"No, you're not hearing me. No defending is needed. No excuses are needed. No one has to agree. This is for you. You do not have to choose for anyone but you."

And as that sunk in with all the other voices in my head, I could physically feel the anxiety leave my body. My mind quieted.  Not all it once... it took a few more repeatings as the stubborn ones tried to pick up the fight again. But over a few minutes, it worked.  I slept in peace.

So, maybe a few affirmations in your back pocket aren't the dumbest thing ever.


Friday, August 17, 2018

A Writer's Return (I hope)

I miss writing.

I miss doing it. I miss closing my eyes, setting my fingers to the keyboard or the pen to the page, and letting whatever come out of it come out.  Even when it isn't anything like what I planned and surprises me that it was sitting there in my head at all.

I miss the art of cultivating words into thoughts. I miss how I feel when it's done and the thoughts are out on paper. I miss the relief that comes when they're not just swimming inside my mind, making me crazy.

I've been having a hard time settling my thoughts enough to even begin. Perhaps it's just that I haven't done it in earnest for so long that I'm afraid to begin out of a fear of ineptitude.

I spent the day making myself a little cheat... a jar filled with hundreds of prompts that I've pinned and forgotten about over the last several months.

So you may be hearing from me more... or at least I may just be writing more.  You don't have to read it. Maybe I'm scared that you will. That I'll say something that will make someone mad or that won't be understood or that someone feels they need to argue with.  And that no one will understand that that isn't the point.

But I'ma do it anyway.  Because I need to.  Because I am better when I do.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

It was a bad plan, anyway.

So I had a plan.

Wait 6 months. Get a little space and distance. But then - I could be honest. Honest about what, but more importantly, honest about why. I could let go of the secrets.

And maybe for awhile, I needed that to be the plan. I needed there to be a time where I could release - because underneath it all, I was really angry. And I needed that plan to give the anger time to burn itself out.

But I realized and admitted to myself this week that I'm never going to do that. Mostly because it just isn't who I am. Because anger and hurt and even resignation do not take the place of love. Because "I'm mad and wounded" is not actually a valid excuse for betrayal. And because acting in anger would only beget more anger.

And that just isn't how I want to remember things.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A Tired Heart


My heart is tired this week.  Really tired.

My life hasn't been perfect... but it's good and I'm very lucky to have the life that I do. My family, my home, my relative safety and security.  I am blessed to live where I do.  And I've always believed that it is the responsibility of those who have been given much to, in turn, give much to others.

I can't stop thinking about the women who have made it here just to have the most cherished parts of their lives taken away.... just to put myself in their shoes.

The trip from where they started to get here is so unbelievably heinous... it's hard to wrap my head around how completely awful the starting place has to be in order to make that trip seem better than where they started.  And to go through all of that... to endure that hardship... to face those horrors...

And to finally make it through all of that... to actually get to where the good guys are supposed to be... -- and to have the good guys take your children with no guarantee or plan or intention of giving them back to you.

This hurts my heart in a way that I can't really explain. Part of that is empathy... part of that, I think, is disappointment in us. I feel like I've confronted a lot of that lately.

And so my heart is merely tired, and I am disappointed and angry and sad and all of the things.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Walking Through My Imagination

I probably make my neighborhood walks more stressful than they have to be.

We have great walking trails which I love.  I would 1000 times rather walk on trails than I would on paved road.  It's more interesting, feels more nature-y, and I don't have to say Hi to people (which isn't awful, but I walk with music in my ears, and I forget what level I'm supposed to speak at).

However...

at various times in the 10+ years we've lived here, there have been a handful of bear sightings in the vicinity of these trails.  So... like... two.

But two is more than zero, so sometimes I look around and realize how forest-y it looks, and think, "Oh my god.  What would happen if I came across a bear right now?... I am going to die and get eaten on this trail."  The adrenaline alone kicks my heartrate up to full-speed.

The potential for bears, though, isn't enough.  Oh no.

See... I make up stories in my head all the time.  Not just ones about bears.  There's this house along the end of one of the trails, and they have these crates in the back of their yard.  Like the kind you'd house a dog in.  There's a lot of them and they're not in great condition.

Well... one day, I was walking by this house, and I made up a story in my head that this house was really a witch's house.  And the crates in the backyard were not for animals, but for the children she kidnaps and imprisons until she decides to cook and eat them.

Now, I know this is a story -- sort of
... but... I'm genuinely a little frightened when I walk by her house.  Because.. what if it's NOT just a story??
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