I feel a bit like a teenager growing up and making discoveries that every adult knows. I don’t know what to call it, but I feel I’m on a path towards a way of living that’s different than what I’ve been doing before. It involves mindfulness, meditation, forgiveness, acceptance, discipline, and faith. It sounds a lot like religion but maybe it’s just growing up.
I’ve started to develop some skills in these areas. To use a snowboarding analogy for my level of mastery, I’m pretty comfortable on the green runs and the blue ones are fun but still really challenging. Black diamonds? Maaaaaaybe on a 3-feet-of-powder day, and then only if there’s a cute boy to impress.
One of these skills is recognizing inner thoughts as side effects of larger situations, instead of as the absolute truth. When I have thoughts of, “No one likes me and I have no friends and I’m destined to die alone and miserable like my aunt,” I kind of realize it’s not true and probably due to hormones or anxiety about something else. I’ve gotten pretty good at
letting those thoughts go crap as I typed that I realize I don’t let them go at all. I dissect them to find the reason behind it – am I hormonal? What am I anxious about? Should I meditate about this? Do I need exercise? Am I hungry?
This post was originally going to be about how I always expect there to be an end to my sadness, my anxiety, my meanness … my life, basically. It was going to be about how all those things will always be there and I need to learn to accept those things too. Now I realize that all that’s true, yes, but something that will also always be there is my instinct to analyze. Yeah, I could work really really hard on letting that go but I could also work really really hard on dying my Asian hair blonde. What’s the point? It’s kind of denying who I am, isn’t it? As long as I recognize that the analytical skill is just a skill and not a fact – not a determiner of my happiness – all is well, right?
Last night I did the gratitude thing again, writing the three things I was thankful for that day. I also did a guided meditation in bed right before going to sleep. Okay, since I don’t remember the end of the meditation, I more accurately went to sleep with a guided meditation track playing. And goddamital if I didn’t wake up this morning with a smile on my face and a song in my heart.
My life coach had me writing down 3 things every day that I was grateful for, and I kept it up after our sessions were over. Like I sometimes do with St. Johns Wort, I stopped doing it for a while, thinking it wasn’t really doing anything for me. On my walk today I was trying to figure out why things seem to be falling apart a bit lately, and apart from moving into a new house, it hit me that my sense of gratitude didn’t seem that genuine or even there so much. I obviously have so much to be thankful for and yet I’m dwelling on all the thingsI don’t have.
It’s all just exercise, keeping my brain in shape and not letting it get lazy and sloppy. So it’s back to self discipline and good daily habits and we’ll see if the happiness bounces back.
My moving freakout kind of, well, freaked me out. I thought things were settling down in my head and whoosh! came the sadness, despair, loneliness, fear, totally crazy thoughts and tears. Lots of tears. I’ve come to a few conclusions:
- I might need help. I put in a call to a counselor and feel pretty good about that. I can’t seem to shake the ex – and worse, confusing missing him with missing my dad somehow in my mixed-up head. It might be new daddy issues or unresolved old ones, I don’t know. They’re there, wherever they came from.
- I bounced back from this ick pretty quick (for me, anyway). Part of what scared me so much was the familiar feeling of having no control over my thoughts and emotions. Today it just clicked that I don’t need to figure the sad feelings out – I can focus on the fun stuff and safely ignore the impending doom warning sirens as false alarms. So one weekend of mild anxiety and one 24-hour period of nutter butter is perfectly acceptable. I just bought my first fucking house, after all!
- That icky stuff will always be there for me. It’s like my emotional herpes. Just gotta learn to deal with it and not spread it around too much.
- I probably am not certifiably crazy.
The movers came today and I’m settling in to my new little Bag End. Had a bit of a freakout packing up the old place – okay, a big freakout. It just felt like every negative emotion in me was getting slushed up and mixed around with every bit of stuff I packed. Went back to thinking about the ex, his girlfriend, how much I miss my dad, how alone I am, down, down, down in a pity spiral. Was the sludge just more firmly packed when I was younger or was there less of it to get swirled up?
I used to have such wanderlust, always thinking of the next cool place I could live, and picking up and just going there without a second thought. Now I want to settle in and grow some roots and move maybe one more time ever. I don’t know what’s made me more afraid of change lately – I guess that’s just age. There’s an element of knowing that geography doesn’t change much about who I am, but also a definite fear of leaving something safe.
Anyway, my friend came over and stayed with me for the move – and brought sugary lovely things too. A friend helped me through my last big freakout too. I know I’m surrounded by tons of love and it feels self-centered to be so dismissive of that, always wanting a different kind of love. Does any single woman really ever let go of wanting a romantic relationship? I was raised to be an incredibly independent, smart woman. When and how did my self worth get so tied to a man loving me or not?
Sheesh, and all this just from throwing some dishes and books in boxes. Never moving again.
Last night my friends had a great housewarming party. It was so awesome and lovely – great people, a band, food, atmosphere. I smiled and laughed and loved that this is my life.
I didn’t drink too much, but still woke up with an overwhelming feeling of guilt about what an ass I’d been. Should I apologize to anyone? Did I say mean things? Was it my fault the ex didn’t show up? Answers: no, no, and probably not.
When I get drunk, I do have a tendency to say mean things and be more aggressive. I think drinking brings out character rather than changing it, and I’m not proud that I have that meanness and anger in me. There’s some disconnect between who I am and who I present as myself.
When I can wake up after a night of drinking and only remember the happiness of the occasion, will it be because that disconnect gap is smaller?
I love my little apartment. I feel safe there. There’s been a lot that’s scared me in the last three years I’ve lived there. Every time I move, I’m scared of the new place.
This will be a good home, I know. But after the realtor left and I was alone, all I wanted to do was go home. My real home, not this fake house that wants to be my home but isn’t yet.
Deep breaths…I will be safe and happy here.