i’m sitting here alone in my house, which is a miracle on two points. 1- someone in my family is always talking towards me and this night, two of them are asleep and one of them is visiting friends and talking at that house, i assume, towards someone else. and 2- i like it. i like the quiet.
i’ve spent a lot of years now avoiding quiet. buzzing gadgets and noisy people and the constant fear of missing out on some action has meant i shy away from alone time. and more broadly, in my life, i’m always throwing more plates in the air to make my spinning trick more impressive. i complain about, but am secretly fiercely proud of, the frantic pace at which i live and the millions of hats i wear. i ‘DO’ so much, everything is measured in what is ‘DONE’ or not ‘DONE’ and not by how i’m do-ing. does that make sense? not saying ‘no’ to anything has become a code of honor. and really, it’s about never being still long enough to let my dusty thoughts settle.
(btw- if ever asked how i’m doing, i say ‘fine.’ that’s weak sauce, man. no substance and probably not true. don’t fall for it.)
this jacked-up pace has caught up to me, of course. i have ALL THE THINGS in my life that i’ve painstakingly worked for- the job, the marriage, the kids, the house, even the hobbies. but i’m scared all the time. i’m a raw nerve and i’m not especially happy. it’s stupid, stupid, because i’m quite literally tripping over the glorious blessings in my life, but there you go. i’m anxious all the time, fearful, lost, panicked. have very recently threatened to leave my marriage. have felt remarkably unsettled and overwhelmed by my kids. have lost my sense of who i am and just become what i do.
it wasn’t always like this. there was a time i did stuff for me, for pleasure and growth, and wasn’t just a doer in the service of others. i explored philosophy and meditation and prayer and worked to enhance an understanding of myself and my relationship with God and others. i had long talks with robb and my other best friends through the middle of the night about who we were and where we fit in the world and what our plans were. and always included in the plans were expectations that personal change would continue and these relationships would deepen and some higher purpose was the aim- justice or art or something equally pure and poetic and necessary for the soul to reach toward.
but it’s easy to fill adulthood with the chaotic minutia and lose the connection with your own spirit. and there, in that place, i have had no bank of peace left in me that i could turn to when i felt overwhelmed, i had used up all the last batch of confidence i’d gained from surviving my last major fall and was running on fumes of doubt and self-loathing. you can go farther than you’d think on that. you can smile and impress the people and function adequately when driven by fear. but it’s not indefinite. there will be a stall. or a crash. and it hurts because it’s not for you. none of it is for you. you’re a puppet, wearing your clothes.
and i’ve discovered, through much consideration, that my version of this puppet is the sad clown. i get louder and funnier and make the people feel good and jolly, but it’s all makeup. i’m hurting and not telling anyone.
this blog has been a great outlet. i do share some big truths on here that i struggle to reveal in person to people i care about. maybe because it’s so one-sided, i don’t have to do my usual accomodation dance to the other party and can just open up and spill it out.
i started seeing a therapist, too. it’s so great. everyone should (be able to afford to) have a therapist. it’s a little weird at first, and i have to override the impulse to guess what she’s thinking about me (“subject is a little disheveled, but clean. she seems to have brushed her hair today, but those are definitley cookie crumbs on her shirt. and she swears a LOT. note- ask her later if comes from a family of pirates.”).
i asked her to help me find that peace. and she helped me discover how much i’m performing and not really talking. she’s given me some really helpful tools.
so i’m working on it.
i’m trying to re-find myself and get a foothold in my relationships. i need to be BRAVE and give more of myself, even when it’s scary because i’m not sure i matter or that what i have to say is valuable. at 35 i’m still dealing with that.
last night i wrote this long post revealing much of this. it got deleted by my own error (and that cursed, horrid app that i’m not talking to anymore) and i felt like i’d been punched because working through this stuff has been pretty raw for me. it was a real humdinger. me telling you that i’m committing to writing more because i feel like i have to to be the best me. and that i’m committing to being brave and to share all the parts of myself i’ve been hoarding out of fear. talking about how i’m now seeing a therapist for anxiety and depression. boy, it was good. it would have made you laugh and cry. there were references to both miralax and asshole bleaching. and there was also stuff that possibly would have made you say ME, TOO. SHE’S BROKEN AND SCARED AND FUCKED UP LIKE THAT, TOO??
but part of the brave thing is healing when something doesn’t go my way and trying it again. and so you get this wobbly post, a pale comparison to the surely genius one that that was destroyed by that cold-hearted app (obviously this reminds me of that Tenacious D song: http://youtu.be/_lK4cX5xGiQ).
so, in an effort to be more authentically me and less of the ‘sad clown’ (does that sound stupid to anyone else? now that i re-read it, it sounds stupid. lemme know), i’m going to reach out for what i need and to give more pieces of myself. just sharing some of these revelations and insecurities leaves me with that face-draining feeling and weak hands-thing you get you’re doing a scary thing and your adrenalne mobilizes the blood to the big muscle groups to help you run the fuck out of that place and find somewhere safer.
but i don’t want safe. i want true.
at 35 years old, i am quite busy with job and family. but i need to be my best me for all that. i can’t wait to start being brave, because it’s going to take practice. and eventually i want to be wise. like mark twain and yoda wise. with willy wonka’s top hat. i still have much to do, but i need to be at vivid peace within me before i can do it. there will come a time when i’ll be doing scarier things and my peace bank and confidence well and spirit needs to be prepared.
in the immediate, i’m smiling bigger. for me. i don’t want to politely sad smile anymore (a brilliant pastor i once knew called it ‘big smile, sad eyes.’ look around. SO many people do it). i want it to take out my whole face and actually lift my mood because the grin goes all the way up on the sides and signals the synapses and works the serotonin into a froth or whatever i forgot happens in the brainy stuff.
i plan to work on my writing, because maybe that’s part of how i can help? or at least maybe it will help me. i *vow* (strong words for such a hot mess, lady) to blog twice weekly and keep chipping away at my funny novel. do not be alarmed. the blogging won’t all be my babbling about inner peace and know thine self yackety schmackety, it’ll mostly go back to talking about my kids and how much they fart. (a lot. they fart a lot.)
but i suspect that the great thinkers and big doers who i respect in the world now/across history regularly stepped out of their comfort and did scary things that made their palms sweat. right??
so, here goes. provided i can still cling to a joe-joe in my sweaty palm, i’m cool.
oh, and also i’m going to lose 10 lbs.