Updated: May 7, 2021
I have been on a wild ride with some of the highest highs and lowest lows the last few weeks, and rollercoasters are not very kind to you when you are almost 37. Since the rush of adrenaline that came with launching my blog has worn off and my once packed to-do list has thinned out, I have found myself alone with my thoughts again. Yikes. That can get out of hand pretty fast if I'm not paying attention.
Choosing to pause my writing while traveling the week before last was necessary, but it felt weird after doing it daily for months now. I was grateful for time with my good friend to keep me grounded because it was a lot easier to coach myself out of the idea that taking an intentional break was the same thing as quitting. It was especially rough coming back with all of the driving time and big feelings too--I was majorly deflated, sad, and uninspired. In short, I was spent. All of that left the door open just wide enough for doubt to sneak back in.
My head is where I hide. It has always been that way. I keep my body moving and allow my brain to check out or I keep my brain busy to unplug from my body altogether. I clean, I read, I work, I exercise, I watch too much TV, and I go all the places and see all the people when I am not ok. If my week is jam-packed, it usually means my mind is on vacation. Floating along allows me time to ruminate and overanalyze without the bother of focusing on what I am doing or on trivial things like, say, reality. Unfortunately, all of that comes with a pretty hefty price tag.
If I am busy hiding, I cannot be present. If I am not present, it means I cannot play. Without play, I cannot connect with myself and with others. If I am disconnected long enough, I lose my spark. When my spark is out, I cannot create. If I am not creating, I may be skating by, but I am not really living.
Skating by eventually leads me to doing even more to compensate for the lack of connection. I start scrambling in the dark to find outside sources of validation because I can't even see where my own two feet are anymore. If other people are not around to remind me of my worthiness, the story I begin to write is that it is because no one really cares and that I am not actually worth their time.
Even after all the yoga, mediation, speaking my truth, and self-love I have been practicing, I still sometimes find myself in the trenches. That's normal, and I have accepted it, but that doesn't make it suck any less. I try to look at it like labor: If I keep breathing through it, I can do anything for one minute at a time.
I'm sitting next to H at the kitchen table the other night and we're listening to some Parry Gripp after dinner. There I am, cloth napkin up to my mouth, making weird sounds to the music (and cracking myself up, by the way) with Evan standing behind H, laughing and playing along with me. That only ever leads to me laughing harder. After that, it's really only a short walk on down to Snort Town.
Anyway, I finally got ahold of myself and as I was calming down, H looked at me and said, deadpan, "You want to know why I'm not laughing? Because I didn't like your joke."
Nothing like being brutally honest!
"That's fine. I was just entertaining myself."
Well, shit. There it is.
I show up for an audience of one. The only butt in the stands that matters is my own.
Thank you for joining me. I am so glad you’re here!