Mindfulness

I’ve been chomping at the bit to blog the last two weeks, but (as you may have noticed), my site has been undergoing some changes. I’m officially self-hosting my domain (as opposed to having my blog hosted by WordPress. The transfer process took longer than I anticipated, but I’m finally master of my own site, and I’m excited to explore some of that potential.

I read a quote yesterday that stuck with me:

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nat Hanh

I’ve been thinking a lot about mindset lately, about making sure I’m in the right headspace when it comes to work, health, body. About being unapologetically, 100% me.

It’s not that I’m afraid to show who I am, insecurities and all. It’s more that I’m fighting with having these insecurities. I see some of them as silly, but here they are. They’re in my thoughts every day. And I’m working on many of them, but we are in this age and time now, where we want such instant results with everything. The truth is, none of these insecurities developed overnight.

There are things that I’ve found hard to accept over the last decade. Physical changes, professional challenges, loss, differences among friends. And I know that experiences help to shape who you are, circumstances can humbling, the people you cross paths with can influence you. But through all of this, I’ve been fighting with acceptance.

I let some really strong words from other people influence how I saw myself and my abilities, and I accepted for a long time that they were right. That all I amounted to were what they said. That they said what they did as some sort of “tough love” or “I’m your friend so I’ll tell you the real truth” kind of intention.

I never for a second questioned the people making the statements or their motives. Instead, I believed them. Blindly. Like a lost puppy. And I have to own that; it was my mistake to think their opinion mattered more than my own. That I could know better than others I held in such high esteem.

As I work on this novel, and I push her through some uncomfortable realities, I realize that I’m facing them myself. A part of my block is that I need to get to the other side of the tunnel as much as she does. I have to accept me for what I am now, and not who I can be, who I think I should be, or who anyone else believes me to be. I can strive to be more, try harder, and improve, but I can’t deny present time.

Sometimes, I think we worry so much about the future that we never really pay attention to right now. Where are we right now? Who are we right now? What can we be grateful for in this moment? When I saw “we,” I guess I’m talking about myself.

Anyway, one of my resolutions this year is to be more present, take more ownership, and really affect the change that I want to see in myself. If nothing else about me changes, and I’m in a vacuum exactly as I am now for the rest of my life, I am good with me right now. It’s taken a lot for me to be able to say that.

Do I see areas where I believe I can improve? Absolutely. But I’m accepting who I am, where I am, how I am. It’s all a testament of where I’ve been, what I’ve been through, and how I’ve handled myself. I can’t be mad at that, and I won’t apologize for being me.

I actually think I’m inherently good, kind, and generous to others, though often to a fault. I need to be more generous to myself, but I’m working on that. I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish so far, and I feel like there are some personal accomplishments that I’m not far from reaching. I’ll keep plugging along, but I’m going to stop and take breaths to enjoy moments as they happen.

Anniversary

I can’t believe that today is actually a blog anniversary for me here. My posts grew so infrequent for a time that this site still feels so new to me. So unlike my Xanga days, which I miss.

I miss the followers that frequented my page, ones that I could really get to know. Ones that understood or even just empathized with the loss and grief I was experiencing. I appreciated those days.

I recognize that things have to change; change is necessary for growth. I’m not resistant to change, but I do want some sort of normalcy. I’ve got to get that for myself though, rather than wait for it to come to me. Writing can’t be an every day for me if I don’t allow it; I have to make the time and the effort, even when I feel mentally exhausted.

I assume many go through moments where they question motivation, where they give in to the pressures of the every day, sacrificing the things that they actually enjoy. If my days were full of writing and cooking, I’d be a hell of a lot happier. And I guess it comes down to making excuses. I have so much work to do. I went out this weekend. I need more sleep. If I need to write, I need to make the time. Let’s see that commitment come to fruition.

Stay tuned. Four years here. Here’s to many more. Cheers.

Stretch and Resume

Sometimes, you have to take a step away to see things for what they are.

Blogging, at least for me, has always been my therapy; the one place where I could express myself freely. No filters. No care as to what anyone else thought. It’s like yelling into a vacuum. Or, at least, that was my perception the first years I blogged.

The past couple years, blogging has been disjointed for me. I kept changing blogs because I was worried about losing a few followers, I wanted to hide from specific followers, and I felt stifled. I couldn’t say everything I was thinking. I couldn’t yell into a vacuum anymore. I started internalizing everything.

I can’t sleep, because I can’t turn my brain off. I can’t turn my brain off, because I can’t do my habitual mind dump. I can’t release myself of all my worries because I can’t seem to put them out into the universe. I want to, but I can’t seem to unfilter. I can’t seem to turn off my concern that others are watching.

But I need to.

Breathe

The acceptance of things I cannot change.

I’ve been working on this, but it’s not easy. I try my hardest not to over think or worry, but when you feel like your livelihood is at stake, what do you do?

I feel like everything is about to change, and I’m not sure what that means. I’m not sure how to plan for a future when I can’t even be sure where I’ll be, what I’ll be doing, or who will still be with me. I’m not afraid of change; rather, the uncertainty is what bothers me most. True to my Capricorn ways, I’d be happy to reorganize and plan for new changes, if only I knew which direction the wind would blow.

In any event, I can weather the storm, but I might wake up to somewhere other than Kansas. One step at a time.

Too Open

So when I last left, I was taken over with butterflies.  I couldn’t get enough. But maybe he could?

It’s not that we’re on bad terms now.  There just are no terms.  I don’t know what to expect, and I don’t think he wants me to.  Some might look at it as mind games being played, but I know better.  I think that’s why I haven’t really done anything to stop what’s happened. I know that he needs to put himself first — this may be the first time he’s ever done that.  But it’s what he needs.

He came to visit me.  Waiting for the day he arrived built up so much anticipation.  I think we both knew that we would enjoy each other’s company, but we both were prepaaring for the worst.  We had an amazing time together; couldn’t keep away from each other.  When he had to leave, I think he was ready to take a step back.  Unbeknownst to me, of course.  I was beyond smitten.

I fell, and there wasn’t any denying it.  But I think the difference between us is that I was looking for something before we met.  He wasn’t.  And there it is.  I won’t ask if there’s such a thing as “too open” or “too ready.”  I was ready, and he wasn’t.  It’s just that simple.  I can’t blame myself, because it’s taken me years to get here.  I can’t blame him, because he didn’t think either of us could have feelings this fast.  But I did.  Maybe he did too. But he knew enough to stop things, or at least put them on hold (whatever this is) until he could actually do something about whatever it is that he felt. Maybe.

All I know is that I’m getting on a plane in an hour.  I don’t know what will happen when I get there, but I do know that I wouldn’t object to having his arms around  me one more time.  If the season has ended, I look back with no regrets.  I was ready, I was open.  That’s progress.  There are still butterflies to be had.