Recently, I read a friend’s blogpost that has stuck with me for weeks. She wrote about the things that she had learned and relearned about herself last year. She shared a side of herself that I really had never seen before, and it made me feel heard and seen. I used to use this place to let the feelings flow - but as more and more people started reading it (hi, dad), I stopped sharing more and more of myself. Well… not today. Letting the thoughts and feelings flow. Maybe you (whoever you are) will feel heard and seen. I’m titling this season or chapter of my life “Survival Mode”.
Where I’m At Currently:
Adulthood is a struggle. This is something that everyone knows, and I’m not at all under the impression that this is as hard as it will ever get. I’m well aware that I’m on the early side of adulthood and that there are many more mountains to summit. However, that doesn’t mean that this still can’t be really damn hard. Scratching the surface… My work doesn’t fulfill me anymore. I live farther away from my family than I would like, and phone calls are exhausting and triggering when my energy levels seem to live beneath rock bottom at the moment. The relationships that I have with family are the ones that I prize the most, and nurturing them is hard when you’re far away and “in your feelings” as the kids say these days.
There’s a pressure to be present on social media so that people “know who you are”. I don’t love this, and it just reminds me of Andy Warhol’s famous quote, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” It turns out that he was right and that social media made that possible.
I need sunshine and warmth to be a pleasant person. I don’t know where my cold-loving, sweater maven self went - but she is gone and her hands are cold and she is sick of soup and longs to run and play and swing and watch birds and get her hands dirty. Maybe I need a sun lamp for lizards…but for myself.
Yacht Rock has been the sound of my soul for the last year, and I find that it can always bring me back to a solid place - even just temporarily. If you don’t know what Yacht Rock is, think Robbie Dupree, Ambrosia, Eagles, Toto, Hall & Oates, Little River Band.
Thinking back on that post that I mentioned previously and quoting it directly here because she said it better than I ever could: “…we must not sit in anger. Anger has to be moved through. It is never meant to be a permanent state, but a catalyst for some sort of change that works itself out and into a state of compassion, or resolve, or determination. If you are angry, do not stop there. That emotion is a signal of a recognized injustice of some kind: identify it, lean into it, and transform it.” Words to live by.
I’ve felt creatively stifled for quite some time. I have a studio space now, and it’s pretty much complete and ready for me to get to work. But, nothing. I haven’t sketched. My embroidery floss has dust on it. I feel choked and tamped down and stalled.
The thought of being unreachable sounds like a dream vacation.
I need to understand that not everyone wants their problems fixed - and even if they do, they may not want me to try to fix them. They may not want a solution. They may not want insight. They may just want a sounding board.
I’ve felt less and less like myself over the last year and I’m the only one that can fix this. I know the cause of it, but it’s scary to realize that it’s not just a funk or an off day… it’s real. Knowing the cause doesn’t make it easier to shake. It was a gradual shift in thinking that took place over a long span of time, making it to where negativity is always on my tongue, ready to be shared with anyone that will listen. It’s not going to be a quick and easy fix to undo. But, I’m working on it. It’s devastating to see a change happen in yourself for the worse.
One time, someone asked me how I can possibly be filled with so much joy and light and still have some extra to give away. This was maybe one of the nicest things that I had ever heard, and the skeptic in me wonders if they really meant it. I’d like to get back to that place.