It’s almost as if last year didn’t even exist.
How is it Fall, again?
I sit here in my living room warmed by a fire that I made, somehow feeling like I’m waiting for someone to get home. But no one is coming. I’m alone.
I feel utterly blocked and more confused than ever right now.
I’m confused I suppose because last year at this time I was far happier than I had been in so many years I can’t remember and FAR happier than I am right now —and I wonder why… and then suddenly the Sara Bareilles lyrics from Kaleidoscope Heart come to mind… Compare Where you are to where you want to be And you’ll get nowhere… and it grounds me.
Last year I totally and utterly and completely expected to be in a different place now than where I actually am, and it’s frustrating and frightening that I almost feel as if I’m worse off than I was then.
As focused as I become some weeks in work and doing all the things I know how to do, the follow up is utter confusion and chaos. I’m searching for balance and answers and an actual path and road to travel on just so I know what the fuck to do with my time and how to proceed in a direction that is not only positive, but fulfilling as well.
I spend time in some areas and feel like it’s wasted. I focus too hard on my work and feel like I’m missing out on real quality time connecting with other humans. I can’t seem to merge and balance my social life with my work life or be entirely excited about either at the moment, and then the judgement of self comes as I wonder why I’m so utterly off-balance right now.
I’m tired of wondering if what I’m doing is what I’m supposed to be doing. One day everything is exactly the way it’s supposed to be and I’m happy and decisive and hear myself saying this is it, alright good, now I know how to proceed. And then days later I find myself questioning everything and doubting whatever decisions I thought I had made, based on new assumptions and new findings.
I have a major issue with this because it’s completely opposite of who I actually am. It’s out of character and that makes me question everything even more.
I’m usually very good at making decisions for my life and not only sticking to them by dedicating myself to them, while also getting completely excited about them. I love that feeling of action-taking and forward-motion because it ignites new ideas and creativity and it becomes a positive domino effect of goodness. Once I’m all-in, I rarely doubt my decision to spend time working on turning a dream into a reality. I just do it. And whether it’s successful or not, I always (or almost always) enjoy the process.
Mostly, lately, I feel pushed and pulled in a hundred different directions and not moving forward, but stuck in one place. I have little or seemingly no control in team projects at the moment, which is why I generally prefer to work alone. But even in my solo work, I’ll have an idea and then instead of acting on it, as I usually would, I talk myself out of it or doubt it -which creates a confusion around it.
And this confusions begs me to make certain decisions in my life and simultaneously makes me question what I really want my life to look like and be like. And all of this is so overwhelming at the moment that I just want to avoid it and curl up on the couch with my dogs and a good book or run away to an entirely new life with a new identity.
I also know that neither of those options above will actually change anything at all. They may change my immediate circumstances, but they won’t change what’s at the core of it all.
It becomes apparent that I’m grieving the loss of my old life especially when my new life isn’t falling into place as easily as I thought it would. There have been new revelations and new discoveries and new plans made, but when everything is in constant upheaval and nothing is finalized or even comes close to measuring up, I sometimes wonder if nothing ever changed, would life have been easier just leaving everything the way it was? No risk. No reward.
And when I really sit back and think about it, I reassure myself that it is only patience that I am lacking now… patience that all the ends and new beginnings are still in their early stages and that nothing great happens overnight… That I am actually ON THE JOURNEY right now and regardless how stressed out I am, I will look back on this time and smile. I remind myself how unhappy I was in a past life, knowing everything was as it would be forevermore, never hoping for anything more. That memory alone is one that urges me not to regret any past or recent choices I have made, but to give up control and have a little patience things’ll be just fine.
It was ironic, I think, that I was so depressed on a day that had been labeled World Mental Health Day and rather than sharing it here with you, because I felt shameful or as if I would have been complaining if I had, instead I just cried on and off all day, feeling a little or A LOT – hopeless.
I have more of a history with anxiety than depression, so sometimes that hopeless feeling scares the shit out of me and after laying around in it a little bit that day, I had to force myself to do something. The only way I know how to get myself out of that feeling is by taking action… doing something… ANYTHING.
I’ve found that doing really anything at all starts a chain reaction of doing another and another and another thing, and suddenly, while I may still be a little blue, at least I’ve got a feeling of accomplishment, which boosts confidence and makes me feel better overall.
I went out to take my daily walk and connect with nature and balance myself – that was my first step… and I’ve realized lately that I’ve been taking my phone with me on my walks and talking or texting, which is the exact opposite reason I take my walks in the first place.
As much as I’m committed to them as a daily exercise for my physical health, they are extremely helpful in mental health as well. I’d find that when I returned from a walk where I was on the phone for 30-40 minutes instead of in the moment and connecting with myself and nature, I’d step into my house almost feeling like I didn’t walk at all and like I wanted to get back out and do it again. It’s the same feeling when you eat a meal when you’re on the phone. When you hang up, you feel like you didn’t eat and you want to eat again. Because it’s all about being mindful of what you’re doing and focusing on the task at hand.
I got out. I walked and talked to the trees and began feeling better… and after my walk I jumped in the shower and found myself sobbing again… my favorite place to break down fully and completely is in the shower. It’s like I don’t even try… it just happens as soon as the water pours over me it also pours from my eyes.
Well, as I was sobbing, I accidentally swallowed some water from the shower head and began choking miserably.
And as I gasped for air, I’d inhale more water and it would begin all over again. I was grasping at the walls desperately trying to keep my head AWAY from the water…
And in that moment I thought to myself GREAT. GREAT… I’M GOING TO DIE RIGHT HERE IN MY SHOWER FROM CHOKING ON MY OWN TEARS (because yes, I’m that dramatic and ironic) … and THEN I had this sudden realization that no matter what was going on in my life that was making me so sad, I was alive and I wanted to be alive and that, in itself, was a fabulous moment of clarity.
And then I hopped out of the shower singing in perfect pitch and little birds gently placed my robe over my shoulders and little mice made me a new dress from rags and I was whisked off to the ball to meet a prince who OF COURSE fell madly in love with me and we lived happily ever after.
No. Not even a little.
Instead, I fought the blues on and off for the next few days, and even now…
But I’m alive. And I’m healthy. And I choose life. And I choose MY life… and that notion alone fills me with a kind of gratitude and hope that offers a tiny glimpse at knowing that everything really is going to be okay… and in fact, everything already is okay, I just haven’t noticed in a while.