The last time I was on an airplane was in 1993. My last vacation was three years ago. My daughter is almost 16 and she has never been on a plane. Am I complaining? Yes. Do I hurt? Yes. Am I envious of all of those people that go on vacation every year, while I stay home? Yes. Do I want to travel? More than anything.
I don't know how to change this. I wish that I did. I wanted my daughter to travel and have vacations. I'm an educated woman, who has never been able to get ahead financially. At 42, a part of me still believes it's possible to turn this all around. Some part of me still believes that I am capable of great success and creativity. But I also realize that my belief in my specialness has possibly been illusion. An illusion that I started believing in as a child, to help comfort me from the reality that I didn't have any friends and didn't seem to fit in anywhere. I don't know the difference between my actual capabilities and my desired self.
There is a tornado ripping through my house at the moment. I try to calm and steady myself through my writing, the writing that I have so desperately wanted to believe was different, special. But I don't know anymore. I really don't know.
This morning I woke up with an intense ache in my neck and shoulders, jaw tightly clenched. Anger has made a home in my body. Actually, I'm discovering that it has lived there for quite some time, I've just been oblivious to its presence.
While I write, a gentle rain falls outside my sun room window, and my furry companion Django sleeps at my feet. If only for a few delicious moments, I feel relaxed and calm. With greater frequency these experiences of tranquility have been slipping into my daily experience, intermingling with my chronic fear, guilt, and shame. A subtle shift is occurring in my life. Healthy friendships surround me, and I am slowly learning to care about myself.
The process of growth isn't what I expected. Ups and downs, intensely painful emotions, the ground crumbling beneath my feet, and failure and loss are all part of being alive. Life is messy, painful, and ultimately beautiful. Who knew?
The more I try to write, the harder it becomes, and it's not due to a lack of things to say. For the life of me, I cannot produce anything readable, even a blog post.
Recently, I have been experimenting with radical acceptance. Accepting whatever is, right now, in this moment, simultaneously accepting my shortcomings, while holding an awareness of the need to transform them into something healthier and more workable.
Letting go of my desire to produce something of any value, isn't making the writing process any easier. Neither adding pressure, nor easing up seems to work. So this is the part where radical acceptance comes in. What if I could radically accept that I am in a space where I cannot write, even with the pressure off? This is just what it is right now. Writers get writer's block; it seems to be a fact of life. As I am writing this, I remembered reading somewhere that sometimes you just write crap, and that's okay. Allowing for mistakes, allowing for crap. Okay, so I just experienced a revelation. Maybe I'll just keep on writing crap for a while. Because even if it is unattractive, messy, and completely undesirable to be in the same room with, I still enjoy producing it (crappy writing that is). I don't think that I ever realized that producing unreadable crap could be fulfilling. However, the bottom line is that I love to write. Admittedly, I would rather write something that has all of the vividness of a Chagall painting, and the light yet intoxicating scent of L'air du Temps perfume. But for now, I will settle for ... crap.
Connecting with words as if they are alive. Words are a fickle friend. When I take a break and then return, I am not met with warmth; no, I am given the cold shoulder. I have to prove my loyalty once again. Some days I wonder if I will ever regain my friend's trust. I usually do. But during a dry spell, I agonize that my dear friend will not forgive my absence this time; leaving me mute and all alone. But this friend of mine doesn't hold a grudge forever, just for a little while I must suffer while my friend withholds its love. Just long enough for me to fill with regret and remorse for having ever left. I want to return. I long to return. Although I know that I will leave again one day.
I haven't posted in a very long time. There hasn't been anything that I have wanted to say. I haven't wanted to share my inner thoughts and feelings with other people. But right now, in this moment, I feel terribly lonely and empty; two very vulnerable and painful emotions. The last thing that I have wanted to do was to share my vulnerability with other people, since I have always equated vulnerability with rejection.
Maybe I'm being impulsive. However, I know that I need to write; it has been so long. It feels as though I have lost most of my ability to convey anything meaningful. As I am writing these words, I feel the emptiness filling up ever so slightly.
There are so many of you that I want to reach out to, but I hesitate because more than anything, I fear rejection and judgement. I never let my guard down; always on edge; constantly frightened of being hurt.
So much of the time, I am terrified, and this is the way it has always been for me. Sometimes I want to let people know that I'm so scared. I want to be told that it's all okay, that I'm okay and that I am really not the terrible person that I imagine myself to be. I live in a constant state of feeling as though I have done something terribly wrong, and I am just waiting for punishment to come my way. Although if I scan my memory I can't find the terrible thing that I have done. I've made some mistakes, but those things don't make me a bad person. So I carry this kind of shameful feeling with me always. I realize that some of you will judge me for confessing my vulnerability, and quite frankly I'm not sure that my sharing in this way is even appropriate. There are probably better ways to connect, and I may regret this later. But I hurt and I don't want to be in this pain alone.
It seems that during the past month my desire or need to stay connected with people through the blog and Facebook has dwindled to practically nothing. The realization hit me last week that I don't feel the need to stay connected or validated through my writing. It feels liberating and scary. We go through phases in this life, and I am certainly aware that this is a phase that I am going through. However, the feeling of not looking for approval through writing is a pretty great feeling. That doesn't mean that I have stopped caring what people think of me, unfortunately that nasty habit will die hard. I wouldn't necessarily say that I am on a journey at present, although I suppose we are always on a journey. However, journey implies to me some sort of fun and adventure, and I am not having much fun. I am finding that there is beauty in the darkness and normal does not exist. Perfection is arbitrary. I am not nor have I ever been a model of mental health as much as I may have tried to convince myself of that because seeing the truth of who I am and my flaws was just too painful. So I've spent years finding flaws in others and trying to believe that I really am normal and healthy. I have yet to meet anyone that is normal and yet I have so desperately wanted to be normal and not labeled weird or quirky. I am what I am, whether likable or not. I have spent so much time and energy hiding from myself and the world out of shame and embarrassment. I'm not so interested in coming out of hiding to the world, I just care about being honest and open with myself. I'm not quite sure what that looks like, I just know that the closer that I come to touching it the more I feel myself coming undone.
My apologies to those blogs that I no longer frequent, I haven't forgotten the writers and I wish them all beautiful things on their journeys.