Archives for category: Metaphors

It’s a comfortably cool, somewhat humid morning. The red-wing blackbird outside the window is piercingly reminding me that the feeder is empty. Β It is, and that’s because it is fully summer, and there is no “food shortage” out there in the meadow and marsh this time of year, and I moving very soon. It’s time to prune back the roses for traveling – although this year a friend with a truck seems likely, and perhaps I won’t need to cut them back so much as the last two times I moved? I am now full of enthusiasm for this move, and I smile even thinking about my initial anxiety and frustration with having to, now that I’m past that.

…It’s still really hard to get started. It’s time to box up all the books and breakables. It’s time to take down all the paintings that are hanging. The more prepared I am, and the more small work I’ve done to be ready for the movers (and friends coming ’round to help out with moving), the less time I have to spend actually moving, and the less I have to pay the movers for fewer hours of their work. It’s still really really hard to do the first thing – whatever it ends up being. Beginning again, as often as I say the phrase, sounds so… easy. Just… do the thing, right? Yeah. That’s totally true, and also… totally not as easy as it sounds, often. lol Where to begin?

Any new journey begins somewhere. A moment, a location, an opportunity, a choice; a change-in-progress has to have begun with something. So, this morning I’m a bit hung up on that beginning, because this upcoming weekend kicks off the packing of things into boxes. πŸ™‚ When I go to get the keys, I’d ideally like to have a carload of stuff with me, to bring into the house – I mean, I’m making the trip there, the end result of which will be keys in hand, right? It just seems practical to take stuff over with me. What to bring in that first car load, though? I consider the most likely immediate needs at both ends of the move… a drink of water, a cup of coffee, a quick bite to eat, or a trip to the rest room… someplace to sit down… a plan begins to form.

I figure I can easily take over one or another of three coffee solutions at hand. I’d need to have at least one coffee mug, at least one drinking glass. Packing the pantry seems an easy step, too. A quantity of my breakables have never been unpacked here in this apartment, although I had the space for them – I never reached my “buy a new hutch or curio” goal, in my budget. Higher priorities cropped up more than once over the course of the year. Moving them over is easily done…and goes a long way toward making me feel at home in the new place, and also more relaxed about the move by getting them out of harm’s way early on.

So the morning over coffee goes… I make a list, think it over, shuffle it around, consider cubic footage of space in the car… pack it in my head, unpack it, re-pack it. By the time the day is here, this will feel planned and routine – and hopefully comfortable. I rely on that feeling of preparedness and ease to keep my anxiety at bay; every time I move seems to “change everything”, and getting settled can be a long process for me.

I’m pre-occupied with moving – fortunately, I find it also a great “living metaphor” and as the process unfolds, I am also considering the woman in the mirror and her journey. It’s time to set down some baggage, and get more comfortably moved into my life, and my experience. It may not be easy to get started, but it is time to “walk on” from one thing to the next, with a full tool box full of verbs, and a better idea of who I am – and who I want most to be. My results may vary, but I can begin again, and begin again, and begin again – and incremental change over time is unavoidable; we become what we practice. So.

Begin again? Sure. This path definitely leads somewhere

I’d meant to be writing much sooner, finally getting a good night’s sleep and waking feeling fully rested and wholly clear-headed it seemed likely to be a good day for it.

…I’m still sitting here, more than an hour later, just sipping coffee, and continuing to plan out my upcoming move. πŸ™‚ Coffee’s good, though.

I listen to the red-wing blackbirds, assorted songbirds, the breezes and even the traffic beyond the park. This audible viewpoint won’t be the background music of my at-home experience for very much longer. The water birds on the marsh, and the eagles and owls in combination with the specific songbirds in this eco-system have very much their own sound. I soak it in. I’d like to remember all the very best things about this experience of life, here. I didn’t think twice about letting the writing fall to the side, overlooked, while I took time to savor this moment, right here. πŸ™‚

The dawn came later than I expected. The sky is overcast, a smooth formless gray. The temperature is comfortably cool. I enjoy the view here, although I often find myself carefully positioning myself so that my field of vision does not include the playground to the left, or the basketball court to the right. I enjoy the illusion of uninterrupted nature beyond the edge of the patio, but it has always been an illusion.

The flowers just outside my window are visible from my desk, against a backdrop of green lawn, and meadow beyond, very different than if I look at them from the lawn, looking back at the apartment. Same flowers, though.

Who will my wild neighbors be at the new house? Will the squirrels right here “miss me” – or even notice that I’ve gone? How long will it take for the squirrels at the new house to notice someone different has moved in? I smile and finish my coffee; these are questions for another day, some other moment. I pull myself back into this moment, now. I breathe the meadow breeze deeply, and enjoy the scent of summer flowers. I listen to the coming and going of the commuter train; it is a work day.

I notice there is still time to get some tidying up done, and to meditate. Good self-care works best practiced regularly, for me. I guess I’ll get going on that… or make another coffee, and sit on the patio enjoying the morning for a little while longer… πŸ™‚

 

It’s been crazy hot this week, so far, and I’m relieved that there are cooler temperatures in the forecast now. The lack of shade on this apartment, now, results in being unable to cool it enough during the night, or in the early morning, to achieve any sort of comfortable indoor temperature the next day. It reached 100 degrees (F) yesterday, maybe a tad more, outside, and inside it reached almost 90. I still managed to smile, and most of that is due to the knowledge that the new place has A/C, and the recollection of hotter places I have lived (the desert… Fresno…). Besides, it was too hot to do more than lay around quietly breathing, sweating, and drinking water. LOL

I managed sleep, which was nice. I feel okay this morning. Somewhat… sticky… even after my shower.

Weird day, and I ride the emotional currents without concern, without fighting it. I’m okay. Today I’m out of the office providing logistical and emotional support to my Traveling Partner, who is having a procedure done. I’m sipping my coffee, alert for that moment when it is time to leave the house to catch the train to catch the bus to be at the place at the time. All very routine, somehow.

Over time, more of the things that once wracked me with anxiety or provoked tears or anger just… don’t. I’m fine – and I’m fine to my very core, without any particular noteworthy effort beyond routine good self-care practices, and meditation. It’s nice. It would have been wonderfully encouraging to have been able to foresee improvements over time, or rely on them utterly with the kind of certainty that comes of knowing things. Clearly that’s not really a thing for me; I’m pretty sure friends and loved ones may even have suggested, helpfully, that I “try meditation”. I’m pretty sure I’ve done so for others, and gotten the very same result my own friends got with me; “I’ve tried that, doesn’t work for me”, “I’ve tried that, I don’t think I’m doing it right”, “I don’t know how to do that”, “if it doesn’t come in a pill at great price, it can’t possibly work”, “if it requires my personal accountability or effort I’m not interested”, “not if I have to change who I am”, “I can’t.” Well, shit. That about covers, doesn’t it? Do you. 0_o

We become what we practice. Over time, in increments, in moments, by way of our choices, by way of our repeated thoughts, repeated actions, repeated words – we become what we practice. We build ourselves and rebuild ourselves, we tear ourselves down, we allow the world to tear us down, too. In spite of that, it seems far to simple – impossibly simple – that this very same notion of incremental change over time could be applied quite willfully. Sometimes the easy answers are the hardest ones just because we aren’t convince-able. We won’t, more than we can’t.

Where is your will this morning? Maybe just some really small thing that would be just the tiniest bit better… that could be doable, right? For me it may have begun, if I follow the thread all the way back, with a gentle suggestion that I try getting up earlier in the morning, and slowing down my routine to give myself time to really be awake before starting my day. No kidding. Sure, I still went through some major changes, bullshit, drama, upheaval, hurting – even hitting the bedrock of rock bottom, emotionally, came after that…but that moment, choosing to change my routine, exploring that one tiny seemingly insignificant change, was a domino, and the rest started falling into place over time.

What are you practicing?

It’s already time to begin again. πŸ™‚

If not this moment, when?

Ever wake up to a lovely morning, resting contentedly in the context of a beautiful moment, begin your day and…

Change? Change. A change that literally “changes everything” – or least feels like it does – can rock my world, shake my foundation, and result in a surreal overload of mixed metaphors, mixed emotions, and general confusion that lasts…well, it used to last until well past whatever the crisis du jour happened to be, and there used to be a lot of them. So many changes and moments were overwhelming crises of circumstance that resulted in chaos, upheaval, and “too much to handle”.

Medical problems. Unexpected bills. Break ups. Lost jobs. Hell – new jobs. Good stuff can do it, too. Love? Love causes some major changes in life and decision-making about the future, I guess I’ve just tended to assume all that anxiety was “excitement”, or failed to notice it in the hormone storm of positive sex-charged emotion. I like to feel emotionally comfortable. I like to plan my life such that even the “unexpected delights” and surprises are not entirely unexpected, nor entirely surprising. I like to feel prepared.

Sometimes I’m not “prepared”. I’m very human. Life can be scary.

Context and perspective are helpful – change is still change. Soon this will no longer be a stopping point on my morning commute.

My anxiety flared up severely – and so did my anger – yesterday morning, as I left for work. I haven’t managed to fully resolve it, but I’m reached an equilibrium with my emotions that feels… manageable. It’s only over a rent increase, really. I’m angry about the circumstances, which seem sleazy, exploitative, and just… douche-baggery for profit. My anger started getting out of hand, my anxiety shot through the roof, and I still had to go to work. I talked things through with my Traveling Partner, gaining perspective as I vented my irritation, resentment, and anger as gently as I could Β (Seriously? He’s doing me a favor to be there for me, and isn’t at all involved or responsible, so “taking it out on him” would be inconsiderate and unkind.) So, I talked about it, over messaging, and stayed practical about it as much as I could. I wasn’t “looking for satisfaction” or confirmation that I am “right”, just a reality check, and some supportive understanding. He’s super good at those things, and our conversation ended as I reached the office, feeling… prepared, although still angry. I love feeling prepared!

I’m fortunate that I can fairly easily move, because now I don’t just want to – realistically, I have to (which is why I was feeling so angry, I was making very different plans). The suggested rent increase isn’t sustainable for me, and the circumstances of the increase are such that I certainly don’t care to rent from this landlord anymore, at all, and don’t feel valued as a tenant.

What a strange turn to yesterday’s lovely morning. Still, these days it’s such a mundane bit of adulting, writing about it almost wasn’t a thing… only… it’s still on my mind. I spent my lunch yesterday, and my evening, looking at available rentals, where they are located relevant to work, how much they cost, how soon they are available, and considering each in the context of real life concerns: features, amenities, utility costs, convenience to goods and services, nearness to public transportation (because now I have to move before we have second vehicle – one of the changes we discussed while we were hanging out night before last), nearness to green spaces, nearness to neighbors, and how quiet and safe the communities appear to be. It’s a lot to consider. It’s my life – and worthy of such consideration.

…I had other things on my mind, other things to write about…

I think back, smiling, to hearing my Traveling Partner remind me I already wanted to move (though I hate the process of moving), and that this – however poor the timing – is an opportunity to improve my quality of life through my choices. It’s true, too. The frantic panicked feelings all mixed up with my anger and my anxiety began to fade away as my options began to open up (through skillful Google-fu, and studious inquiry). The number of potential choices became a list of bookmarks in my browser, phone calls and emails to send inquiring about various rentals… houses…duplexes…apartments…condos…townhouses… My criteria stopped being based on “oh-my-fucking-god-what-the-hell-am-I-going-to-do-I’ve-got-to-find-somethingfast!!” and started being based on “wherever I move, the details need to improve, and can”. I struck everything from the list that didn’t achieve that – and still had a decent list of immediately available rentals to act on that shorten my commute, reduce my rent, and improve my day-to-day quality of life – and in one case appears to do so while also keeping me very near to green spaces, and increasing my quiet and my privacy. Nice.

I’m moving. I am okay with that. Change is. I sometimes wish it weren’t so much, so often, but… wishing is a child’s plaything, not a productive tool for managing change. So, I let that go. I confidently choose a move date. I’ll be somewhere new on August first. I don’t know where – but I know I’m moving.

Beginning again? And then some! πŸ™‚

…It’s a new dawn…it’s a new day… it’s a new life for me…Β 

I woke this morning wrapped in the stifling stillness of a too-hot-for-real-comfort apartment, and committed to asking one of my friends next door to give me a hand putting the a/c in the studio window this week – if it fits. I started opening windows, and didn’t notice until I’d finished, that I was also singing “Cooling Down the House” (to the tune of “Burning Down the House“, by the Talking Heads lol). lol Freedom to be feels pretty good… and it’s super hard for anyone to take that from us; much more common is that we give it away. Usually we give ourselves away quite early in life, before we are aware of our choices, and often quite permanently, as though we have no choices to make. It is one of the most singularly sad things to see occurring in the human experience, I think.

Come out, come out, whoever you are! (Oh, hey, shit – I could have written about this for Pride! Damn it. lol)

Seriously – who can do “you”, as well as you can? πŸ™‚ I’m smiling, and listening to a cover of Cypress Hill that makes me smile, because it’s somehow both totally this very familiar track, and also quite uniquely the band covering it. Art is transformative, and each artist rather unavoidably borrows from their own experiences of life, and other art – not copies, not reproductions, no; totally new art, created with new vision, is still built on bits and pieces of other art, other lives. There’s no worry that something will be lost for lack of duplication (except, maybe, knowledge itself?). I’m babbling. Here. You can listen, too. πŸ™‚

One track and I’m down a rabbit hole listening to a band I’d never listened to before… fun. πŸ™‚

The point, though, is simply this – and I’ve no doubt repeated myself to say so – investing time, effort, energy, and intent in being/doing what everyone else is also being/doing in the same way they are being/doing it, whether for acceptance, or out of fear, or by way of some explicit directive in our early years, is a waste of precious individual resources. Life is not generally improved by squashing myself down into a little box marked “acceptable” or limiting myself wholly to those activities and ideas noted as well-received by others – and I have so much more to offer! (You do, too.)

Besides… how very freeing to simply be? πŸ™‚ …And how exciting; if you don’t like who you are, there is a universe of choices you can make to truly change all of that. πŸ˜€

You can choose you, anytime. You can be the person you most want to be – it’s a choice away, nothing more. Your results will vary (I know mine do). There will be verbs involved, and plenty of opportunity to practice. There’s only one thing you must do, unavoidably, to get started on your way – your way… You’ve got to begin again. There are verbs involved. πŸ™‚

Ready? The sun rises on the choices you make each day. πŸ™‚