Archives for posts with tag: conversations with myself

My coffee tastes different this morning. It’s not because I am sitting cross-legged on the surprisingly comfy Queen bed in this seaside hotel, not even because it’s fairly typically-terrible hotel coffee made in a fairly generically terrible-coffee-making drip machine sitting atop the small room-sized hotel refrigerator, but more because I am sipping it solo, with no chance at all of sharing the moment with my Traveling Partner. Right at the moment, in all practical terms, we’re traveling separately (he’s sleeping still, at home, I hope, and I am sitting cross-legged in sloppy-loose blue jeans, laptop perched precariously on my lap, waiting for my terrible coffee to cool enough to drink properly).

I’d say my goal of relaxing and getting some “down time” before shifting gears to start the new job has been successful; I woke having entirely forgotten about Daylight Savings Time, and looking at the clock and finding “6:30 am” to be both believable, and an acceptable time to wake on a leisure morning… I woke up. I laughed when I finally noticed the discrepancy between the clock that I had checked upon waking (which automatically updated) and the one that did not (provided by the hotel, plugged into the wall in the usual way). I shrugged it off and got started making terrible coffee and looking over the notes I took at several points yesterday, as I walked and wandered, waited and reflected, breathed and meditated.

The ocean does not care when or whether I check into my hotel room, nor when I leave. My presence makes no difference to the timing of the waves, or the fierceness of the winds.

I arrived to the shore much too early to check into the hotel, and my room was not yet ready. Didn’t matter much; the endless ocean tickled the shore without regard to check-in times. The hotel graciously allowed me to use the private beach access in the meantime, and I went down what seemed like 1001 concrete steps to the beach. The wind was brisk and cold. There were bundled up families flying kites and enjoying the day. There were even barefooted kids playing in the shallow water of the waves as they spread across the beach, then receded; they seemed as shore birds, running forward as the water pulled back, running back as the waves spread forward. I found myself reflecting on that. There’s something to learn, there, I suppose.

…This coffee is simply dreadful. I add sugar and the available non-dairy creamer. Still awful. I’m still drinking it…

I gave up beach walking when my legs became tired, and trudged patiently up those many steps once more. Room not yet ready, I headed into town and, masked and distant, and wandered through enticing antique shops.

In a shop filled with carefully crafted miniatures, I find room after room of furnishings that seem to be idealized versions of various stages of my own aesthetic, and wonder if, after all, so many of them could really have come from… doll houses?

The tourist “traps” that line the street are the sort common to any seaside town I’ve visited… saltwater taffy shops, “old time” candy stores, antique shops, t-shirts, sea shells, and nautically themed whatsits of all kinds (lighthouse sculptures, pirate “treasure”, glass fishing floats and paperweights, and “the world’s best” of some local dish). I wandered until I was more distracted by my own thoughts than engaged by what I saw in front of me, and returned again to the hotel, and to the beach, to walk and reflect awhile longer.

I sat for a long while, occasionally attempting to light a joint in the fierce coastal “breeze” without success.

I spent a couple of contented hours walking, and thinking. Reflecting on lessons learned, both generally (and recently), and also specifically (with regard to my most recent job, and how to make good use of what I learned in future roles). It was time well-spent. Aside from the wind and my tinnitus, the only thing I was hearing was… me. I walked the beach listening deeply to what the woman in the mirror has to say… about life… about love… about work… about a future that is unknown (and largely unknowable). I contemplated the confounds of expectations and assumptions.

…At check in time, I made my way to my room, let myself into this small space that is more or less my own (until check out time), and unpacked my baggage – literally, and metaphorically.

…Damn this is dreadful coffee. Wtf? Why am I putting myself through this? LOL I stare into the cup, warm in my hand, astonished by its prodigious awfulness with a certain amount of respect; it’s a hell of an achievement for a cup of coffee to be this bad.

I took time to reflect on all I’d seen, and on my notes, and the many “living metaphors” the day had presented to me.

I ask myself “the hard questions” on my mind as the day becomes evening… What matters most? What has me chained to some past moment? What have I accepted as the basis of my sense of self? Is that truly “who I am”? How do I free myself to soar to greater heights? Where does my path lead? The moments, questions, and the thoughts they carry with them crash onto the shore of my consciousness, and recede one by one. I find “embracing change” to be a process, and an ongoing practice. Taking some time alone to be with my thoughts – and, unavoidably, with my self, is a useful break for “sorting things out”. For finding the signal in the noise. Life may not have a map, but I can sure jot down some notes as I might if I were writing down directions to go from here to … somewhere else. It’s important to be clear on the desired destination. It’s important to be aware of where I stand right now. 🙂 With those things in mind, how much more easily can I begin again?

…It’s that time, isn’t it? Beginning again, I mean. The new job starts tomorrow. The new laptop was delivered Friday, and is waiting for me to set it up.

…Fucking hell I am missing my Traveling Partner this morning. I missed him ferociously last night, too. The value in missing him has nuances that are worthwhile experiences of their own. Missing him reduces the likelihood that I will take his precious presence in my life for granted. Missing him reinforces how much I enjoy him being part of my experience. Being absent the many things he does for me (and for us), large and small, reminds me that I legit don’t do as well for myself on my own as I seem able to in this specific partnership. (Not dissing myself or minimizing how much I appreciate myself for (and as) myself, just saying there’s a ton of stuff that just doesn’t seem to stay on my radar, and my sometimes general lack of fucks to give, or pain, results in more chaos than I easily manage… and that seems far less likely in his company, and with his help.)

…And both of us make an excellent cup of coffee that is so much better than this warm brown liquid that I’ve decided can’t at all be called “coffee” – it’s just that bad, and I am seriously missing something better… and my partner… this morning. 🙂

The sun is not yet up. Check out time is not for another 3 hours. There is time to walk on the beach, time for a bite of breakfast, and time to find a better cup of coffee. LOL There’s time to begin again.

A group of rocks along the shore, exposed at low tide, inaccessible at high tide. Even in that, there is something to reflect on, a metaphor in action, something to learn about who I am, and where I am headed.

I look at the clock, and see daylight beginning to show through the curtains. Definitely time to begin again. 🙂

I woke easily this morning. Well, actually, I woke easily several times between midnight and 4 am, when I actually got up. I stood in the shower far longer than actually necessary, just enjoying the sensation of warm water on bare skin. I meditated, on my cushion in the open doorway of the patio, wrapped in pre-dawn breezes, just a little bewildered by the darkness (in spite of how commonly it is indeed fully dark before the sun comes up).

I sipped my first coffee, almost gone now, the remnants quite cold, as I scrolled through my Facebook feed. I notice that one particular friend keeps getting my attention with shares that hit my nerves in a very unpleasant way. I do react – and my reaction is this; I unfollowed that friend, and looked up the page that seems to be the source of most of the problematic content, now blocked at the source. Just that. I’ll bring it up directly with them later and discuss honestly.

…I pause with some wonder to observe that neither “unfriend” nor “unfollow” are yet in my dictionary. Those both seem to me to be proper 21st century verbs, so I make a point of adding them to my dictionary.

Today is a common enough work day, a Tuesday. I expect it to be busy; it is both the Tuesday following a holiday Monday, and it is also the Tuesday in a very short week during which I will go camping. I’ve no idea what the day holds, beyond work. Maybe I see my Traveling Partner, maybe I don’t. In either case, I’ll likely end up with the car tonight, and the hope is to leave straight from work for my camping trip, later this week. You’ll have to find new reading material for a few days… 😉 I’ll be back at it, probably sometime Sunday.

I feel myself “shifting gears” into a much more “now” state of mind, which brings my attention to the potential that I’d drifted farther from day-to-day mindfulness, generally, than I may have understood. Hmm… The camping trip seems needful and well-timed. My monkey mind begins to fret a bit about being out in the trees, no connection, no social media, no news of the world, just a woman, a consciousness, some gear, and a series of moments to experience wrapped in forest. I need this chance to reset – to begin again, on another level. I am hungry to satisfy appetites that have gone without attention for too long. I am ready to walk new trails, and to pause for thought. I am ready to take my leisure – because there’s nothing else on my agenda.

I feel, very briefly, a hint of the momentary anxiety that will come and go while I am away from home; it’s one of the reasons I do go. If I can avoid dealing with some sorts of things entirely, I totally will – to my detriment. Being out among the trees, alone in the forest, more or less completely self-reliant (let’s be real; I’ll be in state park, it’s not that remote, and I’ll even have the car if an emergency arises) sort of forces me to deal with all of the things. Nonnegotiably, I am without distractions. It’s why I go. It’s even why I hike; I’m out there to be alone with myself, undistracted by the many choice distractions modern life offers. It’s one part of me “finding my way” – literally translating a journey of heart, soul, and healing into miles of walking, a journey on foot.

An associate of mine uses origami instead, and his journeys are depicted in paper sculptures, tiny, bright, and entirely beautiful. Even his monsters are adorably cute, rendered in paper. There are a lot of ways. He has found his. I have found mine. Have you found yours?

The sky lightens, finally, and I see the reason for the intense early morning darkness. The day is cloudy. The sky is padded and puffy with dark gray clouds, no break between them. The sound of traffic is muffled. I remind myself to pull my rain poncho out of my camping gear. It looks like it may rain. It would be rather silly to be unprepared for it, because I was preparing for something else, later. lol

Well… it looks like time to begin again. Shall we?

 

 

Today has been entirely enough. There will be more to say another time. For now, I am enjoying sufficiency, and solitude, and the calm stillness of sand, and sea and sunshine, and ‘enough’.

One perspective.

One perspective.

It’s been a long day. I’m ending it with a backache, a headache, and quite content to see this one reach its conclusion.  It’s ending well; I don’t want to give a different impression. It’s just been a day that began well, is ending well, and in between…it wasn’t horrible, wasn’t tears or trauma, wasn’t even noteworthy in a way worth noting. It was effort well-spent, small stresses well-managed, tasks completed, begun, and otherwise dispensed with. Satisfying, overall, more or less…I’m just…done. So very done for today.

...finally...evening light.

…finally…evening light.

Funny thing, I suspect the fatigue, perhaps even the pain, stem more from what I’m not doing, than the things I am – or have been – doing today. That ‘conversation with myself’ isn’t going to go away. Taking care of me, and healing, and growing and learning to nurture myself and invest in my own experience, my own needs and giving myself the support and respect I need from myself isn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever undertaken. I’m a handful – the wreckage, the chaos and damage, the ancient pain – it all adds up. Walls built over years keep me out, too.  Introspection easily becomes a sort of mental geodesic dome of fun-house mirrors, reflecting my poor assumptions and bad programming back onto myself again and again, splintering, fracturing, breaking up a momentary understanding into confusion and incoherent half-baked wishful thinking, or worse still, fears and insecurities built on enough of what is real to mislead me into self-loathing, or frustrated rage. I’ve had to find another way.  It’s a journey, not a destination – I’m pretty sure of that, now.

There is still so very little ‘knowing’, and so many questions. I am a student…of life, of love, of truth, of what is…of what is not…of what may be…what isn’t so likely…and bit by bit my firm certainty in the world reveals itself as an illusion, a defense, a sort of camouflage to protect me from the one person I can never ever be saved from. Yep. Me. Her.  Me-at-18, me-at-20, me-at-30… me…then. Let’s not talk about then, shall we?

Mindfulness isn’t about pretending something isn’t. Healing isn’t a score card, and no amount of pretense can will me whole of heart and mind. So…I have to make room in my experience for her.  For me.  That earlier iteration of chaos and damage that is who I have been. So much chaos. So much damage.  It’s on my mind, and it is a distraction from my every day experience, this need to face myself, in a way so honest and so direct that she can not evade my questions with her answers, presses on my consciousness with such force.  So now what? I have to find the words…the time…the place…

I’m glad the day ends, and ends well. I need my strength. I am here, now, and having survived and endured her ‘then’, along with her, I know her strength well.  I don’t know the outcome…I know she won’t take a dive. I know I can’t afford to lose, or forfeit. 

Night falls and I am glad to rest.