Archives for posts with tag: try again

We’ve all got them, right? Challenges. Things that are “hard” for us, as individuals. Those don’t always make sense to anyone else – we are each having our own experience. Some things take time, or practice, or self-work overcoming some internal resistance to change. Some things are just… complicated. We have baggage. History. Perspective that is uniquely our own, however much someone else feels they “get it completely”, we have to do the work to “get it” ourselves.

…We have to do the work ourselves. Yep. There are verbs involved. πŸ™‚

I’m looking at playing a new (for me, sort of) video game, with the intent of later sharing that experience with my Traveling Partner. I don’t expect this to be an “easy” undertaking. It is a game that requires specific things of me that I am not very good at, and also struggle to learn or master because they land right in the “thinking holes” that result from my brain injury. Some things I learn pretty well and easily. Some things I learn with effort, over time, with considerable repetition. Some things… I learn, eventually, then lose almost overnight if I am not practicing every day, then learn all over again… with effort… then lose… then learn it again… then lose it, again… over and over until finally pure frustration with having to explain to yet another person, one more damned time, that no, I don’t remember how to do that, and yes, I’m aware we “used to do this together all the time” and no, I don’t expect to pick it up again immediately… and omfg. Shit. I’ve got baggage full of this particular… challenge. lol I gotta let that go.

The peculiar learning challenges that result from my brain injury are weird and persistent, and in a small way part of the awesome that – taken as a bundle of characteristics – are part of this person I am. Over time, I’ve learned to accept that some things are potentially forever out of reach simply because the investment in time and repetition to learn and relearn them as often as necessary to ever become “learned” exceeds the value in the resulting knowledge.

…I’m hoping this particular game is worth overcoming the challenge. I am eager to enjoy the shared experience doing so offers. I’m less eager to deal with the frustration of having to explain my frustration. I’m less eager to listen attentively to someone else’s pointers on overcoming this particular challenge, most particularly when they don’t have this challenge, so… how do they expect to share something with me that overcomes what they don’t experience? It’s a very human thing to want to say “I know exactly how you feel…”. It’s rarely true. As commonplace as so many experiences actually, we each experience those quite differently. Part of being individuals is… being individual. Unique. Being different from one another in small ways, even though we share so much DNA in common, is also an exceedingly common human experience. πŸ™‚

So… I face the challenge with some eagerness, and also with some reluctance – it’s the nature of real challenges, isn’t it? I take a deep breath, and a sip of my coffee, and prepare to begin again.

…I’ll probably have to begin again a bunch of times. I’m ready for that – it’s part of the experience. Well… no more stalling. It’s time to begin again. πŸ˜‰

 

Just a reminder; regardless whether it “looks easy”, it probably took work. Just saying, it’s rare that things are truly “easy” or without effort, however effortless some other human primate is making it look. πŸ˜‰ Don’t let the appearance of someone else’s mastery dissuade you from making your own choices, following your own path, or embracing the very real likelihood that learning something new and becoming great at it will require considerable work. πŸ™‚

We’re all working at something.

I have no idea why we’ve ended up with the notion that things need to look easy. That’s a bit weird, isn’t it?

That thing you want to do or learn? It’s worth the work involved. πŸ™‚ Go ahead, go for it – begin! πŸ™‚

…Be prepared to begin, again, a fair few times along the way. πŸ˜‰

About that… it’s unavoidable. I’m human. You’re human (well, probably). Life is an extraordinary experience, but one which, for most of us, has quite a few ups and downs, and is a tad more rollercoaster-y than paved level walking path with convenient markers and a map. It’s just not always that easy. Sometimes shit goes very very wrong.

Do you panic? I’ve sure been known to. Life can be scary. I’m fortunate to have a better idea how to handle it than I once did, but… I’ll be honest; I still, now and then, stumble into a circumstance that leaves me feeling more than a little panicked and unprepared.

There are things to do. Steps. Practices. Start with one you know you can rely upon, and go from there. Breathe. First, generally, and most often of greatest value for me, personally; breathe, let it go for a moment, find that stable “observer” that exists within the emotional maelstrom. That’s you. Really you. The rest is window dressing and let’s pretend. Lead with your calm.

That sounds so easy. It’s not always easy. Yesterday I was reminded how not fucking easy that actually is. Having a supportive partner, I was fortunate to have someone to reach out to, to talk things over, to get my bearings. Things turn out fine, generally, and the panic is not helpful or necessary. Still. There was a bit of panic, and indeed, not helpful. lol Hours later, and even after a restful night’s sleep, I still feel the warmth of my partner’s love. I’m grateful to experience a love like this.

I spent the rest of the evening sorting myself out and ensuring my planning account for new circumstances and information. It ends up being a lovely quiet evening, and somehow a new start to a new year, already. Looks like it’ll be a year a new beginnings. I’m okay with that. I’m pretty familiar with beginning again. πŸ˜‰

I finish my rather crappy cup of coffee with a sheepish smile; it’s enough, and I’m okay with that. It’s time to move on to changes, and practices, and beginnings. πŸ™‚

Where does this path lead?

Tough day at the office.

I put on a new playlist, one with beats and edges and emotions – all of the emotions. I let it carry me from here to there. It covers a lot of emotional ground, highs and lows and inbetweens. I dance. I manage some housekeeping along the way. I medicate. I cry a few tears that weren’t at all about me.

I dislike endings, even though they are no more permanent than the beginnings are, and with few exceptions, generally precede beginnings. I take time to feel the weight of the truth of it. This too shall pass – a helpful thought. Change is. We don’t always choose it, sometimes it just shows up to the party uninvited.

I don’t mean to be vague-book-y at all here, truly I don’t. There were some organizational changes made at work. I lost a team member. Funny thing about that, though; I’ve grown. Some of my colleagues are my friends. He’s one such, and so – my heart loses nothing. I dig working alongside this guy. He’s sharp. Get’s it. He’s got a good heart, and a lot of commitment and skill. It will suck not seeing him already working when I get in each Tuesday. I will have to go digging each Monday for the information he always provided me in his hand-off each week. But, and this is real and so important, we’re friends. There’s nothing lost there. I’m still here. He’s still here. We’ve got each other’s numbers. lol There’s nothing to see Β here, besides change, and change is always with us.

I still cried. I did. Yep. (I’m grateful I didn’t have to break it to him. I had it easy.) Change is a thing, but fucking hell – we’re a fantastic team at this. I miss him already. I worry whether he’s okay. We are friends; I want to help. I smirk at myself in a moment of honesty; now I have to do verbs to maintain this friendship. I can’t just show up to the office.

Tomorrow will be different. It also won’t be the end of my work week. So much change for one week… I gotta get some rest, though. Soon I’ll have to begin again.

I woke up early. It makes sense. I went to bed early, too. I woke during the night. No surprise there, I often do. There’s no stress over any of that. My head is a jumble of random beginnings of thoughts seeking a narrative in which to play a role. My morning is a strange sequence of broken routines and randomness. I’m not concerned about that, either. Again and again, I pull myself back to this moment, here, now.

I sit down with my coffee, eventually, some two hours after waking (which is only one of many odd random bits of altered behavior that seems without cause or purpose).

The first track on my playlist right now is an old favorite. I want very much to play the bass line; I am not yet sufficiently skilled (and realistically, there is chance I never will be). I can try to play it, and fail. I could do that repeatedly. I could do that repeatedly until I am frustrated to the point of disliking what I am doing, although I am doing it because I enjoy it… a lot of people approaching learning something challenging in just that fashion.

I take another approach, instead of “trying”… I practice. That’s it. My approach to a lot of stuff I’m not good at, don’t yet know, haven’t yet found my way around, through, over, or into, or need to do and don’t quite “get”, yet. I practice. I practice the basic skills that would be required to do the thing. Too complicated? I break those things down further, to more elemental basics, until I can begin assembling simpler behavior or actions (or understandings) into more and more complex combinations, and – if all goes well – have learned to do the thing, have gained a new understanding, have completed some complicated task… whatever it is. Most things seem to work out pretty well this way, although it is not the fastest process by which to achieve success. It’s a bit like… a through hike on an unmarked trail, while all the way along observing what appears to be a freeway almost within reach, on the other side of a fence. I could waste time trying to reach that freeway, or I can walk on.

I still get where I’m going. That’s enough.

It may be an uphill climb, some days. I still practice taking time to enjoy the journey, and to look for beauty.

I enjoyed a strangely intimate and emotionally nurturing yesterday. I hung out with a dear friend of many years. We haven’t made time to hang out in about 4 years, and it was overdue, welcome, and comfortably intimate. She is someone I love, though we’ve never been lovers. We’re at very different places in life, and that has been an interesting characteristic of our friendship all along. She was the friend who said to me, so many years ago, “have you heard of ACT?”. Words that would later prove to be another piece to the puzzle of healing and learning to care for the woman in the mirror, because they would still be lingering in my consciousness on that grim December day when I began checking off my list of things to do before I would end my own life. That last item? Try therapy one more time. Her words were a hint at a new direction; “third wave cognitive behavior therapy”. There are several, some very rigid and formal, others less so.

Have we covered this before? Sure. It’s buried in the details, in much older posts. The eagerness of this new way to experience life, more authentically, with greater self-compassion, erupts in my words post after post after post. Life happens. I write about that too. Now and then I add something to The Reading List; my journey is paved with stepping-stones made of books, and practices, and the words of dear friends.

A current favorite track on my playlist feels timed for the moment. My heart fills with tenderness, and gratitude. I’m glad I stayed. Warm tears splash my glasses, and my shoulders shake with sobbing, and I’m just fucking crying now… I’m not unhappy. I’m relieved. I might have missed this precious moment right now. I might have missed yesterday… the lovely color work I got done on my hair… the phone call with my Traveling Partner later in the day… the conversations with friends. Fuck I am so glad I stayed around awhile longer… My heart aches with a powerful need to say “thank you” or.. “I’m sorry”… or… something. Β There are literally no words for this strange strong emotion of thankfulness I feel that I chose to live. I’m okay with that too. I’m not afraid to feel.

Another good morning on which to begin again. I don’t know that I’ve done anything that changes the world, but so much as changed about the woman in the mirror. πŸ™‚