Archives for posts with tag: where are you headed?

I remember a conversation I had with my Mother, many years ago. I struggled to communicate to her, at that time, my lack of “sense of self”, and waxed poetic on that topic, attempting to make sense of my experience of adolescence. She was amused, a bit patronizing, and dismissive. Another such conversation, years later, sometime in my early twenties, shortly before a long period of time during which I was estranged from my family (by choice), she was blunt, and frank about her thoughts on that. “Don’t talk to me about “finding yourself”, that’s all bullshit; you’re already all you will ever be.” I felt frustrated, unheard… and crushed.

…Could I seriously not ever be more than the heaping pile of disappointment, ugliness, heartbreak, and wreckage, that I perceived myself to be?? Fuck…

For years afterward, that conversation rang in my thoughts, an echo of being dismissed, and I did try my very hardest to crush my own spirit, to squash any “radical notions” into a very small box, labeled “normal”, with little success…but enough to push myself farther and farther from any deep understanding of who I was – or could become. Not helpful, long-term, honestly. I could have done much better by the woman in the mirror.

I mention it because the result was mostly a lot of wasted time. It’s not time that we’re required to waste, and given the chance to explore the matter of self, over a longer time, I certainly could have, perhaps, learned more sooner, about this human being I am, as I stand here now, and who she could become, given the solid foundation of wise self-reflection, considerate decision-making, and skillful selection of practices to be practiced over time. I learned much, regardless… but… it could have been a different journey. Very different.

Okay, now that’s said, I’ll also say that there’s little time, now, to further waste on spiraling ruminations of what I did not do, or failed to choose, or any of all the things that are now entirely and wholly behind me. I’m done with all of that, and the outcomes are now part of my experience – nothing more. Experience is good for what it is, but it also isn’t “everything”. “Then”, as it turns out, isn’t part of “now”.

Beginning again isn’t an empty suggestion, or just words on a page, it’s intended as an encouragement, as a rallying cry for change, and as a moment to break firmly from the past – however recent, however distant – and start fresh. New thinking. Self-reflection. Improved decision-making. Wiser choices. Heading for a future self, someone who is much more like that self I would most like to be. I mention it because it’s a lovely day for self-reflection, and for taking a moment to pause, and see just exactly where I am on this path – and where I want to go from here. It’s a moment. One of many. The only thing that holds me back from forward progress in becoming the person I most want to be is my own decision-making about whether to do so, and the actions I take that follow up on my thinking.

Are you the person you most want to be? Have you “found yourself”? Do you even have a clear understand of what “finding yourself” could mean?

It’s a good day to begin again. 🙂

Who are you?

Where are you going?

Start with a question. 🙂

Are you rushing to get to work? Rushing through waking up, showering, dressing? Rushing to be out the door “on time”? Breathless with anxiety before you even start the car? Already thinking about the day ahead in such specific detail that you’ve “borrowed trouble” to fret about before you even have any in the moment?

I used to do that. I don’t now. It was a good change to make, to slow down in the mornings. 🙂 Maybe not life-saving, but certainly life-changing. I went from a fairly tightly timed morning routine that took 17 minutes from the alarm clock to the click of the front door closing behind me, and reliably got me on the bus heading into town 3 minutes later (the stop was just across the street from my apartment). Any deviation from my routine put me at risk of being late to work, and I had huge issues with time, timeliness, and time management, at that time in my life (I wasn’t bad at it, just really tense and weird about it on this whole unnecessary level). Being late – or thinking I might be – was a fast track to temper tantrums and treating people poorly (myself included). It was a shitty way to live, and it didn’t make me more efficient, or even on time more often.

What do I do now? It’s pretty low tech, honestly; I get up earlier. Like, I get up a lot earlier. I get up “earlier than I need to” by quite a bit. Most variations in desired arrival time at work don’t require me to change when I get up in the morning, that’s how much earlier I get up. Right now, it’s easily 90 minutes after my alarm goes off before I need to leave, and I could as easily leave the house fully 3 hours after I wake up and still be “on time” from the perspective of a salaried employee, and I sometimes do. It’s lovely, really, to be genuinely awake when I leave for work, to be able to write at leisure even on work days, to have adequate time to dress, shower, do some yoga, and even meditate before work – and still have time to write. It puts me on the path to being my best self each day.

I got home last night tired and frustrated by feeling the cold I thought I was over trying to make a comeback. I really don’t need the hassle or inconvenience, and I sat quietly frustrated, tears of exhausted aggravation coursing down my face for some minutes. Just… tired. I skipped the company summer block party over it, too. Came directly home. No chores. No video entertainment. No music. Hell, I didn’t even pick up a book. Just sat, staring rather blankly, sipping chicken broth or tea, until I was “sleepy enough” to just go lay the fuck down and rest. I was asleep early. I slept hard. Deeply. Uninterrupted. I was irritated by the weird repetitive noise that woke me – my alarm. It took nearly a full minute to figure that out and shut it off. I turned the lamp on and off a couple times, puzzled why the noise was not stopping. lol Usually I am awakened by the subtle “click” sound that immediately precedes the alarm actually going off. lol

I definitely needed the restful night. I woke feeling more myself. Still cross about this cold trying to come back – and of course, immediately as the fucking weekend begins. That’s becoming a source of real frustration for me, lately; the weekend is my one real opportunity each week to get some legit downtime, and it’s so rare any more to just enjoy one. I’m sick. Or traveling. Or moving. Or I’m sick. Or I have tons of shit that just must get done, non-negotiable. Or I’m doing something for someone. Or I’m sick again. Or I’ve gotten injured. Or I’m traveling. Or… I need to slow down. Again. And maybe not just in the mornings. Mornings? I’ve got those down at this point. 🙂

It’s a journey. No single change, no one practice, solves for X in every one of life’s equations. There are more verbs. More opportunity to do more/better, while also practicing skillful self-care, and figuring out what is actually worth doing well and more often. Being and becoming are a massively challenging jigsaw puzzle, and the pieces not yet fit into the puzzle are all jumbled up together in an untidy pile; sometimes it isn’t clear which pieces are most valuable in any particular moment. I’m still such a beginner at this being human thing!

I finish my coffee. Take a deep breath, look at the clock, and exhale slowly. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

Are you familiar with CGP Gray? He’s got some basics laid out that chart the course to misery pretty well… so… go the other way? Do something different? At any rate, he’s right; you may already be doing the things necessary to be miserable, and if you are – the journey to less misery may be pretty well-mapped right here. I’ve spent hours, days, and years basically saying what he’s said so well and so precisely in one video. 😀

Enjoy the day. Enjoy the journey. 🙂

…Don’t forget to pause to appreciate beauty along the way. 🙂