Life

We’re Sitting Here Until You Finish

Monday, May 16, 2016

I’m not normally one to force creativity but I know I have been missing this space and not knowing what to contribute so I avoid it. I started to write this morning and then deleted it all because it said nothing. I use to write thousands of words about nothing for friends and followers to read but I haven’t been so open to that. I’ve had years of side comments that slowed the words, that put them in cages until I couldn’t show up here anymore.

I’m here, I have no answers of what to do next. I don’t know what I want to share, I don’t know what I want to write, I know that there are a million thoughts going on at all times and that in the moment they seem pretty damn important but then later they seem overly emotional or dramatic or trite or sad. Can you tell what side comments have been lazily tossed my way?

I use to speak up often, I use to have so much to say. I still find myself talking but I worry about it now. I wonder if people are tired of listening, if I’ve crossed bounds, if people will see that there’s not just the ball of sunshine here in this mind. Haha, that’s silly, anybody that’s been around me for more than 5 minutes knows that.

I’ve been exploring the things I haven’t wanted to admit about myself in the past. The things I’ve tried to make nonexistent. The ones I’ve pretended were blips and then got mad at myself for because I couldn’t be trusted. I wonder what would happen if I could accept them all. If I could stop trying to balance atop this shaky pedestal I put myself on so I wouldn’t do anything wrong.  What if I just let it fall?

I’m thinking about shitty rough drafts, I’m thinking about sitting with discomfort and imperfection. I’m thinking about really being in potentially awkward situations and seeing them through.

I’m thinking, I’m writing in personal spaces, I miss sharing. I don’t know what moving forward looks like.

 

 

Sabbatical Week Two

Sunday, April 10, 2016

What have I been doing on my sabbatical-

Admittedly the first week was a lot of sleeping and lazing around and not knowing what to do with myself and feeling overall pretty grumpy. I get a lot of natural light in my apartment but it’s not enough. I need to get out of the house more. Especially because I’m alone soooooooo much. But I couldn’t think of things to do so I stayed put and I slept until I couldn’t and then I read and then slept more. I did get some good books in and learned some helpful things for my health, so it wasn’t a total bust of a week, but I definitely wanted my second week to be more enjoyable.

Week two came around with a list of things to do, just to get out of the house and while it hasn’t felt like the amazing wonderful life changing relaxation station I hoped a month off would, it has definitely been better. This week I’ve been reading less in books getting out of the apartment more + learning line dances from tutorials online + learning how to track my fertility + trying new foods + reading a bunch of things online + watching videos of Shakira belly dancing + working one day a week + getting paperwork filled out for new job + drinking apple cider vinegar in the morning + eating more veggies + looking up sustainability practices like non plastic salad spinners, composting and I even read about a woman who made her own toilet towels (as opposed to toilet paper) + journaling  + feeling like a crazy person + feeling completely sane + reading about tarot + checking out a bajillion books from the library + nursing plants back to health and adding more to the family + making natural wasp deterrent spray + writing for a blog that’s not my own + cleaning off my work space + attempting to hang out and talk with people more often + eating a lot of berries + writing some blog posts…

The list could go on.

I keep thinking about what I want to accomplish when I come to the end of this time and I have a list of things but mostly I want to feel relaxed and ready for the next phase. Deep breaths, good food, movement, time with friends. I guess that’s all I really need.

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Transition

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

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Currently I feel like I’m on a mental roller coaster, or that I’m surface level emotion bipolar*… wait, tri polar, is there such things as quad-polar, didn’t think so. All I’m saying is, give me more than two.

One minute I’m riding along and everything is fine and I’m like, dang body you’re looking good, yeah I’m smart, I got this. Life is moving right along and this all feels right, the next moment/week/day/hour I’m sitting here like WTF is happening? It’s not a total loss of control, it’s not feeling like a hot mess, it’s just wondering what, the actual firetruck, is going on? No seriously, is that a car fire? Why are we stopped in the middle of the day on a side street?

Been there? I feel like all the memes that talk about being a hot mess show that there are others out there who have it totally figured out one minute and then with a wind change they are left like, welp… maybe not.

Truth is, I’m in a pretty dang good spot. And somewhere deep inside this pisces brain of mine, I know it. And still the roller coaster rides on. I’m hoping this is part of the craziness of transitions.

It feels a little new and different than transitions in the past though. The strength of the positive side is not contrived this time. It’s not put together by scraps of quotes and a new shirt, it’s made of hour long talks once a week, digging deeper, facing the “ugly” and so much more. It’s backed by work and admitting to values and it’s getting stronger. So maybe the lizard brain/gremlins/whatever you want to call it/them are fighting to gain their control back and so it’s a seesaw in my mind, but if a seesaw had more than just to ends… I don’t even know how that would work.

Transitions are crazy guys. There’s a whole lot a good and a whole lot of readjusting and finding new footing. I’m excited right now and I’m sure in an hour I’ll remember something else and the scale will tip a little and some other emotion will jump on, tag the other one out but for right this second I’m good.

It’s kind of fun to think about it cartoon form when I’m not in the middle of it. Keeps the whole dang thing in perspective.

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*I saw surface level emotion because I’m not hitting super low lows. I’m getting tired lows but not the crying on the floor wondering how to unzip my human skin suit and take a break lows. If you’ve never been there this won’t make sense, if you have, me too dude, meeee too.

Sabbatical of Sorts

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Things have been different here. Not here as in the blog, but here as in my life. About a month and a half ago I put notice in at my main job. I didn’t have another one lined up, but it was time for my review and I didn’t want to do the company a disservice by creating some meaningless goals to try and pursue that my heart absolutely wasn’t in. I had been thinking of leaving for a while, I had been in a constant rinse and repeat of trying to tell myself I had it good and then being frustrated daily. I tried for a while to do things the responsible way, look for another job without mentioning anything to my current boss, but I felt guilty and the dynamics made it all really uncomfortable and totally unfruitful so when things lined up and it was review time, I knew it was time to honor what I had been feeling and take a new leap.
I gave myself and my boss a large chunk of time to get things figured out. I wasn’t in a position that could be easily filled as my daily, weekly and monthly responsibilities spanned from the creative to admin to something else completely. I want to say I also spent that time furiously looking for a new job, that wasn’t exactly the case. I did, however, start talking to more people. Because my impending departure was now known to my boss I felt a lot more comfortable putting the word out that I was looking. Full time, benefits, creative and I wanted to give myself a raise.
During this past month and a half I also did a TON of inner work. I asked myself questions over and over again.
What do I WANT to do? What matters? What are my values? What are my interests? What are my goals? What do I want to look back and see at the end of the year?
The list goes on and on and on, and then doubles back. I wrote my list of what my dreamy life would look like almost daily. I wrote my list of 10 goals for the year weekly, not looking back at the week before to see if anything changed or dropped off. I read books like Playing Big and Leap… I listened to podcasts, I took baths to try and calm the pressure that was building in my head. I felt like I had to figure out the “right” next and figure it out SOON.
I talked to friends, I asked questions, I emailed strangers, I went to interviews to get practice interviewing and talking to new people…
Now that I’m writing it all out, I’m realizing I did a lot more work than I felt like I was doing at the time.
Normally job hunting time is madness for me, it’s a mix of self loathing for not being x, y, or z and wondering how anybody finds what they are looking for on craigslist. (Spoiler alert: most often they don’t). This time there was definitely some of the normal job hunting self loathing but I switched it up and added some grace in there. I added some curiosity, some belief in what previously seemed impossible, I added some “what if” questions and sometimes I even let go. Not for long, but the practice was started. Two weeks before my last day I was a stressed out mess, I wondered why I do what I do to myself, why I take leaps of faith, why I can’t just do things the “normal” way. At the risk of exposing my secrets, that’s something I wonder often.
But something shifted right before my last week, I suddenly became a lot more calm about the whole situation. Maybe it was a mix of all the questions I had been asking myself, maybe it was the counseling appointments I’ve had weekly for months now, maybe my practice of letting go was catching on, or maybe, just maybe I was realizing that while the way I do things isn’t “normal” it’s something a lot of people wish they were brave enough to do. No matter what it was, I was calm, and happy and excited. I all of a sudden knew that my unemployment wouldn’t last forever (it never does) and that I was fully honoring myself and my wishes.
I’m on the other side of employment for now, on my fourth day of an unpaid (savings paid) sabbatical. But I’m not freaking out and I’m not feverishly job hunting.
On my last day of work I had a call scheduled with a company I had interviewed with a few weeks prior, I thought the call was to go over why they were going in a different direction. Imagine my surprise when I was offered the job. I sat in silence on the phone as the details were listed out, I said thank you and then after I got off the phone I zoned out.
You know when you think things are going to go one way and you prep for it and get yourself ready, and then something comes in and completely changes the game? That’s where I was at. The game was changed, and for the better DEFINITELY, but it was still changed, and my planning, prepping, finally okay with how things were going to go before this call mind was swirling.
I finally pulled it together and took in the new situation. Not only was I getting a new job, but I would still have time off to relax, to read, to explore Nashville, to try out things I’ve been wanting to try out but have been putting off and to continue asking myself those questions that I started asking a month and a half ago.

Here I am, Sabbatical of Sorts day 4, I spent the weekend before dancing and celebrating the end of one thing and now I’m into taking some time to breath and plan for the new one. I’ve read three books in three days, taken baths, seen friends, taken naps and written lists of what I could do to make sure that at the end of this free time, this gloriously free time, I’ll look back and say “yes, that time was well spent.”

I feel very fortunate and grateful for this. Sometimes I get a little stressed about money, sometimes I get a little stressed about “not doing it right” but I keep bringing myself back to gratitude and appreciating what this season is. I’m figuring out what I can take from it and most importantly learning how to savor it.

Post Revisit: Permission Granted

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Permission Granted
Back in March I wrote this awesome post and I didn’t even really appreciate it at the time. In the moment I felt it but then I forgot about it and it is so worth reading over and over again, as a reminder. I had given myself a break, for a millisecond, I remember that break well. It felt wonderful. But it didn’t last long. The perfectionism grabbed on again and I went back to playing roles and attempting to make my life closely resemble movie montages.

 

The things I wrote in that post, they are still true, and a good portion of them are the exact things that keep coming up as I started exploring the unhappiness that I had been trying to fight. So here they are again, another reminder, I have permission.

Permission Granted:

to be exactly who I am.. even if that means being a little snippy, even if that means being down in the dumps and withdrawn. Even if that means totally excited about the weirdest shit. Whatever it means, permission granted.

to take a nap when my body is feeling tired, when the sun is shining in just right and my bed looks like a wonderland.

to speak up – and do it often. I’ve been so scared of hurting people’s feelings or asking for things that “I don’t deserve” that I’ve stayed quiet. I’ve talked myself out of deserving things before anyone else has a say. Time to speak up. Even if it’s quiet at first. Even if someone thinks I don’t deserve what I am asking for. Be respectful as much as possible, and speak up.

to eff up. It’s going to happen. Push past my dear.

to believe that the life I want is absolutely and totally possible. The pay I want is achievable and more than reasonable. The experiences I want to have are not unheard of. The places I want to go are easy to reach. The people that I want to meet exist. Believe when it seems impossible, believe when it seems maybe possible. Believe either way.

*to take breaks from self improvement books, blogs and other such reading materials. Sometimes they just add to the noise and give fuel to the critiques. Choose those types of reading materials carefully and sparingly. Everybody has an opinion, it doesn’t mean they are right.

*to stop being happy to make other people feel better. No more pressure to be happy to please other people. Forced or faked happiness is not happiness. Learn to feel the emotion you are in, happiness will make an appearance, especially if there is no pressure or expectation for it.

and, most importantly:

Find time to believe that life is an ultimately positive experience.

xoxo

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