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"A Foolish Consistency
is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds..."
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12th-Nov-2010 05:01 am(no subject)
"We must fight, every day, for freedoms that may never manifest in their entirety. And let not our fears be chains and let not our pain be the gate at which happiness stands in waiting. And after all is said and done, we shall love still. And deeply."
19th-Oct-2010 10:24 pm - Life, love and happiness?

Confusion, I have noticed, does not suit me well. It is something I have yet to learn how to wear gracefully. Instead it hangs off of me like the kind of ill-fitting garb that is off-putting to anyone who doesn’t understand the heart beneath it.  It frustrates me, it angers me, it even emboldens me to do things that I normally would not.  What it never does, however, is instill a sense of identity in me. Who am I if I cannot tell you how I feel or what I want? I keep thinking about that day on the park bench so so many years ago.  It was, perhaps, one of my darkest moments when confusion consumed me and delivered me back colder and harder than the concrete slab I was slumped on. After years of feeling dense and weighed down by the things I was dealing with I suddenly felt a sense of emptiness. It was relieving in a way because, simply put, it was different. It was change. And it was at that numb, heartless, hopeless moment that I was able to define the period of life that I had just left behind. It was a sort of subdued “aha” moment, if you will. It wasn’t clarity, necessarily. It was just a sudden awareness of my state of confusion. And it was that simple notion of definability that turned me around to face the light and prepare myself to move forward, out of my previously endless, lifeless catatonia. I wasn’t happy – far from it – but I was most certainly fairly somewhat kind of aware that such thing might exist.

(Hey, it was a step!)

And that alone was one less piece to life’s puzzle that I had to deal with. It had a place in some unknown bigger picture. It just didn’t have any connecting pieces yet.
 

Today, there are lots of connecting pieces. There are patches of them fitted together everywhere. I even have a bit of a romanticized mental illustration of what the bigger picture might be. It really is a beautiful thing. But that illustration is ever changing because, as luck would have it, confusion has never left me. No, in fact, it’s been quite loyal. I sometimes converse with it – weighing the pros and cons of various situations.

I ask it about life. Why am I here? Why do I experience the things I do? What do I have to keep me going? Why doesn't my life seem to come in the pretty little simple package that others come in? These are all things I was asking myself on that park bench. Things I have yet to answer - or even entertain a logical thought of. I only managed to begin re-building myself on the premise that these questions might never be answered. That life may not have logic. And that I was going to have to make the most of my little tattered, undone package.


I ask it about my career. Is this fulfilling? Do we know what we want? Can we get there from here? To which I would respond accordingly: No, yes and absolutely. To which confusion replies: You’re just ungrateful, you want too much and you really probably cannot get there from here. Not without lots of painful, draining sacrificial displays of worthiness to the cookie-cutter corporate life. (I don’t want that, by the way. Freedom is a big word in my vocabulary lately.)  

I ask it about my friendships. Are they valuable? Do I know how to be a good friend? Do I have enough? My answers would be slightly less confident for this topic. I don’t know if all of them are valuable. Though, I have done a very good job recently of shedding those that seem toxic. I certainly have no idea if I’m a good one or not but again, I am becoming more aware of the needs that are present in my friendships and am getting better at catering to them. And “enough” is an ever changing number that is slowly morphing into just a feeling.
 

Finally (and this is where confusion really has its way with me) I ask it about love. Have I ever felt it? How do I know? Is it everything in life? What if I end up alone, can I live without it? When will I find it and with who and how long will it take to know? And most importantly…will it hurt so much so that it sends me back to that cold, emotionless concrete park bench? I have no idea how to even approach these questions. I start my answers with: yes. I do believe I have felt love or at least various versions of it. I don’t know how I know except that I just do. I struggle between the ideas that love is intuitive and that love is emotional but I lean toward intuitive. Emotions are ever-changing. Intuition is not. I would so like to believe that I could live without it; that I can roam this world on my own and be my own companion. I would like to believe that confiding in pen and paper can be just as fulfilling as confiding in a best friend. I would like to believe that I, alone, am enough to warm the sheets at night or provide a sense of validity and deep, intrinsic connection; that I, alone, can provide enough conversation for myself (as is fairly evident, I come pretty damn close!). I would like to believe that sharing the adventures I dream of is simply not as important as just experiencing them. But I am terrible at convincing myself of any of these things.  The next question is even harder to answer and the only way I know how is to pose another question. In my relationships, when will I reach the point at which I know whether or not it is worth pursuing, working and waiting for? To answer the last question is simply impossible. This is what sends me spiraling downward in my catch-22 of a love-life that I’ve been living. I don’t let go, I don’t give in, I don’t get close. And it’s all for fear that in doing so, I will make myself vulnerable. That I will lose control of those pieces that I have so haphazardly managed to puzzle together over the past decade of my life. Love is the thing that I both want and fear the most. In essence, I suppose I will know love when it feels like it fortifies that big picture life I’ve been putting together. When it encourages my freedom and makes me feel like a whole person on my own; when it becomes my most mastered friendship. It won’t be easy; It will be work, but it will be a job that I am eternally grateful to have to wake up for every morning. And among all of this confusion I can be certain that even if it is staring me right in the face I will not know right away.

Love manifests itself from all of the confusion that precedes it.
 

So until that moment in time (when my “aha” is more than just subdued) I will just have to throw that confusion around my shoulders and wear it like the prettiest little thing that has ever graced my skin. I will embrace it. I will live in the moment. I will take happiness at whatever time and in whatever form that it presents itself to me. And I’ll keep doing what I’m doing until I decide that it is no longer good for that beautiful little puzzle I’m building.

 

 

6th-Aug-2010 06:42 pm - without discretion
Today reminds me of a John Legend song because, well, "things they are a changin'." And as corny as that sounds, there really has been an ascension of a certain feeling in the air. My life has taken on a new tone...it's the same song but the music is a little different. And, although my surroundings have and will continue to change, what is most apparent to me is my change of perspective.


I am being moved to a different line of business at work and have recently been introduced to the new group I'll be working with. I am incredibly excited for fresh faces and new challenges. In the midst of the chaos I pause to answer a phone call from one of my favorite directors. He breaks from his usual jokes and bantering to tell me he will miss me and that I've done good by this place. When I hang up, my guilt reminds me that this is simply a means to an end. In a few short years I know I will be leaving this place to pursue something much bigger and more important. But, for now, I look back on the relationships I have built and suddenly become a little sentimental. It forces me to imagine the day that I will leave this city or possibly this country and I have to admit my heart hurt a little.


Why is it that whenever you leave a place you start to love it tremendously?


But that is not what I am here to talk about.


Several weeks ago I underwent a barrage of medical exams to diagnose chronic fatigue, an early morning collapse and subsequent dizzy spells. A brain scan, ultrasound, x-ray, and two drained and bruised arms later, what came back to me was a little piece of paper. It said that my thyroid was abnormally enlarged - a rare but possible sign of something malicious. Cancer. I held my composure for a good thirty minutes and then completely lost it. I felt absolutely ridiculous for even entertaining the thought but I don't think the feeling is comprehensible to others until they see those words in black and white addressed to themselves. At any rate, I got over the initial shock and decided that worry wasn't going to make anything go away and it sure as hell wasn't going to cure anything. In the weeks that followed, while I was waiting to hear from my doctor, I made a few major promises to myself. And although I'm sure their dire weight will fade along with the shock of all of this, these promises are helping to steer a project that was already in works. The creation of a new me.


First, I need to learn to relax - in all senses of the word. To spend an entire day, naps and companionship and three meals included, in bed. To adopt the C'est la vie way of life is the first step to conquering unrest and disappointment.


I need to learn to steady my mind and trust myself.


Buddhists coined the term perfectly: "monkey mind." As Elizabeth Gilbert put it (so eloquently) "thoughts swing from limb to limb stopping only to scratch themselves, spit and howl." My mind is in a constant state of confusion. This is my attempt to surrender to my subconscious. Intuition is simply the version of ourselves that already knows the answer. She - this other version of myself - is my best, my wisest, my most put-together friend. She is always there, begging and pleading for me to believe in the things she says. Shaking me by the shoulders and trying ferociously to speak louder than the bellows of society, obligation and worldly desires. My final promise to myself is that I will give her a voice. I will no longer operate under the strict environment so tyrannically governed by logic and self consciousness.


I will be beautiful and believe that I am beautiful. I will do the things that make me happy and nothing else. If it falls in to the categories of "I don't want to but I should," or "I don't have to but I feel obligated" then is it not a waste of time?


I promise to never let myself be consumed by fear of the unknown. Risk is a given. Rejection and failure are simply predecessors to happiness and success.


I promise to never lose my sense of freedom. I've got a lot of adventure in my heart and I want to see the world.


I will learn to let go of the person I once was (I am overcoming her), to love the person that I am (I am accepting her) and to never lose site of the person I want to be (I adore her). I promise myself that I will let my heart be seen and heard. I will try relentlessly to tear down the armor that once filled my chest. I used to think that one day someone would come along and tear it down for me. When in all other aspects of my life it would be more appropriate to say that I need to learn how to ask for help, this is one thing that I need to do completely on my own.


And most importantly - more than anything - I promise to embrace love no matter how clumsily I go about it. To let myself feel something for someone and to tell them without inhibition. Without fear of consequence. Without regard for tomorrow. I will let myself be loved for the sake of love. Truth needs no label or commitment or deadline. I will let the past, present and future be as they may. I will learn to let myself love so fully and so deeply that it shakes my foundations and tears me apart and rebirths me in my most perfect form.


I will simply love and let love in the most beautiful, natural, limitless way.


I still have a lot to overcome but I promise to always remember that I can conquer anything.


That I will conquer everything.
1st-Apr-2009 08:47 am(no subject)
Don't know how or why I thought of this...I was in bed in one of those semi-concious states and I thought/dreamt about my future. The ending is the best part...because it's more of a beginning.


I was married - we were very much in love - and we had two children. A boy and a girl. We lived a sort of European lifestyle and split our time between the states and somewhere in Europe (i'm guessing Italy or Spain judging by the scenery). We had a villa out in the country. It was up on a hill and it overlooked a bustling city below. We had lots of open land and the kids ran around barefoot all day. The weather was always breezy and warm.


My husband and I stood in a large kitchen fixing dinner together. It was so bright and airy. We laughed. I remember that. We made eachother laugh like crazy. I remember there being tons of fresh fruits and vegetables everywhere. There was a huge window above the sink and it was open and overlooking the yard where our kids were playing.


We liked utility. We built things together. Figuratively and literally. There was nothing we couldn't create.


Keep dreaming...you'll never want to wake up.Collapse )


At the end of the dream, we were back at the villa. It was late morning and we were still in bed, drenched in warm, fresh sunlight. We were entangled in a sea of white linens - and eachother - and we were so completely alive. He turned over and looked at me...into me. And he kissed me. And that's where we stayed for the rest of the day.


love love,
D

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