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new molts

October 9, 2012

I have an appointment to see my doctor tomorrow.

I have thought of a new (and better) name for my new blog.

Autumn has arrived quite suddenly. Friday, temperatures were in the 70s and sunny. Since then, it’s been cold and rainy; nighttime temperatures in the 40s. My potager flowers, to my surprise, continue to hang on though.

Spouse and I have both been sick for several days.

One project has morphed into a different project which will be a lot more challenging.

As I wrote the letter closing out my involvement in a second, older, project, I was surprised to find that I didn’t want my relationship with the other person to continue. Initially, I had allowed the other person tell me how they were going to ‘fix’ me/my situation. I felt flattered that they were so interested in my problems, but I also panicked a little, as I felt us getting too close too fast. I now realize that I should have set my boundaries differently from the very beginning. And it’s taken me a quite a long time to figure out what they meant when they offered to supply me with a social support network to replace the one I left behind. Their efforts in that direction could not possibly have worked– how could I have missed that for so long? I’m an introvert. I don’t make friends easily. I’m slow to trust people. I need to have very particular things of significance in common with (new) friends. None of the people I met through this person–or even this person hirself–met those criteria. (We did have things in common, but they weren’t the necessary things.) And while I liked two of the people I met through hir, neither of those people responded to my friendly overtures.

18 months of my life invested in that project, and I have nothing to show for it. Although it may have hastened me letting go of two specific labels.

The way I met the person above is the way I met a lot of other people too. And even though that way changed forms, I stayed in contact with quite a few people. But I’m starting to understand that the reasons we all came together have faded. Or I’ve changed. Either way, I thought I made friends, but I don’t think I did. And it’s time to let go of whatever I did have with those people. They are still congenial, interesting people. I’m glad I knew them. I learned a lot from all the time we spent together. But the last chapter ended. I’ve put the book down. And it’s time to give that book away.

I’m learning to sit with my feelings, even upsetting, scary, unsettling feelings. It’s counterintuitive to just let the feelings come–I’m not pushing them away, denying them, or trying to make them go away. Instead, I’m welcoming them because they are real and true and my own.*

There are so many fears I have faced in the last several years that I thought maybe I was coming to the end of them. But no. I’ve uncovered a whole closet’s worth. I fear being engulfed. I fear being annihilated. I fear dying and no one notices nor cares. I fear despair. I fear pain.

Historically, I have refused to even acknowledge these fears. To keep them at bay, I’ve sought out new people, new causes, all sorts of addictive behaviors. . . and then I’ve clung to them with all my might, as if that might save me. It hasn’t.

I keep dreaming that a fabulous opportunity for travel drops out of the clear sky, but I need to leave right away. I should gather my thoughts, marshal my energies, and head out directly with an open heart and spirit. But instead, every single time, I frantically try to cram weeks’ worth of packing into 10 minutes, which stretches into two hours, then beyond. I’m not happy or excited. I’m too consumed by worries that if I don’t bring boots I haven’t worn in 10 years, or the right soap, or some other ridiculous thing, that . . . something bad will happen.

I always wake up before I’ve finished packing.

I sense that I’m on the cusp of truly radical changes. But I’m dithering. I’m afraid to let go of all I’ve known, even though most of it hasn’t worked for years now. I’m afraid if I let go of everything that I will stop existing. That it will be like I never existed at all.

And yet. . .

My (familial) past is receding. I no longer feel like it has anything to do with who I am today. I welcome that feeling! I’ve wanted to birth myself as a new egg. I don’t care where I came from; I just want to get started on the here and now.

But now that I’m on the threshold, I’m afraid. Of everything I can think of, and a great many more things that I can’t.

I think I might be able to choose to go back. To turn my back on what I’ve been working toward for 30 years would, I think, kill my creativity and my spirit. I can’t do that. I won’t do that.

In a dream, it’s easy. I can just walk over to the cliff and leap. I can board the train, without my wallet or cell phone or even a train ticket. I can dive into the ocean, and swim wherever I want to go.

But when I’m awake, the daring choices don’t feel exhilarating. They’re not bold and impressive.

Right now, I think my most important choice is to LET GO.

I don’t know what the future will bring. But 10-year-old boots and the ‘right’ soap will not be necessary.

Whatever I need already exists inside me.

I can stop ‘fixing’ myself. I can stop trying to impress other people. I can stop seeking control over outcomes.

This is so hard. My chest feels tight. I’m scared. What I’m asking of myself feels impossible.

I’m practicing just breathing. Having compassion for myself first. Not worrying about what I could be or should be doing for other people. Not trying to ‘fix’ things for other people, or ‘make them’ feel better.

Just listening to my bodymind. Just sitting with my feelings. Just breathing deeply.

 

*Yesterday, I watched Emily Nagoski (The Dirty Normal)’s video, Family Tree to Love Nest: Relationship Skills for Real Life. Today, after publishing this post, I found two other relevant blog posts of hers:

How to feel your feelings and The feelings. ALL THE FEELINGS. Really, EN is excellent. Hat tip to friend K who introduced her to me.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 10, 2012 16:37

    For what it’s worth, it’d be noticed if you disappeared. *nodnod*

    Letting go is a hard, hard choice.

    • October 10, 2012 22:24

      I think I’m getting better at letting go (so much practice), but it’s still difficult to let go of what I hoped for. Even after I know it’s not going to happen.

      I mostly write because I need to–it’s not social for me the way it seems to be with Ana and chris–so occasionally I wonder if anyone else is reading. I’m glad to find out they are. 🙂

  2. October 16, 2012 05:08

    Those Emily Nagoski articles are so good! Thank you for them; I’ve got to start getting into The Dirty Normal.

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