Building

March 6, 2013

Well, I did absolutely nothing yesterday, and yet the day was full.  I don’t know where the time went.  When I say, “nothing”, I mean nothing I had planned to do.  No vacuuming, no computer work searching for a job.  I did my journaling and self-help work.  I did yoga for the first time.  I talked to M on the phone.  I took P in to have a teeth float.  I met up with dear S for dinner, and then later a nighttime tea at Starbucks.  I got home at 11 PM, and it was too late to even think of vacuuming.  Instead, I glued F’s hair barrette again.  The one that we made during our craft time together last Friday.

My heart is pumping blood at a furious rate.  I can feel it right through my housecoat.  Am I anxious because I didn’t go on the computer yesterday after announcing to one and all that that was my goal?  I realized yesterday AGAIN how afraid I am of failing.  Perhaps it wasn’t so much a realization as it was a pristine moment of clarity where I was slapped in the face with my own reality.  It’s one thing to SAY I am afraid of failing.  It is another thing altogether to FEEL it soaking through my bones, drenching me from head to toe with suffocating completeness.  I also became aware of the fact that I have no confidence.  That seems like a rather redundant statement to make after living a life with the absence of self-esteem.  But somehow this new understanding of my lack of confidence is profoundly disturbing. What do I do to regain it?  Or if it was never there in the first place, how do I develop  something I’ve never seen or felt before?  ‘Fake it ’till you make it’ cannot apply in this circumstance because I have no understanding or innate sensibility of what it is that I must fake.  What IS confidence?  I know some people are born with it, and others are not so lucky.  Can I truly gain something; an entity I have no previous or background knowledge of; and propel myself forward with it in tact, as I motor down the freeway of success?

Success.  It is a beautiful concept, and one that has been absent in all aspects of my life.  I guess that statement is not exactly true.  A few instances do come to mind:  being awarded ‘Most Improved’ ball player at the end of my first year playing baseball in a league, to being named ‘MVP of the Year’ in the same league, in my third and final year of play; moving to LA a few months shy of the ten year deadline I had set for myself to land there; and graduating ‘With Distinction’ in the two University degrees I completed in four years time.  But that is about it.  Oh wait…I should include being my high school Class President and Valedictorian in Grade 12; and giving the Invocation at my University graduation in the spring of 2008.  I should be proud of these achievements, but instead I am achingly aware of what a pathetically short list of accomplishments that is for someone who has been wandering the planet for 47 years.  Blundering and plodding along, blindly and continually stepping into great potholes in the road, and falling several decades into pits of despair.  No sidestepping for me.  No circuitous routes.  Straight down the line, over monstrous mountains and through unfathomably deep valleys.  Why do I feel like taking a short cut is a ‘bad’ thing?  That strategizing and avoiding definite road blocks and bumps along the line instead of tackling whatever comes my way is shirking my responsibilities.  In other words, my attitude is, “Take it as it comes…EXACTLY as it comes.”  It is not acceptable to avoid any grievances that may come up.  I must face whatever confronts me, and confront IT!  It is cowardly to turn my head and look for another option.  I must persevere through each trial, growing stronger with every obstacle cleared.  What a load of hogwash!  Since when is looking for alternative methods of action or responses a negative experience?  Where does it state that tribulations can only be met as they are presented, head on?  Who said that only adversity makes me grow?  My whole belief system needs to be dismantled and retired.  Or abandoned altogether, and thrown into the round file.  I’ve got to start all over and develop a new scheme with which to live by.  But how do I do that?  Where do I begin, and with what do I begin with?  Which takes me right back to my original question:  How do I develop something I’ve never seen or felt before?

Maybe all of this thinking is meaningless.  Perhaps it is just a matter of doing.  To greet each day and do the best I can with what I’ve got, each moment as it comes.  I could recognize each minute success I achieve, and celebrate these moments as they arrive.  For instance, congratulations me for steadfastly making the time to write in this journal.  Good on me for completing the rewriting of my notes from the courses in the hospital program into my Big Blue Binder.  Way to go for establishing a cleaning schedule, and then making a concerted effort to stick to it each day.  Kudos to me for pulling myself up off of the putrified floor of Depression, and struggling to find meaning and purpose in a life that has been devoid of these properties for multiple decades.  Wow!  What a change in mindset THAT was.  Was that really ME speaking?  What a foreign way to think.  This may not be permanent, but I will say, “Thank you”, Universe, for suddenly opening the windows of my mind to acknowledge these realizations in real time.  May this type of thinking be the substratum with which I construct my new belief system on.

*********************************************************************************

January 14, 2018

As I reread this journal entry, a flicker of hope flashes through my brain.  Five years ago, for an instance, I got a glimpse of what the other side might look like.  It came out of nowhere, a surprise of the sweetest kind.  An opportunity to view an alternate way of thinking, of being, that no matter how brief, did flare into existence.

I continue to compose my ‘new’ belief system to this day.  Sometimes I experience days when a positive truth gleams forth, and a new brick of enlightenment can be placed to reinforce the others around it.  At other times, I am beset with insecurity and I feel like the fabrication of my foundation is crumbling all around me.  In moments of weakness, I worry that the distance I have travelled from then until now is minimal.  In moments of strength, I don’t compare.  I am content in the knowledge that I am in the spot intended for me at this particular time in my history, and that my building, as it stands, is one that I can love and be proud of.

 

 

Advertisements

A Mystery to Myself

February 13, 2013

KS’s birthday!  I will try to unearth her phone number and call her in California.  What a long time it has been.  What will we say to each other?  So much time has passed since her wedding in Long Beach, and our hilarious time in Disneyland!  I was still in University at that time…I believe my last semester in Spring Session, 2007.  Wow.  Six years.  Her baby C would be six now.  A little soul in his own right.  I wonder how life is playing out for him?  For them?

Going on another day without sleep.  I have lost count of my sleepless nights.  Three?  Four?  I can only hope tonight I will feel tired enough to surrender to a sleeping state.  Right now my body feels rejuvenated after my dance workout and my bath.  My eyes are tired though, and my cheekbones feel numb.  Or rather the spaces under my eyes feel that way.  I NEED to pay my bills, but I just don’t feel like doing that right now.  I dusted and organized the main floor today.  Amazing how much stuff has accumulated from who knows where, that needed to be placed elsewhere.  Next I scoured the bathrooms and the kitchen sink; wiped down the cupboards; went through my closet to get clothes to donate to either Women in Need, or The Diabetes Society; shovelled the walks; and made my Mom some muffins.  Bit by bit my abode is starting to look better.  Incredible what a little dusting does for a place!  Hah!  Tomorrow I must vacuum and wash the floors.  Maybe if I don’t sleep tonight, I could do the floors then.  That would leave the 14th wide open for…for what?  Like there’s going to be a line up of vastly eligible and handsome men waiting outside my door ready to whisk me away to a terrifically romantic spot?  I think not…but hopefully something will transpire that will engage my attention!

I had an interesting session with Dr. F today.  He pulled out The Dialectical Handbook and we really focused on Radical Acceptance.  This was cool because that aspect of this particular treatment model really spoke to me when I was reading it over earlier.  I am on the opposite spectrum of Radical Acceptance, as far to the right as I can be!  Hah!  But the concept is interesting and one worth looking into.

OK.  my left eye is beginning to twitch.  Good thing that didn’t happen earlier today.  After I saw Dr. F and I tutored Z, I went for coffee with J.  Wow.  He sure is divulging a lot about his life to me.  He actually reminds me of me!  Or how I have been in the past.  The thinking being that it is better to take all of my negative personal baggage and bravely display it out front at the BEGINNING of a romantic relationship so as to give the other party a chance to vacate immediately if they don’t want to become involved with such a hapless creature as myself.  Funnily enough, I think I did this less for my potential partner and more for me!  There is nothing worse than becoming interested in someone only to lose them once a deep, dark, past secret has been revealed at some point later on in the relationship.  But now I don’t want to be that honest or open to start with.  I want to keep some things to myself, until the time for disclosure is right.  I guess I am changing.  All I can say about that is, “Good on me!”  The old me no longer works, so despite my usual reluctance and dread of change, I’m say’in, “Bring it on!  Out with the old and in with the new!  My past methods have become null and void, so let’s ditch ’em and learn to make new ways to be!”  I wonder what that will look like?

This time of curiosity is excellent and kind of exciting in its own way.  I am beginning to create as I go, and there is a certain freedom in that which makes me think of when I lived in Australia.  No one knew me there, or could possibly have met me before because I had never been on the continent until the fateful day that I arrived. Arguably, that was the most free I have ever felt in my life.  But those were also dark days filled with pain, what with the confused separation, partial reunion, and eventual dissolution of my short-lived ‘faux’ marriage; my Dad struggling to fight cancer back in Canada; my acutely severe and debilitating homesickness; and the profound loneliness I finally experienced when I truly found myself alone in a country that was two days away from everything I had ever known.  Troubled times in many ways, but they also provided me with the opportunity to learn about, discover, and reinvent myself.  AND, as a member of a cast of five, I sang, danced, and performed stand up comedy in a show at a professional venue for a year!  An absolutely incredible experience, and one of my life’s greatest highlights!  My years in LA were also fantastic for presenting me with the chance to recreate my identity, but it was not quite the same occasion for anonymity as existed in OZ.

What a lifetime ago.  More like THREE lifetimes ago.  I don’t even remember who I was back then.  Who I have been at ANY of the significant junctures in my life for that matter.  What a thought.  I am a series of strangers parading across the stage of my life.  Slipping in and out of costumes as I march along.  What is the common denominator amongst all of the ‘me’s’, other than that?  That all of those characters are me?  Whoever that is.  Or was.  Perhaps right now I am finally starting to learn who I really am.  I pray this time of curiosity lasts indefinitely, and that I get very comfortable examining me as I evolve into my future.  Ironically, of which the present is all I will ever know.

*********************************************************************************

July 16, 2017

“Who am I, anyway?  Am I my resume?”  (A Chorus Line)

That is a good question, and one I am reluctant to answer.  Maybe it’s not reluctance, per se.  It’s more like an ignorance in that I still struggle to define who I am.  After all these years I am completely unable to put my finger down and identify who I am as a being on this planet.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  I could come up with a slew of negative traits or descriptors that I think I embody because I have spent my whole life cultivating this skill.  But doing so is a disservice to myself.  I spend ample time each day reworking entrenched pathways in my brain by doing positive affirmations to combat the contradictory ones that are so ready to rear their ugly heads when given the chance.  It seems I am hardwired to describe myself in derogatory terms, but I now try to silence those thoughts and replace them with more helpful ones.

But, in fact, I remain a mystery to myself.  It’s easier to be in the dark about my identity than it is to challenge myself to define the person that I am.  There is a risk in making statements that capture my essence.  Once spoken, I then need to live up to them.  After years of being riddled with self-hating thoughts, I am not at a point where I trust myself to make and follow through believing self-affirming thoughts.  Fear rushes in and bites me on the butt yet again.  I’m not sure why I am afraid to think and assimilate good thoughts about myself, other than my childhood memory of my mom warning me that undue vanity would give me a “big head”.  I was about five years old, and I was standing in front of the long mirror, wearing my favourite white dress with the soft pink sash, admiring the beautiful white rabbit fur pom pom that adorned the sash.  My Mom saw me and I think thought I was preening in front of the mirror, so she delivered her message firmly and let me know that possessing a “big head” was not a favourable condition.  And for whatever reason, at all costs, I did not want a “big head”, or an overinflated opinion of myself!  Funny, the random pieces of information that I put through my filter, internalized, and made important as a young child.  So important that I remember them, and the circumstances surrounding them, vividly.  So important, in fact, that I am still affected by them to this day.

Many people say I am a chameleon, always morphing into a new image by changing my hair style and colour, or the fashion I adopted at different periods within my life.  I don’t know if this is true or not.  What I have just realized, though, as I am writing this response, is that until I make the choice to actually pick a trait, or traits that expresses who I am, I will forever be in the dark as to my true identity.  If I don’t know who I am, then nobody can really know me either.  And that is indeed, a lonely reality to live out.