Can you imagine if we all followed this? Think about how many times you have allowed other people to steal your unique light…your joy…your self. It happens so quickly and we think we are doing the right thing by following the stream. You are not a salmon. You are amazing. Don’t hang with people who don’t think so too.
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I seem to be one of the lucky ones who can’t stop finding my tribe. Just when I think my High Counsel is complete and we can start making plans for our old age compound together, I stumble upon another soul of startling recognition. I know that I am not like most other people…in that I am considered by many to be strange or perhaps to be unconventional in a way that isn’t in keeping with the traditional way of growing up if you will. I still care about partying. It may seem to others that this is all I care about at times. Having just completed my Meyers Briggs Assessment, it stated as much – I just can’t lay off the socializing and the bigger the better. I am what could be termed as still “boy crazy”. I am a skilled and enthusiastic flirt (I blame my southern Mother and Grandmother) and I enjoy the new and exciting banter of boy meets girl. I also recently read a horoscope that continued to support my strange and unorthodox ways in saying that I was voted least likely to be successful in romantic relationships and that I would surround myself with other women who did not require the standard fare of relationship monogamy. A gentle way perhaps of covering up my inherent desire to experience freedom from boxes of any kind, probably and most glaringly, relationship boxes. I do seem to have an statistically significant number of women in my life that appreciate independence and no lack of ability to end relationships that don’t seem to support and nourish that. Am I a cosmic anomaly of some kind destined to spend time with other serial anarchists in this life time? Gosh, I hope so. I find I alternate between being shamed for my open and eclectic way of life and being emulated as a beacon of change from social norms but what I know is that indeed, I have a tribe. That collective of common minded people who seem to know and understand what may look foreign and ridiculous to others but just makes sense to us. Sometimes I submit to the shame that inevitably blankets a life lived out of the ordinary, but mostly I bring it to my counsel who give reverence to a life lived out loud with many voices to harmonize with my own. I love you weirdos : )
Ok, I admit it. I have been feeling a little sorry for myself lately. Self loathing is a sneaky little bastard and sometimes it takes a few minutes or days or months to realize you are having tea with him every day.
Something happened the other day, not even a bad something, but it made me think about the past. It started out with some great memories. In fact, I was smiling and humming to myself for a couple of days just thinking about those great memories. Then one day I was driving and I just started to cry. Like bawling. I have an hour drive to work on straight highway and it provides me an awful lot of time to think and somehow all those great memories that had been fueling my smile-fest started triggering some not so great memories. They are of course, embedded together. Like those magnetic kissing monkeys, they attract each other. You think of one, you find the other.
My family has been through a great deal in the last few decades but once upon a time we all lived under the same roof and despite less than ideal conditions I felt very secure in having my family around me. I felt “normal” even when we were all fighting. My family has not been under the same roof again for over 20 years. The thought of this, the fragmentation of my family, the terrible, terrible memories that accompany that reality are deeply married to some of the best memories I have. What a mess in my head trying to sort through them. And of course, those raw memories seem to float to the top much more quickly then the sweet ones.
I know when things are going sideways when I have a hard time waking up and getting out of bed. I am one of those annoying morning people who works out, writes copy for my social media pages, makes breakfast, walks my dogs etc etc before most people are getting up for their regular day. When I open my eyes and everything feels blurry and my body refuses to roll out of bed, I know something is amiss. I ,of course, ignore this for as long a I can. And then one day, I am on the phone with my best friend crying about how worthless my life has become and how could any of this have possibly happened to me???
The incredibly good fortune of this story is the response of said best friend. She gave me a speech akin to Cher’s performance in Moonstruck where she slaps a gentleman and advises him to , “Snap out of it!!”. She gave me permission to feel bad for about 5 minutes and then it was time to move on.
I realized that in my spelunking of the past I had stopped doing a few things:
- Working out – to be fair I have been unbelievably afflicted by several nasty illness in a row but even then I can usually be found walking my dogs or riding a bike. But nope…nada, nothing, zilch. For weeks.
- Meditating – despite how long I have been doing it and how much I preach its merits to others, I still find it very difficult to do and is usually the first thing I shun when I feel bad about myself. This is the dumbest thing I do to myself. Even 10 minutes of breathing will change your whole day.
- Calling my people – I am a spazz. I walk, talk, work out, eat and am in constant contact with my best people. They anchor my flightiness when I simply can’t get my feet on the ground or out of bed. When I stop contacting them, guaranteed you can find me in the bottom of a self pity bottle. Perspective in any form will save your life.
- I stop writing. Yep, go on and look how long it has been since my last post. It takes a lot of energy to hate yourself. Much more than creating. I am grateful that it only takes me a few days instead of a few years to remember this now. Double nod to all the above things.
Just before I went to bed last night I got a post from a place called Action for Happiness – http://www.facebook.com/actionforhappiness
And the post said: Choose to focus on the good stuff. Start by reminding yourself of three good things, big or small, that happened yesterday.
So I did that. But I couldn’t stop at three. It just went on and on and on. And then I remembered. Good lord I have a good life. Sorry I don’t appreciate it as much as I should.
I always add pictures to my blog because as a spazz I never satisfied with just plain text ; ) So today I’m going to add some pictures of things I am grateful for because I’m overdosed on the beauty of it. You might as well be too.
I walked into my room to find my dog HUGGING my scarf. Um…that may be the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. And it’s because she loves the shit out of me.
I spent the better part of the morning here. Seriously just look at that. I can’t even believe I live so close to this.
This girl makes me laugh and cry every day – and I don’t mean regular laughing and crying. Like people are concerned about the intensity of our outbursts. She gave me the proverbial slap on the face, then took me to above beautiful place and proceeded to have what can only be describes as an EPIC evening that Banff will never forget. I kind of hate the word epic so if I’m using it, you can understand it was probably movie script worthy. ; )
My 6’7 son changed a light bulb for me without standing on a chair. I made that. No bigs.
My new cup from Banff. If I am not smiling every morning when I have my tea, that is total bullshit and I will promptly make an appointment for more therapy. This is also one of my other son’s favourite sayings. We are kind of freaks all around here. : )
What are you grateful for today? It’s only noon and I think I’m going to lose my mind with joy already. Now where’s my tea cup….