My moon time is coming again and that means that listening to one of my favorite albums makes me feel like some kind of human stew; all the memories, thoughts, experiences blending together in a rich sauce that somehow feels like it should be sustained, wrapped up and put away for later reflection or feeding on.
One of the daily riches I've been amazed by lately is the discovery of who I am, based on being held accountable to a relationship and family on a daily basis. It's like I had to open up and let another person out of me in order be able to really let any body else in. This understanding comes in morsels and bites, and thankfully, we laugh at a lot of it. We laughed last night when I complained of how much I drive nowadays. Hadj smiled and said, "You mean the one mile and back you drove to the grocery store today?" "No," I explained. "I mean I didn't drive in Chicago, I took buses, trains, and occasionally cabs. And I rode my bike to and from a lot of places," I pointed out with pride. He laughed some more, "Yeah, for, like, a week." And I of course protested and defended and then, I realized something. He's not too far off. I was totally inconsistent in my bike riding. I did it on and off for about one year of the four I lived there, only when the weather was nice enough, only when I didn't over sleep, only if I was prepared mentally for it. Now that I look back, I talked a hot game about my bike riding, I even included it as part of the enticement in my internet dating ad ("15 MPH hour legs") but I never really owned the bicycle riding all the way. I've been wondering lately, how often do I do something just to prove that I can? That question inevitably leads me to wondering who I am setting out to prove something to. And that usually leads me to thinking back to high school and what a beige personality I decided to portray, just so I wouldn't encounter confrontation or mean spirits. Such hearty protective measures have been hard to let go of. I was so afraid of being ridiculed, but why? Didn't anyone ever tell me that names would never hurt me? I was afraid of being a word nerd. Afraid of loving the music I loved. Afraid of admitting to who I really thought was cute (usually, the socially liberal teachers, independent grease monkeys, slutty rich girls). It now feels like I didn't absorb much in high school beyond keep your head down and your eyes averted and get out quick.
Hadj likes to tell me, often, that "I am special." I can feel my defenses coming down more and more lately. My body is freeing up and funny little dances come out spontaneously. I do ab crunchers just because they'll feel good, not to get to some specified end. All this is so amazing because I didn't know. I had no idea what a huge degree of me was kept locked up inside because of a fear of unknown origin kept me worried I'd be cast out if I was simply, who I am. Yes, I am completely unable to remember song lyrics. Yes, I will eat anything. Yes, I have habits of questionable hygienic smarts. I think about the food pyramid a dozen times a day. I know when my hormones are up and when they are down. I budget in trips to see a psychic when I've been thinking about it long enough. I play games; I didn't know how many games I play with other people, all just so they wouldn't know, for instance, that I have a painfully short fuse. I have premonitions. I will talk about astrology with anyone who is interested. I think about who I was in past lives and how that karma might be affecting me now. I have a collection of containers about to overrun my kitchen. I used to think that people had to think, hard, about the minute details of themselves in order to appear interesting, sincere, or eloquent. I'm going to blame this next one on being an only child, I just couldn't imagine the inside of other people's minds. It was so difficult to understand that one person's fears and excitements, no matter what my take was on them, were valid and tangible.
My biggest fear in life is never amounting to something. I think about horrible, violent deaths occasionally, and terrible diseases, but I don't let those ideas linger long enough for them to cull emotional response. I fully expect to live to a ripe old age and die with my all faculties except a beating heart. I even expect the world to grow ever more insane as I age, and as my child (one or more of them), attempts to make sense of his own adult life. I do not fear the impending warm up, melt down, frenzy that all manner of people see coming. I am curious about it. I am excited by the possibilities and wonder what will come of the big shake ups ahead. My true, biggest fear, the one that drives me crazy in all sorts of irrational ways day and day out, is that I will never make progress toward the full picture I have of ideal me. I get all blocked up, trying to figure out how I'm going to find time to move to peak health, great efficiency, good design, and fabulous artistic expression in the limited time I have in the day to day. When I do get blocked, or stuck, nowadays though, I follow Hadj's advice to shake things up. I do some uninhibited spontaneous dance. Or I monkey roll.
My biggest sadness in life these days is loneliness. I get really down when I think of all the people I love who I don't know anymore, simply because my human heart and mind cannot seem conceptualize past all the miles between us. I day dream of compounds of people, people I know and the people they know, working together. I dream of us going about our lives, conflict and success all, in a big old valley somewhere. Working together to live. Nothing major, no major technological break throughs, no mega-superstars. Just working at what we each are called to work at and succeeding in creating richness through our collective vision. Our individual action. I get really lonely sometimes, being out in the boonies without friends dropping by much, without cultural experiences beside my own to see. When that loneliness sets in I start to day dream about massive cultural shifts even more, wanting community as much as I do.
My biggest joy in life these days is my little family. With, and because of, these two men I am growing into myself more and more every day. Their busy hands teach me how to make my many ideas into actions. I'm learning how to love because of these men, learning how to trust, learning how to open up, learning how to listen.
My biggest indulgence in life these days is baking. I used to be afraid of it, it seemed so chemically precise in its needs, but it's not as complicated as I once feared. I look for reasons to bake cakes, breads, muffins, and cookies all the time now. I even thought of making a cake recently which I wanted to frost, "Don't let the door hitcha where the good lord splitcha."
My biggest accomplishment is a conjoined twin: acceptance and patience. I accept where I am. I accept the natural placement of my needs versus the constraints of time and others' needs. This acceptance gives me more patience than I would have ever dreamed possible.
My biggest challenge is getting to work. I feel like every day slips me by and I didn't get as much done as I thought I was going to, or as I thought I was getting done in the moment. I keep working at turning myself into some kind of idealized "industrious woman," making much out of little.
My biggest driving dream is to be debt free. More than wanting to be thinner so I feel more sprightly, more than wanting to decorate my home so it feels airy and inspiring, more than hating every piece of my too small or too big for me wardrobe, I work to keep my spending minimal. I'm no Puritan still, but I've come a long way in the ten short years since I began taking charge of my own money.
My goal for the next hour is to go outside and cut as much brush leading to our old swimming hole turned pond as I can. I'm grateful to be where I am. I'm grateful to know and to witness everyone else where they are. I'm not perfect, I'm not always positive, and sometimes I get it totally wrong. In that is perfection. Thanks for reading my self help post today. I feel helped.