talking back to self doubt

 Photo by  Roman Kraft  via Unsplash

Photo by Roman Kraft via Unsplash

Today is the 28th of July.  Just one month from today, Sunday August 28th 2016, the plan is that we'll have a packed moving truck waiting as we say tearful goodbyes to our family + friends here in Boston.

It's weird to plan for something you know will make you sad.  But that's what moving is like -- it's sad, and it's full of potential, and it's hot + sweaty + monotonous.  But we do it -- some of us more than others.  For John + I, this will be our sixth, in four years.  It's sort of routine now; about this time of year something in me starts to stir, and I find myself noticing empty boxes at grocery stores + finding ways to let go of things that otherwise I never could.

Practically speaking, this time I feel pretty good about the move, for a couple of reasons.  I read Marie Kondo's "Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" this past January, and though I'm breaking the rules + still wrapping up the discarding process, I did get through a big portion of it, which leaves our possessions feeling leaner + mostly essential.  Secondly...we've done this enough times to learn our own patterns and change what we can to make it less of a harrowing experience for us both.  That is, we set expectations early + both agreed to them, which has saved us a lot of those weird fights about subconscious disappointments.

What has already been hard about this move is the emotional toll it has taken.  About two weeks ago I finished letting everyone here know we were leaving -- I waited too long, I think, but I suppose a part of me wasn't ready to face it either, because as soon as that was done is when The Funk set in.  I haven't really written much about The Funk yet, not here.  It is not my favorite topic, of course, but when you're in is it so real + so all-consuming.  Sometimes the only thing you can do is write -- at least, that's what I've found.

In summary, the subtitle to this particular Funk was: Everything About the Past Two Years Has Been a Meaningless Waste Which Means I am a Meaningless Waste.  So...easy enough to recover from.  Just Kidding.  It was terrible + I barely survived, but I somehow did + now that I'm mostly on the other side of it, I have a few things to share.

Ultimately, what helped me to figure out what I was feeling + why was talking to other people.  Praying about it, talking to friends -- having some of my heart exposed, which was hard because it was in a pretty terrible place...but to be able to voice those things + hear truth come back was so vital.

The biggest lie I was believing was that my worth is the sum total of what I do.  And in so many ways, that I hate and yet can't seem to quit, I still feel like I'm waiting for my life to start.  I try to snap out of it + tell myself, "life is now!" but the cowering, insecure perfectionist character living inside of me has to be coddled + pleaded with to let anything out of the gate.

I am trying.  I am practicing doing things before I am ready.  This post will be a great example because I know for a fact it will be hard to follow + poorly written and undoubtedly super embarrassing for me to look back on.  Which, sidebar:  I once heard someone say (I can't remember who or where) that growing up is the most embarrassing thing you'll ever do.  And this person did not just mean that everyone has embarrassing middle school photos, because we do but actually the embarrassment doe snot stop there, unfortunately.  Actually, it continues to follow us.  After we're "grown up".  I'll grow up more in the next three weeks or six moths and if I should revisit this, it's going to make me cringe, I just know it will.

But we do not grow by not taking risks.

I have been unwilling to risk writing for a hundred reasons.  The one I described above.  The fact that I am too lazy to commit to it + I don't want to be relied upon to be consistent because I don't want to shackle myself to that.  The possibility that this is too random and peripheral to everything else that I am doing -- aren't I supposed to be a calligrapher?  Do I really think anyone cares about reading this?  Which is another thing -- I am not very good at registering when something might be TMI and so I fear going too deep into the honesty pool because I don't want all of you to judge me.

But you guys I can't help it.  I have these things inside of me, and they are there whether I share them or not.  And I'd rather share them.  I'd prefer that everyone receives these things in a kind and compassionate way, and that isn't a guarantee but somehow the possibility of that not happening is not holding me back.

I'm tired of waiting, and thinking about all the things I want to do + not doing them.  I'm tired of waiting to figure everything out before I take action.  I am at once so impatient and so slow moving that I should not have the ability to function.

I have been trying to find a way to say, "I write + I write".  Meaning, I do fancy writing i.e. calligraphy.  And I write like this, I am a writer.  All the red flags go up when I say that, and they read, "you're a fraud, you're a fraud!  abort, abort!  time to go back and hide."  But the only way to be a writer is to write, and the only way to be a calligrapher is to do calligraphy.  I have learned a little more about the latter in the past two years, because I have slowly, slowly, given myself permission to be that.  To do + to be.  But I have not given myself the permission to be a writer and I have not written.  I will probably continue to not give myself permission, but I will work on that.  And in the mean time I will write, in hopes that maybe one day, I will start + finish these posts on the same topic.

You have to give yourself permission.  Permission to be sad that you are moving + parting with people + places + things that you love.  Permission to say to your thoughts, "you liar!  I am not a meaningless waste + these two years of my life have not been either!  I won't believe you!"  Permission to risk embarrassing yourself for the sake of hopefully bettering yourself.  At least, I think that's how it is.