Packing it all aways. That’s the sentence which came to mind when I sat down to write. Actually I sat down to listen to a welcome video for my friend Holly’s Hip Sobriety School. Then I wrote a gratitude list, made day 2 of my #100dayproject, and am now listening to my friend Laura’s new podcast, Spiritual-ish while thinking about becoming a life coach. I’m serious. Also, sort of want to puke rereading these sentences. Because I’m also hoping on the sober wagon (can I use that?) again. It’s day 2 of the rest of my life and life is hard, but good, and I’m happy, but also mourning years are…shit. So much shit. Like why? Metaphorically…but it feels all too real. Years of abuse and bad relationships and poor choices and exhaustion and alcohol and trying antidepressants and therapy and a therapist going MIA (yup, that happened) and friendships ending and an engagement and…you get the point, a lot. And some of it’s really really good shit, and some of it makes me not want to get out of bed. But, I am out of bed, and dressed, with coffee, and wrrrrriting which in itself feels like I should get some sort of metal to wear saying: TODAY I DID THREE THINGS. But, the truth is a metal wouldn’t mean shit and I don’t need more stuff. I just really need to keep coming back. Some of my best work is done when I give myself the space to breathe. Some of my best sentences come to me at the most inconvenient times like when I’m in a pysch session or when I’m on a packed T car. Also, social media y’all. What a time-suck, but what a magical hole. I suggest it, but with B.O.U.N.DERIES. I really need them. I put myself to bed two nights in a row, reading two chapters, drinking tea, and actually wanting to get up in the morning because I’m not drained from falling down the Instagram-hole of “I want to be her.” Phew. I really feel like social media, along with 10,000 other things is just a way to distant ourselves from ourselves. Because we really do not have enough things separating our selves from our selves. Drugs, alcohol, work, money, stuff, stuff, stuff, shit, shit, shit, parents, family etc. It’s hard. I just heard Laura say, “the sheer volume of them (Instagram posts) mean we can’t appreciate one of them.” I couldn’t agree more. Think of the last time you did something and didn’t take a photo before or after, or shoot a text to someone with a quote you loved etc. Those things, I feel, do improve my life in some way, but they also feel like they takeaway from my real life. The life I have with my dog and my partner. The life that includes doing dishes and picking up poop, and feeling the sun (the 1 out of 7 days it decides to show). The reason I quit my job is because I stopped caring. It didn’t bring me joy to put on uncomfortable pants and take a bus to sit in a class and take notes. That job didn’t bring me joy and I just couldn’t do it. I felt like I stopped mattering to me. I felt exhausted. I felt like for the first time, in a long time, I just needed to stop and pause and figure out what exactly brings me joy. Almost four months I feel like I’m finally getting my mojo back. I finally feel like I sort of know what I want to do, but most importantly what I need to do. The list looks like this:
1. Read. It’s one of my favorite things to do, but something I really put on the back-burner, much like 2…
2. WRITE. I am a writer. I went to school to write. I stopped writing. And stopped. And stopped. I felt like I wasn’t good enough and had nothing relevant to say, but then the #metoo campaign started and I thought, “me too,” and then I wrote and wrote and wrote about me too. You can read that here.
3. Be sober. You can be sober, you cannot be sober, and life may in fact feel exactly the same, but for me I always feel that (even if it’s just an inch) better. I am 2 (3 days sober today, 2 when I’m writing this). It’s a relief. I don’t care if you think I should be, shouldn’t be etc. I had a friend who used to say about things that don’t concern us, “not my monkey, not my circus.” That’s how I am trying to approach alcohol right now.
4. Listen and connect to my friends who CREATE. Literally. All my feeds are bursting over with beautiful words and art and creations. I’m trying to engage more in a way which feels healthy and productive to me. It feels good to comment and like and love. Better than sitting on the sidelines wishing I was X or Y. I’m not, but that’s ok.
5. Love is ALL YOU NEED. Glennon Doyle says this daily. I have those words hanging on my wall. I believe them fiercely like they are tattooed on my soul. LOVE. IS. ALL. YOU. NEED. Say it with me.
6. My work will always be authentic to me…if I keep it that way. I spent literal years catering to others and trying to be like others and trying to buy what they had. This sounds like a cheesy bumper sticker, but oh well, “You cannot buy you. Likewise, you cannot buy them.” I don’t care how much money you have or who you know, you just can’t. Take it as someone who has worked tirelessly to do exactly that.
That’s 6 I feel really truly. I’m also thinking of my public and private lives and right now I’m ok releasing all of these very real, very hard things into the world. I am a writer. I choose to write my story in a very public way and I am ok with that. Please know I also respect any other way YOU choose to tell your story. Keep it locked up in a journal under your mattress. Do what feels organic and real and I am so tired of doing anything else.
One last line:
I’m sorry, does not mean it didn’t happen.
Keep this in mind today and in life. Because I spent 5 years dragging this shit around and today, I’m leaving it here.