I am on the verge of discovering something new, something big. I feel like I have been working on a big, giant project for the past four decades and now it’s about to start to resemble something. The studied areas are forgiveness of myself and others, acceptance of myself and others, emotion synthesis, drinking (i.e., running away from emotions and thoughts), creativity, and the list goes on. It feels like a sneeze with a REALLY long buildup. And I’m anxious and consuming gobs of information because the synthesis seems tangible and right around the corner. The sneeze is coming…..and I can’t wait.
Or is it a sneeze? Is it going to be a slow trickle? Hasn’t it already been a slow trickle? I am oozing out growth and I am growing mentally weary by it, even as I watch it happening. Not that I don’t want growth, I do! But I also want to be at peace. To read fiction novels. To sit outside and look at the stars. To stop thinking and figuring out everything.
Sometimes I envy those people that just move through their lives unencumbered. They react when they want to, they eat when they want to, drink when they want to. If they get upset, they yell, if they want to sleep in, they sleep in. My fantasy person doesn’t have to worry about weight, sleep, bills, disciplining kids. Not that they don’t have to worry about these things, but everything just comes naturally to them. They don’t second guess themselves. I have made a career out of second guessing. Consuming information. Questing after the improvements. And it seems like it’s finally happening through a combination of the following events:
- Ages 10-20: Felt sadness. Felt fear. Loved my stuffed animals unreasonably a lot. Felt sorry for inanimate objects. Lived with a chronic, painful and quite debilitating fear of dogs – all dogs. Defended my mother vehemently to people that insulted her. Struggled with my identity. Played tennis. As a late teenager, yelled at a man working in a gas station when he asked me to leave my ID in lieu of actual payment after I pumped the gas. I yelled and, in the time it took to get to my apartment and back, my remorse was so immense that I promptly and painfully apologized. Vowed to myself to not be that person. Bought How to Win Friends and Influence People. And the growth began.
- Ages 21-30: I learned how to apologize more easily. Admitted mistakes. Became (too?) vulnerable. Learned to laugh at myself. I got married. Listened obsessively to Dr. Laura. Thought of joining the Peace Corps, but didn’t. Earned three degrees. Bought a house. Sold a house. Moved to a small town. Wrote a children’s book and then dropped it when an editor’s notes came back with criticism (Whaaaaaaat?). Conquered (!) my fear of dogs. Converted to Catholicism.
- Ages 31-40: Bought a house. Sold a house. Became a stay-at-home mom. Had my first child. Loved her dearly and obsessively and therefore spoiled her. Felt sadness and confusion. Had my second child. Struggled to parent with limits. Watched my marriage spiral downwards. Had my third child. Became a broadcast meteorologist for a brief time. Felt a boost in self-esteem. Formed some amazing lifelong friendships. Lost a friendship. Held my head high while I apologized and earned that friend back. Grew emotionally. Struggled emotionally. Realized I don’t smile very much. Realized I wasn’t happily married. Cried a lot. Laughed a lot. Got counseling. Formed groups. Sought connections. Found some. Lost some.
- Ages 41-Now: Moved across the country. Lived in parents’ basement for a few months. Got divorced. Bought a house. Started teaching at church. Met another man who is nothing like my ex-husband. Started to drink too much. Worried a LOT about drinking. Struggled in my new relationship but fought through it. Informally became part-time caretaker of my niece. Loved her. Loved my kids. Took a lot of road trips. Tried to connect with family. Failed to connect with family. Realized the toll it was taking on my kids and stopped trying to connect with family. Lived on my own with my kids. Got engaged. Stopped drinking too much. Began writing morning pages.
And here we are. So, over the past few days, I have felt the insatiable need to eat. Not drink now, but eat. Yes, that can be the result of stopping drinking – a continuation of the avoidance. But right now it feels like it’s because I have this new life to live and I’m not letting myself live it. I want to take all that I’ve done through the years and explore it – my need to do this is insatiable. Today I even had the fleeting thought that life just isn’t worth living. And I don’t mean that in the doom-and-gloom-I-want-to-kill-myself way. Not at all. I mean that in ways I’ve wondered for years, but I was hit with it today as I struggled to help my sad daughter and find meaning at work. I love my work, but it isn’t particularly meaningful in its own right.
So, I’m writing. I’m wanting to synthesize. I am going to keep expanding on this and working this through to see where I’m being led. Where am I going? So, if you’re reading this, I feel compelled to apologize – this is all very self-focused crap that is meant to lead me to bigger and better things! But I think it’s working.