January…I haven’t written since January?! How is it possible that seven months have passed and I haven’t been able to make myself sit down and do the one thing that usually brings me so much joy? Perhaps, more than anything, it has to do with the fact that I’ve been nervous about what I would actually say if I allowed myself to go “there.” Sometimes it’s easier to be silent than to risk saying what is really on one’s mind…and then dealing with the aftermath. But, last week, while sitting with a new friend, I realized that by not being true to my voice, I’m not being true to me…and slowly, but surely, my fire is going out. I can’t have that.
Angry. That seems to be the emotion that resonates with me more than any other right now. I don’t say that lightly…and it certainly isn’t said easily. But, like it or not, my reality is that I am profoundly unhappy and I spend much of my time with a bitter burn raging in the pit of my stomach. This burn makes me sick and sad…and, if I’m honest, scared. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it…and frankly, it’s a bitch.
I’m not an angry person by nature, in fact, quite the opposite, but here I am. Why?
Answer: I’ve lost my balance.
I wouldn’t call this a first for me. I’ve been struggling with balance for as long as I can remember, but right now I seem to be smack in the middle of my own personal storm of the century and my life and I are out of control…and that really pisses me off…at ME! Gut check time for ole’ Sus here, because I’ve spent the last 7 months (at least) telling myself and others how frustrating, screwed up, lazy, blah, blah, blah everyone else is and the naked truth is that I’m the problem. It’s me…just me.
One of the first things that Professor Byrd taught me in Psych 101 at the University of Kansas a few… ahem…years ago was that no one can make “us” feel something without our consent. Well, I’ve been giving almost everyone, and his or her proverbial brother, permission to frustrate me, steal my “happy,” zap my energy and simply wear me out. It’s almost as if I’ve been asking everyone I meet, “Hey, how can I help you or your project suck the life right out of me?”
How in the hell did I let this happen? For Pete sake!! I’ve been dodging death for 10.5 years and yet not even I could see that I needed to trim the sails and get the ship back on course before the storm hit?! After months of doing only things that I felt like I “had to,” instead of creating balance with things that I “need and/or want to,” the royal dung has officially hit the fan and I’m S-P-E-N-T. It took the fresh perspective of a new friend and the wisdom and patience of a few special folks (the P’s included) who really love me to help me realize that without change, I’m headed for disaster.
The happy ending in this tragic tale of woe is that I have a plan…or at least I’m in the process of formulating one. Step One of that plan…writing…and not just the work related proposals that have occupied much of my life for the last several months. Step Two….get back to the business of taking care of me. And, Step Three? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see…