Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Power of Misery

Attempted “Return to Spring” for the first time since probably February. A little late in the season, I know, but despite my lack of memory for the movements, the chi was a-flowing. The time has come for me to return to spring. I must return to the start knowing a new beginning and a new start awaits. I have a spontaneous beach trip today, which my team complained endlessly about and I couldn’t be more grateful. I’ve one week left in this wonderful, healing sojourn before my brief English holiday and my return home. The time to sever ties has come. No, that’s not right. There are no true endings. Not like a book or a movie where everything is tied up neatly in the last 20 minutes or the last 50 pages. No, I shall remain in the lives of those I’ve known just as they shall remain in mine. They have shaped the person I am today and though the options for my future are now endless, I don’t wish to diminish the impact nor the influence of the past. But the time has come to be truthful about it. I told a friend I don’t wish to be seen as lost or broken. His response? “Then don’t be.” So typical of a man and yet so truthful. I don’t have to be anything. I’ve proven that. We are what we choose to be, influenced by our experiences and the people around us but what we choose to do with these experiences, how we choose to interpret them and who we choose to be as a result, well, that’s up to us. Of course sometimes achieving the level of honesty needed to change, well, that’s tough. It’s funny how all this time I felt so badly about how I had wronged my husband and Mr. Darcy that I could never be honest about how they had hurt me. Because I wanted to put things in the best light and think the best of them yet the worst of myself. At some point, it does become healthy to just realize we are all human and fallible and it’s ok to acknowledge someone else’s jerkiness because until you do, you can’t assess the impact and you can’t find forgiveness. So now I say “ow” and “I forgive you.” And most importantly, “I forgive me.” Cause I deserve the best! We all do. We just have to find that place where we can at last recognize what is the best for us. I spent so much time thinking that I couldn’t ask for what I wanted because it was selfish. But now I have people in my life who only want to see me happy. Yeah, they were always there, I just couldn’t see it. So you know what is really selfish and self-indulgent? Misery! It’s cr*p meant for a lesser being. No, it’s cr*p meant for no one. I don’t know why we are so wired to seek out misery but I know that to seek it out is about the most selfish, thoughtless pursuit anyone can undertake; your misery had impact. So now, I know my job in the world is to be happy, inspired and fulfilled…for everyone’s sake!

Years ago I went through this phase where I was determined to say exactly what I meant. I had read an article about how the word “hate” was losing impact due to its overuse and that it was actually taking a physical toll on people. So I determined not to use it unless I meant it. I didn’t “hate” the front door, but rather, “it made me angry and it made me sad, and when I pulled up to the house, I felt unwelcome.” “I don’t care for this food because there is an aftertaste that is off-putting and it reminds me of a fight I had with my mother…” Drove my husband insane. But it got me to really think about what I felt and what I meant. I think this is sort of the same thing. Words have impact, physical, psychological, even chemical impact. I remember once there was this woman who had really hurt me, systematically, intentionally hurt me and I didn’t want to give her any more power over me or the satisfaction of knowing that she had an effect on my life. So when she came to me, looking forlorn about leaving the club with the man who had been my boyfriend and turned back and said to me, “Please don’t hate me forever.” What utter cr*p. Bitch. My response? “Oh, forever is a long time. And I don’t hate you. I nothing you.” “What?” “I nothing you. You don’t exist to me.” It was weird, she had no response. It was like I had cast a spell on her, a curse and she did cease to exist. I mean, obviously not completely since I’m writing about her here, but I took away her power to hurt me. Only I could hurt me now, if I chose to revisit that awful moment in my life and not just look at it, but touch it, be in it.

As I said, one of the things I had to do while I was overseas in my quest to change my life in a better direction is, I had to get really honest; about everyone, including my family and myself. My sister’s response to this divorce has not been good and quite frankly has been all about her. How hurt she is that she was the last to know, how hard it is on her that we are breaking up, how my unwillingness to talk about it hurts her. Last night, she called drunk and things did not go well. She was crying and I had to go. Today she called our relationship toxic and asked me not to contact her anymore. Maybe she’s right, but not for the reasons she thinks. My relationship with my family is toxic. I am the quintessential enabler; they ask and I give. I have spent years letting my family take advantage of me, giving them money, time, love, support, and even staying in this area and married just so that their lives weren’t disrupted. No, it isn’t their faults; I did it, out of fear of success or failure or whatever. But I’ve stripped away everything else. I am on the cusp of getting everything I ever wanted and if I fail that’s all on me, but WHEN I succeed, that’s all on me too!! Sometimes changing that internal voice, that natty little sabotuer isn’t just about changing the words we say to ourselves, but changing the words we say out loud and more importantly, to whom we say them.

Reader, I am very happy now. I have amazing friends who support me without pause, I have a new love in my life who IS NOT married, gay, a furry, desirous of being a woman (hmm, I really do need to look at my life choices), IS successful, funny, and on the cusp of greatness, DOES want to dress me occasionally as Wonder Woman, a fetish I can get behind, AND says kind things, holds my hand in public, introduces me to his friends and thinks the world of me. We could all use more of that in our lives. So, enough about me. I want to challenge you, dear reader just as I am challenging myself. I am changing my internal talk and reshaping my experiences. I am saying things out loud. I am telling the world what I want; putting good things out into the universe to see what comes back. Maybe once I have what I want, those who I have had to leave behind to get it will understand. If not, perhaps I truly am better off.

Ah, but don’t worry dear reader. I’m still a clumsy nutball with tales of my foibles to share. I just am perhaps a little happier these days in the retelling.

Monday, August 22, 2011

An Unexpected Gift

Behind as always but I’ll try to catch up. Firstly, you should know, despite my best efforts I have begun a relationship of some sort with a lovely man who sadly lives 4000 miles away so it is likely finite but exceptionally cool. He is funny, smart and seems to think the world of me, me being part of this mutual admiration society as well and we have a ball together. It began as so many things do over the simplest of circumstances; lost luggage. But there was something there, a commonality worth pursuing. On an evening in one of my more romantic moods, I happened to have a break and decided as the ship would be passing the Isle of Capri to don a dress and wonder the top deck, the wind in my hair, my dress fluttering tantalizingly in the breeze. Well, that was my vision anyway; in truth it probably was more me holding down my skirt and pulling hair off my lip gloss, but I was a goddess in my mind, when for some reason my thoughts turned to him and I really hoped to run into him. Silly, stupid notion, I know. But I did. I looked up and there he was, looking out across the deck at the island; its twilight time lights on the Cliffside like Christmas. I walked up next to him and leaned against the deck and when he turned and saw me, he started and said, “I was just thinking about you.” I laughed, not truly believing it and he continued, “No, I was just wishing you were here and here you are.” Ok, now he had me. That was a bit of magic. So we stood on the deck looking at the island and his hand found mine, his arm found its way around my waist and we stood like this until the sun set and I had to return to work. Now, here’s where the story gets a bit tricky. Of course, we both have been hurt and are immensely cautious at first being that we are both going through some stuff and we live in different countries and I wasn’t really sure what the rules were so we would hang out together as friends, trying not to appear awkward or get caught on surveillance cameras, pretending nothing was happening between us, meeting for walks on the deck and coffee after work. However we always seemed to time it perfectly to walk in on an officers’ meeting or sit in the parade path of the entire steering committee. Finally one night he just said “F*** it” and laid a kiss on me that made me melt.

It is my final week on this ship and my final week in the Mediterranean; I’ve made a new friend here, well, more than a friend. I’ve met someone who I think it clear I was meant to meet if for no other reason than I needed to know I’m whole again and now I know I can return home to close this chapter of my life and begin a new one. I said goodbye to my new friend but one week ago and it feels like a year; time moves so strangely here. I came to the Mediterranean under duress, not even sure I wanted to be here, secretly hoping that I wouldn’t be medically cleared to travel and now I just keep thinking, “What the hell was wrong with me?” Thank you, Universe for this time. Thank you for bringing me to this magical place and for renewing my soul and returning my inspiration. “What the hell is wrong with me?” Apparently, nothing!