I’ve had quite a week.
I accomplished something I’ve been preparing for since last fall. It’s been an intensely personal journey that I’ve shared only with my immediate family and one close friend. Along the way, I tried not to think too deeply about whether I would make my goal, I just followed the steps and listened to my heart.
What I did is follow through on something I’ve wanted to do for quite a long time. Nearly all my life. It doesn’t really matter what it is. It matters only to me. What I do with it is the only thing that matters to anyone else. It’s a first step toward a more authentic life. The life I want for me. Not the life that others have told me I should live in order to please them.
Following the big day I found myself carried on an indescribable wave of peace and happiness and joy. I felt different, but how? Things seemed clearer, but in what way? I wanted to be quiet and introspective and sequester myself from the world. I wanted to hang onto this amazing head-floaty feeling.
But life has a way of elbowing in on those rosy-tinted moments. It did so a few times this week. Once, at a writer’s meeting, when I felt grossly inadequate and realized the speaker’s “sharing” of her knowledge was only a thinly veiled excuse to peddle her moral agenda. Again, a squirmy feeling at an event at which I was easily 25 years older than everyone else in attendance. And yet again, when I gathered with some casual acquaintances and questioned what I had in common with them anymore.
I’m evaluating everything, questioning if some of the things I’m doing (blogging) are good or bad for my well-being. I’m examining my relationships and deciding if hanging on to some is counter-productive to my personal growth. If I have to hide so much of who I am at my core, what value is the friendship? I’m exploring my desires and motives to achieve certain things. To what end?
Every day is going to throw these wild pitches at me. Do I know how to read the signals? Do I have a glove and do I know how to use it?
I’m working on dealing head-on with some long-lasting conflicts. I’m working on anger management and being assertive without being abusive. It’s all a delicate dance and I’m a girl born with two left feet.
I’m working on being who I am and accepting me as I am right now. The me that’s 20 pounds overweight and past her prime and living in Detroit. Not the me I’ll be when I lose 20 pounds or get into grad school or move out west and find my dream home/job/life.
This has been the most difficult part. Friends and family snapped pictures of me last weekend at an event. They were candid — as in I didn’t have a fair warning to suck in the gut, stand straight, check my hair or arrange myself in the right angle for the best possible exposure. The images made me sad and dissatisfied. Is this how I look to the world when I don’t realize the world is looking?
I ask myself: If I can admire the crooked oak in my back yard, the misshapen lilacs that line our lot, the goofy markings on my fluffy cat, the exotic beauty of things perfectly imperfect, why can’t I just accept the me that is me right now?
For a few beautiful hours, when the me that is me shined like a thing of beauty inside my head, all was well in the universe.
The tea grows cold. The work begins.