i suck at conclusions (whole other tangent) so, i took a break before writing it.
and took the opportunity of having an empty house with really awesome acoustics to belt it etta-james style.
you know the kind. sometimes equipped with dance moves.
eventually you laugh at yourself. (if you’re me).
because it’s funny to go from deeply frustrated to deeply light in like…an hour.
mostly though, it’s funnier you still pretend to sing to an audience.
even though the audience is your refrigerator and kitchen table.
today my little brother turns eighteen.
kind of like cinderella pulling her whole transformation, my brother is an adult now (though not in a dress and carriage-made-from-pumpkin), suddenly. an adult. like, legal. which is weird because i remember when he was born, how little he was in my own little arms.
to commemorate the occasion, i am making chili bread bowls, per his request. and cake. because birthdays are not birthdays without cake in my eyes.
so, i am working on friendships. on connecting and reconnecting with people who truly, deeply matter. often times we chase friendships or people who clearly show no interest in slowing their retreat. we wonder, “why am i left behind?” while the solids in our lives trail us, wondering “why doesn’t she turn around?”.
confession: i am a die-hard chaser.
i pour attention and affection into friendships my intuition chirps are “one sided”. i did it in early friendships. i did it in high school. i did it in college. i do it now. worrying about how i stand in the lives of part-time friends prompts the burn of anxiety. of loneliness. of depression. it also hurts the real friendships i have, as those true sources of joy distance themselves, shaking their heads at my breathless game of catch and release.
slowly i am understanding the need to balance the energy i put into relationships, including the one i hold with myself. i cannot give away my reserves so quickly, so willingly, so entirely to people.
i spent a lot of time with old friends this week (ones from college and one from high school). i noticed the goofy ultra-dork reemerging. easily and naturally. there was never a sense of “am i good enough?“, only “god i missed this”. i did not experience a need to be anyone other than the person i am, to prove something my mind made up. there was no judgement. no anxiety. just a lot of laughter.
i know i am never alone. i know a lot of the time i think myself into a space for one and tell myself no one cares (not true). i am getting there, though. realizing i make myself alone when i concentrate on those part-time friends, when i forget all those beautiful people in my life who are, always, open and willing to embrace me when i need it the most, not when it suits their schedules.
do you ever find yourself worrying over relationships that bring you more unease than ease?
(p.s: did any of that make sense? i feel like that was a bunch of word-vomit.)
yet, even as i heard “chemical imbalance” and even when i picked up my first bottle of oblong blue pills, i did not feel saved. just skeptical. and mildly uncomfortable.
the mood swings i swing through scare me sometimes. leave me trembling underneath the question of “is this normal?” (really though, what the fuck is “normal”?)
in conversation where stories of sadness and hardship are traded, i realize how unbelievably human it is to struggle. my problems and issues shrink. i become one in a whole. we’re battling, collectively.
it’s just no one talks about it.
post-tuesday-morning-diagnosis i wandered. i walked. i smoked a bowl and sat in sunshine (because february think its spring). i breathed deep and practiced a few heart openers (got all warm-and-tingly in the chest. good signs). one thought sparked two hours of feverish writing. gentle contentment replaced heaviness. i smiled at the idea of knowing how to process.
but, as i am human, subject to an ever changing scenery of emotion, the mood shifted come nighttime. stubborn insecurities i cannot shake heated up cooled over anxiety. late-night sobs stuck to the hollow of my throat. i cried words and tears over my journal. wrote furiously into pages before occupying the land of dreamers and their dreams.
naturally, i woke up today agitated. to an alarm calling for my attention. to a lack of voice. to bitterness. to another long car ride filled with music and sadness. to a therapy appointment actually scheduled for next week. to more tears, to hands too jittery from coffee i never drink, to heart filled up with fear and loathing…
to, eventually, suddenly, nothing but pure joy.
wednesday morphed into endless laughter, seventy-something degree weather, unbounding love.
and i realized:
the more i feel, the more i release.
and i realized:
sadness is normal. crying is normal. anger is normal.
because i realized:
this is the human experience.
this is okay.
i’ve got a bottle of pills now. mood-stabalizers. if i am being honest, i will say i am scared to take them. i am scared to lose this ability to feel, something i just gained access to after years of feeling nothing. i am curious about this lost anger and misplaced sadness.
also, i’m not as scared of my feelings as i was a month ago, on the desperate day i called around for someone to grant me reprieve from my mind. i just feel more human. and, oddly, more connected to people. i’ve knocked some perspective into my life, opened up the dialogue, listened and listened and listened to friends pour their souls out because every one needs an open ear. simply focusing on the people i love and opening up to hear their frustrations has been enlightening. suddenly, i am not alone. suddenly, this isn’t all about me anymore. because it never was. we’re all going through troubles together. despite those quiet moments of deep loneliness, you are, truly, never alone.
life, pills or no pills, keeps happening.
every second i breathe, i pulse. over the course of my waking hours i am one emotion and another. i am human.
and i think i’m okay with that.
(p.s: yes, i am going to take the pills, just to see what happens. it’s an avenue i think i need to explore, if only to say, “yes” or “no”.)
no clouds. blue sky. glorious sunshine.
oh yeah. it’s not february or anything.
(just kidding it rained last week for two days).
i am very happy today. very settled. after two or three very unsettling weeks. let’s not dwell on that. it’s done and gone. here now is happiness. i like that.
i like silly, random thoughts too. a lot have come up today.
like 1) next month marks my two year blogging aniversary. can you believe i’ve been blabbing into space for that long? i still can’t believe people bother reading sometimes!
2) i fell off my bike today. while not moving. it hurt. but i still laughed despite stinging knees. because really. reaaaally zoe?
3) my soft, gentle, self-love voices sounds like zooey deschannel’s character jess from new girl. i don’t know why. just like i don’t know why zooey spells her name the way she does.
4) it’s my ex’s 23rd birthday today. last year it was raining. i made him cake and we made dinner. the next day, we ended our relationship and my life disintegrated. today, a whole year later, i looked at the sky with a smile and wished him the brightest, happiest birthday.
5) i can’t.stop.dancing.
7) i am, slowly, slowly, feeling my feelings. yesterday i woke up sad. not the immobilizing sadness depression brings, just normal sad. my mind raced for a quick fix, to feel anything other than sad. instead, i laced up my shoes and walked my ass along concrete side walks. i kicked rocks. i cried a little, caught soft sobs in my throat. by evening, i was laughing and conversing and enjoying beers with a friend. BECAUSE I FELT THAT SHIT OUT, YO! (i’m weird.)
(8 ) and i like that, too)
9) i haven’t washed my hair with shampoo in well over a month. it’s healthier than it’s ever been. (i’ll talk about beauty/grooming stuff soon. it’s a secret passion of mine.)
(think i need to touch up my roots? heh…)
what about you? any silly things you’re kickin’ round up in that head of yours you want to share?
(p.s: yes. i took all those photos. please no stealing )
but really, who can sit inside on a day in january when the sunshine is out? i confess, i thought about it. then i decided i needed to move, to shake off the thick funk from the previous night.
…which is when my casual hour walk turned into a spontaneous, three hour solo hike.
i live in the bay area. more specifically, i live in marin county. a lot of stereotypes bind the place in which i live. i invite you to call marin every name you see fit, but you cannot deny the beauty it sits in. the bay wraps around us, though we escape the fog san francisco disappears under. yes, i live in the suburbs, but nature lives here, too. so much nature. i live a twenty minute walk from a rambling, wide state park.
coincidentally where i ended up yesterday after a twenty-minute walk.
usually i am not incredibly spontaneous (though i love it when i am). i am much too careful. too plan-oriented (thanks mom). for the past few years i’ve been working on relaxing, on going with the flow of life instead of attempting to regiment and categorize it all. so when i saw the start of an unknown trail yesterday, i hopped on it without a second thought.
i started my walk numb and frustrated. i ended my walk-turned-hike in jubilation.
on a sunday afternoon in the dead of winter, with sunshine reaching for me in between tree branches, i lost my sadness, if only for a second. i shared the path with mountain bikers, trail runners (i did a little of this yesterday too! nothing compares to running in nature.), and hikers. i shared genuine smiles and found i could not wait to say hello to people. in the middle of an unintentional hike, i rediscovered my intention: to be happy, healthy, and in love with life.
the rest of the day filled itself with a lot of laughter, a lot of smiling, a lot of cooking (my friend and i make cookies and moroccan stew. all vegan!). what started out as a potentially shitty day turned itself around.
i think i am discovering some of the keys to sustained sanity: regular movement and a connection to nature. both things help me to be incredibly balance and satisfied. (and i know walking in nature helps open a couple of chakras!) for a long time i tried to justify not moving regularly because of how much i used to exercise. movement is something i need to be careful not to overdo. yet, at the same time, i need to trust myself a little more, believe i can be a regular mover without becoming a compulsive exerciser again. i think i can do that. i think i can do a lot of things i try to pretend i can’t.
sometimes, you just need a fucking hike to realize it.
(p.s: thanks for bearing with me through my ups and downs. writing really helps me reflect and release so i’m not sorry for posting such downers. i appreciate the messages and the support. so, so much.)
my dreams look less fuzzy. i feel less fuzzy. ideas tangle themselves up in thoughts, merge together to present me a sharp image of the future. i am dreaming big dreams right now. i am cultivating patience. i am watering my flower of persistence with it. i forget sometimes i am twenty-two and unbound by responsibility. i forget i am standing at the base of my life with no need to rush.
above all, i am learning i am a slow mover.
a friend explained his inner clockwork to me the other day, spoke of the pace of his personal metronome. i smiled in the slow way a stoner does and tried to understand. i made no sense of it, though i did pretend to. i listened instead of spoke because how do you relate to a conversation you never discussed with yourself? two days ago though, a potcookie and sunshine kind of day, i recognized my inner beat, saw i always knew it. i understood the workings of my inner clock.
i like to take my time. i weigh possibilities, consider both sides of every coin i flip (no, i’m not a libra, why do you ask ?). i am a slow mover, methodical in all i do. each decision breeds more indecision and i round into conclusions too slow for most people. but the way i tick works for me. what’s the point in subscribing to someone else’s laws?
i know slow, relaxing movement helps me reflect and sink into the non-judgemental person i am (why do you think i live for yoga and hiking and dancing and long walks?). when i allow myself to no breeze through things, i find i try more willingly and laugh at all the things i trip over (cooking isn’t a science, folks). when i slow down i appreciate life because i see the little things. i suddenly have the time to stop and spend five minutes photographing the sunset. i find i smile a lot more, breathe deeply, easily. i am less irritable, less critical of myself and friends and family. and i am, over all, more peaceful and more creative. the more creative i am, the more i release. the more i release, the stronger in self and happier in soul i become.
when i rush or force i end up sick. i end up sleepy, over hungry, jittery. self-care shuts off and i end up feeling foggy from childish choices, one dictated under the crown of poor judgement. i lose gratitude, acceptance, love, and openness. in their place grows lack, self-indulgence, judgement and impatience. i lose the time to sit, wonder at my abundance, and breathe.
i learned a long time ago my life’s purpose involves helping other people. my life’s constant lesson is to continue in a solid practice of self-care in order to help people. when my life is calm, and i am steady and well, i can truly involve myself. i can extend to others a genuine love and an authentic heart. through self-love i can offer love. i can accept love.
to give love, however, one must be love first. 2012 will be the year i start my spiritual quest to dig up the love i buried long ago. 2012 will be the year i learn how to love myself — truly. 2012 will be the year of self-transformation — on the inside. 2012 will be the year i slow down and discover myself completely. because i want so desperately to bring light and love into lives who know only darkness and cold. i just need to thread myself together a little tighter first.
i believe in the presence of souls. i believe in mine as much as i believe in yours. intuition breathes truths from your soul, your highest self. real knowledge hides itself in there. real love, real light, real happiness. it’s up to us to tap into that wealth and spread it.
(p.s: and that, my friends, felt like the most authentic thing i’ve ever written on my little space in the blog world.)
i am learning i have more than enough.
i am learning to live for the small moments in life.