Closing the door

I'm sitting here sniffling, but I got a lot done so far today. Little bursts of energy, more than I've had for the past week, keep hitting me. I'll run an errand, put away some laundry, then go back to bed. Or some times I'll just sit and write for a while before I nap. I'm not putting any serious dents in my to-do list, mind you, but I keep reminding myself that I'm sick and sick time is not about being as productive as you can be. If I ever want to get my immune system back on track, I have to learn to actually REST when I'm ill.

That's how this post was born. I debated sharing it for a long time. It's adapted from a song I wrote, but it describes how I'm feeling so well that I finally just said screw it and clicked "publish post."

Every time in my life, when dark clouds start to build, I look back to a time when things were going exactly as I wanted. I think about what fulfilled me, what put me in that state of happiness and how I can duplicate the words and moves and meanings and even the people surrounding me "back then." I've realized this process has actually prevented me from moving along with life, because it keeps me constantly recirculating through the past instead of generating any kind of future. It engenders a sense of constant expectation: if I do this, I get that. When I had this, I had that. Etc.

If I want to grow, I'm not gonna get there by doin’ what I used to do. (How's the old saying go? If you keep doing what you've done, you'll keep getting what you've got.)

The inside of my mind is like a small room; an intimate space, an exclusive concert venue. Everything and everyone I know congregates in that space, sharing ideas, sharing air. And then one day, when everything started to congregate, the air became too stale to breathe and there was an overhwelming need to get out as quickly as possible. Panic overcame me – how could my place of safety and familiarity dissolve so easily?

This lead me to a singular conclusion: I had to expand my mind or I would suffocate.

And it isn't because I don’t believe in what has brought me here, or that I want to let go of everyone in my life. But I'm starting to become like a rootbound plant in a too-small pot. I already started over new, or so I claimed, and I suddenly see that I haven’t changed at all - I'm the same old me that spent the past year coming down. It's more than changing my zip code. The only changes I've made have been about shuffling around the things outside of me, perhaps subconsciously to disguise the actual lack of change being made: I had a new house, a new dog, new marital status, faster triathlon times, new friends, and I was a little (lot) more outspoken.

But nothing inside of me had really changed at all.

The past and everything with it are gone. I can't change them. Period. For that matter, I only have a small amount of control over the present, and I have no control over other people. So the only way I'm moving ahead is not just by making little surface changes here and there, but by completely closing that door. No more "you're never gonna believe what happened now." No more, "well, I used to be able to . . ." All of that shit is just a waste of time and energy.

So today I made myself a deal. I'm not going to make changes. I'm not going to sack up. I did those things already. Instead, I’m just gonna close that door.

And walk away.

2 tidbits of wizdom:

Wes said...

Perhaps the changes you seek or more subtle, tweaks if you will. Accepting who you are, yet always striving to be better, is just the meaning of life in my book.

Alili said...

You always manage to take my breath away with your powerful words. Being who you are is the easiest and most difficult thing in the whole world.