I’m starting to lean in to the excitement of being.
Years ago, Oprah did a talk show on education, and a mother stood up to ask a question. She said, “how can I get my young black son to stay in school?” Oprah didn’t flinch. She said to tell him that the price had been paid for him to get an education and he should take that crown and Put. It. On. I was literally struck dumb with emotion. She was right. So many people died for him to have that opportunity. What was the point in wasting it?
I remembered the story because I’ve been sitting in the back yard alone, thinking about the kind of human I want to be. I have had such a hard time and so many people around me have sacrificed to help me get better… particularly Dana, without whom my stars would never align. What am I going to do with my life now that they’ve done it? How do I prove to myself that their efforts were not wasted, and neither is my time on this planet?
Jason Moran and the Bandwagon is playing in my headphones while Dana and the cats are snuggled up in bed. I’m trying to keep my schedule flipped around so that I don’t have such a hard time staying up on Saturday. Because of this, I’m in a contemplative mood, and jazz is the perfect fit.
I spent the first part of my night reading standard operating procedures for work, because I was in this total mood to beautify everything. Earlier, I realized that the house looked a little too lived in and scrubbed down the kitchen until it shone. That lead to wanting to continue being a rock star at work… beautifying my soul, because my confidence about what I read put me in a fantastic mood.
Now that I feel good, I want more of it.
Action begets action, and I want to do everything I can to move myself forward. The trick is not taking on too much at once, because I don’t want all the plates I have spinning to break. I’m measuring my expansion to avoid hostile takeover as Jason flips to a minor key.
It’s a chord that gives me pause. My mind flips to my insecurities, and I realize that I don’t want to go there. I want to figure out how to re-frame pain into warmth and openness. Everything that I’ve thought of as contrived about life is morphing into the way things actually are. Life really is that beautiful, but you have to look for it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. See? It sounds like a Hallmark card. It sounds like something somebody else would say while I sit behind them and laugh.
I laugh because sometimes I feel that platitudes are sound bites for emotions never meant to be boxed in the first place. Lately, I’ve realized that the limitation is not in the emotions themselves, but the difficulty of describing them to someone else. The English language feels inadequate in moments where the experience is just too big to digest verbally.
To go back to my entry from yesterday, the biggest way I’ve changed is that letting go of my abuser erased the tape in my head so that I stopped looking for approval from it. She can’t parent me inside my own head. Wow, that sounds creepy to say out loud, but that doesn’t make it untrue. My abuser wanted me to come to this realization and didn’t realize the role she was playing in order to keep it from happening. I could not process the enormity of loss and care what she thought at the same time.
I also know that I have come to this realization several times before, have broken this pattern, and she thinks that we can be friends again, but she doesn’t change her behavior at all, and the cycle repeats itself. Until she can allow herself to be vulnerable with me, I will react to her the same way, because the expectation of me is that we can just push all this unpleasantness under the rug and go on behaving the way we always have. It ruins me from the inside out, and I just don’t have the energy anymore. I can’t think of it in terms of all the years I didn’t make the connection that I was exhausted. I have to think of it as “how do I fill my life with relationships that don’t exhaust me?”
The two relationships that always give back are Dana and work, so I have thrown myself into both. Paying more attention to both. Learning more, faster than I ever have. Racing toward my destiny…
…whatever that is.