Day 216, 2020

I am having a hard time today. I woke up to an almost comical sequence of messes and irritations. I am making light of it. It almost broke me fro the day. I’ve not been sleeping well. My jaw hurts all the time from holding tension.

I spent all day on the iPad yesterday researching avenues for my art online. Literally all day. I took pictures, re-sized them, taught myself how to use Lightroom. I spent all day in my head. I get physically sick if I spend too much time thinking. It feeds my anxiety and the next thing you know, I am fried and frazzled.

I have resolved to do some serious yoga today and to focus on getting at least a small session in each day. Yesterday was super productive, but out of balance. I am feeling very out of balance today.

When I woke up in this state of almost-panic and dismay, I jumped in the shower and took deep breaths. I let the water run on me for a long time. Counting 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4. My text alarms were going off. My email notification was ringing. 1-2-3-4. I am thankful that I now recognize that the boundaries need to be pulled WAY up when I’m having a moment like this. I put my phone on Do Not Disturb and that is where it has remained. I’ll check in on it, but I think being 100% accessible to everyone all of the time is wearing me the fuck down.

I think the 24 hourness of family life is cracking me as well. Again, being 100% available 100% of the time. My husband bickers with my son. I feel like I am constantly running interference with them. Part of it is because I can’t believe a grown man is fighting with an 8 year old and part of it is because I am a control freak and need everything done my way. Acknowledged.

I feel my blood pressure rise. I joke that they, (mostly my husband) are going to kill me. I also worry that may be true. The jaw pain is almost unbearable at times.

Back in my body

Back in my body.

Back in my body.

Root to rise.

Bless and release

I’m not crazy about the word “bless”. It and “journey” connote a fakey “Live Laugh Love” brand of quick spirituality… in my brain at least. That being said, the process of acknowledging behaviors that don’t serve us well is a valuable one. My life experience has been more of the “ignore it” or “get over it” variety. Bless and release encourages you to recognize problematic things in your life and empowers you to let them go.

I’ve been reading Eastern Body, Western Mind which is now officially my favorite book. The third chakra, solar plexus, is all about will. The root chakra is about being/ existing, the second is about feeling, and the third is about taking that stuff, being your own person, and going into the world. This is where I’ve been stunted all along.

I’ve often lamented my past seeming inability to take risks. Staying in situations long past their “best by” date because the devil I know is at least predictable. The third chakra is all about intention-driven action. Mindfulness. Responsibility. Not just blowing wherever the wind sends me.

I have Imposter Syndrome which is not a real syndrome but a cycle of thoughts and perceived reinforcement. I rarely think I’m qualified enough to be sitting at the table. This has plagued my work life. I am smart. I’m a good worker. I am easy to work with. But I doubt myself and tend to be deferential to those I perceive to be in a higher position than me.

I’m not so bad in the music realm. Most of the folks I work with swim in the same pool. We are good at what we do, expect our cohort to be up to speed, and we deliver. Singing professionally is one of the areas in my life that I do not feel like an imposter. I will sing your face off. Just don’t ask me to read sheet music because then I will crumble. I make light of it. I’ve come this far so it is what it is. But I somewhat secretly ashamed because I am supposed to be good at everything.

I take degrees very seriously. College degrees, not temperatures. I am constantly seeking graduate and doctoral programs that cost insane amounts of money and when I really soul search it, I’m just looking for a permission slip. I think I’ve talked about this before. I’m looking for a permission slip to sit at the table. Permission from WHO? I couldn’t tell you.

I also collapse at the idea that my parents aren’t constantly beaming with pride over me. Deep reflection has revealed that this is a big messy one. I need to consistently reach goals to check in with them and make sure I am still good enough. My inner critic has the tendency to be very judgmental and overbearing when it comes to what I should be doing, where I should live, how I should raise my son.

In my extended family, I don’t even know how to act. I’m 42 and I still feel like a child. I think it is because I feel that I cannot appear to have any cracks despite being full of them for that very reason.

I want to be clear that I am not blaming my parent(s) or family for any of this. I am a grown ass middle aged woman who is responsible for my own life and happiness. My parents are human and I am human and to throw a tantrum over things I may have done differently would not benefit anyone. That being said, establishing boundaries with them is extremely difficult. I find myself wanting to keep everyone happy and still feel unable to truly be myself around them. I hide my feelings because I do not have the strength to hear how I am wrong about them.

There is some regret in my life – not traveling and exploring more when I was young; staying in long relationships that were not serving anyone well; not really TRYING at music; going with the flow on so many music projects with bossy, obstinate people. I regret settling for the office job that I never fit into. I never fit in because I was never supposed to be there. I was too scared to take a risk and follow my creativity at 25, 30, 35 and here I am.

Here I am.

I can engage in a cycle of wasting more time mourning lost time and losing the time spent mourning. But I’m not going to. With each step forward I will focus on acting from within myself. I exist. I feel. And that’s all that is needed to know what is best.

I bless and release anything that stands in my way.

Day 190, 2020

I am feeling disjointed today. All over the place. I’m in my office now which is nice. It’s very, very quiet. I am very happy.

I am someone whose brain never stops. I mean… we all are. Mine generates ideas a mile a minute. Some are good. Many are very lofty and impractical. The lofty and impractical ones are the most exciting and feel the most genuine. The ones like passing an SEC exam for my job for no real reason except redeeming my failure last year, are less appealing.

Passing the exam doesn’t have much to do with my job. It’s something everyone else at my firm holds but their roles require it. Mine does not. I decided to take it last year as a step toward becoming a compliance officer and making my resume more marketable. My boss intends on retiring in the next 2-3 years and holding this Series _X_ would make me more valuable to whoever buys us out.

The thing is… I’ve more or less decided that I’m going to use this time to gear up for a career change. A career change that will likely result in an enormous pay cut. And no benefits. And now I’m panicking again.

Ok.

(I’ve been attempting to write this post for about 3 hours. I can’t even focus on completing it.)

ANYWAY… a thing I’ve noticed about myself is that if there is any dichotomy in my life, I shut down. Case in point, the Series _X_ is (from my perspective) in direct opposition of the studies I’ve been doing in yoga, art, and psychology. I guess the disconnect I am having right now is – why would I waste any of my mind grapes on Finance when the Transpersonal self-studies I’ve been doing energize me from the inside? Why not focus on the path that is lit up? You know?

As a side-note, I am also having a VERY difficult time giving ANY energy to music even though it very much falls under my creative umbrella. The project we are trying to release has become an albatross. This is not the fault of anyone working on or with the project, I’m just fucking over it. I like writing and performing and I LOATHE everything about releasing a record. I don’t want to agree on a font everyone likes. The hours spend talking about a website that I’m not sure anyone will ever visit is making my skull ache. It is the actual worst.

So back to the original point, the practical side of my brain keeps telling me that if I look at studying for the Series _X_ during work hours and as part of my daytime job, it should not eat into my creative brain space. The big, loud, colorful side is saying fuck it. Focus on the shit that feels right.

Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.

The Great Awakening

The Great Awakening is how I’ve been referring to this time we are living through. Energy is churning and shifting and a lot of shadows are being revealed. Things need to change. The light being shone on our unfair and unequal system is causing a scurrying of cockroaches. We see now.

I am looking into my ribcage at all of the uncomfortable shit. The very real latent responses that I still have. Shining the light.

There has been more space to THINK and digest and research and discuss issues that have been bubbling under the surface for our entire lives. There has been more space to act and take a stand. Families are literally forced to be together and I am hoping this has helped solidify what is important. Love and humanism. Compassion. Passion. Rage.

On a more personal note, working on my plants and in my garden, and really fixing up my rooms have given me a new connection with being here. I think I never really took ownership here. I felt like I was living under my husband’s roof despite the fact that it is just as much my home. He can be obstinate and bossy. I can too but I am typically the one who moves to compromise for the good of the household and the day. Claiming my spaces, organizing them, and keeping them in order has done wonders for me. I’m finally taking up space rather than living as a victimized pair of eyes.  I spent so much of my life watching it happen to me and feeling powerless. Always needing permission. ALWAYS. Even when I’m out at a store or walking the dog, I am always cognizant about not being in anyone’s way. While it’s nice to be considerate, I think the preoccupation with it became problematic. This likely stems from my desperate need to be liked and seen as a good person.  I’ve been slowly evolving but I am finally feeling good about taking up space.

Being here with the family has been nice. We’ve gotten into arguments and short fuses but I think as a whole we have tried to be more understanding with one another. This bizarre time has allowed us to be sensitive to the fact that we each may need a break or some slack. We are working more like a team which is all I ever really wanted.

Time is the most important thing. I was always wishing for more days in week to get more done. I like to be busy. Now, time spent out playing gigs, going out with friends, and even in the car has been gifted to me. I admit I’ve spent too much time on the internet – it’s almost like I’m waiting for a quiet moment when I can focus entirely on me or what I am studying. It makes sense. Anyway, this time has given me space to THINK and to react less.

My main issue is that I’m feeling the pull towards a career change. This could be par mid-life crisis, but it has a term for a reason. My firm will likely be absorbed by a bigger one and that will likely affect my job and whether I’ll still have one. I’ve liked working at my firm because everyone works independently and I have a direct line of communication with my boss. Once he retires, I don’t know that I will enjoy it as much. The idea of starting over fresh with new coworkers is not appealing to me. I like what I do and that is mainly because I am in a situation where I can work where I want and when I want as long as I hit my deadlines and keep everything running smoothly. It’s ideal for a creative spirit like me. If that ease of schedule changes, I’ll be miserable.

And also, at this point in my life, I’m ready to embrace who I am fully and use what I have to make a difference in the world. Much like art therapy, I am intrigued by the concept of spiritual psychology. I am so deeply interested in spiritual matters and psychology. This paired with intuitive art, creative workshops, Reiki, writing, and herbalism all fits nicely under the umbrella of Soul Space. This is what I want to do with my time. I want to help people heal holistically.

I’ve been searching out degree programs that fit this goal and though I have found some, the accreditations of the schools seem a bit sketchy.  This gets me thinking about my need for permission. Finishing my college degree was important to me. I needed it to feel value. I’m wondering if my NEED for a degree in what I want to study is based on the same. If I have this, you’ll have to take me seriously. If I don’t you can write me off. Many of the workshops I want to run do not require a degree so I feel that I may be looking for something to show people to prove myself. I would need it to practice actual counseling so I do see the value in it. But counseling isn’t technically what I want to do.

I’m just noticing I did not mention music. Its becoming tiring. All of the legwork for releasing our record. I haven’t even written a song in at least 2 years. I am not feeling inspired by it. I do miss performing though. I did a good job of narrowing down my music engagements to things I actually feel energized by over the past few years. As of this minute, I am not feeling motivated to do a damn thing. That’s ok. The country is in chaos, I have a lot on my mind.

June 12, 2020

I’m all over the place. I’m mostly good. The whole family is dealing with short fuses which I think is understandable considering we’ve been trapped together nonstop for 3 months. I am NOT complaining. But dude… I can’t deal with ANYONE that long and often. My factory settings are loner-y and dreamer-y and I spend a lot of time in my head. My patience levels are finite and that’s how I recharge.

A little caveat on that matter, my besties and I do an annual ladies trip which we are SADLY missing this year. But one really freaking awesome thing about my friends is that there is NO pressure on these trips to do all of the things. You want to stay in and read while some folks are going to hear a band? You got it. You are not feeling this bar-hop and you want to go back to the AirBnB and watch the Golden Girls? Love it. We’ll catch you later. Do you want to wake up at 6am and find a yoga class? Cool. Do you want to sleep until noon and start the day with a mimosa? We support you. Man, I love my friends.

As someone who has existed in her head almost exclusively for the past 15-20 years, I’ve also been focusing on getting back in my body. I’ve dissociated from it for so any reasons and became totally comfortable with ignoring it all-together. This period has brought me back to yoga and meditation and connecting the two. It’s working.

I have officially withdrawn from the MBA program and I’ve been taking some online classes that really align with the life I’m trying to create. I’ve completed 2 levels of Reiki and will move on to the Master certification soon. I am taking an Introductory Herbal course and am building my very first successful garden. I’m reading Eastern Body Western Mind which is the MOST divinely delicious thing I’ve read in ages. And I have a call this afternoon with another college about transferring my MA Counseling classes toward Spiritual Psychology. I’m vibrating and all of this is right.

It’s the Great Awakening.

Some point in quarantine.

Today has been hard. A lot of things that have been bubbling under the surface came up. Now that I am allowing myself to feel things instead of stuffing them down, it looks like I’m forced to deal with issues rather than quietly moving around in resentment. Go figure.

Typically, when a disagreement arises I wind up walking away and holding my breath. That’s not part of this evolution though. So I said some shit. I got upset. I haven’t reacted like that… in tears rather than anger… in years.

There is a lot that I stuff down rather than confronting because the devil you know has always seemed better than the unknown.

I don’t know if there is any resolution here but I am unable to put up and shut up anymore.

Just for today, I will not get angry.

Holocene epoch, Quaternary period, Cenozoic era.

When you start tuning in and feeding your energy where it feels right, paying no mind to the “shoulds” or the “expectations”, magical things begin to happen. When I quit drinking, I felt certain that my rusty old receptors were rattling back to top form. I feel confident that all of these things are happening.

I have been meditating regularly and paying close attention to what I am receiving and lo and behold, answers are coming through. Not just answers though, heavy handed bonks on the head and signs wrapped in Christmas lights. I am getting the same messages reinforced through so many channels that it is almost frightening, kind of comical, and entirely an enormous relief.

What the fuck am I talking about? Well, I’ve been searching for myself fro 42 years. I am a wolf born of lambs and expected to act as such. I’ve felt out of place my whole life. I’ve felt uncomfortable my whole life. Too much, too little, pretending to be interested in things I was not, hiding things I am interested in for fear of being judged or shunned. I drank to get rid of that feeling. Now I am ready to face it and get to the root of it.

Since being accepted into the MBA program, I’ve felt a big disconnect inside. I don’t want to learn more about business. I fucking hate business. It’s choreography. I’d rather just dance.

I’ve talked about my nervous breakdowns every several years because my soul comes out and CRIES that it is not happy and not fulfilled and not being USED to it’s greatest potential. My soul wants to heal people. I know that. I don’t need to be an executive. That’s not my dream. That belongs to someone else. I”m giving it back.

I’ve had intense migraines for 2 months now. Debilitating and scary ones that had me wearing sunglasses indoors and sleeping through days because the pain was too much. Now, I will keep you updated on this, but in the past few days since I’ve made the decision to not enroll in the MBA program and to enroll in another course that is more aligned with my spiritual path, I have not had one. Will that continue? I’m not sure but I have a good feeling that they will subside now.

I realize this is all very vague but I’m still processing a lot of it. This time in my life is big. What I am going through right now is so important and energizing. In a meditation the other day, I kept getting the message, “you have always known.” And my whole body relaxed and filled up with light.

This is gonna be so fucking good.

Day something, Moment.

I am FEELING things today. I am frustrated as hell. Instead of just stuffing down and moving through, I took a minute to acknowledge my feelings.

1. I was on a call for work for over an hour where the same two people blew hot air for 90% of it. This call is supposed to be a weekly check in to give an overview of what everyone is working on. It inevitably veers into granular territory of specific projects by one particular individual. It is especially frustrating to me because this stuff has nothing to do with me. My portion of the check-in is typically crammed into the last 1-2 minutes of that call.

As aggravating as it is to hear one person drone on for an hour, I am fine with folks delving into details. I remind myself that, at times, this is actually valuable education. Other times, however, I feel that it is inconsiderate use of time. It is clear that my update is treated with minimal importance. I have a good relationship with my boss and could bring this up to him, but I need to sort through it first so I don’t come across as whiny. I want my voice to be heard. Also, random “pro tip”: NEVER use the word “just” in business emails. EVER.

2. The MBA v. Artist thing. Taking my courses is becoming such an emotional chore. I am really at odds with whether I want to see this through.

The thing is, when I consider quitting, several faces show up who are either judging, laughing at, rolling their eyes, or are disappointed in me. Throughout my life, I have had a lot of false starts and big ideas that went nowhere. Like – here she goes again. What tends to happen is I make a big statement like – “I’m going to be an art therapist” and then I start classes and then I drop out. And a couple years later I say, “I’m going to open up an art studio” and I secure a space and then a global pandemic happens and the whole idea crumbles. So I think, “I’ll get my MBA”, and apply, get into a program and then second guess whether or not I am looking for a high five from my parents or for someone to finally fucking take me seriously. ANYONE. Because I am worthless without a secondary degree apparently.

Also, I feel like a lot of my accomplishments are out of spite. Hhahah. I’m not even kidding. I rage-succeed. Jesus. Oh you think I can’t do that??? WATCH ME. And I’m wondering if that’s what THIS is. Again. Quitting drinking was partially a rage-success. Improving my credit was absolutely a hate-fuck.

But back to work stuff, I started working in an office in my early twenties. I NEVER fit in. I’m smart but I’m not good at herd mentality and I am terrible at sucking up. I was typically doing “women’s work” as a receptionist or secretary where I did a good job but ultimately got bored and then unmotivated and I’d eventually become horribly depressed and quit. This cycle happened 4-5 times.

I’ve been at my present job for 14 years. I enjoy what I do and I generally like the folks I work with. I have a flexible schedule and I get to run things without anyone breathing down my neck. As far as office jobs go, it’s perfect. But it’s still an office job and I’m at a conflict with myself about it. Our CEO is going to retire in the next few years. Basically, I like working for him. I feel very hesitant about starting over under someone else.

3. I am also not feeling heard at home. This is a very large knot that will need a lot of time and patience to untie. Typically, just looking at it sends me into a panic so I just pretend it’s not there. It’s just getting bigger. Surprise?

I think what I usually do is get angry and snippy and then I isolate myself and get into a merry-go-round of resentment in my head. Today, I took a breath and thought about it and felt the feeling. I kept repeating “feel this” which was weird. But I did. And I connected with it. And now I’m writing about it. I will not be getting into specifics but this feels like a baby step forward – for my own healing at the very least.

I feel like a lot of what I am looking for is permission.

Day 140, 2020

I am all over the place today. I’m moody. I slept really late. I have sneezed no fewer than 1,500 times. Having allergies is like living in a constant elevated state of frustration. I just want to scream and go to bed and wake up in a month or so. To add to this, my cat, who I love and am also dangerously allergic to, has taken to napping on the windowsill where I work. You would not believe the cat wigs that float off of her. My lampshade is covered in Pearl fur. I digress because she is excellent company.

I have done the bare minimum for work over the past two days. This is partially because I put in a ton of work last week, so I can float a little bit. It’s also because my mental capacity needs a break I’ve been ramming into a wall over the past week. The guilt attached to not giving 100% to work, parenting, teaching, keeping my house together, art has been climbing. My brain knows it is impossible, but the perfectionist in me is still like “why can’t you fucking just do this?” or “why are you being lazy about this?”

I’ve been doing a lot of spiritual work and naval gazing during this lockdown and man, I am my own worst enemy. I am not looking for people or situations to blame from my childhood. I don’t care where it came from. I just need to fix it. (Even here, I’m trying to be a hero.) In any case, I’m trying to just be fucking nicer to myself. I’m not that bad.

Over the years, little mental wars about my physical appearance, my business accomplishments, my creative talent, my intelligence – have broken me way down. The upside of this is that I think I’m ready to rebuild.

I’m never going to be 120 lbs again. Hooray. I’m sick of fucking caring. I like potato chips. My belly wiggles. Not into it? Your call.

I’m sick of “sexy”. The whole fucking concept is bullshit. It’s objective AND subjective and fully based on whether the collective “men” want to fuck you. If you’re sexy, you move a dude’s dick. Gross. I hereby dismiss this as a basis of value in any universe. “But sexy is can be your mind or you energy.” Cool. But it’s still measured in YOUR genital response. None of my business. NEXT.

My hair is streaked with grey. I think it looks cool.

I will never be the up and coming artist to watch in music. That shit simply doesn’t happen to women over 40. It’s not going to stop me. But I’m also not going to give as much of a shit. I’m being choosier with what I invest my time in. I can’t do all of the things. I don’t WANT to do all of the things. I think I tried to be involved in everything in order to stay relevant. At this point, I either am or I am not. The opinions and whims of other people are beyond my control. I’m gonna keep doing me in either case. Time>Money. Naps>Exposure.

I came back from 2 nervous breakdowns and bankruptcy in my twenties with near perfect credit and pretty fucking solid mental health in my forties. Also I don’t drink anymore which probably has a lot to do with everything said in the previous sentence. Either way, mission accomplished.

All of this is not to say I’m this immensely evolved superwoman. I still have hangups.

I’m not cool with my face looking older.

I’m still battling whether or not I should go through with grad school or follow my passions with art, spirituality, and mental health. I literally do not know what my opinion on this is.

I’m still figuring out my voice and my authentic feelings and thoughts on a lot of things. I’ve developed a callus over my true desires over years of stuffing them down just to power through. Much of my life reflects the direction I have taken from others. And what I’ve learned (spoiler alert) is that you CANNOT please EVERYONE ALL of the time. That was my actual goal. Seriously. I mean, it’s nearly impossible to please EVERYONE even SOME of the time… unless you’re air. I am not air. Or potato chips.