Friday, July 23, 2010

Unattached - Free?

I made a curious observation lately – how little I am attached to anything. Getting attached to things or people means experiencing pain when losing any of them. Separation anxiety. I used to have that: living in the boarding school when I was 15 I kept thinking that I was finally having a good life and how bad that it would be over within two years. How sad that I won’t see most of these young kids ever again, never find out how they came out after all… I used to connect much easier and once it happened, it always hurt to let go. Living with a bunch of roommates when I was 19 – happy, carefree days, but even back then I lived with a shadow that those days would come to an end and the uncertainly of the future was always hanging in the air.

And then I got attached to New York, such a deep addiction, when it began to feel like the polluted New York City air was all my lungs were willing to accept from now on. I felt terribly homesick away from the city I used to hate when I only moved in. Unlike many people I had no desire to travel: I had it all right there, discoveries could be made every day without ever leaving New York.

Then the things… How annoyed was I when friends wouldn’t promptly return my books they borrowed. And how reluctant I was to give away my son’s baby clothes. And how petrified I felt at the idea we might lose our wonderful house due to foreclosure. And the sadness of thought that so many amazing coworkers that became my friends will be gone soon because of the company’s troubles.

I don’t know a precise moment when my ability to attach started fading away. Suddenly it no longer mattered if I lived in this house or any other house, worked at this job or any other job… Things that were lost no longer upset me. I once thought – what if the house caught fire, which things will I try to save? I think I will take my son’s hand, grab my passport (out of fear of bureaucratic harassment I guess) and walk away.

I even feel more detached from my body: before "we" were a whole thing, now it’s my body and I. I find it funny some mornings to look in the mirror and think: gosh, she looks so puffy, let’s try to fix her up. I spotted a gray hair and I thought I should probably give out some womanly reaction now and do some whining about the I-am-getting-old subject whereas in fact I didn’t feel upset, because me is still me – whether I’m 20, 30,70… I am very eager to travel now. And to disown so many things I have. And spend more time outdoors where nothing and everything belongs to me.

What is it? Finally feeling free or failing to find where I belong? Realizing that the biggest riches are within us or the disappointment of not finding those riches in the external world. I still own my memories. I may dislike my feelings and emotions at times, but it’s something that I own too because I feel what I feel since I am who I am. I still get to wake up every day with a vague expectation of what today holds for me. As many days as I am given. Those mornings are mine, the sky is mine, the dreams are mine. We truly only own what no one can take away from us. We own our thoughts even when we don’t have enough words to express them. And once we find love within that’s ours too. Forever.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Does Anyone Ask How You Are Today?

“Why are you sad today?” asked the cart guy from whom I buy coffee every morning. A bunch of ideas swirled in my head, a hundred responses raced to be spit out – about all the pain, and disappointment, and things that go wrong and how I don’t know if I can fix them…On feeling lost, and hurt, and so desperately lonely... I opened my mouth to explain, to complain, to confess and then, surprised, I heard myself say “It will go away”. And it did.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"Happiness is Real Only when Shared"

I watched this amazing movie "Into the Wild" about a month ago. Just as with any good movie and book everyone will discover some unique ideas and message that would speak to them directly. The ideas of freedom, non-conformism, breaking free, touching the lives of others with your conviction and sincerity. To me - it was mostly the idea of setting up on a long journey to find things that were always there, but it was making peace with them that the journey was really needed for.

"Happiness is Real Only when Shared" - the words scribbled by dying Alexander Supertramp with a shaky hand are not just striking.This is the biggest discovery he has made. Simple words that keep coming back to me ever since.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thank You, Silent Words

It’s an important realization that even if you are deprived of certain things you can still strive to live fully. There will always be some variables missing but instead of sulking about those couple of things that lack from your life, you can try to make the best out of what you do have. I did a mental exercise of listing all the aspects of my life where I am missing out therefore I cannot be fully happy. I got terrified by how much is missing from the picture. Then I thought of all my blessings – and I was immediately cheered up: boy, am I lucky! No wonder I keep switching between extremely happy to utterly unhappy pretty much on a daily basis.

Last few months have been a period of silence for me. I am coping all right but since I have a major need to express myself, there’s a grand monologue that goes on in my head for hours. I don’t talk to my husband, I don’t talk to my coworkers, I clearly don’t talk enough to my friends and family – but everyone is busy with their lives. I am a different person when I talk because words get so much weight off my chest so I lighten and move forward. With all the words inside me I’m stuck because I feel so heavy.

Yes, this silent period has been a challenge but it lead me to writing as a partial substitute to talking. It’s amazing that when you have a need so desperate you take on things you would not consider under normal circumstances in hopes of finding some relief. As one blogger wrote, “you don’t know what you know until you write it”. I still find it striking to see what words are coming out of me when I write. It’s like – did I really think that all this time? Is that how I really feel? Is that what bothers me? I had no idea some wounds were so deep, but the healing power of writing is undeniable. I leave it all here and move on with my life. And only the silent observer in me is rolling her eyes – how come she is living with all this pain, a seemingly upbeat person with these sad and desperate posts.

I write the first sentence and then I pause because I don’t know how to go on. But then it starts pouring out of me. And it’s not always to support or develop the idea of that first sentence. It’s like the small talk is over, the ice is broken, let’s get down to business. And I write and my own writing is a revelation to me each time. Because if only I let myself write non-stop, let my fingers on the keyboard take control, I can finally get the truth out. Things I’ve been hiding from myself for so long, for all my life. And often I don’t want to reread it, it’s enough that I got it out of my system. And occasionally I don’t even want to publish it. But as I keep writing, I gradually find my voice.

The power of silence, the power of words, the power of good little things in life that make the absence of big things a little more tolerable.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day as Night

Even on days when your life seems to be falling apart there are beautiful moments that simply cannot pass unnoticed. Little details that get you through the day by breathing some almost unperceivable hope in your exhausted mind. The mind that tends to go global and gets frustrated if it doesn’t crack the mystery of life in one day. It’s impossible for all the answers to come right to you and there is no readily available solutions to all your problems. It’s okay to feel lost and to know that you will feel equally lost tomorrow. It’s okay to hibernate once in a while. To observe. To contemplate. To have a blank mind. It’s okay not to look or feel your best. And to struggle with words and even thoughts. Living for days with the feeling like you just woke up and don’t quite understand where you are – it’s probably okay too.

But most importantly it’s totally okay to take it easy on yourself. Taking on every day of our existence is quite a challenge. We don’t get a life instructor with the life package. So when we make mistakes, move in the wrong direction or don’t meet our own expectations we shouldn’t take all the blame. We come to this world ignorant, often rely on misconceptions taught to us by others or our own instincts, which may fail at a pretty good rate too. You sail swiftly with the favorable wind, but when it subsides, your take your sail down and remain still. You don’t move forward for some time – just stay in the moment, letting little wonders of life in, waiting for a miracle. This is called self-acceptance.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Post Quarrel Thoughts

With all the ups and downs of the past year, there was one distinct feeling that suddenly emerged to the surface – barely noticeable at first, but ever strengthening with power. The feeling, the acknowledgment, the discovery – three very simple most obvious words: “THIS IS ME”. Not someone I wanted to be, needed to be, or pretended to be – but just the way I am. Take me, ignore me, love me or hate me but THIS IS ME. Those are the most liberating words. Their purity separates me from the falseness of the world, from “THIS IS NOT ME”. Because being me I have a lot to give, but being someone else I am an empty vessel. We all have a fire inside that keeps us warm and alive, doing the right things ignites our fire like dry wood, chasing after false notions puts it out. And then we are surprised why we feel so cold, so dead…

I often feel like I am inside of a deep dark tunnel, there’s some light at the end but so far far away. Even if I never reach the light – as long as I keep moving forward I will be fine. I will feel lighter, I will have my direction and my purpose. Because when darkness pulls you even a few steps back, it makes you feel devastated. Climbing out of the dark is painfully hard. Holding on to light means living with hope – and sometimes that’s all we’ve got.

So this is me living in the wrong world. I am absolutely sure my world exists, I can sense it, almost envision it. But I can’t reach it. I know clearly well why –there’s still not enough knowledge, I started realizing things just recently and I still have trouble admitting the truth, accepting what holds me down. I got my roots too deep in this relationship, it will take years to break away. Or one day. Who knows. To embrace freedom. Or loneliness. Who knows. I’ve had my freedom once and I didn’t particularly like it. I want to belong but the right way. The only possible way that allows me to stay me. This part of my life is pretty tangled. At this moment it’s still easier to ignore it, to focus on other things, downplay its importance. But one day I will summon my courage, sit down and sort things out. For today knowing that THIS IS ME no matter what is good enough.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Day to Forget

Spending a day in the company of my male coworkers. They are wearing fancy suits and each has the latest model of an i-phone, i-pad, i-whatever. They are composed and competent at the business meeting, eloquent speakers, persuasive sellers. But being on the train with them was like being in a war zone. They were laughing so hard people would get up and move to the next train car. Their jokes, their hard core humor. Everybody and everything gets ridiculed. Diminished. Mixed with dirt. The voices penetrated my head, my brain, my spirit. Their fits of laughter like tsunami plunging on me, each wave hurting me more and more. Endless stories beginning with “we were so drunk that …” What is THIS? Who ARE you? What are you SAYING? I was in a slow-motion horror movie. My energy was destroyed, spirit crushed, their ridiculous stories hitting me like rocks thrown at an unprotected body.

I didn’t say much. I could only manage an awkward out-of-place smile. Endless trip, endless meeting, endless torture. I was probably in the center of their cruel jokes the minute I escaped. The day ended but I felt no relief. I was DAMAGED! I wish I could erase the whole day out of my memory. But it keeps coming back as if I froze in astonishment.

How can we protect ourselves from ignorant cold-hearted people who seem to dominate the world? Werewolves in suits. Well-groomed monsters. No soul behind their corporate language. If the whole business world is like that – I don’t want it. I don’t want to be part of it with my awkward smile and terrified mind. I am a woman. I am sensitive. I am vulnerable. I am not them, nothing like them, don’t want to be them. I anticipate a big career change. If a job has no soul I don’t want it. If I need to lie I don’t want it. If I have no will to care I don’t want it. If I am to be surrounded by cold, ignorant ruthless men I don’t want it. I don’t want to let the corporate life hurt me even more than it already did.
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