Sunday, October 12, 2014

It Only Gets Better

Hello, boys and girls
This is your old pal, Stinky Wizzleteats
This is a song about a whale
No, this is a song about being happy
That's right, it's the happy happy, joy joy song

-Ren and Stimpy

A few months ago I wrote that I hate Spring and Fall, remember? Of course you do. And remember further that I wrote about having a decidedly difficult year but I felt sure it would end up being a stellar year? Right? Yeah? C'mon, you remember. I wanna tell ya, I was starting to fear I may have to eat my words about the year getting better and learning good things from being on crapped on . . . repeatedly. It seemed the tears would never end and the pain would be endless as well, and the hope I was fed over and over, only to be lied to over and over, would never end . . . but then, I decided I had had enough.

Sometimes we wait and wait and wait for something bad to become something good because otherwise, what was the point? How will it feel better? Why all this crappity crap and no lightbulb of goodness at the end? And perhaps most importantly, we want to believe people are good. I think that's what it really boils to, we want to see people in a positive light, when we're hurt we want it to be made right. Sometimes though, it just isn't and when that happens, you have to walk away entirely. Change the streets you walk down, change the restaurants you go to, change your thought patterns, change everything because happiness is a choice but it's also a habit that you can form or you can break. Change begins with you, with me, within each of us and most times, the catalyst for change is a massive bowl of rotten cherries. I will never thank the person that inspired change in my life this year for the lies, the torment, the heartbreak, the degradation, the deception, and the rejection that was served to me repeatedly (and let me be very clear, it is only the list of ick I just mentioned for which I am not grateful, there were certainly good things as well). But I will say this, the project I have started in my life (more on that in the months to come), the changes in the way I view myself and others, the unquestionable light and love I feel in my life now are a direct result of my saying to myself "this is it, I never want to visit this place of anguish again and I will do the work it takes to make that happen."

So, it's fall, that's where we started this story, remember? ;-) fall.

When I was a kid in Midland, Texas my parents liked to go on a long walk after dinner. Mostly it was just their time, away from 5 kids in a 3 bedroom ranch house, but every now and again they would let me tag along. I always loved it, such a pleasant time away from the chaos of 4 siblings, a dog, and the baby doll I had mothered and taken care of all day while the older kids labored away at school. Such is the life of a young girl. When I was a young 20 something living in Capital Hill I liked going on walks late at night to see the craziness of my neighborhood. When I was married my then husband and I went on walks often. It's a nice way to connect and get away from dishes and bills and laundry. I have walked at night around the neighborhood I live in now for many years, most every night in the summer but I can be seen out in a snowstorm as well. When you walk you really see what's in your life. Houses you've driven by a myriad of times become real, not just part of the scenery. You hear children laughing and music playing and birds chirping and the sound of lawn mowers and sprinklers. In the winter you hear the magical silence of snow falling and peacefulness (oh yes you can hear peacefulness). It's time for a change in my life, and I have changed the path of my walks. It's good to change things up, see new things, go down different streets and see different people, leave the past behind, and I felt it keenly just the other day because . . . it's fall. I laughed at myself when I realized what a beautiful fall night it was and how I had poo poo'd fall not so very long ago. The leaves are everywhere, I don't have to sleep with the air conditioner on, the air is fresh, and most symbolically . . . the trees have shed what no longer serves them. The trunk of a tree is the soul, the core, the strength of it. The leaves are beautiful, but not permanent. What remains in tact every fall, every winter, year after year is the solid, sturdy trunk. Every year the things that no longer serve, the leaves, shed away. The trunk remains strong and, this is important, takes some time before growing leaves again. The tree doesn't rush out and say "OMG I NEED MORE LEAVES RIGHT AWAY! WHAT AM I WITHOUT PLUMAGE?!". The tree is sturdy enough to withstand the withering away of things past and is wise enough to know that rest is good to prepare for things in the future.

It's the same in our lives. When one thing falls away, there are those who will immediately rush to call the next person to fill that space, those who can't spend time in hibernation, but I fear it only allows the same thing to happen again. Anyway, that's not really what I want to talk about. I want to talk about happiness! Listen, I am not even kidding when I said I was greatly concerned I was going to reach the end of this year feeling just as rough as I did in the beginning of this year and I am so happy to report that many good things are starting to roll into my life. And it's because I spent time on my own this year, thinking, crying, writing, digging into old yuckiness and clearing it out. And it was hard work! Holy cow what a year of difficult memories, anger, doubt, not understanding, questioning and finally . . . the start of a whole new path, from revolution to resolution. I don't want back what I had, because it wasn't enough. I won't sit on the floor under the dinner table accepting whatever scraps may fall my way. F*** that noise. I feed myself, I feed myself well and if others won't offer the same, then they can shine on. Even in situations where you may feel like you can't just walk away, maybe a job, try to find what you can to move forward. You have to have income (at least I do, no independent wealth here) and you may feel trapped. What else can you do to make your job more agreeable? For a while I got in the habit of working through lunch, NO MORE. Unless it is absolutely necessary I leave the office every single day for an hour. I read. I write. I may just sit outside, but I get the hell out. And is there something that you love doing that has nothing to do with work? The Black Dog's Dad is a remarkable artist, he spends most of his time away from his day job painting and showing his art. It can be tiring, and sometimes daunting, and I certainly don't know the answers in anyone else's life, but doing something that is more aligned with your spirit, even if it's just on the side, can make you feel so great AND . . . you never know what may come of it. Leaving a job can be harder because you need money. Leaving a person can be done in an instant but it hurts infinitely more and infinitely longer . . . and we don't do it in an instant. We drag it on because, again, hope springs eternal. Hope isn't bad, but we know when it's misplaced and yet we still linger.

But check out those leaves and that sturdy tree. That tree is doing just fine without those leaves, and new leaves will arrive in time, and all on their own. Not manufactured from some website where trees and leaves get together, it just happens naturally. Some of the leaves have fallen away in my life, and it was very hurtful for a very long time . . . sometimes it still is . . . some hurts take longer than others, but my life is full of good things. It doesn't mean circumstances necessarily changed, the situations that occurred in my life didn't magically resolve and get better, I wasn't given enormous amounts of money, I haven't fallen head first into the greatest job of all time, but I have changed and that makes my world change. Even in the sad moments that I, of course, still have, I know there is light now and more light coming. I have happiness and when my job makes me want run outside screaming and pulling my hair out, I remember that it doesn't define me and I am working toward other endeavors that make me happy. My boss can kick and scream and make herself blue in the face, she has no say in my life.

There is so much in life to be happy about! Trees and leaves, snow and sun, 80's hair bands (I will listen to Bad English sing "When I See You Smile" all day, no joke), pretty dresses, friends, books, weekends, and new paths in life . . . leaving the old behind.

Yay Fall!

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