losing wisdom, losing years and getting older

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I don’t know where to begin other than by saying things were going well, too well in fact, until everything fell apart completely. That’s how these things usually go, right? That’s at least what I assume, and so when they were going well, I was walking on eggshells. I was waiting for the madness that follows. But little did I know that it wasn’t necessarily life that was creating this destruction, it was my own footsteps. The ones that treaded so carefully that they never really accepted what was being given to them. They didn’t dare skip, flutter, or prance around, afraid that they’d trip and fall if they got too comfortable with joy.

I was falling for someone again, someone who triggered an old self of mine that I thought I had left behind. But then I began to wonder, are all of our past selves still buried deep inside somewhere, waiting for the right moment to show themselves? I’ve refrained from love for a long time now and I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I took that time for myself. To become who I am now. To learn who exactly I am. What exactly it is that I want from this lifetime. Who I want by my side. How to heal. How to accept love from family, friends, strangers.

So much work, so much progress, so much healing, and then it all fell away in a few weeks where suddenly I felt I was back at square one. Like I woke up one day and forgot who I was again. I keep beating myself up over it, wanting to fall back into old habits. I broke it off with the guy I was falling for. I started questioning whether I was even a writer because I hadn’t written in a month. He was starting to consume my thoughts, my heart, my time, and I didn’t want that. I missed my solitude. I missed my sanity.

I began living in a whirlpool of emotions. Every day was a rollercoaster ride. I was 17 again. Then I was 16. Then 15. Time was warped and everything was backwards. It was like I was losing years instead of getting older. I realized pretty quickly that any romantic partner I would have, no matter how kind and lovely they are, is going to trigger me. I wished so badly that I was back in the seat across from my counselor, but instead, I’m across the country from her. I feel like someone erased me and I’m angry for not catching them in the act. Seeking familiarity in unknown territory is not the easiest thing.

I’m 22 today and I feel lost, but not the same kind of lost I felt at 17, because this person that I am now has resources that the old me didn’t. I have tools. That wisdom I’ve gained over the years, all that self-work, all that progress isn’t gone. It just has to be reworked once I figure out who exactly I am again. I’m not sure how to go about relationships, mostly because that’s the only area of my life I haven’t really worked on. They say that when it’s right, things are different. But what if things are right and you become different? And not the good kind.

I don’t believe people when they say they care about me and I think that’s the root of it all. That maybe I can work on this with friendships before moving back into the love realm again. A lot of the times, I find that I break my own heart because I’m afraid someone else will break it if I don’t beat them to it. These footsteps that tread so carefully do so for a reason, but that reason doesn’t exist in every situation. It’s hard to remember that sometimes.

It’s been a wild life so far in Vancouver, but I feel ready to start writing here again. To start sharing all these experiences with you guys. Because none of us are alone in the way that we are or feel. And this journey of mine that I thought I’d be doing alone doesn’t feel so lonely anymore. I made friends pretty easily, I’m doing well at work, I’m finding my feet. I’m not so sure how to go about love yet, but who does at this age? I don’t think I’m ready, and maybe it took breaking my own heart to remind myself of that, but I will be someday.

Progress doesn’t evaporate, it just evolves and takes different forms to adapt as you continue to become. And I’ll leave off with something I remind myself every night.

The sun will rise and we will try again.

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dictators and puppet shows: what we decide and what is decided for us

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There’s this echo I’ve been hearing that’s urging me to move on, but when I ask in what direction, it goes silent. A strange thing it is to feel a completion when you’re in the midst of something. It’s like feeling closure while you’re still in the relationship. You don’t know what the end brings, but you just know it’s time to find out what else needs to begin in its place.

That’s what I’ve been going through lately. The feeling of an end smack dab in the middle of everything I’m around. It’s something that doesn’t make much sense to a rational mind, but it makes even less sense to remain stagnant to your soul. It’s this in-between influx sensation that asks us to be patient. Mostly because it is these moments when there is the greatest risk of impulsive behaviour.

This intrinsic knowledge that we get is what leads us to change. If we don’t listen to it, we risk this sort of dissonance within ourselves. This dissonance between how we feel and what we’re doing. Sure, we can trick our minds out of it for a little while. We can convince ourselves that what we feel isn’t real, but what we’re doing is. But for how long?

There are some of us who are keen on change, some who are impulsive with it, and some who need to be dragged into it. What we tend to forget is that we’re the deciding factor. We get to choose how we go about this. Whether we listen to this quiet indication that’s pointing us to the correct path, or whether we ignore it and suffer the internal consequences until we inevitably end up where we were always meant to be.

I do believe in fate, but I also believe in free will. Both make sense because we choose how we get to the paths that were drawn out for us. We choose how to react, we choose how to speak, and we choose how to behave. What is meant for us makes space for us, but who we choose to be as we get there and who we choose to become once we have arrived is up to you and me.

We’re not merely puppets in a show, but we’re also not the dictators either. There’s an in-between to everything and if we find out where that is and what that means for us, we might just find what we were looking for all along: this sense of inner peace and joy. The kind that doesn’t fade and reappear, the one that isn’t dependant on a situation. It’s the kind that sticks. It’s the kind that brings you satisfaction in the right here and now.

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big changes, guilty feelings

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The rain here is different – warmer, kinder. Difficult to explain. I guess like most things, you’d have to feel it to understand.

I bought some candles today to warm up my space and make it feel cozier; more like home, I suppose. It’s working.

It’s officially been a little over three weeks since I’ve been in Vancouver and it feels like it has been months. People keep telling me that that’s a good thing and I think I believe them. I feel a sense of belonging here that I’ve never felt before. And everything that is new still has this sense of familiarity to it that I can’t really explain.

It feels like everyone’s been injected with some calmness drug and I’m the odd one who doesn’t know how to relax. Maybe it’ll rub off on me eventually. Here’s hoping!

One of my best and oldest friends and I have been sending letters to one another. Handwritten letters that we post at the post office. Very old school and very heart felt. I like that I have someone I can do this with. Someone who I can write to about anything and everything, kind of like what I do over here. But I always get a response back with updates and stories. Letter-writing is so personal that way. There’s this connection you get out of putting pen to paper that just isn’t the same thing as a phone call or text message. You feel more open speaking about your truth.

What I’ve been realizing more and more is that when you make a big change in your life, there’s this very high expectation that you have and also get from others, that you will be happy all the time. That you will be excited all the time. It’s true that I’ve moved into a completely new place that I am really excited for. It’s breathtaking. It’s soothing. It’s both familiar and new. It’s the kind of place I’ve always wanted to be in because some part of me must have known that this is where I’d feel home. And I do.

That being said, it doesn’t mean that you won’t experience any other emotion. That it will only be excitement and giddiness. I’m so beyond grateful for being here, but I am still the same person within this new environment, which means that I still have mental health struggles, anxiety, depression that comes and goes in waves now. It means I’ll still feel nostalgic. I’ll still feel sad and angry and lonely. But I’ll feel happy, too. Just because you’re experiencing something great, doesn’t mean that you have to feel great all the time.

I realized that when talking to friends or family, I thought I had to pretend. Even though I was excited, I was going through such a wide range of emotions all at once and it felt pretty overwhelming. But I felt like I couldn’t share that with anyone because how ungrateful would I seem? I should feel happy, I kept telling myself. Why am I crying? Why am I nostalgic? Why am I feeling anything else?

And I felt guilty for it all. For the moments I felt overwhelmed. For the times I cried. For the times I chose to stay in and read instead of going and exploring.

Thanks to the great practice of meditation and reflecting a lot, I realized that right now, my job is to feel at home here. I’ve only been here a short time but since it felt like longer, I thought I should have done more by now. So I had to hit the pause button a little, take a step back and evaluate what would make me feel sane right now. And I knew (because we always know deep down what it is that we need). And it was that I needed to really feel at home.

So I went out and bought a cozy cushion and throw blanket for my couch so I can make it a comfortable little reading nook for myself. I bought candles that smell like baked goods (because those are my favorite) and placed them around my apartment. I set a bubble bath for myself and lit a candle so that I could read for a little while. And that is exactly what I needed.

If you follow me on twitter, you know that I am an avid hiker. I love to explore more than anything, but right now, what I need is to have some days where I stay in and read, take a bubble bath, do some yoga, and write. I need to feel at home and ever since I listened to that voice of knowing, I’ve been feeling calm and good instead of frantic and anxious.

When it’s time to explore more, I’ll do that, too. But there is no rush. I’m here for a while and I needed to give myself some room to feel that.

Sometimes, we just need to listen to the voice that tells us what we already know, but rarely act on. It knows a lot more than the loud voice, I promise.

 

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