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

dictators-and-puppet-shows

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

big-changes-guilty-feelings

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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stagnant peace: the fear of comfort

stagnant-peace-fear-of-comfort

The state I’m in is no longer one of anxiety, but more so just complete and utter exhaustion. Maybe it’s because I woke up at 2:00 am and couldn’t go back to bed. Maybe it’s because I then had to leave for work at 5:45 am. Or maybe it’s because I’m tired of my hope and the effort I make in having a positive outlook.

The problem with me is finding peace in the present moment. I feel this completion with my job and I’ve felt it for quite some time. It’s not just that it isn’t satisfying, it’s more that it has become draining for me because I feel the ending before it has arrived. There isn’t anything wrong with it. The people are so kind and loving. I’m good at what I do. It’s a healthy environment. But I just have this aching feeling that makes me want to do something more – something that adds value to my life and others’. I just haven’t been able to find any other work in the meanwhile – or let me correct myself, I haven’t heard back from any other place I’ve applied to.

I’m used to a lot of rejection, especially from the job market. The way my life typically works is that I’ll keep getting no’s from everywhere, but when I finally get a ‘yes’ back, it’ll be life changing. So I don’t necessarily feel the need to make decisions because mostly I’m led where I need to go and I do the work in-between to help myself get there. I know that what comes back to me is what is meant for me (as long as it feels right, too, of course). But I always get these feelings of completion or of new beginnings early, and then I become anxious in anticipation for what is to come – even though I know it is coming later.

Lately, it’s been a lot of me sending out resumes to everything that makes my heart race. Anything that I am curious of and want to learn. It’s a lot of not hearing back and when I do, it’s a kind “no”. And then it’s a lot of beating myself up over it.

What I want so badly is to be able to find peace in this moment I’m in, in the job I’m in, and trust that when the right thing comes – as it always does – it will make space for me, and me alone. But what my mind struggles to understand is how to find peace and comfort without feeling stuck where you are. I’m terrified that as soon as I get that peace, I’ll get too comfortable and I’ll become stagnant (even though that’s almost never the case with anyone). But nevertheless, it remains a very prominent fear of mine. This fear that peace will mean no further movement or growth.

So, I wonder, how do I learn to find peace in something temporary when I don’t know when it’ll come to an end?

You see, there’s this lack of preparation I feel in regards to the sort of peace I want to attain. I like doing things in advance. I like mental preparation as much as I like physical prep work. I like knowing so I can be ready. And the peace I am seeking doesn’t work like that. It just needs trust, and that’s something I hate saying that I struggle with. It feels like such an old part of me. It feels so common.

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