someone will love you; someone isn’t me

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I’ve been regaining my sanity, the inkling of calmness I was afraid I left behind. I credit that all to starting up my daily yoga and meditation practice again.

There’s something you guys don’t know. Something that I don’t really talk about. That when I moved away, I left a boy behind. No one knows that, not even him. We haven’t spoken in years now, but he’s stayed in my mind through this time, the way that unfinished business typically does. We talk every now and again, but not often enough for it to make sense that I still think of him the way I do.

He was someone I never gave a chance to. Someone I didn’t believe when he told me that he cared about me. Someone I always look back on and wonder, what if I had let him in?

I believe in everything happening for a reason, and that certain things won’t happen and never will only because you are supposed to be somewhere else. I don’t think I’d have made my way to Vancouver had I given him a chance. I don’t think I would be this person either because the girl he initially met is no longer here.

It’s an odd feeling. This reminiscing of what could have been that runs parallel to the gratitude of it not working out. Because if it had, you wouldn’t be where you are today. How our stepping stones and greatest lessons are sometimes people you never paid attention to. How sometimes you can be grateful for your adolescent ignorance and also wish you knew better at the same time. But we know what we know and we understand as we learn. It’s as simple and frustrating as that.

We’re always so eager to know more than we do; and when we know more, we wish we knew it when it mattered. As if there is no way to make use of this information now, even though deep down we know it’ll be a useful tool for the future. We want it now and when we have it, we wish we had it then. It’s an annoyance to me sometimes, being human. But that’s what we are. That’s what we’ll always be.

To the boy that never happened. To the boy I now think of and wish I had known better, I hope being human gets easier for you as I hope it does for all of us. And know that someone will love you the way I wish I had.

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the difference between blocking emotions and putting them on pause

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Yesterday morning it finally hit me. It was like an iceberg of loneliness that’s been hovering like a cloud above my head for some time now. I wanted so badly to break down but I knew that I had to leave for work soon, and now wasn’t the right time.

We can do that, you know? And sometimes, especially in our day and age, we have to. We can put a pause on our emotions momentarily, but we also have to create time to let them manifest in the way that they wanted to. I think the second half is the harder part. Finding time to let yourself feel what you should have felt earlier. Creating room for sadness, nostalgia, loneliness, anger, or even fear. It makes sense why we wouldn’t want to. I mean, those aren’t exactly the most inviting territories to dive ourselves into, but they are necessary.

In a perfect world, I would break down when I wanted to. I would feel my anger as it came. I would let emotions go through me when they want to. But that’s not the world I live in. The world I live in requires me to go to work every day. It comes with certain situations where those emotions aren’t appropriate to express. But you don’t necessarily need to express an emotion to feel it.

Sometimes we have to compartmentalize momentarily. I think, for the most part, a lot of us have that down really well. We know how to block ourselves from feeling. But what we aren’t always so good at is allowing those feelings to come through again. We just keep blocking and blocking and sooner or later find our minds scattered, our tension built up, and on the verge of completely losing it.

So though I don’t exactly cater to the idea of blocking our emotions, even though I became quite the expert at it, growing up; I do believe that sometimes we have to put them on pause. What that means is that they need to be felt again, properly. Sometimes I even find my life so overbearing that I have to schedule it in.

Example:

Yoga: 8:00am-9:00am

Shower/breakfast: 9:15am-10:00am

Reflection time/Feeling your feelings: 10:15am-11:00am

Meditate: 11:00am-11:30am

Buy groceries/vacuum/laundry OR read/write/blog : 11:30am – 1:30pm

Work: 2pm-11pm

Obviously, not every day of mine looks like that one, but sometimes we need to break it down in that way so we make it the priority that it should be. Reflecting should be a part of your self-care. It should be its own practice because we need it for the sake of our own sanity. Sometimes we won’t have a full hour to do that. Sometimes it’ll be 5 or 10 spare minutes. Other days, we might have more time than that. Some days, we won’t have any time at all. But we have to make room for it somewhere. We have to treat it like the necessity that it is.

Although yesterday, I didn’t have time to let myself feel my loneliness, I had time this morning and so I allowed myself to get back into that place so that I could let it pass. It wasn’t pretty. I didn’t like it. But it felt good afterward, like I had released it. You can’t let go of an emotion you don’t let yourself feel – something I’ve learned the hard way over the years of building up everything inside me only to explode it everywhere and on everyone around me. We can’t control how we feel, but we can control how we experience that feeling and whether we experience it at all.

 

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two strokes ahead of time: where i’d rather be

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One of my biggest hurdles and life lessons has been learning how to stay in the present moment. It’s something I struggle with every day and have to work with differently each time the thought comes. I’m not where I want to be. I haven’t achieved what I wish I had. I should be somewhere better by now. I should be more.

I think we all cross these moments of anxiety, of our ego’s talk taking over our frame of thought completely. How do we step back into where we are? How do we get out of that never-ending belief that we aren’t enough right now?

In terms of writing, I made a decision not long after I completed the first draft of my novel and was led to the big move across the country. I made the decision that if I wanted to be in the right place, I had to put all my energy into this move. Into finding an apartment, researching neighborhoods, inspecting the details of who I needed to contact, what changes I needed to make. For the past few months, this big transition has been my sole focus while my book’s progress had to be put on pause.

Now that I’ve settled in, I find my inspiration at a high peak which should be exciting. But instead, it’s just led to this trickling thought of where my draft would be if I had worked on it this whole time. If I hadn’t put it on pause completely so that I could use my energy on moving. How far would that girl have come with her writing? Am I a failure as a writer for making that decision? Could I have just used 50% of my energy on the move and 50% on editing?

Though the inspiration should be exhilarating, it just brings me back to this belief that I’ve fallen behind. But then I ask myself, who am I competing with? What am I racing for?

I’ve worked so hard on this book and I know I’ll continue to make it better with each draft, but the other part of me just wants to get it out there to the public. I want to show you guys this project I’ve been working on for so long. I want to introduce you to my characters. I want you to see all the research I’ve done for it. I want you to know the people I interviewed who played a big role in making this happen. Except it’s still in the works and I still feel behind where I’d like to be.

When I fall into this pattern of feeling behind myself, I have some tools I use now that help. One is blogging, the other journaling, meditating, listing my gratitude, yin yoga or just sitting down and listening to music. All of that helps, but they are also all practices of mine. To slowly get myself back into the present, I have to practise these things every day, utilizing whichever feels right at a certain time.

What I’ve found is that when my scattered mind takes over, it’s usually because I haven’t given enough space for my body to have some control, too. And the great part about bodies is that they usually know what they need. The hard part is learning to listen.

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