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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Creating Stories: What My Life Could Have Been

Creating-Stories-What-My-Life-Could-Have-Been

A lot of stories I create come from what my life could have been if certain things had worked out and others hadn’t. I think about it a lot. How different my life would be, how different a person I could have become.

It can be terrifying looking back and noticing how each moment has made such a profound impact on us. How these crumbles of pain, happiness, anger, and fear all came together in some shape or another to create this soul that we currently have. But knowing this has its own set of consequences and sometimes I find myself paranoid at each detail because I know that it can do quite a lot.

I’m a bit of a nit picker. I pay attention to details the way a detective would. Maybe it’s my scorpionic nature or my curiosity towards all that which creates a human experience, but I’ve always been observant. The thing about being observant is that most people will assume you are aloof, mostly because observation requires little speech and more listening. I won’t remember how a stranger looks, but I’ll remember their insecurities. I won’t remember your name but I’ll remember how your eyes dampened when you saw a cat wandering the streets alone and all you wanted to do was take it home and love and nurture him the way all living beings need to be loved and nurtured. I don’t know your favourite colour but I know that your face lights up when you see a young couple who are in the early stages of falling in love. And I know that deep down, you want that for yourself.

I notice people, mostly because I know firsthand that people want to be noticed. We walk around feeling misunderstood, wearing the face of our representatives so that people don’t have to worry about what lurks inside of us.

I think that’s why I fell in love with writing at a very young age. It’s because I wanted to be understood and not feel so alone anymore. But observing everyone else around me was a constant reminder that we all feel that way. That maybe we’re all connected in our aloneness. That my story could be told through any character. That your story could, too. Because when it comes down to it, we’re all the same. We all want the same things, we just have different strategies, upbringings, stories, experiences, relationships that shape the way we go seeking whatever it is that we want. And that thing that we all desire is ultimately happiness.

So I think about it a lot. What other lives I could have lived if certain moments were different in my past. Whoever I became because of those differences, I wonder, would that person be happy? Maybe who I am now wouldn’t be, because I like my life and I like who I am and even though it took a long time to get here, I know that I wouldn’t replace this inner joy inside of me for anything. But I ask, would that person that I would be in that life, be happy there? Would they have a different soul that yearns for different things? Or would we have the same?

I don’t know, and I don’t think that I ever will. But I think that’s the magic of creating stories. We can live all of the lives we could have lived and in the end, still end up inside of our own.

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