The last month has been a little bit of a rollercoaster, but–then–December has always been like that for me. This year, however, I sort of feel like a tree standing in the middle of a tornado–still holding on to all its leaves as everything else shifts or blows away. Odd that it’s that image that comes to mind when I consider that I refer to the year of mother’s death as the year of the cyclone and that this week, it’ll be 10 years.
I very much do feel like that lone tree. But despite all the insanity that goes on around me, there is something eternal lasting in me. A strength and resilience I didn’t know I had 10 years ago.
As tornadoes go, this month’s version was tiny…leaving few broken things to clean up. Just a mandate to try something else. Still, tornadoes are unsettling. They change things and make you question what your life has been. Suddenly, certain paths are unpassable. So, you decide if going still is worth it.
I’d share more, but it’s not really my stuff to share so much. And the paths for what’s next are still being forged. In any case, I will keep making plans that still–always–will change. By choice or by fate.
This month has also been interesting because–as always–anniversaries matter too much to me. Dates on calendars, numbers. Completing things and making new beginnings. This year feels more important, somehow, than years past. Maybe because it’s been a decade. Maybe because I’m finally doing the things I set out to do–all without her. Maybe because I’m simply fed up with the status quo–with the ways I still refuse to change–despite all my intentions and best efforts.
I took a workshop the other day with one of my most favorite teachers. I’ve taken things with her before, and it’s always a light bulb sort of feeling. It came at the right time and was exactly what I needed: a kick in the ass with support. It helped me reconcile and understand the reasons I sometimes don’t follow-through. I started looking at the core issues behind my major issues.
The major roadblock for me, in most things, is an inability to let go of things. I have an innate fear of being left behind or forgotten–of not being important. So, I often hold on to absolutely everything–whether it serves me or not. Whether I want it or not. When things are constantly taken away–when you’re struggling to survive–it’s hard to get rid of even the crappiest things. You learn to hold on tight.
There are all kinds of things that behavior does to a life. I won’t go into all of them, but let’s just say I have a lot of stuff in my life that’s holding me down. My wings are too heavy–so no matter how hard I try–I can’t fly. I’m never truly free. Everything is hard work. Everything.
The workshop taught me that it’s not about knowing what you need to do. I’ve known about, and tried to break free of, all of it for years now. Every time, beating myself up for not being successful in following through. I’m clear now that the reason I didn’t follow through had to do with emotions and a lack of skills. I’ve been working on the emotion stuff for a while now. But I’m still lacking the skills. Simply put–I don’t have the tools to let go. I don’t know how. No one taught me how. How do you speak up about things that don’t work? How do you find the courage? How do you deal with fear in healthy, empowering ways?
I still don’t have the skills, but that just means that’s my next step. So, I’m starting with a project. One that won’t kill me. One that can only free me. I can’t disappoint anyone except myself, really, and if I’m successful, it’ll fuel me. It’ll create space in my life so I can tackle the bigger things.
So, for the next few weeks, I’m going through my home. I’m getting rid of anything that I don’t love, need, or cherish. Whether it’s food, clothing, toys, old pictures (so hard), boxes…all of it. Gone. I’m giving it away to people who need it far more than me or I’m selling it or I’m burning it. I started yesterday, and while it wasn’t the most fun thing ever, it feels good to have a little bit less. I’m even going to do it with my digital life. I plan to pare down things everywhere. Every day, I will tackle a little piece of it. No matter what.
I’m excited to see where this challenge leads and how it’ll support me in the near future.