Several months ago I wrote a post called “Falling for me” that was motivated by a book of the same name. The book was life changing. I loved it. I loved the way it challenged me to think about myself in new ways. It made me realize not only the value in “finding myself”, but that I was worth finding in the first place.
I had this new motivation and passion and I felt like I could accomplish anything! I couldn’t wait to share it here with you and then come back months later and express to you that change is quick, easy, and painless and that I had accomplished everything that I dreamed I would! Oh boy. And honestly, I was hoping to address the naysayer in my head that was shouting, “Crazy woman! You may be all hopped up on positive energy now. But you’ll never be able to keep it up!”
So, I’ve returned to you say… my naysayer was right. But only partly. A little deflating has happened. But that’s not the end of the story.
One of the ways I really wanted to take care of myself, honor the process of finding who I am, and what I love was to purchase some new clothes for work. I was tired of feeling like all my outfits had been pulled out of a not-quite-the-right-size hand me down bag.
And so I did. I bought some really lovely blouses. Pants that fit right and gray slacks. Slacks! I’ve never owned them before! A black sweater to tie everything together. And some really nice shoes (for my budget, that is.) And then it happened. One of my favorite blouses shrunk dramatically in the wash. The cold wash!! One of my new pairs of shoes were too snug. And my new sweater began to collect little bally things along the arms. Do all sweaters do this?
These were minor setbacks, granted, and I still felt really great wearing my new clothes to work. I was just a little bummed that my new clothes weren’t bringing me all the satisfaction that I had hoped.
The next order of business was to pursue some things I had always wanted to do but had never gone after. Like skydiving. I was stoked out of my mind (yes, I just said that) to face a terrifying yet electrifying thing like falling from the sky. I was fully prepared to do it. And as I said, super stoked. Then some unexpected expenses arose. (From the deep dark pits, clearly.) So money was tight. And then I threw out my back. Which apparently is quite easy to do and is also terribly painful and crippling for quite some time. Grrr. So, skydiving was placed on a back burner (that burner on the stove way back there that you rarely use because the location is so craptasic.)
Next was guitar lessons, which I’ve wanted to take for years. So many years. I even found a class I was prepared to sign up for but, long story short, a surgery on my hand left me with a lot of pain and so lessons were put on that back burner along with skydiving.
My house, that I had been doing everything in my power to keep very tidy started to look more like a war zone than a peaceful habitation again. Things started to feel like they were unraveling a little. Like when your cat gets a hold of a ball of yarn and it starts out in a nice little sphere and ends up irreversibly tangled.
I was still keeping positive despite everything, though. I even felt like I was heading into a period of better financial stability. And then I got a letter in the mail from my insurance agency notifying me that my rate was about to double because of a car accident I was in. It was an accident! (Says everyone who’s ever been in one.) But I did have a perfect driving record for over 20 years prior. Ergh!
So, my attempt at a neatly constructed world started feeling a little less than. If you read any young adult fiction (not containing vampires) you’ll know something that I was refusing to see. That Utopian societies don’t exist! They simply don’t. The very idealistic part of me was flailing on the ground screaming, “What? No perfect world?! But my bags are all packed and I’m ready to go there!”
Obviously I’m not thrilled that there’s no perfect world. I’m working on that. But on the flip side, regardless of all the things in my life that haven’t exactly gone as “planned”, the motivation behind them hasn’t died. I’m still seeking ways to be kinder to myself. I’m still wrangling the voice in my head that wants to criticizes everything I do. And I’m realizing that “keeping it real” is way better way to live than seeking some Utopian society that doesn’t exist where my clothes never shrink and my shower never mildews.
I’d never fit in with a Stepford wife. Nor do I want to. Falling for me was never supposed to be about finding perfection or having everything always work out on time and in an orderly fashion. It’s about loving and embracing who I am. It’s about changing my actions when they don’t serve that purpose. It’s about shaping my life and home to be places I experience life and beauty and fun. I haven’t lost that goal. Gratefully. So I’m gonna call this a win.
And just because I’ve had to put some things on the back burner doesn’t mean I’ve failed. It just means I have to reach a little harder to obtain them in the future. And reaching far is good exercise. And exercise makes you feel good about yourself. See? Another win.