Crying On The Returns

Staring at the blank screen when my head is so filled with a tangle of thoughts and my gut is churning with so much emotion and my physical exhaustion is nearing its tipping point is a special kind of torture.  Normally, I’d bust out the Moleskine and blast out a diatribe or so, but I forced myself to open the blog machine to impose some structure on the internal rough drafts.  I have no idea how that’s going to go.

I have just returned from a quick weekend trip home both with and to see family, and mostly, it was a fine trip.  Family is complex and mine looks like a Manhattan Project equation.   What I can always count on, and especially when returning from home, are some intense emotions that usually well up right after I get out of the car at curbside.  I keep my sunglasses on and my head down as I make my way through security, then pit stop at the bathroom for a muffled stall cry in an attempt to get it together before getting on the plane.  It’s not without precedent that I cry once settled and the plane is suddenly speeding me off the ground and back to reality.  I have always done this; my expectation is that I will always do this, and I am fine with it, but today’s episode reminded me how sensitive I am.

A wise person once told me, “Sensitivity is a superpower.”  I know she is right and it is time for me harness it once and for all.

However, I am terrified.  Not of Success – I am ready for some more of that to get here – but of  rejection and humiliation and abandonment and all the painful things that I  have already experienced showing up for a repeat performance.  I am not looking for pep talks by sharing this, because my previous rejections and humiliations and abandonments were mostly the result of abuse, the extent of which I have only just recently begun to understand.  At least now I feel confident I know how to spot that well ahead of time.  (With the exception of some recent fumbles of my own making and then endless fixation on them.)  What I don’t know how to do is actually open up enough to let the light in.

My most effective defense strategy and stalwart enabler is procrastination.  I am the Four Star Generalissimo of Procrastination, a lot of it now achieved by too much “screen time” and while I do have an iPhone, I have a cumbersome, work-brick laptop and a TV that was state-of-the-art… in 1997.  I dilly-dally and dawdle and putter and preen and run late and feel harried and then, like dysfunctional magic, I am failing just like Procrastination promised.  (Yes, I am aware of the Mean Voice in my head that is telling me I am doing it wrong.)

Here is where the Return Travel comes in to play: I am in a vulnerable state, not here nor there, yet totally present in the limbo of airports and time zone jumps.  And that’s when I realize I want so much more…

I want that light.  And that love.  And that success.  And that serenity.  And that fun.  And that magic.  And that energy.  And that security.  And that passion.  And that confidence.  And that warmth.  I want that light to get in.  To nurture me.  I want that.

This was a start.

Day 14: On The Road of Trials

2400 feet of obstacles. I got this.

I have been keeping a journal since about the time I learned how to write.  I have a “Book About Me” that I’d count as my first journal around age six.  Its pages asked different questions about my favorite things, my family, space for drawing pictures and even a page in the back reserved for autographs.  When I asked my mom what an autograph was, she said, “A signature from a famous person.”  So naturally, I signed it with my two favorite famous people at the time, Carol Burnett and Tim Conway.  (Apparently I was not into the Cassidy clan.)  Skip ahead a few more years and I had another journal, this one a locking diary.  It also had themed pages for organizing family, friends and favorites, but also lots of room for writing the events of the day.  I have journals from high school, college, my 20’s, my 30’s and now, I will have them for my 40’s.  I go in spurts with my journal writing and this past six to eight months I have been more of a scrawler, but yes, I have all those notes too filed inside the pages of my now ubiquitous black, unlined Moleskine journals.

Often, I write in my journal when I am sad, so if I ever go back to look at something, my first reaction is to want to hug that sad, venting person and in a way I guess I do when I read the entries.  But I also made a commitment to myself to write when I am happy and content and grateful, because as good as venting is, it is a much more powerful foundation to build from contentment and wisdom.  So with that in mind, I want to make sure to remember how wonderful this week has been, both in its exciting and mundane moments, and really feel the power of the positive.

Starting last Sunday night, I went with friends to a screening of a new documentary about mythologist/writer/professor Joseph Campbell.  What an absolutely fantastic way to end my weekend and start my week, nary a Sunday Blue in sight!  The documentary focused specifically on The Hero’s Journey, and wow, it was a total validation for the choices I have made in the last six months especially and gave me some real clarity on a few pressing decisions.  (Figure out your bliss and follow it people.  Do it.)

The week itself was filled with some totally exhilarating engagements, the kind where at the end of the appointed time you are both saying things like, “Oh dear, we’re going to have to talk about that next time!” and then you both put the next time in your calendar.  And that kind of energy is calming and invigorating; I had a fantastic 6-mile training run on Wednesday that felt as easy as it did strong.  Even the annoyance of having no internet the entire week which then required me giving up my Friday night to the Customer Service Gulag of Comcast, was merely that, an annoyance.  Because when I got that network fired up, I had such a sense of accomplishment I was actually excited to tackle the queue of writing and correspondence that was waiting for me.  Saturday started with the totally unexpected delight of Blindfolded Yoga and then into a night out with my closest friends for a huge meal, a lot of wine and even more laughter.  See above for the triumph of my training run today!

Are you vomiting yet?

If you are, rest assured that there was bad news this week.  There is famine in Africa.  Our government is broken.  People I love got sick, even some of their loved ones got sick.  People I love are heartbroken, or are acting like assholes, or are terribly overwhelmed.  But even in the bad news, I kept having an empowering feeling that we are all exactly where we are supposed to be and if we pay more attention to that, the answers to overcome the obstacles will come with more frequency and more clarity.  I have been in this place of calm before, and I like it.  I have really missed it too.

So, Universe, I would like to extend my stay here in Confidence Town as long as possible and fill my journals with stories about that!  And maybe even about how I got a real autograph from Carol Burnett and Tim Conway.