Saturday, March 31, 2012

A "Peace" of the Puzzle

Last night I had a chill night. I kicked it in my bed and caught up on episodes of my favorite guilty pleasure…Degrassi. Now usually I watch Degrassi for just the shock factor and to find out what is happening with my favorite, basically all, of the characters. But last night, for some crazy reason, Degrassi actually related to my life. It was a little trippy to be honest.

Now when I say “related,” I don’t mean that I’ve had some crazy drama go down and that’s how it relates. I just mean that it related in the way that they felt…which was mainly angry. But here’s where it gets a little wonky…they weren’t actually angry; they were using anger to cover up hurt. I’m sure that everyone can relate to that in some form or fashion, and I know that I sure can.

And so Degrassi got me to thinking…why do people do this? Why do people use anger to cover up hurt? Honestly it mainly made me start thinking about why I do this and in what situations I do this in. And it was like I hit a HUGE brick wall, and when I say HUGE I mean GARGANTUAN. I just COULD NOT figure out why I do this…it just was. So of course I thought about it some more.

And I’ve discovered that for me being hurt is hard. It just is. And if I’m angry then, well, I can ignore the hurt, and friends, ignorance is definitely NOT the purpose of this year. Because if I remember correctly I am DONE with blissful ignorance. And sometimes “blissful ignorance” comes in the form of anger. And let’s face it; sometimes it’s just easier to be angry. Sometimes it’s just easier to ignore the hurt and rage and stew and fume about whatever hurt you. But does that fix the hurt? Or even abate the anger? No.

Sometimes I’m just hurt, and there’s not a lot that I can do about it except for make peace with it and let it go. And peace is something that I always want around in EVERY aspect of my life. It’s one of my goals for the year…to be more at peace with peace. And if I continually let this anger hang around like a raging phantom I’ll just be angry and resentful and unhappy, and frankly there’s no peace in that.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Laws of Emotion

Emotions are unpredictable. Very, very unpredictable. And as I’ve said in the past I’m not so big on the unpredictable, when it comes to my personal life anyway. So I tend to think of them as some creepy, crawly, slithery creature that’s going to slither up out of nowhere and trick you into well, thinking about them. And sometimes dang it you just don’t want to. You just don’t want to deal with every past emotion that you haven’t dealt with yet that got you into this spot in the first place, you know? You just don’t want to.

And then sometimes, you don’t get that choice. That’s what happened to me today. I had a slippery emotional confrontation, with myself no less, and had to deal with a lot of things that I wasn’t sure that I was strong enough to face yet. And as I’m sure you all know, emotional confrontations, especially with yourself, are difficult to handle on the best of days, much less a rainy, dreary day like today. And honestly it freaked me the heck out, the way that the emotion and feelings just spilled out of me like a fully running faucet, or rather waterfall with a rushing current and all. And I just didn’t think that I was strong enough to face it, deal with it, or handle the backlash that all of that emotion could bring. But, as I quickly found out, I am strong enough.

And even though I didn’t know it, until it just came rushing out of me like a current, I am ready to deal with it. I am ready to face the truth, and frankly, despite the brave face I’m scared. I’m scared of what such truth and emotion can bring. But sometimes you don’t get the choice to decide what the right time to deal with it is, sometimes it just breaks like a levy in a flood, especially if you’ve held it back for a long time. And sometimes the only way to heal is to get swept away in a flood, swept away in a flood of emotion about a situation that you didn’t even know that you were ready to deal with yet.

And frankly, that’s difficult. It’s difficult to just let awful emotions and past situations rush over you, especially when they’ve been in a neat little box for such a long time. It’s kind of like an emotional sugar crash until they’ve run their course, and you’re back to being even keeled again.

But I’m done with neatly boxing my emotions and opinions about my personal life. It’s MY personal life, and there is no reason to neatly box the emotions that I feel because those boxes don’t last forever, and I’ve found that the unpleasant emotions tend to rush out a lot faster and harsher the second time around. And they’re also a LOT more difficult to put back into the box. Well…more like damn near impossible. So why even start out with a box in the first place?

My only answer to that is fear, and honestly I’m sick of being afraid. I’m sick of being afraid of the way that I feel sometimes; I’m sick of being afraid of speaking my mind about perfectly normal emotions. I’m sick of being afraid to show perfectly normal emotions.

So in stereotypical female fashion (that’s a joke peeps) I’m going to be more emotional. Not crying at the drop of a hat sort of thing, but in a healthy way because it’s not fair to me to hold everything in. It’s just NOT fair. Emotional honesty is important, and it’s high time that I start acting like it.     

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Square One...Again

Well as we know I can run again, sort of, and I’m back at square one, square one of a running schedule that is. Tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning, I am going to start the Couch to 5K program again, and I’m actually really nervous about it. I’m nervous because I love running, and I remember how far I was before the injury, which is way further than I had ever been before when it came to exercise, and it’s freaky to just start back at square one all over again.

It’s scary to remember that and then start from the beginning all over again, especially with the fear that I have of reinjuring myself, that’s the really freaky thing. It’s freaky to feel every twinge in my formerly injured ankle, twinges that weren’t there before. It’s freaky to feel the normal burn from before and think that it’s my tendons tearing again. And yes, I know the difference between the two pains, but I don’t want to push it you know? I don’t want to do something crazy and then get myself splinted again. That is one square I definitely do not want to face again.

And along with the nagging reinjury what if’s in my head, I also have the “what if I can’t do it?” What if I’m just too out of shape? According to one of my good friends it takes only three days to get out of shape, and I’ve had over 3 months! Over 3 months y’all! Before now, I hadn’t had more than a two or three day break from running in quite a while, and granted torn tendons are a darn good reason to not be running, but it’s still trippy.

So yeah…back to tomorrow…I start the program once again, and I’m nervous. But on the upside I know where to run and where to not run on my campus, namely places where I have a chance of twisting any body part. And even though I’m nervous and not feeling very confident about my running these days, probably because I haven’t done a lot of it in over 3 months, there is a silver lining to this. Because when starting at the bottom, aka square one, the only place to go is up, and that’s exactly where I plan on going, or rather, forward in my running shoes as I pound the pavement one minute at a time (and yes, I meant one minute).        

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Shame Game

Shame, shame, shame. It’s a larger part of my life than I would like to admit. But while most people put certain events in a shroud of shame, I put pretty much my whole life in a shroud of shame. I’m sure you’re wondering what that means…honestly, how could someone incorporate shame into almost every aspect of their life? And frankly, I don’t know, but I do it and do it all too well.

I play the shame game all the time. I shame myself about the way that I look, the way that I eat, how much I exercise (or don’t), what I wear, how much weight I lose (or don’t), how well I do yoga (or don’t), and a huge number of other things that I just can’t think of right now. Hell, I even put some shame on this blog, and I’m not talking about good shame, like the getting it all out and in the open shame. I’m talking about the shame I feel about my writing or the shame I feel about not having all the right answers on my blog, when frankly I can’t possibly have all the answers, let alone the right answers.

Shame is also a huge part of every romantic relationship that I have ever had. Either I’m ashamed to be with them (which doesn’t happen super often), or I feel like that they’re ashamed to be with me (this one happens WAY more often). Now here’s the thing, I have my various reasons for feeling the second way, but the bigger question here is why in the heck do I stay with someone that I feel is ashamed to be with me? Why do I stay with someone who actually makes me feel as if they’re ashamed to be with me? Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?

And if that weren’t enough, you know the feeling as if they’re ashamed of me thing, I don’t talk to them about it because I don’t want to face that reality. I don’t want to face the reality that I’m selling myself out just so I won’t have to be “alone,” which in turn leads to more shame. I don’t talk to them because I’m usually in relationships that are on such thin ice that any tiny conflict could cause that oh so thin ice to cave in on me until I’m drowning. And, though I have never drowned, any sort of drowning just doesn’t sound like it would be a very good time. But the problem is, despite my attempts to avoid drowning, I do anyway, in my own denial and shame. But I do this to avoid that sinking feeling in my stomach, that sinking, sickening feeling that’s like, “newsflash, you’ve made the wrong decision again, or you’re alone again, or you’ve failed… again.” So I stick it out and shame, shame, shame and lie, lie, lie myself into oblivion. Because it’s ok if they hurt me if it doesn’t bother me or I’m too oblivious to see it.

But the thing is that it’s not ok. It’s not ok to stay with someone who hurts me or makes me cry every day. It’s not ok (or healthy by any means) to stay with someone who capitalizes on the shame that I feel about myself. Yet, I continually date people whom I feel that way with, and I, for the life of me, cannot figure out why. I mean, you would think that I would learn my lesson, wouldn’t you?

And I suppose that’s what this year is about, reflecting upon those things and essentially “learning” that lesson. Because I can’t say that I wouldn’t be in the same sort of situation right now if I were dating, and that’s what I want to overcome. I want to STOP selling myself out on males who aren’t healthy for me, and I want to be strong enough to face that they aren’t, even when it means that I don’t have a romantic backup, even when it means that I will have to be alone for a while.

And I wish that I could say that I will stop playing the shame game all together, but I can’t. It’s difficult to completely eradicate something from your life that, until just a few minutes ago, you hadn’t even realized was such a large part. I think that it will definitely have to be a work in progress. I feel that getting back into running will help me with that because I can’t do as much as I once could, and honestly there’s no shame in that. I also feel that yoga will help because there’s no shame (despite my trying to put some in there) in trying your hardest and not being able to touch your face to your knees or your ears to your knees while doing a crazy/awesome shoulder stand or whatever. Progress takes time, and honestly…there’s no shame in that.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

Step, Step, Steppin' On

Ok, so remember how I’ve been injured for like the past, oh say, forever and a day? Yes, I realize that it’s really been more like four months, but it’s felt like FOREVER. A very looooong and torturous forever. And as we all know, I don’t do very well with being injured because I’m stubborn and just kind of want to do what I want to do, and I don’t take too kindly to someone, namely my doctor, telling me that I can’t. Also, I’m sure that you’ve all read my Splinted posts and heard all of my whining about not being able to run, but guess what. I CAN RUN NOW!!! No, this isn’t some crazy wishful thinking dream thing this is FOR REAL. I CAN RUN! And I’m EXCITED, if you haven’t already figured that out from the excessive amount of caps lock and exclamation points that I am using.

And no lie, I almost thought that I was never going to heal. I felt all sorts of dejected and awful about it until I pretty much had to start doing something else in order to take my mind off of it. So I threw some Zumba and yoga up in my life, and I think those have contributed to my being able to run again. They definitely contributed to cardiovascular strength and actual strength building. So that’s one good thing that has come out of my injury, being forced to try something new and finding that I love it.

But I am so excited to be able to run again, so so so excited! And I kid you not when I say that I started crying when I started running, and it wasn’t from pain y’all; it was from sheer gratitude and amazement and all sorts of other things that I’m not really sure how to put into words right now. All I know is that those were happiness tears, and they were AWESOME. Though for future reference I don’t plan on nor recommend running and crying because it makes it a little difficult to see and that can be dangerous and lead to another injury. Can you imagine how angry I would be if I reinjured myself right now? Very very very.

So I’m back to running, and I’m gonna be taking it very very slowly. Because well, as some wise person once said, “every journey starts with a single step.” Even if that step isn’t as fast or as long or as strong as it used to be, it’s still a step. And by george, I plan on taking many more steps, running steps that is, in the future :-)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Little Spring in My Step

Well I’m finally out for spring break (which seriously couldn’t come soon enough), and I’ve picked up a hobby: cooking. Now I used to dislike cooking, and by dislike I mean that I absolutely HATED it. I couldn’t stand it, mainly because dish washing was involved, but also because I just didn’t like it. I didn’t like touching raw meat or cutting up vegetables or doing anything domestic really. Those things weren’t my forte, and they definitely weren’t my cup of tea.

But in the past couple of days I’ve sort of grown to love it. And I have made SOOOOOO much delicious food (all vegetarian of course), and my family is LOVING it. And so am I honestly; I mean who doesn’t like good food that’s actually good for you. Seriously, I’m all over that.

So that’s what I’ve been doing during my break so far, and it got me to thinking about change, and how much I have. I used to eat soooo unhealthily. I’d hit up McDonalds and eat way more than I needed there, and I was a huge fan of potato chips and debbie cakes and any other sort of processed goodness that was out there like…cheese whiz. OMG I loved cheese whiz! But I don’t eat that stuff anymore, and I can’t remember the last time that I did.

However, I do remember thinking that I wouldn’t be able to survive without things like that. I remember thinking that eating chips and candy bars and cakes all the time and in HUGE amounts was the norm, and now, my norm is broccoli and carrots and peanut butter and beans and all sorts of other healthy type things. And now, I can’t even imagine going back to eating chips and cakes and candy bars, despite my past days of the temptation being too much.

Now the norm (and this is the more recent norm) is homemade peanut butter, homemade salsa, homemade strawberry granola bars, homemade rice pudding, and homemade vegetable pot pie (even the crust). And I like this norm; I like cooking so much because it makes me feel healthy AND accomplished. I like this norm because it lets me know that I have changed, and change can be a really good (and often necessary) thing. It lets me know that I have changed so much that the box of debbie cakes in the cabinet doesn’t even call out to me anymore.

And friends, that is progress, progress that I accomplished, and isn’t that what this year is about? It’s about change AND progress. And sometimes I get so caught up in the change part that I forget about the progress part; I forget to reward myself for the progress that I have made during my journey and instead beat myself up for the slip ups that I do have. So instead of beating myself up today, and hopefully every day after this one, I’m going to have a piece of homemade pot pie and say HOORAY ME!  Hooray for the awesome pot pie and HOORAY for all of the progress that I have made because every little bit of progress is important J

“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving” –Oliver Wendell Holmes