Releasing Brokenness

Here’s what happened following the last post regarding heartbreak: my heart had truly been mended. I find that I go back on my word quite often when I write because I write only on how I feel because I’m self-absorbed and really into my own feelings, I guess. Anyways, that means everything is subject to change because I don’t feel the same way for very long very often. Y’know?

All of the things I wrote about coming to terms with were permanent. The weight and the burden of heartbreak had been lifted, and lo and behold, good things happened because of it. I’m still jamming out to sadgirlmusic, don’t worry. I just painted a picture while blasting Bright Eyes. Yes, it’s Friday night. I live an exciting life.

I've also been making gummies.  A lot of gummies.
I’ve also been making gummies. A lot of gummies.

Healing is what I want to talk about. Healing happens when we realize that we can release brokenness. The thing about the release is that it’s not always something we can choose to do. I think it depends on the person and what exactly they want to remove from themselves – compulsion, fear, desire.

For some, closure is necessary. In the case of the everlasting heartbreak I thought I might die with, I guess that’s what I got. I saw this person who was still written on paper (in blood, scripted with a feather) as this undying piece of me, and I felt that space had been filled with something else. He wasn’t there anymore, but I didn’t know until I began to speak. I spoke to him in the way that I would anybody else. My words no longer formed in defense; it was rather alarming to me. I wanted to dance and scream about it and tell the world. That’s when I decided to write a silly blog post.

The past couple of months have brought on incredible joy. Momentous, epic, everyday, I’m-crying-at-the-sunset-in-a-baseball-field joy. I am fulfilled in my work. I have more freedom than I ever have in all regards. Most notably – and what contributes to my joy the most is – I have relationships with people that have surpassed all expectations. Bravo, guys.

I’m laying in Savannah’s heavenly bed in her air-conditioned apartment that feels more like home to me than my own. I’m going to have to start a calendar regarding which day whose kombucha was brewed, as I’m tending to both of our batches as well as the cat while she’s away.

My first batch of cherry kombucha!
My first batch of cherry kombucha!

I remember visiting Olympia, Washington, and I stayed with a girl named Rachel who I immediately wanted to be upon stepping into her apartment. Looking back on 19, I was the opposite of who I am now: genuinely timid, slightly introverted, not at all ambitious, and very unaware of who I was. I don’t think it’s unusual to be this way at 19. She was just so cool; she played Magnetic Fields songs on the ukelele and she went to a university without grades and she had giant vats of sauerkraut on the floor of the living room. When I walk into my (or Savannah’s) apartment, I realize that I got what I wanted. Not the hipster dream of the Pacific Northwest that I just outlined, but something much more meaningful than the surface of it. Though I no longer wish to be anybody but me, I’m living out the dream I only thought possible for someone more confident and self-assured than I was. Turns out, those things come as you grow up. Well, duh. If only I had listened to what every adult had ever told me. It took a lot of healing. Sorry for being redundant in my use of a chosen buzzword – it’s the only way I can stay focused. Just remember, it is relevant.

In a series of fortunate events, Savannah’s upstairs neighbors moved out, and I’m moving on in. After spending a year alone in my first-ever apartment, I realized two things: a) I still definitely want to live alone and b) I need someone close by. When I left my parents’ house last year, I was so engrossed in the utter tragedy of being alive and being me that I had put most of my relationships on the backburner. This was necessary because I was focused on recovery, and that process can be a little vain initially. It’s nice to level up to a place in which a social life can be seamlessly incorporated into my personal mission of being a better, healthier human being. Turns out, people are a huge factor.

I was lonely. I cried a lot when I first left for a multitude of reasons. I had good relationships then that I still have now, but I was lacking any sense of significance in my life, especially regarding anyone but myself. I didn’t know who to be, I didn’t know who to be with, and I was drowning in existential sorrow every time I saw my stupid Christmas tree whispering, “Forever alone” into my ears when I stepped in from the cold. It’s okay to float by for a little, unnoticed and untouched, but it’s best to embrace fulfillment when it’s presented. “When it’s presented,” is the emphasis, because you don’t choose when the void spits you back out into a perfect sunbeam in a field of daisies.

There's that field. It's a real place.
There’s that field. It’s a real place.

I’ve spent the summer in a whimsical candyswirl of sweet, sweet life I didn’t think was attainable for an adult. The bitterness and resentment have faded into parts of me that are hidden and locked, throw away the key. My enthusiasm cannot be matched. Really, I think I appear to be insane to normal people these days. Sometimes, releasing brokenness happens when someone else comes to fix things up.

People end up in your life when you need it the most. In the midst of my constant breakdowns, Savannah and I quickly developed something wonderful. She is present, she is gracious, she is understanding, and when it comes down to it, we have fun. Timing is not coincidence; she’s taught me a lot about being a friend, which in turn has helped me to make progress as an individual. She offers me so much, and I want to do the same in return. I needed to know that I could find meaning in my overwhelmingly monotonous world again. I needed to know that I could reach out to anyone. I needed to know that someone out there would let me sleep on their couch all weekend and drive my car when I couldn’t do it and wander around every art gallery in the city with me. (Hi if you’re reading this you know you’re the best thank you for being you ❤ <3)

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Seriously, what a GEM.

Shortly after the event of my last post – or maybe even just before – I had another chance meeting. I ran through Tranquil Trail and emerged at the cemetery where the dog decided it was time for a break. I wasn’t in any hurry to run back home, so I laid down next to him. I was unexpectedly approached by a long-haired boy on a bike who asked if he could pet my dog. Of course. This is just how people approach me. I later found out he was more intrigued by the purple flame that was once my head. By the time I looked down at my phone next, nearly three hours had passed.

Fast-forward to however long it’s been since then, and my heart is full. For the sake of not sounding like a teenage girl who is falling in love (who isn’t a teenage girl when they’re falling in love?), I’ll leave it at that. In the nature of healing, good things come when you finally let go. No more living in the past, no more forcing things that aren’t going to happen, and no more seeking companionship for the sake of not being alone. I wasn’t defeated by dating as I’ve met plenty of nice people who I got along with fine and who treated me well, but rather I was defeated by my intense lack of feeling. My feeling was all directed inward, clouding any possibility of a meaningful relationship. I felt broken, and I was. Not defective, just a little beat up.

Tips for happiness: spend lots of time rolling around in the grass.

So, I’m happy. I’m not happy because I’m not alone, but I’m happy because I’ve developed enough as an individual to share love, joy, companionship, experience, friendship, and romance with other people again to the full extent of each facet. I’ve worked hard enough to remove what ails me to take steps forward with others by my side. I’ve never walked this path alone, but I’ve certainly spent a lot of time unable to access the passion for life that forms when you let others in.

I’m broken open in a new way.

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Progress Not Perfection

I’m sitting in my apartment, drinking French presses of tea like nobody’s business. My podcasts are turned up very, very loud. I listen to music and watch television pretty quietly, but I always turn my podcasts up. I’m sure my neighbors think I’m insane considering I’ve been catching up on Welcome to Nightvale mostly. I am building my puzzle, occasionally laying in the pile of blankets I’ve set up on my living room floor. I have a really big couch, but I only sit on it when I have company. The floor is cozier. It’s also easier for me to watch movies from which is pretty much all I want to do at the moment. Ah, the struggles of having a desktop computer. Just a quick post in the meantime…

Yesterday, I woke up early and went to kettlebell training. I had been drinking cider the night before (because I can get kinda crazy when it’s gluten-free…) and I decided when I got home that I would dedicate the day to doing nothing. It was a marvelous idea. I napped, made lunch, made slow-cooker chicken soup for dinner, went to therapy, and listened to some WTF episodes. I brewed lots of tea. I watched Harold and Maude and I Heart Huckabees back to back. This seemed like a good idea, but it took me approximately 5 miles of aimless city-walking to feel like a real person again today. It was nice though – the weather is amazing today. I walked from my kettlebell gym to the galleries downtown and back. I couldn’t imagine having had a more relaxing morning.

Downtown

The point is, take time for yourself. It’s so, so magical. Even when I’m just sitting alone in my apartment, I feel like I’m wasting my time. I didn’t at all yesterday. Maybe it’s because I never watch movies, and I’ve watched THREE this week alone, making it feel productive. Even though I woke up (naturally) feeling a little bit on the verge of an existential crisis due to my movie choices, I didn’t have any moments where I felt trapped, alone, or anything like I normally feel when I isolate myself. I didn’t feel like I had anything to fight – that is an accomplishment. To be comfortable in your own skin, in silence, in uncertainty, in fear.

I mean, the exhibit I visited today was called ‘Absence of Self.’ Pretty fitting, eh?

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Last weekend was a string of birthday celebrations with all of my very favorite people, and I’m so thankful for everything that they did for me! I had a seriously fun weekend including the best dining experience I have ever had at Cure. It was paleo heaven. Despite all the good times, I let my guard down. Unfortunately, as I’ve said before, I know exactly what triggers certain behaviors, namely alcohol and lack of sleep. It was worth it, but I definitely suffered some because of it. My eating was awful, and I felt like shit because of it. But in the midst of the guilt, shame, and regret, I did something weird; I accepted it. I knew I was sacrificing my tools of abstinence, if you will, to have a good time for my birthday. I bounced back quick without digging my hole deeper. I felt fine, I felt like everything would be okay. And it is! It’s better than fine. I did not sabotage my 22nd year on Earth with one bad day. Besides, this wasn’t one bad day in a week – this was one bad day in almost two months. I feel incredibly grateful to have made such progress, and one day does not reflect the rest of my life. I’m approaching it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly – with open arms.

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My birthday in a nutshell still included plenty of dogs, and was obviously spent mostly in dark places.

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