Day 30 Question 30:
What is a message that you would like to pass on to people?
My mom called me today. She called just to chit chat as that is what we do almost every day. I am so lucky to have a mom to talk to like that. My mom is probably my best friend in the whole world. No matter wha,t she has accepted me through everything…and let’s just say that at times I have really tested the limits. She said to me, “I read your most recent blog entry. You write and write and write. You surely have a lot of thoughts in your head.” I do have a lot of thoughts in my head. I believe I see the world for what it is. I believe in love and kindness and compassion and that is all I will ever try to strive for for myself but I realize not everyone lives this way. I realize that people are filled with anger and resentment and are surrounded by hate and violence. People experience mental illness that controls their life. I do have anxiety. I have been treated for anxiety and panic. Things build up inside of me sometimes and I do not always know how to handle what I am feeling. It is scary, because when you experience that you feel like you are all alone in the world and no one can possibly understand what you are feeling. I am learning though. This blog has been a huge outlet for me because I am able to express who I really am and I am able to stop hiding behind the mask that I have been wearing for as long as I can remember. I have realized through my words here that I have earned respect from a lot of people because they have learned who I am and I am being completely honest. They have been able to see the real me. I have been able to see the real me. My words are never to hurt anyone or insult anyone…I am uncomfortable with even the idea of intentionally hurting others. It is something that seems so unnatural to me. If I have hurt someone with my words or actions at some point in my life I know that it was immediately followed with guilt. It is not my character to hurt others intentionally and it never will be.
I was on the phone with a new friend the other day and I told him that this is the first time I have been able to say that I love myself and mean it. I may not love my body or all of my physical characteristics but I absolutely love who I am. The reason I love me now is because I have put down the guard and accept myself. I have beautiful qualities that would be considered admirable and courageous but I also have faults. Without having faults I would not be able to see what amazing things I withhold. I am slowly turning off the “It’s not fair” mentality and turning on the “It is what it is. What are you going to do to keep improving?” mentality. Mistakes and faults are inevitable but it really is all about how we react to these things. For so long I let these things control me when the whole time I could have chosen to control them. I write in the manner that I do because I know it is relatable to a lot of people. Maybe not every entry is relatable to them but I find it hard to believe that everyone who has read all of my entries did not say to themselves that they agreed or thought the same way as I do. I write to inspire but I write to try to help people feel comfortable in their own skin. I know what it feels like to walk around feeling like an outsider or feeling unsure of exactly where you fit in or what your purpose is. People that know me or those that don’t could take a look at me and not understand how I would have ever possibly felt that way (I guess because I look like your typical, average woman) but I have. I felt like I always had a lot to say but never felt comfortable voicing my opinions. I felt like the underdog. The girl that would be much prettier if she just lost some weight. The girl that could easily be the push-over because she is never confrontational or argumentative. The 33 year old girl that is still single? The girl that has watched all of her old high school and college friends get married and start families and still have no clue if those are the things that she wants. Have you ever felt like this? You can’t understand why the things you have wanted don’t ever seem to come to you or how you can be a certain age and still are unsure of your path in life. After feeling like you have been defeated time after time after time it is understandable why you can allow your emotions control you. BUT, I finally realized that it is ME that is in control. If I wanted to continue to be depressed and down about all situations and linger on them then I could but it wasn’t going to change the circumstance. If people around me weren’t going to change then I guess I am the one that is going to change. I realized that life for me has no set path. I have really never been the type to work a corporate kind of job, working 9-5, pushing a pencil around. I may be the type of person that works various jobs throughout my life. Maybe it isn’t the most stable way to live (i.e. retirement, health insurance, etc.) but it will help build my character. I am the person that needs different surroundings and experiences all of the time. That is why I loved working in non-profit. No two days were ever the same. I love that life is a journey and I know that I will ALWAYS work really hard no matter what so I am choosing to push the worry aside and start enjoying what I have right now. I have feared the unknown since I was a small child. I worried about what could happen and while I spent the time worrying about what could happen I was missing out on what actually was happening right here and now. Doesn’t that seem quite silly? I mean don’t get me wrong sometimes I can get pretty crazy and I will want to plan a million things out but I will now take the time to stop and just look around and see what is happening now. I will embrace the moment. For instance, right now, I am laying on the couch in my condo listening to the hum of the air conditioner writing this piece. I am bringing awareness to what I am feeling and I am bringing awareness to any worry I may have and I am pushing it away. I tend to feel guilty for not taking more actions but now I lay here and think: “Today is your day off. You are enjoying the comfort of the couch and you are doing the thing you love the absolute most in the world. Stop thinking about everything you could be doing or everything you are not doing and enjoy the here and now.” That is exactly what I am doing.
I have yet to really answer the question at hand. Yes I have babbled once again. I do that though so people are able to feel and understand where I am coming from. Again, I want people to be able to relate. This is why I have such a hard time with segregation and discrimination because we are all breathing the same air and experience a lot of the same ups and downs in life. If I knew could be a support system for someone (or maybe more than one) through just my words or my ability to relate on different levels then that is all that matters. The message that I want to send everyone is to stop living for yesterday or living for tomorrow and live for now because that is all there is. If you don’t like yourself or don’t like things about yourself, ask yourself why? Are you able to change these things? I would always bet that you are. I may not love my body but I was never the type of person to bitch about how I hate my things or my butt because I knew I was the one who caused me to be heavier and I am the one in control of losing weight if that is what I want to do. I looked in the mirror one day in my old condo and I was absolutely disgusted. I could not believe what I had let myself become. That was the end of the line for me. I was mad at myself. I mean absolutely furious that a smart woman like myself could be so stupid to not take better care of myself. I was going to lose weight. I was done with the hating of myself because of what I saw in the mirror. At that moment it was now or never. I am now about 65lbs lighter. I still have about 35-40 more lbs to go but I have made a huge change. The thing is, I changed my mentality in a healthy manner. I do not deprive myself. If I want a burger or a donut I am going to have those things. I am just not going to have those things everyday. I have also realized that for me to keep the weight off I need to be active. I workout 3-4 times a week and I work part-time at a restaurant which also keeps me constantly moving. It is really hard to change your mentality and see yourself differently than you ever have before. I still sometimes struggle because some days I only see the fat girl in the mirror. I have realized though, even on those days when I am just not loving the way I look, that my looks are not at all who I am. I tell myself that I have so many gifts to offer people in the forms of love, friendship, mentorship, etc. My body is not at all who I am. No I do not want to be extremely overweight anymore because I believe that shows lack of caring about your health. Life is about a million realizations on a daily basis and some of these realizations are not easy to accept. When you get used to a way of life for so long it is next to impossible to just flip to switch and think and act a completely different way. To the reader, in your mind (or even out loud) ask yourself, what is something about myself that I would like to change? Why do I want to change this? What am I afraid of? It is ok to be scared. I am still very scared of certain changes I need to make in my life. Hell, as cheesy as this sounds, I am afraid of doing a complete technology blackout. I am afraid to not use Facebook or text for a week or two because I don’t know if I will be able to have contact with certain people. How sad is that? There are some people that I could text with for hours but if we were on the phone actually talking I feel like I would clam up. I know I need to change this. I bitch constantly about the loss of personal relationships in society and I am just as guilty as the next. I need to change.
I sat in my room the other night, or as I like to call it my sanctuary and I started thinking about who I am. I started to wonder if my babbling about positive change and finding your bliss was annoying to others or over the top. I then thought about the words of John Lennon, “People say that I’m a Dreamer but I’m Not the Only One.” In a heartbeat I would always choose to keep this way of thinking if it meant days filled with happiness as opposed to tears and heartache. Those days will come and go but it is my dreams and my beliefs that have kept me sane and have made me so lucky to experience this beautiful thing called life. My blog is filled with questions because I believe we don’t always take the time to ask ourselves these important questions. So, here is yet more questions: What in life do you want? What is stopping you from getting those things? By answering that question, did you make an excuse or is there actually something holding you back? Am I allowing other people or situations control my life? Am I in control of my own life? The message that I want to pass on to people is to embrace who you are. Stop making excuses and start living. You don’t have to go out and try to save the planet all at once but don’t ever believe that you can’t make a difference. Everyone can make a difference in some way if they choose to do so. Don’t let your past control you. It is the past for a reason. If you want to be happy right now then be happy. It is that simple. If you cannot do that then you are letting outside factors control you. How does that make you feel? Take the piece inside of you that holds your happiness and your determination and bring it to the front. Prove to yourself (and others if you choose) that you are a leader not a follower. Remember with that, a true leader works toward good, never evil. Those that try to be the leader of gangs or violent groups are actually followers. They are cowards that are allowing their circumstances control them. There is not a damn thing wrong with being a leader and doing something that everybody else may not understand or agree with as long as you are taking a stand for what you believe in and not harming others in the process. Remember that this is what makes you unique. So take a moment and think about what is important to you. Stop all of the chaos in your life and think about what you represent and what you want. Now stop thinking about it and take action!
Excellent question and an even more excellent answer!
Wow!! I love reading your blog!! I sure could relate to a couple things you mentioned. What an interesting read! Have yourself a fantabulous day! 🙂
Aren’t blogs such a wonderful way to get it all out?
Hi, I can equate with just about everything you write, and, today, through reading your blog, I know the lives of my family and me will not become as they once were, balanced, until we can once again take control and move on from the chaos we have been in during the past 4+ years. Please, keep writing. So deep-thinking and very much enjoyed. Kindest regards, Chrissie
Well said 🙂 I too used to let myself hold me back. For a few years in my mid-20s I used to allow myself the misguided luxury of wallowing in depression and anxiety. I used to put myself in emotional situations that were unhealthy because I felt more comfortable with discomfort than with happiness (OMG – saying that makes me realise how much darn therapy I’ve had – LOL)
I love Joseph Campbell too. I learned about him while I was on a 2-month motorcycle pilgrimage, which fit his Hero’s Journey perfectly (it was towards the end of my journey that I learned about Joseph Campbell).
I now chose to follow the doors that open in front of me. I did that when I was younger (at 18 my decision to transition from female to male was not an agonising process of therapy and navel-gazing – from decision to first testosterone shot was just 4 months most of which was waiting 2 months for the first available medical appointment). And I do it again now in my 30s (I had a secure high-paying public service legal job when I was poached by a private e-learning company – I just quit my secure job and jumped).
This weekend I’m going camping at the beach about 2 hours south of my home. I’m racing a triathlon on Sunday morning. I’ve booked a snorkeling trip on a reef where turtles live for Saturday morning. I had two choices – just cruise at the beach or DO something with my time and make exciting memories. Life now is all about the latter options 🙂 [though I’m sure it’s not the best fiscal decision – LOL].
My message is:
You make your destiny. If you are positive and look for joy then you will have a brilliant life. If you want negativity, then listen to and tell bad news stories but just remember that while you’re suffering in misery the rest of us have moved on and are living happy, healthy and productive lives feeling slightly sorry not for your woes but that you are choosing to throw your one chance at life away. Because no matter what you believe – we only have one chance to experience the world in this body we’ve been given.
Diane….whew! That’s a lot of stuff in there! I’m glad you have this outlet for your feelings; you are traveling on a very complex journey. I’ve known a lot of folks who feel as you do, but never find their way to any kind of balance. I think writing about your experiences on the journey gives you a powerful method of reconciling the negatives and positives you encounter. Awhile back, I posted four articles I had written about my own journey, to Hell and back again; you might find them interesting. I have yet to figure out how to display my archived posts on my page, but they were published on the last four days of January, 2011. I was a psychiatric technician, working with mentally ill individuals in California State Hospitals, and I can say without fear of contradiction that it is not an easy task, to watch people going through so much pain, and not always be able to help. I ended up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and it took several years before I had regained my center of balance. I think you are doing the right thing, by sharing and discussing your inner feelings; it is always beneficial to be able to do that……take care, and enjoy your journey back to the center…..
Thanks for following my blog. It’s great to have you. You are a very thoughtful writer and I can see a little of all of us in your posts.