Inspiring Me Now

  • "The Purpose of Life is to Be Happy" Dalai Lama

June 25, 2012

Silhouettes

When I think of moving on, I picture a particular incident or a situation, and I picture myself packing up a backpack and walking away from it. Sometimes I feel like I’m running down the road, the situation is literally behind me, so far behind me that I can’t see it through the dust I’ve kicked up. And then there are the other times, where it seems to take me forever to even find my pack. I eventually start stuffing the bag, but man I am moving at a snail’s pace. Sometimes I want to strap on my Nikes and hightail it, and sometimes, I’m too scared to even lace them up. And, that – right there – is why I believe so many people (sometimes I included) hang onto their pasts. Fear of the future.

The future is uncertain. We all know this - there are no guarantees. I could die before I finish writing this post. For some people, this is exhilarating, the unknown, the excitement and anticipation of what is to come. For others, like me (IE: control freaks) unknowns are terrifying. I would much rather make a giant list and plan out the next 10 years of my life, than live as I am currently forced to – leaving it up to the stars. Uncertainty makes me anxious; it makes me physically ill at times. However, through many (many, many, many) therapy sessions, I’ve learned just because I cannot control things external to myself, does not mean I lack all control. Once I discovered this – I felt somewhat liberated. No, I can’t control my future, I can’t make someone promise to not break my heart, I can’t be guaranteed I’ll keep this secure job. But I can control how I react to these events should they occur. I can control how I handle the situation, and that can be quite powerful. 

Now… back to moving on. We’ve established that the future is one big question mark – in contrast, the past is a big exclamation point. We look at the past and hold onto it because it’s secure. We know the outcome; we know if we continue to follow the paths we’ve been on for years, we will go the same places. Some people are content to keep on these same paths. They like these routes, they are pretty and rewarding enough in themselves that straying to something different isn’t necessary. For others, this becomes monotonous. The paths get boring, the person you’re hiking with turns out to be a bad travel partner and so, you have to make a decision. You can keep walking and hope after enough miles you’ll feel that contentment, or you can take a different route. 

The catch is, and one that I feel so many “hikers” fail to think of is that it’s physically impossible to travel two trails at once, and even if you could, there is no way to have the utmost rewarding experience one trail has to offer, if you keep looking back at the other. In order to fully embrace what the future has to offer, you have to let go of your past. 

The last man I was extremely serious about melted me. When he left I barely recognized myself in the mirror, but I couldn’t let him go. Sure, I physically didn’t have him anymore, but I wouldn’t let myself move completely forward. He had moved on, and I needed to so badly, but it took me FOREVER. I looked for every excuse not to, but eventually I packed up my bag, I tied my shoes, I started down my new path.  I stopped every few steps to look over my shoulder, hoping that I was making the right choice, but while looking over my shoulder I was missing the beautiful scenery around me. I was so focused on what was behind me; I was missing what was right in front of me. It was only when something caught my attention and drew my eyes forward that I really moved on. I started walking faster and looking back less frequently. Soon enough, I was able to look behind me and see just the silhouettes. And I liked that, the silhouette reminders of my past. Some were pretty, some made me laugh; others reminded me why I left, but none beckoned me to return. 

I’m not saying that the trail I’m on now is the one I’ll be on forever, but so far it’s a great one. I am living each day in the present, appreciating the people and experiences I have in my life right now, not the ones I wish were or have been, and I believe it’s because of this I can look back every once in a while, if not for perspective but for prosperity. 

So I dare you to let go. I dare you to confront an issue that you’re too scared to tackle and hit it head on. Leave the remnants in your dust and look forward to this gorgeous path you’re on. After all, nothing ruins a future like holding onto the past.
My future's so bright, I gotta wear shades

June 19, 2012

Baggage

I strive to be seen and live my life as a strong, independent woman, but there are times, especially of late when I think it’s all a fa├žade. I’m 29 (ok…almost 30). I’ve been through more things in my almost 30 years here on earth, than most people go through in a whole lifetime. I spent a good majority of my childhood bouncing from ERs to ICUs. I was married and divorced early in my twenties and I lost my dad when I was far too young. But, I don’t focus on the difficulties my health issues pose and I haven’t let my failures define me. I keep my head up and my eyes focused down the road.

I come with more than my fair share of baggage. Granted, I like to think of it more like designer Louis Vuitton trunks than Hefty bags. My health is probably the biggest in my luggage ensemble. When I strip myself down to the core of my issues, I’m pretty high maintenance. No, it doesn’t take me 2 hours to get ready in the morning, but I am very limited as to what I can do in my daily life. I have to watch what I eat, where I go, what I breathe, how hot or cold I get. I have to pay attention to what meds I’ve taken and how accessible I am to medical care in the case of an emergency. These are all things I keep for the most part, hidden. Thoughts of this nature probably run through my mind at least 10 times a day, and that’s not an exaggeration. My luggage – designer or not, has started to wear me down. 

I’ve been carrying these suitcases of thoughts and issues all by myself for years now. I’ve tried to do so with grace and dignity, but I’m starting to stumble. I’m having a hard time asking for a hand. I do not like to be looked upon with pity. When people see me, I want them to see what I’ve accomplished and who I am as a person, before they see the pile of Louis Vuitton bags behind me, so I do things for others to let them know that not only can I take care of myself, but I can take care of them too.  For me, asking for help is admitting I can’t do it on my own, and doing it on my own is what I’ve been trying to do all along. 

I’m not looking for someone to take on my problems and fix them. I’m more looking for someone to walk next to me and carry a couple of my bags, but everyone holds on to some of their issues and yeah, mine are wrapped up in pretty packaging, but these suckers are heavy! It’s going to take someone pretty extraordinary to look past their own collection of baggage and say to me “hey, I see the mass amount of couture luggage you have there. Looks a bit heavy, why don’t I give you a hand?”. I don’t want someone to take away all my problems, I just want someone to look at them with me and tell me that in the end, they aren’t as big as they seem.

While I appreciate the fact that I have and have had to struggle to get places in my life (I feel that hardships make my victories sweeter) I’m ready to be done facing my battles alone.