I have some pretty high expectations for myself.
I want to write a book, start a band, be a yoga guru, climb some mountains, look good in a bikini, rise above my superficial consciousness that tells me it’s important to look good in a bikini, meditate, run everyday, do my dishes as soon as I eat off them, have a minimalist ethically-sourced wardrobe, have a closet overflowing with beautiful high-end dresses and shoes unethically made in sweatshops and justify it by donating to human rights organizations like the International Labor Rights Forum, stop being the Patron Saint of Drunk Boys, break my own cycles, respect my bloody lady cycle, try mountain cycling, stop worrying about cycles, stop crying in random places for random reasons such as in the checkout line at the grocery store because I’m tired and they are out of my favorite coconut milk yogurt, continue to cry in checkout lines at the grocery store because I am tired of minimizing my feelings even when they’re minimal, be kind, be assertive, etc. etc. et-fucking-cetera.
But here’s the fucking thing you guys:
I’m fucking tired.
I am constantly doing or trying to do or feeling guilty for not doing every single one of the things I listed above and I just don’t feel like doing anything for the moment.
I don’t feel like trying to become more of some things and less of others.
I just want to be.
So that’s why I haven’t been writing on here or making music or thinking about my next creative endeavor. Lately, I just create when I feel like it and don’t when I don’t. Creativity takes discipline and discipline takes doing and I just don’t feel like doing anything beyond doing okay.
These days I just run around all day doing okay and not striving for anything more or anything less. That’s it. And it’s not great, but it is okay. I’m doing okay, you guys. I have a job that is okay. I eat okay. I am financially okay. I feel okay when I wake up. I sleep okay. Things are a-oh-fuckin-kay. And that’s okay with me.
Some days being okay means being lazy and binge-watching entire seasons of Charmed on Netflix, wishing I looked like Alyssa Milano in a crop top then scrolling through my phone to review my hottest nudies, deciding that I’m doing alright, then continuing to shove hoards of blue corn tortilla chips and homemade guacamole into my mouth.
Some days being okay means being kind of sad so I drive to a sacred hilltop that is exactly one hour and eleven minutes from my home and if it’s a clear night I look at the stars and find constellations with my astronomy app and if it’s a cloudy night I open all my car doors and blare Portishead and Tom Petty and Tash Sultana from my shitty little speakers and dance in the headlights of my shitty little Jeep and feel grateful that I don’t have a shitty taste in music.
Some days being okay means I spend hours (literally, hours) intermittently playing the piano, learning the first half of whatever song comes into my head, singing, getting bored and moving through different yoga poses in a half-assed way while staring out the window onto my balcony, watching my Tibetan prayer flags breathing good intentions into the Universe.
Some days being okay means I’m really angry and that makes me cry a lot and I allow myself to take huge gulps of air and gasp for breath and wail in a way that would make you believe I am about to throw myself on the funeral pyre of an ex-lover.
Some days being okay means researching grad schools, deciding I’m going to travel the world instead, saving twenty new recipes on Pinterest, then deciding not to do any of it and watching season 7 of Charmed and ordering sushi.
Being okay just looks different depending on the day.
Being okay just means you are okay with being.
I am tired and sad and happy and angry and confused and lazy and curious and creative and OKAY.
This year, in a span of five months, I trudged through a breakup, sold my house, got a new job, quit drinking and quit smoking.
This year, I fostered new friendships, ended others, accepted that some will never be the same and rebuilt relationships with people who loved me well even when I did not love them well because I did not love myself.
This year, I became more afraid of what I might miss if I don’t keep growing than what I might lose if I fuck it all up.
This year, when I first moved into my apartment, my orchid was in a regrowth stage- meaning there were no buds. I had to cut down the stems to encourage new growth. That was back in September. And while I am meticulous and attentive and neurotic about caring for my orchid, I had been so very, very busy doing and not being the last several months that I missed out on the transformation that was occurring, literally, right before my eyes.
This past week I noticed, for the first time, that there are three long, green, healthy, brand new shoots growing strong from the places I had cut back in September.
What do you think I did at the sight of this obvious, tangible metaphor staring me right in the face reminding me of the grace this world sometimes bestows on those who shut the fuck up long enough to listen?
Do you think I dropped to my knees and sobbed like a weird little hippy freak, saying thank you to whatever gods I believed in that day?
You bet your sweet ass I did.
In fact, I’m crying a little right now thinking about it.
It is so important to keep moving and removing things in and out and around in our lives. It is so important to ensure we are challenging ourselves to take risks that encourage real, honest change.
But when I saw, reflected in those three little stems, my own newness burgeoning from all the wreckage- I was reminded that true growth happens in the stillness. Real, honest change begins in the resting place that exists between the cutting back and the blossom; in the place where we give ourselves the allowance to just be; when we allow ourselves to just be okay; when we stop demanding more or less or better and accept each moment for whatever it brings.
And in recent moments, I’m okay. Really, deeply, truly okay. And I hope you are too.
I hope terrible things happened to you this year that made you angry and forced you to search for the grace in the wreckage. I hope you were scared and did things anyway. I hope you cried so hard you eventually laughed. I hope you cried so hard you were afraid you might never laugh again. I hope you laughed your fucking ass off. I hope you were careless with your words and had the opportunity to say you were sorry. I hope you got a little better at loving. I hope you learned how to suck a little more at holding grudges. I hope you got tired, found a resting place, and allowed yourself to stay there for a bit. But mostly, I just hope that we all keep being okay. And I think we do this by believing in whatever we believe in for however long we can believe in it, because something out there is listening, you guys.
I promise you that.
Oh yeah, and have a happy-fucking-whatever-you-believe.
and especially right now,