Tuesday, February 2, 2010

inspiration in the strangest of places

I've gotten some remarkable shout outs over the past couple of days from women who are inspired by what I do. Totally heartening to learn my words, my experiences are resonating out there with others. Which brings to mind a super quick conversation I had with one of the world's most delicious yoga teachers yesterday—as we were walking up to class she said: we've all got stuff. It was in the context of working on a project together, a book idea I had ages ago, inspired by all that I'd learned and how far I still have to go.

We've all got stuff.

We all go through angst, through drama, through pain, through feeling stuck where we are and knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt we'll never got past it. Through self-doubt. Through inability to get anything constructive done. Through beating ourselves up, hating where we are, regretting where we're not.

We all go through the positive stuff too, but those moments are ephemeral, slipping, floating through our fingers, leaving vague memories of joy and lightness. But it's the gut-wrenching, soul-questioning moments that stick with us.

I've spent the majority of my life feeling like a borderline failure which makes it all the more remarkable that I've accomplished as much as I have. When I take a step back and look at where I am, how far I've come, it's pretty shocking. I wish I could do that more often and be kinder to myself. But, that never feeling like I've done/I am enough, is in my blood. I used to have moments of clarity when I was anorexic, sensing that if only I could channel that overwhelming energy toward something positive, I could accomplish anything. But, I couldn't.

No, that's not true. I couldn't then, but that's how all these projects I've done come into being. Psychotic energy, drive, determination. Instead of focussing it on eating (or not eating), it's spills into the subject at hand. Trust me, I had no interest in cheerleaders or beauty queens, 2 topics I've researched the hell out of, but when it's the project at hand? I need to know anything and everything, discovering the most obscure facts, finding the most outrageous art to back it up. Each project becomes my obsession while I'm in the midst of it. And when it's over?

Crash. Generally with sky high flames.

My therapist once told me I had to learn to live in the grey—that always swinging between black and white wasn't healthy. I've discovered how to be exist in the in between, but that's depression to me, not an answer. The mundane, the same-ness, the bland day running into day. The laundry. The straightening up. The what-to-make-for-dinner-dilemma that plagues me every night.

So now what?

HA! I was hoping one of you would have the answer.

I'm still searching, still figuring it out, still wondering what's next. Still not sure how to get there from here. Still not all that impressed with my "here" even when others are.

Knowing though, that others feel this, struggle with this, survive this, helps me fight the lethargy, the complacency, the puddle of grey bleakness, and try to ramp it up again.


Stacia said...

I have been going through a huge life upheaval for way too long and finding your blog was beyond serendipitous for me.

Thought I’d pass along something that has been very helpful to me—William Bridges’ book Transitions. It has given me a whole new perspective on (and patience with) life’s changes.

Thank you for writing so honestly.

Anonymous said...

We do indeed all have stuff. We know this intellectually, and yet it seems like we're totally alone in our stuff-having and the others around us are somehow stuff-less.

Thank you for being so honest about your own journey. It's refreshing to take a step back and regain that perspective that is so bloody easy to lose.