I went on a haiku binge there, I know. Mainly because I’ve been penning them down obsessively on my phone, and I suddenly realised I had piled up so many, I wanted to put them out somewhere. I was also hugely inspired to share by my friend P, who does a daily haiku over at HappyFeet. And also it’s the best to get the words flowing when sometimes you have a lot to say but nothing seems to come out right.
Taking a break from the haiku-binge to note down some things that have been on my mind a lot lately. I woke up this morning with this post almost forming itself out in my head. So.
Things I am feeling confident about:
- Saying no. From the smallest things like going out to catch up with friends, to feeling tempted to take up an assignment that sounds lucrative. The surprising development that I noticed quite belatedly, is being able to say no without necessarily offering an excuse, or a reason.
- Pushing back. Presenting my opinion, countering a force. This, especially with regard to clients who push. For quicker work, unreasonable timelines, or pass the buck. I realise even the best people do it. Sometimes with good intention too, but where I used to take the load on, and mope later, or feel pressure and inevitably feel an unpleasantness, I’ve now seen that pushing back sets the tone right. It feels odd the first and second time, but very soon the benefits of it far outweigh the momentary discomfort it may cause.
- Letting go. Ever since I read The Untethered Soul, and it confirmed my belief that the root to most of my emotional troubles lies in the inability to deal with things right, leading to a lot of harbouring of negative thoughts and feelings, I have been consciously and actively trying to deal with whatever I feel right in the moment I feel it. Sit with it, ask myself how serious, legitimate the feeling really is and move through it accordingly. I am trying very hard, and feeling more confident, to let things pass through me, leaving as little residue of unpleasantness or lingering feelings in me. I feel lighter and I am able to see things clearer.
Things I am having a hard time with:
- Motivating myself. To get going with some work plans that require putting myself out there a little bit, fishing for work and chasing it up. To keep up with the new and changing work out schedules. To finish a list of minor, but errands for the house.
- Laziness. This is related to the point immediately above, about motivation. My lazy streak has surfaced and this time in the absence of an external framework or force like a work contract to kick my ass and get it in line, I have to depend wholly on myself to get going. And. I. Am. Struggling.
- Being taken for granted. A conversation with VC this morning made me realise that while dealing with being taken for granted is an issue in itself, my struggle is sometimes in simply noticing when I am being taken for granted. I’m so used to telling myself to be “the bigger, more understanding person” that I let a lot of shit slide, and accept it. Not good messages to myself, or the person I am ealing with.
Another conversation form this morning made me realise that I am not the kind of person many people would be able to peg as someone with “relationship issues” – and by that I mean issues in dealing with people and relationships. Maybe to a large extent I haven’t accepted that myself, until now. But it really is the crux of so much of my angst. So many patterns and traits stem from my inability to understand relationships and how I operate. Letting people in too soon, going all out too quickly, being taken for granted, feeling terrible about it, never knowing how to articulate it, not knowing how to ensure it doesn’t happen again. This is a horrible pattern in my life. It is only very recently that I acknowledged this as a serious issue, and not just something to mope about three times a year. And I am slowly working towards looking at it as my problem and something I have to work out. That’s the only way to break the pattern.
There is so much that I have packed away into a corner of my brain over the last many months, that seems to be surfacing slowly but surely. The more I relax and let go of the high standards of productivity and busyness and normalcy, the more these demons seem to come out with clarity. The more I accept it, the more I realise there is absolutely no glory in pretending to be completely normal, sorted out and in control. No good that can come form holding your guard up all the time.
Everyone unravels, and every once of pain and struggle however big or small is valid. And every bit of it deserves to be dealt with in a way that works best. It is very much like being ill. There is no point in pretending like you can go on without medication or being treated for it. The method of medication you choose may differ, but deal with it you must. Find whatever works for you, pick the people you can count on, who will hold you when you fall or help pick yourself up when you crumble. But do it. Allow yourself to break down. Because denial and pretence can only take you that far. After a point, that affects other aspects of your life. It was beginning to show in the quality of my every day life — my routine, my decision-making, my relationships and the way I was dealing with situations that presented themselves.
I wish I had realised this sooner. But like they say, better late than never. Small steps, big improvements. Major leaps, minor struggles. I feel happy, really. The overall positively that has come from just facing up to what I have felt, has been liberating.
So I will leave you with a song I’m currently crushing on, that I play really loudly when I am alone and happy-dancing at home. VC walked in on me as I was busy doing it last night, and asked what I was partying for.
I’m just happy, I said to him.