I’ve been meaning to write about how I’m feeling, and what a positive difference being in a new place, surrounded by all the right elements I most needed, has done for me. It has sparked a lot of freshness, a renewed way of looking at everything.
I can’t find the right words.
I have felt like there aren’t enough words to stack the overwhelming goodness I’ve been gloating in, into rows of squiggly letters and words. It feels too limiting.
So I haven’t really even tried.
I must also admit there are times where I feel I don’t need the words.
I ask myself if I really want to dig deeper? Why do I feel the need to get the better of this feeling? Why this incessant urge to explain or decipher it?
I haven’t found a convincing answer as yet.
So I stop looking for words.
I did say before that this is quite easily the best I have felt in all my life. And I wasn’t exaggerating.
I’m content. Existing, absorbing this feeling, marinading in the goodness of it all. Or at least I was, until something happened last month that gave me the sign I needed.
And suddenly, I had the words. So I wrote about it.
One morning last month, I woke up troubled. I faced a situation that caught me unawares. And yet, it had that stale stench of familiarity that creeps in slowly: something tells me I’ve been through this before.
It made me go back to a similar episode from January this year. I dug through my chats and pulled out a series of voice notes I sent to S, my voice broken, the words coming out in between stifled tears. I almost couldn’t believe that was me and the words I spoke had been what I had felt. It was true, I had been through it before. Present situation was no different from the one that triggered the breakdown in January.
It was identical. But the only difference had been my reaction. Or rather the alarming lack of it.
Suddenly I realised that something had changed. I had let it go, almost as quickly and unexpectedly as the situation had occurred. After months and months of trying to let go, here was an instance of having actually done it. Turning those mere words into deeply internalised thought into action.
Almost serendipitously, I stumbled on an image with words that perfectly describe what I had been feeling all morning.
If you are willing to look at another person’s behaviour toward you as a reflection of the state of their relationship with themselves rather than a statement about your value as a person, then you will, over a period of time, cease to react at all.
It got me thinking some more about these past few months. Not much has happened, on paper. I don’t have a lot to show for what I have been up to. And yet the shortest span of time, punctuated by a whole lot of silence and stillness that I only take a break from to either go to the gym, or meet happy people, has catapulted me into a different headspace, a different version of myself. I haven’t experienced this kind of internal transformation ever before.
Through all this, if there’s one thing I’m proud of having allowed myself to do, it is opening myself up to face the fear of letting so much go.
Everything from people. Expectations. Reactions. Situations. Interactions. Labels. Earlier versions of myself. Older versions of relationships. I’ve let so much go. And when it felt like I had nothing more to lose, I sat back and looked at everything that had remained. It was telling to see that not only was I left with people who matter, but I had made space for new people, and many lost connections from the past that surfaced almost magically. I found forgotten aspects of myself emerging from the dark corners I’d hidden them into. And I discovered new parts of my persona that I didn’t know I had.
To be light, to go with the flow, to be at peace with the way I feel, to be in happy harmony with my thoughts and feelings in sync most of the time — this has been a large part of the reason I chose to begin therapy last year. I did it at a time when, amongst other things, I was stuck in a loop of always finding myself at the receiving end of shitty behaviour. Whether from clients, friends, acquaintances, relatives. I didn’t know why they sometimes behaved the way they did, or why their actions had the kind of unravelling effect they had on me.
Therapy unlocked something. And there has been no looking back since.
Self awareness is a bit like an abyss. Once you’re on the path to discovering nuances about yourself, the way you feel and how you’re reacting to things around you, there’s no turning around. Every time you feel you’ve hit a milestone, the deceptive end point moves further away. The deeper you go, the more you figure out. The more you learn, the lighter you feel. The higher you go, the more there is left to discover.
When I began therapy, I was sick of being caught up in a web of issues, and the feelings that resulted from them. I longed to be able to look at them, objectively, and figure a way to move through them, rather than being stuck in them.
And so, to be able to react with an almost dispassionate calm, having noticed a recurring pattern, stepped back, taken stock and moved through it, was happy-making.
If the road to self discovery is speckled with potholes in the form of shitty people, shitty situations, shitty luck, testing your patience from time to time, that grim August morning, I believe I finally hit a milestone.
Same time, last year: Day 259: Morning moods