Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Anchors Aweigh

I guess creativity can come and go, a bit like the weather or our own transient, ever shifting emotional patterns. There are times in my life when it all seems to be flowing in abundance. I find myself writing incessantly in my journal, a lot of time is spent at the piano exploring new music and the days are full and rich with rewarding experiences spent with others. Learning to balance these inner waters is never an easy task but recognizing them for what they are is the first step in finding a center that does not shift.

All to often, when my thoughts turn to daydreams and musings, I find myself reflecting back and locked into the past. Better times and spaces fill my head and I often play that old "what if" game about the choices I have made and the reactions of others towards them. While this can sometimes bring about a certain clarity or lesson learned, many times it is idle speculation that keeps me locked into a pattern of stagnancy. This I believe is where I have been for a few long weeks, if not more. It just took me some time and space to realize it and I have.

As my brain clicked over this morning while waking up, it is almost as if I woke up again to the possibility of being me. Sure, this me, as I am right now looks different and has a new set of circumstances, challenges and opportunities to to grasp, but in the end, I am still the same person that has risen to the task, accepted crushing defeats, forged into the unknown and accomplished the many things that make my own life so storied and me at least. :)

This mornings thoughts, as I brewed coffee and made my bed, turned towards the differences of this year and faces and spaces that are now not the same as they have been. Patterns tend to rule my life and so many of them have changed since the start of this year. Off the top of my head, here are a few.

I am single now and am not actively looking to date anyone. My friendship with my ex-boyfriend has been curtailed due to the emotional confusion and delaying of healing I was experiencing by us both holding onto something that was merely a former shadow of who and what we were. That is a loss. I do think of him often but know that in the long run, this separation and space is sorely needed for the both of us.

My life is not filled with so many of the individuals I used to spend much of my free time with. Over the course of this last year, as I identified the negative and toxic individuals who brought nothing positive to my life, I simply stopped being in their presence. I called them "friends" to be sure, but in the final analysis, they were individuals who were using me and continually bringing strife and chaos to the semblance of order and peace I was trying to maintain personally. This was never really a calculated move on my part, but rather a series of shifts that happened after continuous evaluation of the time spent, resources expended and my own emotional temperature when participating in life together. As I stopped enabling their behavior with my tacit approval of presence, they simply faded to the past. I feel lighter and better for it, but it has also not been without its own sense of loss.

Much of my time over the last few years has been spent actively pursuing relationships and communities with friends and people from the church that I attended. I was pretty active socially in two different groups in my city and was always looking and seeking for something I could not quite define. After many different conversations with myself and searching my own heart and mind on the matter, I found that my beliefs, thoughts, feelings and facts I perceive did not align in any fashion with those groups of people. So I stopped attending their gatherings or spending my own time with the people there. While this has been confusing at times, it has also been a centering and peace bringing choice. I still have friends at both places, but my absence has shown me more about their groups than my presence ever has. To be honest, most have not noticed that I am gone and to date, none have reached out or communicated with me besides the desultory 'like' on Facebook. This radio silence, as it were, speaks volumes about the shallowness of those relationships. I will not speak ill of those guys, as they have added to my life in their own fashion over the years, but "friends" is too strong a word to describe people who never miss you. Getting that confusion and turmoil out of my life has helped clear my mind considerably.

Work takes up much of my time. I love what I do and truly have a passion for cooking and all the productive and creative skills it brings to bear and exercises in my life. It is not without its own challenges and trials, but over all, besides the monetary rewards, it does bring a richness and outlet to my life that keeps me looking forward to each day spent there. I know many others who cannot say the same for their vocation. I do not know how long I might do this, as my career and life path tends to change dramatically every five years or so, but for now, it makes me happy and provides for my needs and wants in a positive way.

In writing this, I realize that most of my life today, is nothing like it was even one short year ago. That is a lot of pattern breaking and shifts to deal with. They did not and do not happen all at once, but the change is undeniable. I think I have been to hard on myself in some ways in not accepting that change can be and is hard, especially for a person such as myself. I never sat down and wrote a list of things to alter in my life. Many of them have been organic and grown out of small choices and ideas found along the way, but in the end, it has been dramatic, though basically drama free.

My life is more simple. Streamlined and clean cut. Each days choices are simple and much of the noise, clutter and confusion that others were contributing is gone. On my painting now is more blank, open canvas. Instead of being in hurry or rush to fill it in with random colors, people and activities, I think I will hoist it as a sail and make headway through the water. Canvas has many uses you know and a painting of the past, hanging on the wall, cannot gather and harness the wind. I am excited, as I should be and once was. I wonder where I am going next? I wonder who will be there? What amazing and exciting things will I see? I am not sure of the answers to any or all of those questions, but I do know I am moving forward again. The un-needed ballast has been lost and I can smell and feel the wind picking up.

I have my happy back. I just had to lose some anchors and mooring lines that were keeping me in port. A ship isn't made to sit at a dock. Cast away lines. The sun is just rising. Hoist canvas. It is time to sail.



  1. what an interesting process you are in the middle of. i have found that other people mirror back to me who i am, so when i lessen the mirrors, my concept of who i am gets a bit fuzzy. this is why isolation makes people insane--they completely lose their identity. sounds to me like you are not sure what identity you want to try next, so perhaps that is why you are hesitant about filling up your friend bag quickly. in the online world, you are right--FB aquaintances are not true friends. true friends care, and miss you when you are not around. so few people realize this.

  2. I like what a fellow blogger called those fake relationships that have spawned with social media. "Friendshits"

    It rather fits... :)

    Letting other people define who I am or finding meaning in the actions of what I do had become a lazy habit of an unproductive mind. Getting rid of the noise and clamor of others striving for attention and agreement to their world view has been cathartic and stimulating. We are not who people say we are. We are not what we do.

    If good fences make good neighbors, the same can hold true in the social, physical and emotional boundaries we set for ourselves and others. If the shift in distance silences their voice, then we were never truly connected in the first place, merely adjacent.