all day, everyday.
|—||M.I.A. (via janejacqueline)|
My fingertips are tingling. They have things that they want to say. I have known since I was about six that all I wanted in life was to be a famous writer. I wanted my own words to cause people’s hearts to jump out of their chests the way that words that I read did to mine. I have always believed that I had this power inside of me, I just had to find the right thing to write about. I know that it’s not love, because that’s one department that my skills are lacking. I know it’s not organization, because I can’t find a matching pair of socks to save my life. I just know that there is something out there that I’m supposed to be writing about. Fiction? Maybe. Romance? Ha. Travel? That could be it…who knows? For a few years, I’ve had the feeling that it’s music. I’ve spent all of my time and money chasing the next big thing, the next big band, the next big high that I get from hearing a song I really love played live. I had big plans of becoming a music journalist or blogger and finding the next big band. Unfortunately, while chasing that high that music produces, I was also chasing every other high I could get my hands on and I lost sight of what was important. The music never lost it’s importance but I lost my importance. I lost that feeling that I was supposed to be doing something great and found complacence between concerts and work and the messiness of life. I think I had the feeling that I was doing way more than most people do in a lifetime and that was good enough. But there was that voice in the morning that told me that I was losing myself and that voice made it harder to look in the mirror in the morning because the shadows in my face were confirming that the voice was right. It’s hard to live life in those shadows, trying to hide from voices that you think you shouldn’t be hearing. I was fortunate enough to get one giant wake up call in the form of loss of my dream job. When my world came crashing down around me, I finally woke up. I could see that there was one giant void inside of me and I was filling it with things that were killing me. But who was I? I couldn’t even remember what it felt like to wake up in the morning without a hangover and the feeling of dread that had started consuming my life. As the hangovers and the dread started to peel away, I remembered that once upon a time, I was a girl who had faith.
Faith is a pretty magical thing folks. I had forgotten all about faith and how good it felt to believe in something, anything. Reconnecting with faith has given me a lot. It’s given me my job back, which is a pretty amazing blessing. Faith has given me a restored relationship with my friends and family and helped me be a better person. Faith has helped me find ME. Finding myself has helped me realize that I have this problem that causes me to never live up to my full potential and it’s all based around fear. I’m scared shitless to succeed at anything because then what? Where do I go from there? To any even higher diving board?
My fear today looks a lot like this:
If I get a passport, my friends are gonna expect me to start traveling. What if I really don’t like traveling? What if I’m really a homebody? What if my friends doing like traveling with me? What if I get raped? What if I go to jail for chewing gum? What if I die?????
If I start writing a blog, I’m gonna have to put it out there for people to read. What if people think I’m annoying? What if no one wants to read my blog? What if people think I’m boring? What if people think I’m stupid? Of course people are gonna think you’re stupid, you stupid, uneducated fool! Why would people want to read your blog?? You didn’t even go to college!!
If I just sit around my apartment talking about all the things that I want to do and never do them then nothing and nobody will ever disappoint me. So, I’m just gonna sit here on my couch or on my bed and dream about all the places I’m never gonna see and instead of going out and getting my passport and I’m certainly never going to write about these things because no one will ever, ever want to read about them.
Fear is evil. It will kill you. I know for a fact it came very close to killing me. Fear is what caused addiction to take hold of my life and fear is what has kept me from loving myself for a long time. But just like my fingertips, my courage has started to speak to me and tell me that there are things out there I need to see and do. So I’m gonna write about them. And maybe no one will ever read about them and maybe I’ll just start by dreaming small instead of dreaming so big. But here’s the deal…I’m at least gonna write about those things because my fingertips are tingling and they have things they want to say. And if no one ever reads what I have to say, that’s fine, because at least I’m doing what I have always wanted to do.
I thought getting sober meant that my life was over. I thought I’d spend the summer hiding in my apartment, afraid of facing the city that used to bring me to tears of shame and regret every morning. I thought I’d grow old with fear of missing out on all the “fun” I used to have. I never thought I’d have anything like I have now. I certainly never thought I’d wake up every morning with so much hope and go to bed every night with gratitude coming out of my pores. I really thought life as I knew it was over. And I guess the life that I did know is, in fact, over. Thank God for that mercy alone.
No longer are my nights spent chasing a dream of my youth down shot glasses and pints of strong beer. No longer does vodka seep out of every pore. No longer do I wake in the morning thankful that I’m in my own bed, alone. Sometimes I am sad to fall asleep alone and sometimes that loneliness seeps in and I have to do some soul searching to find gratitude again, but I’ll take a few days a month like that over what I felt like for two solid years every morning.
I spend most mornings on my knees asking a God that I don’t really understand for strength to do the things that I want to do, instead of asking for just a little bit of recollection from the night before. I say good morning to my plants, because that’s the easiest place for me to see something greater than myself. At this time last year, my balcony was full of dead things that I started the summer filling with life, and turned my back on to fill my dying soul with booze. Now I’m surrounded with green things that I feed every morning and say little prayers of thanks for the blessings that they bring. I pick veggies from these plants and I make meals for myself with them and I say thanks for that too. Sometimes I go to work. And despite my inherent desire to not do so, I do it anyway and once I’m there, I put a smile on my face and say hello to those who come aboard my plane. Here and there I have conversations with others who know what I know and I feel grateful that I don’t have to silently rejoice for the blessings which come with my job. It turns out people are kind of awesome when you start looking for the good in all of them instead of the ugly and the awful.
Sometimes, I am lucky and I get to spend stretches of days at home with my cat and my beautiful plants. I vacuum my apartment and I do everything possible to make sure my kitty knows that she is loved. I ride my bike. I go to meetings with other people like me who show me how to keep living, the easiest way possible. Slowly. Very slowly, with feelings. Sometimes hard and fucking awful and scary feelings. But most of the time, those feelings morph into something that looks more like awareness and gratitude and playfulness. Especially on nights like tonight, when we all grab our shoes and walk down the sandy beach.
There was a time when I really thought life was over. Fortunately though, it sure looks like it has just begun.
I’m sitting by the lake with a notebook writing a letter to the first boy who ever broke my heart while listening to Bon iver’s new album.
I feel clean and pure and I wish I had done this months ago.
And you’ll never see him again