it feels strange to be so aware of the work i'm doing personally.
what i mean is that i've never before felt so aware of how necessary work on myself is and how urgent it is and how important it is. before this, i knew i was working on things. i knew there was work to be done and questions to be asked and experiences to be had, but it felt like it would happen in time.
well, my brain says to itself, the time is now. you know it. i know it. your body knows it. have fun.
and here i am, walking through my days often lost in thought and feeling as i begin to parse out what lies beneath my skin and in my mind. huh, i find myself thinking as i encounter a belief or thought or fact i've buried. who knew that was lurking there? i feel like a researcher, taking notes on my own thoughts and habits. at night, i report back to myself. what did we gather today? i ask.
there are things i already knew. like how sitting by a lake, by the water, makes me feel seen and grounded in a way i don't have words for. like how i love my hiking boots and while i am still scared and allergic to everything outside, i love being there alone. like how i am filled with fear and worry.
but there are other discoveries.
like the socks day.
i looked down the other day and realized my socks had holes in them. this is the second pair i've noticed that with in the last week. i know there are a few others that have had holes in them for a while. no big deal really. until i remembered how i got my ex socks for christmas because his socks had holes in them. also no big deal. until i thought about how i literally hadn't noticed or hadn't cared/cared enough about myself to notice the holes in my socks and buy new socks.
i told this to my therapist. she said, you need to learn how to care for yourself. you don't really know how to or really want to do it.
point taken. i bought new socks.
and yesterday, days day happened.
i've been up at a farm, at a writers' residency since mid-february. i've been up here a number of times over the last three years. it is probably my favorite place to be other than my home and like lake atitlán in guatemala or the mountains of nicaragua. i love it here. and yet, i realized last night, that this is the first time i didn't keep track of how many nights i had until i got home. how many nights i had until i would be reunited with [enter whichever ex is appropriate here]. i loved my time up here and was always sad to go, but it always felt like i was waiting to return. this time, i'm anxious to return to my pup, but i didn't even think to count the nights. i didn't until last night...when i realized i hadn't...and after i did, i didn't feel a pull towards home in the least. i was so happy to just be here.
similarly, i've been leaving my phone upstairs in my room while at meals, something i never did when i was expecting a text or a call from [enter whichever ex is appropriate here]. i was always sitting and chatting with folks, a tad distracted. now i'm still distracted, but by my own thoughts...not the waiting for someone to reach out. last night as we chatted and drank wine, i thought about my phone upstairs and was grateful i didn't care about it.
this is a me thing. no partner ever made me text them. no partner ever required it. in fact, i think they would have preferred i leave them the hell alone...but i keep thinking about how nice it feels to not be looking at my phone, to not be wondering what that person is doing (as much as a recently heartbroken person can), to not feel like i'm missing someone (see previous parentheses).
i love being a partner. i love supporting and talking to and growing with another person. i want that in my life. i loved him. i miss intimacy. i miss touch. i miss late night whispers. i miss not feeling alone. i miss him. but also i don't. also it feels great to just be me, to just take care of me, to just worry about me. but also i hate it. it is the last thing i want to do. the person i care about least it seems is me but also i love myself beyond measure.
i write all this down. another research discovery. a walking contradiction (or two fish swimming in opposite directions...oh pisces...).
point taken. i try my best to enjoy the present moment. sometimes that is talking to my fellow writers, sometimes that is talking to myself at the lake, sometimes that is daydreaming about the man who will come next, sometimes it is working on plays so that my dreams come true.
there have been other discoveries or realizations. sadder ones. ones that i'm only beginning to find the words for. ones whose weight becomes clear when i share with others--they see the cracks and the scars and the pain inherent in them...things i didn't realize or have words for until now.
i am digging and unburying and bringing things to the light. i am looking at dusty old memories and asking myself what i learned then and how it affects me now. i am questioning and checking in and wondering and crying and laughing and throwing my hands up in the air. i give up every day. i feel a millimeter closer every day. i am doing the work. some work. and i am so aware of it and there is no turning back now and here i am.
i feel weird being aware of it, but i think it's okay.
i think it's all right.
because there is no place else for me to be.
and while i know this work is never really done, i look forward to the day all this work settles into my bones and you see me sitting opposite you and even you can see that i finally love myself unconditionally.