"Be the Change you wish to see in the world" -Gandhi "I will be a Hummingbird, I will do the best that I can." -Wangari Maathai "Where stereotypes begin with a grain of truth, cliches begin with a boulder" - George Watsky "And she's gonna learn, that this life will hit you - hard - in the face - wait for you to get back up just so it can kick you in the stomach, but getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs, how much they like the taste of air." - Sarah Kay "Do not fear what has blown up. If you must, fear the unexploded." -Suheir Hammad

What I've learned about balance

It's been almost a year since my last post, and two years since that one. I have moved numerous times. Gotten in and out of an abusive relationship. Lost friends. Lost jobs. Gained a new job. Had a rough patch with the family and then became closer for it. And now I'm just waiting for the ripples to die down, so I can move forward with who I want to be in life.

What's funny is that for the longest time, I didn't expect to live until I was 20. Each year since I've been amazed I'm still alive, as I am in constant fear of an accident claiming my life, and I have nothing prepared for when that happens. I was constantly being put into uncomfortable situations in my life because when you take the fear of doing ANYTHING (because it may consume your life) and mix it with my inability to tell people no, it leads to terrible things happening, and almost a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Recently, after officially hitting my rock bottom, I was talking with a friend about this lethal thought sitting in my brain. I had never put the thought into words before. In fact, I had avoided it so as not to jinx my impending doom. But I felt at ease, and the words just kind of came out. The same bolded words above, in that exact order, slipped out of my mouth as if the pressure of the secret fear had built up so much, they almost whistled their way out through the cracks of my emotional walls.

Ever since that hidden thought found its way to the light, I've been able to analyze. Now that vocals had been matched with the idea, it was real. It was a real thought I'd had, and a real problem I needed to solve.

See, my subconscious is a worry-wart. And what I've discovered from analyzing where this fear comes from, is that I don't truly believe my death is on the horizon. For one, the actual fear that I might not make it past 20 years old means transitively that I am in love with being alive. So in love, that instead of enjoying it, I have been fearing it leaving.

For another reason, I knew that it wasn't physical death I was scared of. My fear came from the unknown. It was a spiritual death I feared, because I couldn't see my path. So often I latched on to the path of others, scared to walk down my own unknown trail. And even if other people seemed scared of their journey, like I was, it was easier for me to help others than to work on myself.

The last time I wrote, 2014, was probably around the last time I was in tune with my spirit. At that time I was following a path. When that path became no longer available, and I had to turn down a side path, I was scared. And instead I ran to others for comfort. I was scared to walk through the dark tunnel of trees into the unknown.

Now a quick side-note, that will tie into everything, is that I have always been on a spiritual journey to discover what my truth is in regards to spirituality and religion. I have barely scratched the surface. I know the very very basics of only a handful of religions, and a crap ton about different protestant religions. But my working hypothesis has been:

The only thing that carries across all cultures and religions is that balance is necessary.

And I started testing that hypothesis in 2013, but only for about 2 years. When I dove into this wonderful relationship with my abuser, I put everything on hold. I had longed for someone to walk my path with me, and here he was. Ready to stroll with me. Well, he kind of was. It took a lot of prodding and dragging and pit stops, and I wasn't going at the pace I wanted to, or even in the direction I thought was correct, but I wasn't alone and that's what mattered.

So on this metaphorical path (that I hope you can fully imagine with me), I found a troll and followed him down what was clearly not my intended path. After some blood and bruises, I was able to turn around and leave him on his journey, and make my way back to my own trail.

Looking back now (with a different perspective), it's like while I was trying to walk backwards on that path, to get to my own, life was just not having it. It sent me crappy roommates, and debt, and worry. It sent me a PTSD diagnosis. (But life was balanced enough to provide me with a loyal, furry, four-legged companion to keep my company on the scary journey back.)

Now, 4 months later, I think I've found my path again. It's still dark, and it's still scary, and I'm still terrified of turning down the wrong path again. But that fear that I won't make it to the next birthday is gone. Not that I know for a fact that I will, but I've suddenly become at peace with the idea of going into the unknown. I feel like I'm back to where I was in 2013, but instead of being as blind as I was then, I now have enough knowledge and experience (albeit not a whole heck of a lot) to not fear the dark as much.

So what started this whole blog. This confession of my mistakes and declaration of change?

The rain.

Give me a bit more time to analyze how my brain Knievel'd its way to my conclusion. What I do understand now, is that while watching the rain, I suddenly noticed that the rain droplets are not all the same size. Some are super fat. Some leave barely a mark when they hit. And there's not raindrop checkpoint in the clouds that makes sure there are as many super fat ones as there are super tiny ones. Rain just is. And some days you get hit with a lot of fat ones, and some days it's like walking through a mist. And maybe there is a deeper metaphor in there that I'll work on for when I get drunk and want to pretend I'm a keynote speaker, but for right now the most important thing I learned is that as important as balance is, perfect balance isn't always what's there.

Rain is beautiful. It provides life. It is part of a very structured cycle. And yet that's the only structured thing about it. So often when I'm seeking justice and balance, I want the scales in my head to be even and structured, but that doesn't always happen.

So while I was telling myself in my relationship that all of my sacrifices and hard work and perseverance would pay off, and he would love me back the way I loved him, I wish I would've known that it never would happen. Because that would be a perfect balance. I give him love, he gives me back love.

But I believe that positive energy will balance itself out somewhere. I believe that it may not come back to me, but it will manifest itself somewhere else. And in future relationships, that may be how it is manifested. But it's not a guarantee.

So, when looking forward to my dark, scary, probably spider-infested path, I've learned the only thing I can expect in this world are my actions. Because I control them. I can't help someone on their path and expect an exact return of assistance. But I can control my own way. I can control the things I want and the things I bring. And thus, I can control my own internal balance.

And I think if I try hard enough, like really really hard, I might be able to tear down some of these walls and let a bit more light in, so my path isn't so scary.