Monday, February 1, 2010
Give Brooks a chance.
This is a personal post.
I am giving Brooks a chance. What does this mean? Well, when I graduated from the School of the Art institute of Chicago in 1994 I remember responding to the 'are you going to grad school' question by saying that I wanted some experience in the world before making that decision. I said something like I was going to let the world tell me what I should do because I didn't know. And I have listened.
I tried listening to the different employers I've had along the way. I've tried listening to friends and teachers about what to do. I've tried listening to family... And I've just realized that it's time to give myself a chance.
I think I've avoided that route in the past because it just seemed too scary. When I started to listen to myself a good distraction came along or a compelling friend told me what they thought, and I always seemed to respond by giving myself away as if I believed that 'others know better'. Or I asked for help and was ignored, and I asked myself if I had spoken clearly. I tended to speak clearly, but sometimes quietly and I didn't demand anything. But some things were (and are) important.
And there are some things that I can't and shouldn't depend on others for, even though I have, and it has led me astray. This is why my age turns to 39 tomorrow, and I'm alone except for two sweet bunnies. Okay so I am feeling sorry for myself and I've done all the usual sins like not trusting myself. I think my biggest misstep has been my lack of self esteem. It makes a person do the stupidest things, like trusting the wrong people. Or maybe looking for things from others that they can't give, and lying to myself. I recognize that I have engineered this life I have through my habits and choices even though much of it was done without consciously understanding Anything. So my situation is nobodies fault, not even the fault of my naive past self. I did the best I could with my understanding of life at the time I did all the things that led me to learning about life as I have.
And so many things are good. I love teaching yoga. That is a blessing that goes beyond any childhood dream I might have had for myself. As a child I wouldn't have been able to understand what I do now. I was incredibly reactive and afraid. I cried a lot. However I was developing my listening ear even then, the ear that is available to hear the truth of others without judgement. (I LOVE that about me!)
As I go forward I promise to not accept stories I tell myself about others without confirmation from the flesh-and-blood individuals, especially when it comes to major life-path changes. Like the guy who put his hand on my thigh at that party many years ago, and I accepted that as evidence that he was interested in me. I guess the truth was that I thought I liked him--A LOT. But I guess I didn't really know him even though I saw him regularly and trusted that I knew enough. I didn't.
A well-intentioned family member recently advised that I 'give youth a chance' when I told them about some seemingly romantic interest I had recently been receiving from much younger men. I woke up with another idea this morning: Give Brooks a chance. And if any young super-cutie happens to be reading this, just know that you are perfect and adorable to me. Even though I look younger than I am, I am really turning 39 tomorrow, okay? (And I guess I don't know what that means except that it is New Territory. Never been here before...)
And I seem to simultaneously resent and enjoy being alone. Which is it? Can I choose? Do I have to? I enjoy my life, and sometimes catch myself dreaming old dreams and walking old paths. Those mindscapes are comfortable, and they trap me in sorrow when I see myself there.
Can I live life in a relationship again? Is this possible? I suppose it must be... I just can't see it, because I'm not there NOW. All I see is what I see and what I see is good. Except...not. It seems so cheesy to say 'something is missing'. And I guess it's just the human condition. The fact that people are hungry for experience keeps things moving. So I'm going to breathe to calm myself and to embrace myself in this moment, and turn my frustration into useful energy, a turbine of force that I can apply to managing my resources, abilities and gifts so that my fortieth trip around the sun will be a good one. Perhaps I will get a chance to open my heart to someone wonderful. Hopefully, I will have opportunities to expand my career. It would be nice to explore financial freedom... And to find LOVE!
Whatever changes my fortieth year may bring, I pray that I can meet this experience with cheerful and unrelenting enthusiasm. I just don't want to let old expectations get me down. It's time for a new ruler in the house of Brooks, and so I crown me to guide myself through all of the yet-to-be-explored possibilities that this year, and more coming years, will bring. I look forward to deepening relationships with others where I maintain power of myself instead of giving that away. I'm looking forward to these next years of my life as myself. I will no longer be the empty house that desperately looked for others to bring wellbeing in. I can live in a hospitable house, whether I am alone or with others. Come over some time, will ya?
Anyway, Happy Birthday to Me!