Finishing the chapter

I don’t remember where I heard it recently, but I heard the phrase that was something to the effect of, “How can you expect to move to the next chapter of your life, when you keep re-reading this chapter?”

I really loved and love the wording of this, though the idea is not new to me.  However, the new wording allowed me to look at it a bit differently.  I notice now that I am actually working on just this, proactively so since I heard the quote/phrase.  I have been looking specifically at areas where I am at unease in my current life chapter, and seeing what has me be at unease in them.  Finding those is the first step in moving past them – as soon as I see them, I can do something with them.  So long as they evade me, I am left with only the result of their existence, and cannot seem to do anything differently in those circumstances.  I want to move on to the next chapter of my life, and I see that these are all things I need to handle for myself, so that I don’t have to continue going back and revisiting, re-reading, them over and over again.

A large point on this has been the idea of how certain people (in a particular area of my life especially) perceive me, contrasted with how I have wanted them to see me in the past, and then tumbled together with the questions of Why did I want to be perceived that way? and Do I even want to be perceived that way anymore?  It has been unique, to be sure.  And I am liking the forward movement of it all.

A quick bit on it all: Other people’s opinions of me is none of my business, as I well know, and I have been reminded of that.  Taking that into account, I have been examining why I ever really cared, and found that I wanted them to see me as I found an acceptable appearance… though that was not necessarily exactly how I was.  And so, I am dealing with releasing any wish to be seen as something inconsistent with who I really am and who I really want to be.  I have done stupid things, things I utterly dislike.  I have done wonderful things, things I love.  And I have done stupid things that I love, as well as wonderful things that I don’t much like.  So, what?  Those are things I have done.  They are not I.  They merely contribute to the formation of who I currently am, always helping me to be better than I was in my previous breath.  I have loads of specifics on all of this, but I don’t really want to share them… not yet, anyway.

Here’s to a Happy Thanksgiving weekend, everyone!

 

Post-a-day 2017

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Missing…

I miss my bed in Japan. My bedroom, especially, is one thing I miss most these days. It was a haven for me. No matter what kind of chaos or boredom lurked in my life, every night, my bedroom awaited me in calm, open, and empty space… in beauty. I shut my doors, and was safe in my retreat from everything else. Only love and blessings were ever allowed into my bedroom. I wasn’t even allowed to walk in it if I hadn’t recently showered. Clean clothes, my ukulele and ukulele music, my nighttime books, and water and tissues were just about all that ever went in there, aside from a clean me and my bed.

My bedroom now is slightly larger, but filled with boxes and stuff… a sentimentality to which I am not so sure I still want to cling. I think I am afraid that I will forget the memories, if I get rid of the objects. I do not, for the most part, want the objects, but the memories and the ways I felt. Without the objects, what will remind me?

Post-a-day 2017

My life/books

I sometimes worry that I read to escape my life.  This is not to say that I find a need to escape my life, but merely that I grow a sort of addiction to a good book, because the story within the book is so much better than my own.  I long for the life I see in the story, and so throw myself into it as much and as often as possible… thereby stepping away from my own life for a good chunk of time, temporary though it is.

Unlike Kathleen Kelly in “You’ve Got Mail”, I do not find interesting things happening in books versus in my own life – I do find myself doing amazing and interesting things that I almost never have read in books.  However, similar to her, I long for something that I find in these books.  I long for the outside influences of people who love one another – I want to be loved like true love in a story.  I have faith in myself for a successful, beautiful story of accomplishments… I am not so sure about others taking up their roles within my own story…  Perhaps this isn’t really making sense… I’ll retire for the night.  I’m stilted, putting these inward emotions into outward words, and I’m not liking the result so far.  Hmm…

Post-a-day 2017

a day to consider my life

I stayed home from school today, sick.  Just like when I was younger, my mom made me feel guilty for even considering staying home.  That is one thing that I do not miss about living in a different country from my mom.  I fully thought through the situation, before deciding anything – if I had had anyone else feeling as I felt this morning, I would have wanted the person to stay home (and also stay away from me).  This was not about disliking my work, as it has been in the past at times.  I was genuinely sick (and still am).

My mom doesn’t get sick very often, and only has a sort of slight cold, whenever she does get sick.  But she gets to sleep.  I used to be like that, rarely getting sick, and having it be mild, just requiring water and a single night’s sleep to rid myself of it.  But working life stole my long nights of sleep and weekends of rest, and traded stress and distaste for them.  I clearly am not a fan of the trade – I now get sick regularly, though mostly just when it’s cold out.

So, today, I stayed home, sick.  I handled what I needed for work, gargled some warm salt water, and then went back to sleep.  I woke up once, in desperate need of a potty break, and then downed some more water, and went back to sleep.  I didn’t really get up until my second potty break awakening, and, even then, I only got up, because it was 1:30pm, not because I felt ready to get up.

Now, late at night, I am hardly able to stay awake to accomplish my bedtime goals, despite my sleep from last night.  I am only awake this late anyway, because my mom and I agreed to watch a film together, and it was pushed back, and then paused and rewound so many times, that our initial ending time of 9:30pm was much later.

Anyway, the whole point of this is that 1) I need more sleep in my daily life (or nightly, I suppose), 2) I really enjoyed spending the day working on some writing (that’s what I did, once I was awake and having tea), and 3) I found today ironic.  While I was in Japan, all alone so often, including when I was sick, and just longing to have someone be with me, like it had been back in the USA, I had longed to have someone spend time with me and take care of me when I was feeling poorly, and expected to find that once back in the US.  But I was all alone today, on my first sick day in the USA.  And I really got to be alone with my thoughts, which was useful and somewhat frightening.  I have much more to consider in my life right now, and today helped me to see some unique parts of it all.

A fun final piece of my illness today, is that I discovered it surprisingly satisfying to eat the heads of Darth Vader and the Clones in my Star Wars SpaghettiOs.  I haven’t had SpaghettiOs in years, but this was a fun one to have, especially for being sick.

Post-a-day 2017

A quality life

Life is beautiful, and I am grateful to have a role in it.  I worry at times that I am not using my gifts and talents to the fullest to benefit the world, and that I might reach the end of my life and feel I have not accomplished a satisfactory amount, given enough, created enough.   Though, I suppose quality is greatly important in the matter.  Nonetheless, is my current work in life (not necessarily my paid work, but my works, things I do in my life) of the quality that I want it to be?  Am I being the quality person I want to be?  Right now, I’m not sure.  It is something I have not really considered, I think.

I suppose I will consider it now…

Post-a-day 2017

Making space in my life

Today, I spent almost an hour going through clothes, organizing, folding, and putting them away into a dresser, etc., as well as going through four boxes of books and organizing them better and putting them onto a bookshelf.  I have two new small sections of floor visible in my room.


That’s a message I just sent to my brother.  Tomorrow onward, I have to spend at least 15 minutes each day, doing cleanup/clean-out in my bedroom and/or bathroom, six days a week.  I am reporting the completed tasks to one of my brothers each day.

This has been one of the most difficult things in my life, moving to a near-minimalist lifestyle.  We have this bit in our DNA, in our blood, that has us sit as though we need hoarding in our lives.  My brothers and I have been intent on freeing ourselves from its grasp.  I am the youngest, and have spent the most time with the family who exudes the gene so obviously, so I am the last to reach my own breaking point – I will live free of this.  Now, I am simply dealing with my own laziness and exhaustion after a full day of work.

For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t able to get rid of things.  I had clothing, among other things, that I did not want to wear.  And yet, I could not get rid of it.  Today, I noticed that, if the cashier girl had complemented my bracelet, I would have offered it to her willingly.  And this isn’t just any bracelet – it’s one of the natural stone bracelets that I made.  I love these bracelets.  It is as though I am two different people in these two scenarios.  The difference was what happened one day in my apartment.

I was looking around at my colorful explosion of clothing all over my wall bedroom floor.  I enjoyed the color and the explosion at first, but I’d wanted it to go away after, at most, an hour…, and it hadn’t, and I knew it wouldn’t.  I didn’t even have enough space to store all of the clothes around me, so putting them away just wasn’t an actual option.  After some amount of time, I found myself crying, sobbing, really.  I don’t want this stuff, I cried to myself passionately, so why can’t I get rid of it?  And then the revelation hit me: I would be wasting my mom’s hard-earned money.

My mom was a mom initially, once she started having children.  After she and my dad split up, she had to take on a more full-time work schedule, on top of being a mom.  And she was a massage therapist, so her work was physical labor.  I grew up knowing that the money she earned took a good amount of effort.  It kind of was “hard-earned money”.  And, for me, if I ever were to get rid of something, I felt to my core that I was wasting my mom’s efforts.  And it applied to just about anything I had, whether it had come from her or not.  I just couldn’t get rid of anything, because I subconsciously saw it as a sort of slap to my mom’s face, theoretically, of course.  That very day, when I found myself sobbing on the floor amongst my clothing, and I discovered this simple fact, I was able to begin getting rid of things.  By the end of only a few days, I had two or three huge trash bags of clothing ready for donation.  (My cousin went through them first, just to pull out whatever she would use gladly from it all, because we always do that, anyway, and then she dropped them off at the place by where she lived.)

After that week, my struggle has just been laziness.  I have a couple decades worth of things that have been living at my mom’s house.  I have gone through about 15 years’ worth of boxes and bags so far, and things are really looking up.  I have accumulated less and less these past several years, and so I really only have about 7 years’ worth of things left  to clear out.  I know of, I believe, two boxes in the attic, and an unknown number hiding somewhere in the garage.  Otherwise, I only have two and a half small boxes remaining in my room from childhood.  The rest of the boxes are from my apartment, and I don’t exactly have a need to be unpacking kitchen supplies, nor getting rid of them, when I’ll just need them all again in another couple months.  I do, however, want to verify that I don’t have any excesses in those boxes, though that will wait until I finish getting rid of all of the other stuff, and possibly until I am actually moving, depending on the timeframe.

My plan is to finish things with my bedroom by the 30th of December at 11:00p.m.  Then, I’ll have January and February (and hopefully cool weather) to do whatever needs to be done with the garage and attic.  After that, I can move to helping my mom with whatever I can around the rest of the house.  And then, possibly, grad school begins, and I decide where I will reside.

Anyway, that’s just what’s on my mind right now.  I feel good about what I accomplished tonight, though I know I need to take things slowly, which stresses me.  If I spend too much time on it all, two things will happen.  I will get burnt out quickly, and stop doing things altogether to clean up/out, and I will get too little sleep, and suffer for it.  So, as much as I dislike taking so long on all of this, the task moves from daunting to doable, when I split it to 15 minutes a day, six days a week.  And that means that I can have it all be happening while I’m still working over full=time.  I’m looking for a beautiful and easy transition to January, and that includes a clean, clear, and organized room, with an easy place to work.  So, I’m hopping to it, and I have my brother helping me to stay accountable, in spite of my laziness.

Post-a-day 2017

What’s next’s what’s next

I have been worrying lately about my future.  Every time I aim to figure out how to steer my career for the long term, I end up somewhat sad and upset, and totally uninspired.  Thinking about this this weekend, I had the sudden obvious realization that I don’t have to know my long term – I don’t have to know what’s next after what’s next.  Just one what’s next is good enough.  It’s better than good enough – it’s actually great.  Ideal, possibly.  Yes, I have all sorts of ideas for my future, but they don’t need to be solid, set in stone now and forever.  Every year, my dad is ‘about to retire’, and that’s been for the past decade, I believe.  And yet, he’s still chugging along happily (mostly happy with it, anyway) at his job.  And he’s one of the most plan-y people I know when it comes to work, finances, and career choices.

So, if I go for this now, I can be looking for what’s next while doing it.  I certainly know that I end up becoming a new, different person after every phase of this or that, so how could I possibly know now what the future, new I will want most?  Though I have my amazing moments, I’m not God, so I don’t know all.

I guess it is kind of just a slightly altered perspective of “What About Bob”’s baby steps.  Worry about this room… then, when I’m in the hall, think about that hall…, and so on and so forth.

Yeah, I’m down with that.

Also, Brad Paisley was interviewed by Jeff Foxworthy on the radio this evening, and it was delightful in an unexpected way.  Find the recording, if you can.  They now plan to write a song together, as a result of the interview.  I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

Post-a-day 2017