For the last few years I’ve posted a year end video, sort of my own tongue-in-cheek State of the Union. Someone asked me this year if I was going to do one. I hadn’t really thought about it, and when I did I realized that not only did I not know what to say, I didn’t really feel like doing it at all. In fact, I discovered that I didn’t really feel like doing anything at all.
The last few months have been a challenge for me, and the most infuriating part of that is not knowing why. I am not the most action minded person on the planet, but I know enough about myself that when there’s something I need to accomplish I can suck it up and get it done. The problem here and now is not knowing what needs to be done because I’m not sure where the problem is. The closest I came to any of it was something I wrote in November:
The choices I’ve been making, the actions I’ve been taking, have let me know the darkness is coming.
So I will sit in the darkness and I will invite my demons, one at a time, and I will ask them why I have them in my life.
I will listen to their answers, I will respect their reasons, and then I will banish them, one at a time.
And one day I will step back into the light. I will see you then.
Overly dramatic nature aside (this is me, after all) it’s a pretty powerful call to action, but one I still haven’t done a damn thing about because I don’t know where to begin. I know that when you need to bail water, you just start bailing anywhere you can and eventually you’ll find yourself dry again, but there’s part of my brain that will not let go of the idea of finding the start of the thread and working my way along it. I know some of the reasoning behind that thought is the belief that the first issue I confront and overcome will start a domino topple and everything else will fall into place, the success of which I basically put on par with winning the lottery.
One of the bright spots of the last few months is that several people have come back into my life in various ways, and each has in their own way helped to shape the narrative of what I’m dealing, ultimately resulting in the recognition of dealing with what I want versus what I need. I’ve talked in the past about the difference between living in the moment versus for the moment, and that has started to emerge as the beginning of my thread.
To live in the moment is to be fully present in what is happening, to be engaged by whatever it is you’re doing, and to be an involved active participant in your life. To live for the moment is to simply live for the visceral pleasure of what is happening, and to work solely towards creating pleasurable moments. It’s kind of like the difference between losing weight by eating healthy, working out and living a healthy lifestyle versus going for liposuction. There is a shallowness and an emptiness that comes from such living, one that has left me wanting and unfulfilled.
The upshot of all of this is that I’ve decided it’s time for me to take that walk back through the darkness. It’s a journey that I have to undertake mostly on my own, because as well intentioned as some people may be, many people have their own intentions and agendas that may prove to be counter productive. Most people aren’t even aware of it; it is simply a result of who they are and how they live, and they offer their advice with the sincerity of wanting success and happiness for the person they are offering it to.
One of the biggest challenges for me is that I constantly look to others for validation and approval. I want to be liked, and my ego needs to be scratched. (Let’s face it, I didn’t go into acting just because I liked the costumes.) Of course, couple that with my wonderful self esteem and my inability to believe in myself and you have every therapists’ wet dream of a patient. I need to let all that go, the reliance on others for their approval and the skepticism of the compliments they give me. So to that end, I’ll be stepping away from the world for a while. I’m not going to do anything so drastic as to shut down my social media accounts, mostly because I know very few people read this and I’m sure some people would panic if they went to find me and I’d disappeared. I did one of these Facebook divorces before (as a friend of mine called it) and it was successful enough to be encouraging. In the meantime my email is still the same and my phone number is still the same (although, so is my aversion to talking on the phone, so there’s that.)
I just have to keep telling myself that the party will happen whether I am there or not, and I don’t always have to be the life of the party.
I’ll see you when I see you.