There’s a lot to be said for emotional distance putting things in perspective.
A month ago, we had hit the first day of Bonnaroo. I look back and what the hell was I thinking? I hate being outside. I hate being in large groups of strangers. I hate the sun. I hate bugs. I hate the smell of weed. I love esoteric music, but I can get that from the comfort of my Google Play account in my air conditioned apartment. Instead of kicking myself over it, I have to laugh. It was doomed to fail from the start. Most of it was the sleep deprivation. I totally understand why that’s used as a method of torture. However, I wouldn’t be ready to tell you the nuclear weapon launch codes. I’d have already ripped off your head and started using it as a pillow. The next dude in the door would have his work cut out for him.
Give yourself a little emotional distance. You may not be able to laugh at a situation, but you can get a better perspective. Whatever you’re struggling with, separate yourself as much as you can. Even a quarter of an inch is more than you were able to see before. You’ve got this. Someday, it’ll make a great story.
A lot of the blogs I read regularly encourage the readers to aim higher, reach further, and show the world that they’re serious about whatever they’re serious about. For a time, that’s what I needed. I needed someone to (virtually) hold my hand and help me on my way. In the past 6 months, I’ve started to feel disconnected to the messages of these authors. They’re still good writers with clear visions, but I’m not as emotionally attached as I used to be. One thing they do have in common is follow what your gut is saying. After I cover my ears, shut out the noise, and listen to the tiny inner voice, I don’t hear what I thought I would. I don’t hear “travel to Europe as a lady of leisure”. I don’t hear “dress and act like a drag queen”. I don’t hear “expand your horizons by doing things you absolutely hate in an effort to prove something to someone else”. All I hear is quiet.
I’m perfectly content with my life right now. I’m in a relationship with someone I adore and who adores me. I have stable income. I have a fat cat who grudgingly accepts me when her daddy isn’t around. I don’t feel overly left out or out of place with my social group even though most of them have small children while I don’t. I’m not hanging on to past relationships the way I used to. I no longer regret cutting ties with people, places, or ideas that no longer serve me. The hardest ties to cut are the ones where no one got hurt. The relationship has simply run its course. I’ve been having a hard time letting go of the circus world. They’re all awesome people. They really helped me in ways I never expected. Part of me feels overly guilty for walking away. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. Most of the people I started with have since left for one reason or another. One went to grad school and has no free time. Another started pole classes and never looked back. Several moved to different states. I’m not slamming a door and locking it. I can always go back. They’ll be there. They’ll accept me again just like they have in the past. For now, it’s time to let go. Good relationships can offer as many lessons as bad ones.
Once again, I bring up my pants analogy (can you tell how brilliant I think it is?):
You go to the store and see a pair of pants. You try them on and they’re a little bit tight in some places. You really like them, so you buy them thinking that they’ll stretch and fit (not an unreasonable assumption with women’s pants. Amirite ladies?) After a few wears, they’re still tight in all the wrong places. You finally return them or donate them to a thrift store. You didn’t do anything wrong. The pants didn’t do anything wrong. They just didn’t fit.
I don’t have to force myself into the proverbial pair of pants. It’s okay to sit around and let the ideas come to me. Forcing myself, unless it was for my health or safety, has never worked. I have a good life. I’m happy.
And I still feel like I’m covered in dirty hippie. Blech.