Page Twenty Seven: On Themes and Growth

I might be the only one, it seems, who is not impressed or blindsided by the arrival of 2014. It was very easy for my to transition to using the date and it really doesn’t feel much like anything is new. Not to me, anyway. I know that everyone says that they’re not really one for New Years Resolutions. Everyone says that. Right before they say, “but I would like to drop a few pounds this year.” So… I mean. Semantics. Anyway!


But I will say that there’s a general vibe around these parts. Maybe it is the start of the new year? Maybe it is just the way that the holidays happened and, interfering with my work schedule, just kept throwing me off my routine. Like catching your footing on a boat in a storm–I would imagine. I’m way too much of a scardey cat to actually put myself into that sort of a situation. Right when I thought, “Okay… now I’ve got it–” and then the calendar busts in with “hold on a second! Nope. Here are two more days off in the freaking middle of the week. Sorry about that.” But now that’s all over and it feels good just to know that things are going to find their way into something normal. That’s a relief to me.

So this is the part where I get to be a little bit arguably hypocritical. Kind of? You can decide, I’m going to just move on ahead. Like I said, I’m not really one for “resolutions” but I do have to say that there are a few themes that just keep popping up. And they popped up last year, too. But this year, I feel like I can just tell that things are going to get dealt with. Note the difference, I’m not resolving to deal with these things–they’re mostly happening to me. I’m not sure that I could stop them if I wanted to. But I don’t really want to because a few years ago, I resolved to start saying “yes” more.
*Also, last year I resolved to re-start my blog and only write when I really, really wanted to and not just because I felt pressured to. And I have to say that I like how this little blog-space has shaped up. There aren’t that many posts but I like what we’ve got here. I’ve still written about twice a month for the past year and I feel really good about it. I like this space. It’s comforting to me–I hope it is for you, too.

Minimizing is one theme that I keep running into. Wanting to downgrade the stuff in my life. Wanting to make everything I do to be as efficient as possible. Wanting to invest in only the things that bring me the most joy and patience and love. I’m ready to knock off all of the excess. I’ve been feeling this way for a while but the universe/ God/ coincidence has been shoving so many things in my face, lately, which are making me feel like we’re going to be taking some legitimate steps towards a more minimalistic livelihood and, frankly, I’m relieved at even the thought alone.

Create is a word that I’ve always loved. The idea of taking nothing, or a pile of scraps, and turning it into something lovely or useful–I have always wanted to. A couple times a week or so, Ryan leaves to go downtown and create things with his band, I Heard a Lion. I am so thrilled that he gets to go and expend some of that creative energy. I have to admit, though, just between you and me, that I’m so jealous of his creative outlet. I’m not musical (unless you count inexplicably knowing every word to every Pink! song that pops up on the radio on my drive to work) but the idea of getting together with other people and working as a team to create something? I’m happy that he and his friends get to work on something so cool and fulfilling together.
I don’t really have that many artistic skills and I tend to keep myself from learning things because of the things that I tell myself. Things like, “You’re too old to learn to be actually good at something” and “Oh, please, you never stick to anything for very long. Don’t start a new hobby that everyone knows you’re going to drop in two weeks.”  But, anyway, I’ve been wanting to learn embroidery and cross-stitch for the past year or so and I’ve been telling myself these rude things the whole time. And I decided to shake those bastards off for once and just buy a few supplies. So I have everything to start learning a few stitches and, you know, maybe I’ll never be really, really good. But what does that even matter? Just do it.

The nurture impulse seems to be with me everywhere I go these days. I feel like I’ve always been an okay friend: reliable, punctual, thoughtful but nurturing, I’m not sure that is very high up on the list of qualities that I naturally posses. Nurturing requires patience and empathy. I don’t know. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I started keeping plants alive this year? Maybe that sounds trivial but it’s true. I can see when my little plants are feeling thirsty or when they do or don’t need a little more sunlight and I tend to that. And the longer that I’ve had my plants, the more is invested that I keep up with them. Several of the plants on my shelves just started out as little bitty, nearly dying cuttings and now they’re full plants! With root systems and lots and lots of sprouting leaves and healthy bits! And I think that just seeing that I am capable of investing in something, capable of being intuitive and patient–it makes me believe that maybe I am capable of being a nurturing person if I want to be.
I’ve seen empathy grow in my relationships with my friends. Rather than saying, “I’m sorry that happened,” I can feel–oh, so sorry that happened to my friend. I’m learning not to fight so much–but just accept things as they are. If someone is feeling shitty, I’m not going to work so hard to change that feeling. Sometimes we just feel awful about something and that’s okay. It’s not wrong. It just is what it is. And we can change it if we decide to. But we don’t have to.

I’m not sure if I’m aware of what the themes were last year (or if these natural occurrences observe holidays like New Years. Doubtful.) but I have spent/ am spending a lot of time in self-reflection and observation. Maybe I’ll tell you about it sometime. But I’m learning that I don’t have to accept the person that I think that I am. I’m only thirty years old–I’m young and I was given this life and body and mind and I can do whatever I want with it. I can become the person that I want to be. I can have clear priorities, work-out my creative muscle, and develop a nurturing nature if that’s what I want. And that’s what I want.

Do you see any life-themes developing around you right now?
Tell me all about it.


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