I guess an ongoing theme in my life is adventure. Embracing the unknown, being outside of my comfort zone. If I were to look at what I write many times, it may seem like I’m capable of a lot more than I actually am, going above and beyond and living out crazy spontaneous adventures at the drop of a hat. For full disclosure, I feel like sharing a current frustration of mine, which actually deals with respecting my limits and comfort zone.
I hate saying “I can’t” and meaning it. I try to turn it into a choice. “I won’t do it” feels empowering. I have made the choice. “Can’t” feels like failure.
I was supposed to be in Spain right now but as it turns out, I’m playing my days by ear because I have to get a lot of things set up for my upcoming trip and because life is full of projects.
I’ve been working really hard at establishing positive mental habits for myself because when I don’t, it feels like I’m dying repeated horrible deaths. Right now I just got presented with a situation that brought back a lot of negativity for me.
I have been presented with a phenomenal opportunity to volunteer at a cultural center in the North of Spain. What they’re asking in exchange for providing me with food and shelter, is 10 days of full time job. Waking up at 7-8am, work 7 hour days, not really have a weekend off or anything like that. In a place where I will be with brand new people, without internet, no hot water, or heating.
I WANT to jump at that opportunity. *So* bad.
But I know a few things about myself. I know that I’ve figured out how to give myself a home, how to heal myself daily, and how to comfort myself when I am someone that has made a life out of living outside the box, and outside her comfort zone. I know that I’m emotionally high maintenance and that I need people around me to help me sometimes. I know that in my minimalist quest to be detached from material possessions, I still found home in journals, markers, small stuffed animals and old tshirts. I found my own way to deal with mental fireworks with different methods of self care and medicine that I work at daily. And in missing out on art therapy school because of lack of funds and not having a steady job, I designed a training program and projects that keep me studying and working on a weekly basis. But I also know that if I am being put in a place where I’m expected to give 100% of myself, without having the minimal comfort I need, (friends, my cat are two huge examples) and the privacy and the freedom to freak out from how exhausting that is, then I wont last 3 days, and that’s already generous.
I’m tired. I have spent 33 years of being overstimulated. Living is exhausting. I might have been able to do something like this when I was 20. But even then, it would’ve been very hard.
And I know how that looks. I know that good friends, close friends, family members, would tell me once again to “try”. That famous ‘try harder” that followed me throughout my entire life. Like somehow, someone like me could lazily experience life. I cry and laugh over everything. There is no trying harder. This is my best. I know positive friends would say to just give it my best because you never know. I know pragmatic friends would say that since I know there’s the possibility of failure that now I can try to come up with the solution. I know spiritual friends would tell me it’s all in my head and that if i just want it bad enough i can change how I react to things and to maybe talk to my inner self for an answer. None of it real or efficient, because it’s all someone else’s truth.
I hear all those voices saying that. The judgment in my own voice. Of what not accepting the role would mean. But then feeling exhausted and incapable when I think of all the things that are expected of me that are simply things I cannot do.
Knowing you can’t do it, doesn’t feel any better than having others think you can.
But allowing the outside voices to control my actions and inner workings has been a bad habit that I’ve had to learn to curb many times.
Judging myself harshly keeps me away from being compassionate, creative, and persistent in getting what I want. And so between that, and my mom’s words reminding me to not be so hard on myself, I remember who I am, and what I’m about. I remember my favorite Einstein quote, about how if you judge a fish’s intelligence by its ability to climb a tree, the fish will spend its life thinking it’s stupid. I am not stupid. Nor weak. Nor a failure. I’m a fish, and this is a tree.
So for me, while the rest of the world keeps on turning, I practice compassion on myself, strength and bravery, letting go, and eventually that works into bad-assery and me working on a project where there’s more swimming…And less climbing.
Thanks for reading.
Taken at La Rochelle on a day where I had gotten exhausted over nothing, but ended in on a note of gratitude instead of disappointment.