Tag Archives: acceptance

Valen-ME Day

14 Feb

It is no secret I think Valentine’s Day is a bullshit holiday. I correct myself, it should not even qualify as a holiday. It is simply another way for big business to drum up sheep to spend money. In case you are unaware, the reality behind the “holiday” is a bloody mess (see here if you don’t know what I am talking about).

I don’t often celebrate, significant other or no, because I don’t want to feed the corporate machine more than I already do. I would much rather show my love in 365 little ways than one big way once a year. That being said, it occurred to me this year that perhaps there is someone in my life the day could remind me deserves a little affection…myself.

Self care has been a big focus for me the last six months or so, and I suck at it. It is ten times easier to overwork my body, tear myself down, and ignore the needs of my heart then to spend time putting energy into showing myself the love, patience, and encouragement I pour out to others. In this, I know I am not alone. Many of us are so much better at practicing empathy and tolerance with others and so bad at treating ourselves with that same level of respect. We are our own biggest critics acting as judge, jury, and executioner for the smallest of charges.

This Valentine’s Day I am going to show myself the love I withhold all year. I am going to put energy into what makes ME happy and give myself permission to be selfish. Maybe I will buy myself flowers and chocolates, maybe I will spend the day ignoring my phone and taking a bath, maybe I will leave town and go on a day trip all by myself wherever I want. Who knows! The point is I can use this day for me and give he most important person in my life some attention and consideration. I can give myself the gift of accepting me for me.

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Choices

24 Aug

Life is about choices. Where we go, how others perceive us, the paths we traverse, are all determined by the big choices, the small choices, and all the ones in between. Bad people make positive choices, good people make poor choices. Nothing is predetermined or predictable.

Three years ago I felt like my life was ending when I got a DUI. Time stopped and when the whole ordeal was over, I promised myself I would never find myself in that position again. Apparently promises we make to ourselves are worthless.

You almost never get caught the first time you slip up. The last few months have been scattered with time I should have known better. I got too comfortable, let my confidence convince me I was invincible again. I really should not have been surprised when I saw those blue lights flaring behind me again.

I made a choice, and again I am walking a path I could not imagine I would see. I felt above it all and can only theorize where I learned this carefree attitude from. My privileged upbringing, getting away with to many things up to this point, being American, take your pick. What I do know is that this is yet another turning point, an important one. I can either change, accepting my flaws and working hard to reverse them, or continue ruining things one after another.

Acceptance is the first step I hear. Accepting I am flawed, accepting I have a problem with self control, accepting my life is going to be very different in the coming months. This has been easier than I would have thought. I have not been feeling content with myself for a while. On the outside I have been for the most part put together and moving forward. My career, my apartment, my social life, all would look to be in working order. In general I am a positive person, confident and strong. However, in those quiet moments alone, shame, guilt, and dissatisfaction haunt my consciousness.

I am in this place now because I ignored the warning signs and dismissed the voice whispering in the back of my thoughts. I chose to keep pushing through the mud instead of finding a higher ground.

I am ready now to face the new dawn. It may have taken a giant screaming shove, but I am doing what I do best…planning. There is no going back, there is only accepting the present and preparing for the foreseeable future. It is terrifying, but I feel more capable than I did the first time. I am focused and know where I can draw support from. Family, friends, myself, but most importantly my faith.

This is my life at 26. Reliving mistakes and realizing I will never be done learning. I can’t afford to live in my comfort zone and ignore my own choices, vowing to do better next time but not actually changing anything. There is no next time, there is only now and every moment counts.

Acceptance

22 Jun

I wrote a post a while back about not needing to define myself with labels. I still feel labels are meaningless. They aren’t a definition of who we are, just a generic way to try to explain ourselves.

I also talked in that post about how I had never felt the need to try to define myself to my parents, particularly concerning my sexuality. This has been on my mind a lot as of late.

I was recently blessed to be part of a wedding of two dear friends I have made since moving to Arizona. These ladies are committed and beautiful human beings who I feel enhance my life more than I would have imagined. They are those friends you meet and become close almost instantaneously and know they are important practically from the start.

Sharing in their special day was exhilarating for many reasons. First, because we live in an age where it is becoming more acceptable for anyone who loves each other to express that love how they choose (Side note, the day before their wedding ceremony which was to be held in Wisconsin and then legalized later that week in Minnesota, Wisconsin passed a bill which would allow same-sex marriages to be legal in that state. Cool, right!). Second, because this particular wedding was so life affirming, and on a more personal level, I was genuinely happy for them with no taint of any other misgivings.

A week later, I was skyping with my parents for Fathers’ Day and they asked about my trip. They knew I had gone to a wedding, but they also knew I had gone with Michigan, and we had made a detour on the way back to go to Chicago. Knowing my parents, I focused less on the wedding and more on Michigan and the rest of the trip.

My mother, however, had other ideas. She did not ask about the wedding itself, but rather posed the question, “So, why did they feel the need to get married?” To which my response was, “Why did you and dad get married?” As you can imagine this is going nowhere good. Her response was, “Well, hunny, because your father and I were a boy and a girl.” “No, mom you did not get married because you were a boy and a girl, you got married because you loved each other and wanted to share that with your friends and family before God.”

And the spiral continued until we were yelling at each other.

I take what she says personally. She doesn’t know why, because she doesn’t know me. I don’t need her to know me to be happy, but this week I have been mulling over whether I haven’t told them I am not as straight as they think I am because of the reasons I have written previously, or because deep down I know that if I did, she would never accept me and arguments like this one would only get worse.

It is an odd feeling to know on some level your mother wouldn’t love you as much if she really knew who you were.

I am almost 27 years old, shouldn’t I have already gotten past this life crisis?

In truth, it is not just my sexuality they wouldn’t understand, it is all of it. In analyzing how we interact, it is because they don’t know me that we are allowed to continue as we do. I move farther and farther away to avoid dealing with it. The farther I am, the less they need to know. I wonder sometimes if they even know how clueless they are.

“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

17 Feb

There are things in our lives that are out of our control and which we cannot change. When we encounter these things, we have three options.

  1. We can live in agony, obsessing over it, and believing we will simply have to remain miserable until the pain dulls.
  2. We can run away from it and mask it with other things that allow us to forget to some degree.
  3. We can accept it and find a way to incorporate it into our reality.

Obviously, not all of these are healthy. More often than not, however, we take the easy paths of misery or forgetfulness because adjusting our terms of how we encounter the world is an arduous process.

We are selfish beings. It is who we are and the sooner we can see that, the easier option number three is. Being selfish and only allowing ourselves to see the world through out specific lens, means that we have a difficult time accepting things that others see in a way we do not. More often than not, the situations that are beyond our control stem from someone else seeing something differently than we do.

In this instance, and the whole reason I am even on this tangent, is because of Toga. At some point I’m sure I will chronicle out whole stupid story, but for now the basic gist is that we are friends, I want more, and he does not.

It has been a long process; one that is still ever changing and adjusting, but maintaining our friendship when we are both on very distinctive pages in this has been, to say the least, complex. At the end of the day, it was and is a situation I have had to accept I cannot change and either walk away from or find a way to incorporate it into my life. There was a time, not too long ago (read “Does this mean I have to be an adult now??”), which I thought it would be easiest to walk away. I was wrong, although I can’t say that I have consistently been confident in that decision since.

It isn’t about consistency though. It is a moment-to-moment battle. It is a decision that has to be made again and again. But sitting here, watching him tinker with his newest car project for the last few hours, I can’t help but think it’s a battle I’ll continue to come out on the same side of. Sometimes a little heartache is good for us, makes us stronger, and it does get easier if they are worth having in your life. The biggest question is whether or not you can live with the choices you make.

“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.”
― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire