Months have passed since I wrote on this blog, much to my chagrin. I am not entirely surprised though; it is more often than I care to admit that my intended endeavours get left to starve while I am occupied elsewhere.
In my “defense” much has happened in that time; namely, moving across the country. This depleted far more of my time and energy than I could’ve imagined. Now I understand why most people don’t just up and move, especially not significant distances. Uprooting your life and planting seeds anew in uncharted soil is a hefty feat, to say the least. I had not fathomed the amount of stuff that would have to be dealt with – whether material or otherwise. It is so much easier on the mind and body to leave everything as is, tucking away the excess and junk to where it is purportedly out of sight, out of mind. I have always been a packrat “just in case” I may need what it is I’m hanging onto in the future. But all my clinging only served to clutter, congest, and stagnate. My spirit has been so restless and discontent for so long, yet unable to be free – “out with the old” is contingent for “in with the new.” So, although it was overwhelming and stressful to sort through all of my things and purge what was necessary in order to downsize, the process was undeniably cleansing – especially paired with moving to a new city, leaving behind the people and places that are so deeply ingrained into my past.
Yet, appealing as a fresh start is, it is still strangely disconcerting. Our psyches prefer to operate in the realm of the known – even if it has been detrimental to us. Change – no matter how warranted, desirable, or planned – is unnerving. This is why change can be so easy to resist and avoid; we prefer to operate within the context of the environment and identity that we are used to, despite its maladaptiveness.
For me it had just reached a point where the part of me that wanted to cling to the known and avoid the risk/pain of change could no longer override my discontented spirit.
I’ve been absent from not only from writing on this blog but from living in general, my ability to be present or to focus tainted by a mind always whirring and discombobulated. Sometimes I felt so scatterbrained that I wondered if my brain was going to short-circuit.
I was trying so hard all the time to do the “right thing”; to set my life on a trajectory for success to ultimately manufacture my happiness. But I was chronically overwhelmed and unwell. My mind was incessantly enumerating all the things I should (or shouldn’t) be doing, consumed by the notion of self-improvement and how to optimally pursue my passions for maximum progress.
Why were these notions enthralling to me? –> So that I could reach my maximum potential, and therefore my maximum fulfillment/happiness/well-being. But the amount of pressure I put on myself and guilt I felt at not being/doing good enough counter-indicatively depreciated my well-being. Do the ends justify the means? I’m not so sure anymore. I was caught in a hamster-wheel, burning myself out yet going nowhere, continuing to make myself unwell so that I could be my best self (purportedly)? I realized this was not only illogical, but not the way I could stand to keep on living.
So, I made the choice to allow myself to just “be”, letting go of the preconceived (and quite frankly, lofty) standards of who I “should” be and the lifestyle I “should” be leading. I wanted to seize the opportunity that moving across the country gave me to leave behind my old ways and discover a new way of being. Perhaps I will reach what it is I was even striving for in the first place – happiness, self-love, life satisfaction, etc. This shift is still work-in-progress – and I’m not sure that it ever won’t be, necessarily, and that’s okay. But I do know that I have found a greater sense of ease, contentment, and joy and that for the first time in a long while, I am excited about my life and what is to come. It certainly doesn’t hurt that I now live somewhere so beautiful and close to the ocean, where I am reminded of the pettiness of my mind’s concerns in the grand scheme of the universe.