“Smart impresses me, strength of character impresses me. But most of all, I am impressed by kindness. Kindness, I think, comes from learning hard lessons well, from falling and picking yourself up. It comes from surviving failure and loss. It implies an understanding of the human condition, forgives its many flaws and quirks. When I see that in someone, it fills me with admiration.”
-Lisa Unger, Beautiful Lies
Lately, I’ve been letting go of things that went before. At the river, I cast them off, to tumble downstream and away to new adventures, new people, new lives. New, without me, because I can’t move ahead carrying those things either. I felt a lightness spread across me as they slipped away, a warmth that didn’t fit the weather of that early December afternoon.
I am looking to new, beautiful things to fill my heart and life. It’s a joyful process.
Symbolically releasing those weights – the people, the events, the outgrown dreams and ideas – is therapeutic. Going to nature to do it gives me a beautiful moment immediately with which to start the process of filling those empty places.
I am rebuilding the girl into something stronger. Better. Happier.
Forty nine years of life and I still have so much to learn. I am full of flaws but also the best of intentions, I swear.
My self-doubt is my biggest flaw. I have sabotaged beautiful things because I couldn’t just stop thinking I was messing up so bad that I became a self-fulfilling prophecy. And then I second guess all my interactions because of that fear that gets reinforced by the letdowns of the past.
No more. I can change this.
I’ve been working so hard to reprogram these thoughts to be constructive, positive – and to trust that taking action towards what I want is much more effective than talking myself out of it.
No more self-fulfilling prophecies anymore, Xiane. You’ve got this.
*lyrics from Mazzy Star, So Tonight That I Might See
The Word of the Year tradition is one that I haven’t really done before – I’ve always appreciated the idea, and thought about it, but I had my own ways of ushering in changes… but you know what? New year, new directions, and new traditions all go hand in hand, so I’m on the bandwagon.
Fulfilled is the word that I chose, after much deep thought on the subject and the direction I wanted.
I’ve spent a lot of time investing in other people, in helping them find their happiness. This year, I hope to move forward in finding some of my own, as well.
Not that it’s been unhappy across the board, but 2015 was pretty crap. That stopped as of last night.
I don’t feel like I should be having birthday #49.
I feel much younger; the years don’t feel like they’re piled that high. I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful for the changes and the knowledge and the trials and the love and the pain and the laughter. All those things have contributed to what I’ve learned and the new paths I’m taking.
Life is scary, and hard.
Life is exhilarating, and beautiful.
Every treasured face that has stayed on my road with me, and every new face that I’m still learning… thank you for being here. Thank you to those who have moved on, you taught me so much.
See, that’s the biggest gift that birthdays bring: lessons. A way to mark what you’ve learned, how you’ve grown over time. People sometimes ask me if I got what I wanted for my birthday, and the answer is always. I always get exactly what I wanted, as long as I’m not afraid to look deeply within to find that gift inside me.
2015 was very, very tough. But even now, in the depths of winter [even though winter this year so far is more like spring, where I am!] there is the promise of what will come… the chance to bloom.
*if you ever saw my band The Violet Dawning perform, you might have seen me sing this, a capella, perhaps as an encore. It is a song that has meant the world to me for so, so many years. I hope it speaks to you.
Yes, I know… I always write from the heart, from my personal stories. But this one is really close to home, and it’s a thing that has really been bothering me.
I think that one of the saddest things that can happen in life and love is when you let someone into your heart, and they come in and enjoy that space and what you have to give… but when it becomes obvious that they are now in a position to do the same, the fear [of past hurts returning, of being vulnerable, of losing themselves in someone else] shuts them down, and they withdraw.
No one wins from this. Everyone’s left lonely and sad. Fear wins, love loses, and all those quiet whispers that tell us how unworthy we are, how no one will love us, how we deserve to be alone… those gather strength. Self-fulfilling prophecies, for some of us.
The second half of this year has been filled with these instances, for me. I keep dating people who are afraid. They don’t necessarily reveal that in the beginning, or even consciously know it. What it comes down to is that they’ve been hurt before – by the world, by a love, by their family. Someone they trusted, someone they wanted to trust. And that hurt has made them afraid to be vulnerable again.
That’s all well and good, the drive to protect oneself. I get it.
But the problem is that if you withdraw from every situation where you feel a possibility of getting hurt, of having to open yourself up, how will you ever truly stop being alone? It’s obvious that these people don’t want to be alone. They wouldn’t reach out if that wasn’t the case. But as soon as that possibility becomes real, the reality scares them and they shut down.
Then they go on to do it again.
Things won’t change if you don’t let them. This applies to every single thing in life.
You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results.
And you have to be vulnerable in order to allow love in.
EVERY GOOD THING IN LIFE REQUIRES YOU TO SAY YES.
It doesn’t have to be with me. [though there’s been a few cases where I really wish it had been. Heavy hearted, but risk is part of life.] But if not with me, choose someone – carefully, yes, but CHOOSE. Choose to live.
Have the cake.
Then go for a walk.
Go on the date.
Try the scary thing.
Travel to the country where you don’t speak the language.
Talk to the stranger.
Laugh out loud.
Just go do it. Life is too short to be scared, y’all.
Things you said and the ways you lied
made me read the writing and see the signs
The clock is ticking in your inward mind
soon the flower fades and you’ve lost the time
[post title: lyrics from Acid, Bitter and Sad by This Mortal Coil]
I will not compel you
to take the steps towards me
it is not my place
to convince you to reach out
you will have to find words
that show me what you’re wanting
we can share the dreaming
but only side by side.
I have waited lifetimes
but time is growing shorter
perhaps i am just destined
to walk this dream alone.
I’m beginning to wonder if there’s just something really wrong with me, after all.
I try to be upbeat. I really do. Most of the time, I am up, so it’s easy enough.
I don’t like to drag people down. I like to lift them up, too.
But it’s hard when the times are darker and I need someone to confide to. No one wants to hear about your low points, even if they usually tell you to “share all of you!” and “you can tell me everything!” and “it’s safe, you’re safe with me!” and “I understand, I’ve been there too.” Those, the last ones – they’re the trickiest, because they understand but then they often get scared or resentful or cautious or something – afraid they’ll get pulled back in. And they’re often the first to say “share, be truthful” and the first to say “you’re depressing me.”
And then I feel sad AND guilty.
Best not to tell anyone anything, I swear. Just the happy face forever, even if it’s bullshit.
…no, that’s not happening. I am 100% myself, truthful, honest about what I’m feeling and how I’m dealing with it. If that’s not okay, get out now. If that’s too much to deal with, then maybe I’m not worth being around for you. If I have to hide my truth in order to be your friend or lover or be in you company… well, that just ain’t gonna work for me. I will be there through high and low for you, I deserve the same. I’m a complete person, not just the happy-go-lucky parts.
I haven’t felt this alive in a while. I want this feeling.
I saw this, unattributed, on Facebook yesterday, and it fully summed up my attitude about things that have gone down of late:
If my absence doesn’t affect your life than my presence has no meaning in it.
I want people who will work hard to keep me around. [I have some amazing friends who fit this bill and are probably more than I deserve.] I want people who miss me when I’m not there and won’t just replace me with other people, video games, alcohol, etc. I want those who are enthusiastic about me, in good times and bad. Otherwise, what’s the point?
And most importantly, I want someone who will let me lean against them as much as they want to lean against me. I want the hug to be deep and reciprocal. If there’s more, I want that to be as captivating and exciting for both of us as possible. One-sided doesn’t work. Let us meet in the middle and strengthen each other.
So much change has happened in my life lately. Nothing much that the casual observer would see, but for me, the entire landscape of my world has been shifting. I’ve lost people from my tribe. I’ve had a prodigal return. I found something that feels beautiful and full of promise. I have been moving through disappointment with my head mostly held high – I mean, you have to mourn when you have losses, but the trick is to do that and keep moving, else you get bogged down there.
It’s easy in those moments -when you’re losing, when you’re watching another person walk away because you’re not what they wanted – to feel like it’s you, like you’re the one who ruins everything.
But LISTEN TO ME. Please?
Most of the time, you’re not. You’re not the one ruining it, it’s not ruined at all. It’s just that you weren’t the right person at the right time. You didn’t fail, you just weren’t where you were going to thrive. You haven’t run out of options. You have so many great things to come.
This is to me. This is to you, whoever you are. The world is big and confusing and exciting and dirty and magical, all at once. People are lovely and ugly and kind and mean and so very fucking HUMAN. That’s the curse and the beauty of it, you know. You don’t get one without the other.
Take a chance. Love. Live. Dance, sing, explore, dream. This is it, this is what you get – don’t waste that.