I’d just like to say before I jump into my blog for the day, that I already wrote this blog once today. I wrote it, I perfected it, I re-read it and re-perfected it. And by the slip of a mouse and the o-so-convenient “auto-save” button, I lost it. I lost every perfect word.
Or perhaps it was a fateful mistake?
I write this new draft and although, I am frustrated, I feel that this is an accurate representation of what's on my mind. I say this with a grain of salt, but it's sort of fun when something gets thrown at you that is the exact tangible example of what you're going through emotionally. (This is the silver lining way to look at it at least.)
So I will use my mistake and misfortune to get back into what I’ve been pondering today: The external vs. the internal
M friend J e-mailed me today, almost cosmically with her timing, to tell me about the miserable fate of January 24th. January 24th, according to this article has been deemed “the worst day of the year.”
This article confirmed and supported some unofficial research I’ve been doing lately. I do my very best to keep close tabs on the people in my life, and many of them have been uncharacteristically “blah” lately. And I mean that, not at all to be offensive, but just as the best way I can describe the way people seem to be feeling. Any number of things can effect us on any given day but it seems that right now, in the deepest, darkest part of the long winter months, we are all feeling a little down.
Initially, I felt like I was not so alone after reading this article. Great! Everyone’s feeling crappy! Lets have a pity party and dance around, damning this miserable winter day! But then I thought, pity parties are not fun! And I don’t need to participate in this debauchery. I don’t need to accept the misery of January 24th for myself. I can rise above it and laugh in its face and be great!
J's email was cosmic in it's timing because I had sort of a crummy "January 24th" kind of morning. It started in blissful oblivion and escapist tendencies, when I turned on the heat in the apartment, stayed in my pajamas and watched "friend's" DVD's while I drank tea and made breakfast. I knew this coziness would come to a screeching halt when it was time to get dressed, open the e mails and face the realities of the day, but for that moment I indulged knowing what was to come. And unexpectedly, I got a nice call from my mom, which left me feeling very loved and appreciated...but also very sad and longing. As my husband looked at me and said something sweet and comforting, the corners of my mouth turned down and crumbled into tears and sadness. The work stress, missing family, the winter woes, left the tears flowing with reckless abandon. To say the least, I was a bit defeated. So I reached out and I e mailed M and just poured it all out. And here is what she said:
Nothing can take away what is inside of you. Nothing can take away who you are. B, you are a beautiful, strong woman and NOTHING can take that from you. Things outside of you can bash against the walls of your inner being with all the fear and shame, but nothing can take away your value. Even if society, even if family or friends may not help you see this, it's true.
You are B.
You are perfect just like you are.
I sat silently taking in her words, tears still welling up in the inner corners of my eyes. The words actually halted me in my misery. I can't even say they "slapped me in the face" or "hit me like a ton of bricks." The only way to describe it, is they hugged me. M's words hugged me and brought me back to the real reality. Not the reality of stress and pressure and fear of everyday living but the reality of inner strength, prayer, beauty and creativity.
And what was most significant to me about her words was they were true. Her words had meaning, depth, and truth. The kind of truth that we look for when we are struggling. The kind of truth that we can pass on to others. The kind of truth that reminds us how lucky we are to be so beautifully complex!
The seasonal depression, the crappy, unfulfilling job, the financial struggles, missing your family and friends, etc, etc... These are all external things. They are things that happen to us.
And as M so wisely said, these external things cannot change us at the core. If you're creative, nothing can take away your ability to create. If you have knowledge and experience, it will always be inside of you regardless of circumstance. If you have a feeling of identity, empowerment and respect for yourself, the on-goings of the world around you can never strip you of that distinctiveness. And what I feel is most important to remember, is that regardless of how much life is kicking you in the shins, you can always continue to build who you are and promote growth from within.
I'm excited to post this blog today, because I've been blog blocked this week. I've been unfocused, tired, and a little lazy. But mostly I've been afraid. Afraid that the words wouldn't come out right. Afraid of not writing something useful and meaningful. But as I write the words I realize no matter what ends up being posted today, they are the right words, simply because I wrote them, and I wrote them from within.