Sunday, June 20, 2010

i know i can

"just breathe."

i find myself muttering those words to myself quite a bit these days. one reason is because this cold-whatever-it-is makes it difficult for me to breathe and i say this to myself as i make myself yet another spicy noodle soup. this version is a thai influenced soup with tom yum paste, coconut milk, tofu, green beans, spinach, and mung bean noodles.

another reason is that despite being sick, traveling around like a banshee, not feeling settled into my new home, not feeling settled anywhere actually.....that me muttering "just breathe" is a reminder to stay the course and be true to who i am. be honest with who i am. be comfortable with who i am. be responsible for who i am.

those that love me or hate me know that i am an intense and driven person. there are times that i hold myself to a standard that many look upon with disbelief or believe to be improbably or impossible to achieve. yet, these same people will continue to look upon me with puzzlement when they realize that my standards for others are not the same for myself. yet, it was not until the last few years that i realized that despite not holding others to the same standard, sometimes others observe the pressure i put upon myself and integrate some of that same pressure and expectation into their own lives. i have been told quite a bit over the past three years that for someone who is known for being so observant, i can be quite clueless about my impact upon others.

for me, the only person i compete with is myself.

i am not saying that i'm "the best" (far from it actually.... in too many things to count) and that i have no one to "compete" with, i am saying that i push me....i push me far more than other people ever could. also, i'm not going to look at what someone else is doing and have that spur me into behaving differently or "better". i'm not quite certain why i'm not wired that way. i want other people to succeed, do well, and be responsible for themselves. while i see others attempt to "squash" or "demean" others who are doing well in an attempt to make themselves feel better, i am usually quite horrified when i see this behavior.

there was a time when i was difficult on myself because failure was not an option. being hurt was not an option. hurt and failure were "bad words" or scenarios to be avoided through careful strategic planning and tactical implementation. if i am being a bit more gentle with myself and look at myself through eyes that are a wee bit wiser, i can understand why i took this perspective for such a prolonged period of time. i had hurt for such a long time and didn't want to feel it anymore. as a young'un, i thought, "there is nothing that can hurt as much as this. i've had my fair share. i don't want this anymore. i can avoid it. i'll graduate from university, get a job, control my life, be independent, depend on NO ONE, and i will never feel hurt this bad ever again."

oh, such youthful arrogance.

the wee bit wiser me is shaking my head at myself and my arrogance at trying to out run, out think, or out smart being hurt or experiencing failure. there is a part of me that believes that because of this arrogance, i obtained my comeuppance with experiencing years filled with loneliness, hurt, and feelings of failure. the reason why i am able to speak or write of this now, is that it has taken me years to recover from the worst of it. to be comfortable with it. to be responsible for it.

those who have been with me since the beginning of this blog have had a bird's eye view of the whole thing. you've seen me make some difficult choices, work through the consequences of my choices, and seen me work through my recovery from various kinds of heart break.

it seems to be an ongoing process.

while i am still pretty hard on myself, i no longer have the same fear of failure or hurt that i once did. they are no longer "bad words". now, i am more pragmatic. if it is going to hurt, then the taking the risks and feeling the subsequent hurt had better be fucking worth it.
i gave up a while ago trying to avoid either of them (and in certain cases ran headlong into them) because they are going to come no matter what. now, i see and have chosen avenues and choices that have the potential to lead to hurt or feelings of failure, and i am accepting of those potential outcomes. i take responsibility for these risks. i am not sadomasochistic. i don't actively seek out failure or hurt through self sabotage. rather, i have more confidence that i will still be ok through it all. i don't just "think" it intellectually.

i believe it.

i know it.

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