What isn't talked about in the blog world, what I see and feel and remind myself about are the missed connections. The desire to connect, the desire to be heard and recognized can be fierce. There are times when there's synchronicity with another through the world wide web and then you meet in real life and it's not there. Or you have your first phone call after months of emailing and commenting and the conversation falls short.
I've been around long enough to know that I'm not alone in having felt this way and I also know that these happenings leave lingering regret that clings to new stories in the most insidious ways.
We are all doing our best to do the best that we can on any given day. I truly believe that and know that there are days, weeks even, when the best that I can do is definitely not a representation of my best self.
And yet, it is what it is. I like to believe that there are lessons to be found in each missed connection once I look past my ego and feelings and into what is right in front of me.
I also believe that it's not over until it's over. Nothing is absolute. A missed connection can turn into a reconnection, a genuine bond strengthened by what has been weathered.
The word I chose for 2012 isn't my word. I've realized that it's more of an evocation than a motif and it started me down the path of speculation. Suddenly I found myself wondering about choosing a word for the year, calling bullshit on myself and doubting whether it had ever worked for me. I know that choosing words has worked for me, (especially last year), just like I know that the word I chose isn't my word for 2012.
I loved this post on this new-to-me blog, and in the comments someone mentioned a book, The Warrior of Light, and I thought about it all afternoon, about the image of a warrior of light. It resonated deeply, the idea of choosing a way you want to walk in the world, a way to help you define who you are, but it feels like someone else's idea and journey and this year, I really need to stand on my own.
Walking back from the beach Saturday morning, rambling around in my thoughts, my word popped into my head and it was so obviously the right word, I didn't need to think about it any longer. The word I need for 2012 is a word I find hard to use especially in description about myself. I dance away from the word, choosing to deflect and ignore what my heart so desperately wants to embrace.
This year my self-confidence and ability to use this word will be challenged. The word that wasn't my own this year, (glow), can act as a tool to guide me, just as walking in this world as a warrior of light will help me navigate the waters and take possession.
I am in love with this gold frame film, even if it doesn't always love me back. (Impossible film can be a fickle bitch, it's a fact.)
I need a reason to get out of the house. Even though nothing is essentially different in my day to day, because I was in a holding pattern, (waiting to take my exam, waiting to start my acupuncture practice), it felt different. Now...this...this isn't good. I need a reason to get out of the house, stat, and I'm going to take a class, (hopefully Spanish), while I'm figuring things out.
I've been reading a lot, insomnia has me reading a lot, and just finished my third novel in the newyear,no. 29 on my list. It's the single best thing about not working right now, having the time to devour books.
I believe in the healing powers of rocks and crystals and I love nothing more than wearing them around my neck. My sister used to tease me that I'd become a hippy as I got older and I was always quick to remind her that she gave me my first crystal necklace for my twenty-first birthday. Nowadays I'm obsessed with crystal bullet casing necklaces. I have two with brass colored casings that I love and wear all the time. I just found a shop on Etsy that has silver casings and found two necklaces that will soon come my way.
Back when I was a kid, there were maps to the stars homes sold on almost every street corner in Hollywood. Nowadays, there are gimmicky bus tours and I'm going on the craziest today. I know it's cheeza louisa but I've always wanted to do something like this and finally, I've found someone to do it with!
I had an acupuncture treatment on Tuesday. "Call me when you need me again..." she said last August and it wasn't until over the holidays that I began to feel the pull. An intuitive practitioner, there are crystals under all of the treatment tables and her way of helping me has always been based on healing the mental that is creating the physical.
Renewed of faith and on the mend from physical symptoms that arose from all the stress of the holidays, I scheduled a return visit for next week, knowing that a few treatments will gently set me back on my way.
These days I find myself looking, searching really, for something tangible. My acupuncturist described me as a girl in transition; closing big doors and accepting loss, (no longer practicing acupuncture), inside of losing my sister.
My lady of the needles focused her intention with my treatment on forward movement and you all know how I love to toot on that horn. As much as change scares me, it's stagnation that terrifies. Complacency out of necessity is one thing, but choosing it because it's the path of least resistance is not living, at least for me. And now I realize that I was going through the motions of becoming licensed here in California because I didn't know what else to do.
Because I am a do-er. As much as I love being a mother, it has never been my dream to stay at home to raise her and tend my family. I like to work. Earning my own money fills me with pride and I've felt lost ever since I declared my intention to retire. My not working here in California was always temporary until that moment it wasn't any longer.
I am not complaining. I'm lucky to be in this position and I like that this is my biggest worry. But here it is: it's the free-floating ideas that keep me up at night. My dreams and desires for myself and my family seem too much to ask for, so I keep them inside, holding them close to the vest, when all I'm really doing is making excuses out of safety nets.
Travel plans have been made. Three, solo, (without my family), vacations are on the books and it feels like I'm throwing caution to the wind making these plans. Always the question, what else, what's coming next? Lurking in the back of my mind, the heavy darkness and thoughts that funnel downwards at an alarming rate always there. Do they ever leave? Because I'm a hypochondriac I'm quite certain it never does.
An acupuncture appointment is scheduled for early next week and likely there will be subsequent visits to quell the rising, ever present, low-level rhythms of anxiety. This is an ebb and flow*, words I come back to often and probably annoyingly at this point, but words that soothe me nonetheless.
*When I write the words ebb and flow, I see the yin-yang symbol in movement, harmoniously equal.
I'm all about affirmations. I loveNotes from the Universe and I read my horoscope on a regular basis. I see words on the street and believe there is a sign just for me. When I see 11:11 on the clock I know it will be a good day, especially if there are other instances of matching numbers, ie: 12:12, etc.
Some days, my cynicism will choke me and I remind myself to step off my pedestal of judgement and self-righteous assumptions masquerading as observations.
There are days when my eyes well with regularity and it's not because I'm overwhelmed by grief, although there is that too. As I examine the past year, I see growth and I see complex emotions about myself. A jumbled bag of anger and insecurity; loneliness and longing coexisting with an acute appreciation for life and all of its beauty.
I see my life with a bit of clarity. The excuses are worn thin and I'm worn out by making them. Everything about me has changed and frankly I'm not quite as scared of that which I have no control.
I used to make resolutions. Useful ones, ones that I'd be able to keep, mostly related to work. "Wear lipstick and mascara to work", because as an acupuncturist I could really wear whatever I wanted. The makeup wearing reminded me that I was actually a working professional; sometimes, working for myself, the lines would blur.
I stopped making resolutions when I started choosing a word for the year in 2010. That was the year I chose blossom, a word that found me growing and expanding and coming into my own. I admit that last year's word choice was based on how pretty it looked next to blossom on my necklace full of charms. However, grow I did.
This year's word doesn't resonate, but that would be typical for me. Like a new haircut, which I almost always hate by the third day, I need time to settle in with change and a new word and mood for the year is no different. Nomadic in my aspirations, I'm truly a ritual keeping, order seeking girl that likes continuity. Within the ordinary, I find freedom to dream my nomadic dreams.
I crave forward momentum, the necessity for an ebb and flow something I've now come to expect. Rarely will I find a concrete answer when I've spent my time worrying and fretting. Mother May I, giant step backwards and please, some added perspective; the only way that seems constant.
We make plans and I worry. About my health, (oh the woes of hypochondria), about my family, about it all. I try to block it out, try to not fret that that body part feels weird, what is that ache, fuck me.
All this worrying is avoidance. A whirling dervish of activity, the smoke and mirror effect of looking the other way, not ready to examine what it is I'm looking for.
Signs alerting us to possible rattlesnakes, (which I had no idea existed so close to the ocean).
Tiny trails wrapping around the cliffs
A nude beach, (on the map)
a tiny octopus
Miss A feeding said crabs to the sea anemones
Miss A also liked sticking her finger near the sea anemone so they closed on them, she declared petting the sea slug felt like touching velvet and I swear she would have stuck one of the starfish into her pocket, she loved picking them up so much.
As for me? The slight hint of the anemone tentacles had me quickly pulling my hand away. A slippery combination of jelly and velcro. Yes, I'm a wuss.
Miss A found a perfectly formed sea urchin shell, stuck it in her shoe for safe keeping and then promptly forgot about the shell and crushed it as she put her shoes back on.
Two months in and I've been able to cross a couple of things off my new list.
I've been on a reading tear, continuing with last year's momentum. I read a record-breaking thirty-seven books in 2011; my true escape, (and safety net), when life is rough. I'm tending towards lighter novels, although I'm eager to read this book as I'm a bit of a nut for WWII era settings. When Brooke mentioned Fanny at Chez Panisse I remembered that we have a copy sitting neglected on miss A's book shelf. It now sits on my bookshelf, next to another absconded book, The Dr. Seuss Dictionary in French!
And over the holiday break, I went to Point Vicente light house on a day when it was surrounded in the dense coastal fog that frequents our coastline.
I love the thick coastal fog playing against the rocky coastline. There is so much history in the craggly erosion of those cliffs standing above the dark emerald sea, the white waves breaking on the rocks far below. Seriously makes me a little weak in the knees.
Since we've been back living in California, I've wanted to visit tide pools and finally we went. The timing was perfect, (even if our footwear wasn't), and it was good. Really, really good.
I've been thinking a lot about perceptions. What I think, what you think...it can be a cluster fuck in my head if I let it go there. Clearly, perceptions are subjective, often opinionated, and I while I hope that I don't lean towards judgemental, sometimes it's there and if it isn't it's because I'm working at it.
I've learned that 98.5% of the time, it's not about me. If it is about me, I'm quite certain it has nothing to do with anything that I think it is and what I'm learning, (trying to learn), is that I can't control any of it.
The most common reaction I get when I say that I'm an introvert is surprise. Which surprises me, considering how shy I really am. My tendencies to skulk along walls at parties and in large groups has always been a hinderance, especially when I needed to market my acupuncturist self. It's the single biggest reason I decided to retire from practice; I'm simply not skilled in talking the talk, unless of course I feel comfortable with you and then I might not shut up.
I try to push myself outside of my insulated comfort zone but it's never easy. I hold myself responsible when things don't work out, focusing on all the ways I could have fixed the situation, made it better, stuffed my words that seem to stall that conversation back inside.
What I've learned is that I can't fix, change or work on anything other than me. There's an ebb and flow that's bigger than I imagined and I have come to appreciate all that comes and goes.
I mentioned that I'm usually ill-prepared when it comes to a beach outing. On one of these occasions I began to make a mental note of things to carry always in my car trunk, just in case. In no particular order, what I deem necessary for a girl on the go:
Baby wipes. Hands down, the single most important item to carry. Coffee spills in the car and on yourself, gas that gets all over your hands when filling the tank, finding oneself in a compromising position of needing a bathroom and all that's available is a porta potty...the list is endless on the virtues of baby wipes and how that little pack has saved me.
A big towel or blanket.
A Hoodie. Since I still seem to have a problem remembering to bring outerwear, (because it's California and it just isn't cold here), a hoodie in the trunk has saved my goosefleshed ass from freezing.
Water. Usually some environmentally incorrect bottle of something, I always have a bottle in the back.
Space blanket. That shiny mylar rectangle packs in the heat, especially when you find yourself on the beach without a hoodie or towel.
A quart sized ziploc bag full of nuts, (my current favorite is walnuts), a good protein-filled snack.