A Spring Clean of the MindThis morning, entirely without the aid of my usual onslaught of supplements and bestowed upon me whilst dying my hair and sitting cross-legged in my pajamas, I stumbled into a pocket of softness. I hate it when people say "This life is good, people. Just look around you!" as an admonition to others, preaching that if only they were able to open their eyes, they could also see that this life is good. No. Their lives may not be good. So I say today that MY life is good, really good right now.
I say this while muzzling the temptation to caveat the happiness. To tell you that my life is not without its hardships and deeply-rooted psychological angst, to assure you that I am still relatable. To know and be comfortable with my born-in sadness, I have always strived. To know and be comfortable with my newly-acquired happiness, I have never had practice.
I am a wayfarer for melancholy, after all. I can shout from the mountaintop "EMBRACE YOUR SADNESS; MELANCHOLY IS BEAUTIFUL; YOU CAN TRUST DEPRESSION." I've been so long happy in the covering shade that I didn't realize how uncomfortable the sun actually felt.
You may therefore be able to imagine my surprise when my message drastically changed to "WTF, HAPPINESS!"
That aside, I believe that one of the reasons I stumbled into this soft soul-space this morning has everything to do with the fascinating and vulnerable conversations I've had with a few women, has everything to do with the gorgeous summer salads Joel and I have been eating, has everything to do with the easy pace of my days, has everything to do with the support I receive with Bowie, has everything to do with the rich and copious reading I'm doing or the satisfying pursuit of writing and writing culture, has everything to do with gorgeous new pair of Michael Kors boots I used a gift certificate to buy, has everything to do with a hormone rebalancing, yes. All are true.
But more than that...this I stumbled upon a freewrite prompt in my mind that busted me wide open. Eight pages later, and even though I had to stop writing to shower and attend to my progeny, a nonstop ticker of answers to this question have presented themselves.
The freewrite topic:
"I used to believe..."
I know from experience that the attempt to capture one's personal growth is one of the most difficult possible. To chronicle how a human feels and thinks and knows herself from birth to death is THE noble feat to which I aspire, the goal that butters my existential biscuits.
Inner change is not only hard to write about because it's tricky to pinpoint, but honing in on personal transformation is vastly difficult because it requires me to refrain from judgment, to confess with vulnerability some very embarrassing and ignorant viewpoints, to cringe at the knowledge that much of what I say will make people I love either defensive or hurt their feelings deeply. However, the best writing comes from the truest place, and every time I allow myself to be stifled by how I imagine my friends and family will receive these thoughts, I draw my mind's eye back to a scene that immediately serves perspective on my plate in big ol' southern portions. I imagine myself dying, and imagine that I will deeply regret living my one life for a myriad of other faces that may or may not agree with me, and may or may not be compelled to pray for my back-slidden soul. Writing down what I used to believe requires the courage to see words pour out of you that you have always known were there but never had a home outside of your brain, and DAMN it feels good to spring clean my mind.
It always feels good to say the thing you never want to say, even if it's only something you say to yourself.
So...what happens for you when you think (without thinking) about your answers to "I used to believe"? Let me say that if you have no answers, that if you find yourself believing what you have always believed...you have stumbled into one of my greatest fears for humankind.
We must evolve and grow. Even if that means all you can say is that you used to hate Lady Gaga, and now you appreciate her.
Hell, if that's one of your answers, you are way more evolved than I.