Posts Tagged ‘bags packed’

And School Starts

August 7, 2016

Now.

Go!

Fuck.

I can’t believe I am heading off to my eight day school retreat for my second year of my grad program tomorrow.

Holy shit.

I’m a second year student.

How the hell did that happen so fast?

I’m packed and ready for it.

Although not quite as prepared as I would like to be.

One of my texts still hasn’t shown up.

There is really nothing I can do about it, surrender to the imperfect start and let myself off the hook.  At least the book is on order.  A classmate of mine admitted that she hadn’t ordered it yet, another classmate of mine said, yup, I got it, but I haven’t cracked it yet.

So I’m not alone.

Not that I ever am, but I can pull myself down pretty quick if I think I’m not doing it right or perfect, whatever the fuck that looks like, and ruin a day with my grievous mind.

I broke down a lot today.

It was not a perfect looking day.

But I got through it despite stupid thoughts, overwhelming feelings, and lots of tears.

I mean loads.

I have no idea why.

General anxiety.

Trying to figure it out.

Figure it out is not a slogan and is certainly not a solution.

My best ideas usually end up in trouble, to tell you the truth.

To tell myself the truth.

Once in a while I do have some good judgement, a little modicum of calm, a notion to do something, to go opposite my critical head and reach for some solution, some outside myself answer.

I got up and went to yoga.

I did not want to.

I mean.

Really not want to, my least favorite teacher was subbing for my favorite teacher and he’s a tough cookie, he does some really hard core yoga, I have only taken his class one other time and it left me flustered, in tears, and frustrated.

Which is exactly where I got today.

In tears on the mat, trying to do what seem to be super easy poses, but just wrecked trying to get into them or hold them or move gracefully.

Everything felt old and cranky and crunchy.

Seriously.

The noises my knees make are sometimes ghastly.

I was miserable and when I have a hard time, I try harder, I cry more, I shout in my head, I fall over, I say fuck.

“Oh no, someone said fuck in the yoga studio,” my instructor laughed, “fuck that”

The class chuckled.

I’m glad to be here for comic relief.

After ward he chatted with me and I told him the truth.

“I hate your class,” I said, point blank, “it is by far the hardest class and I don’t know what I’m doing and I feel everything so much harder, it’s just impossible.”

“You hate my class,” he said, “really?”

“I just hate that I can’t seem to do any of it, it’s the hardest class of all the classes I have had and I just feel wrecked and always in pain and always on the verge of falling over.”

Fuck.

I’m in tears reliving it.

I was so whacked out.

But I realized in the doing that I hadn’t had a thought for pretty much the entire 75 minutes that was anxious or living in the future or dwelling anywhere than in the specific pose I was trying so hard to hit.

Nada.

Quiet head.

I know enough to be grateful for that.

A beautiful respite from me, my own worse enemy, I mean really, I wouldn’t even call myself a “frenemy” at this point, I am just plain mean to myself.

It’s all perfectionism and it’s about getting greater humility and letting go of the idea that what you think of me is important, or for that matter, any of my fucking business.

I mean.

I hope you like me, tilts head, smiles coyly.

NOPE.

Not my business how you feel about me, think about me, or on the other hand, it’s not even my business how I think about myself either.

It’s a lie.

I am good enough, sweet enough, kind enough, I am smart enough, I show up, I try.

“I have that voice too,” my teacher told me today, looking right in my eyes, “I am a perfectionist too and you have no idea how far you have come in such a short time and how much further you’re going to be able to take this.”

“You’re beating yourself up, you try harder than anyone we’ve seen at the studio in recent time, you’re doing great, you really are.”

He told me some stories and shared some experiences and I was humbled.

That’s some perspective.

And a good change for me to hear and take in and also almost, but not quite, sign up for his class tomorrow.

Except.

I have to go to school.

“You get to go to school,” my person reminded me as I was crying over my utter lack of control over my life, total and completely powerless.

“You get to go to school, you get to be of service, you get to go to grad school, this is amazing!” She said, bright and shiny and full of humor about my tears and how good it was to see me letting go of perfectionism and just showing up and being vulnerable.

This is amazing.

I am in graduate school.

I am getting my Masters in Psychology.

I get to be a student.

I get to get out of the city for a little while too.

The fog and the cold have been pretty overwhelming and the the grey and the no sun a little wearing.

I’ll be in Petaluma tomorrow by 3p.m. and that’s not in the fog belt at all.

I packed summer clothes in my suitcase.

I get to see some wonderful friends from my cohort and I get to eat really nice food and be outside in the sun.

And.

I packed my yoga mat and my yoga clothes and I’m going to keep practicing.

I’ll be showing up to the mat if not the studio.

I have come to realize that this practice is important for me to cultivate.

Being in my body is important.

I am too much in my head.

It’s a dangerous neighborhood and I go there to frequently.

Ready to head out of that dark alley and into the sunlight of the spirit.

Or.

At least of Petaluma.

Ha.

I’ll be out of town for eight days, but not out of touch.

Call.

Text.

Send me a smoke signal.

I’ll respond in kind.

In between classes.

And reading.

And homework.

Oh.

And yoga.

Because.

Yoga.

 

 

T-Minus Sunday

June 29, 2014

And counting.

One more day before I fly home to Wisconsin.

Not really home, this home.

Wisconsin ceased being home a long time ago, almost twelve years ago now, and I am not going back to the part of Wisconsin that I grew up in.

I am going to Hudson, Wisconsin where my best friend and her skulk live.

I am excited to see them.

And I realized today, anxious.

A feeling I am not particularly fond of and one I would prefer to not feel and also one that it took me a minute to identify that I was having.

Oh.

Hi.

I did not know that was what was happening.

This is actually astounding progress for me.

First that I identified that I was having a feeling.

And that the feeling was not “shit” or “fat” or “fucked.”

“Fat” is not a feeling.

Nope.

Inadequacy.

Oh.

That’s a feeling.

Some shame.

Yeah, there’s that too.

And then the anxiety.

The nice thing about feelings is that they pass.

By the time I was finished with my commitment for the evening it was gone.  I got to check in about it with someone and talk and of course there’s anxiety.

Duh.

Traveling is an anxiety inducing affair, even if I am excited about the trip.  Sometimes, too, I will confuse the excitement for anxiety or vice versa.

And I am not one hundred percent me, ankle stuff and all, and so yeah, this is all a different kind of travel than I am used to.

I also am feeling a bit of anxiety about returning to work.

Will I be ready?

Will I fuck up the ankle more?

Will I be able to handle the kids?

I believe yes to the former and not the latter, and I believe that the free-floating feeling of “there’s something wrong” is just a tendency of an ill mind to try to get me to fabricate a crisis where there is none.

There’s nothing wrong.

My bills are paid.

(Thank you friends again and again and again.)

My ducks are in a row.

I even have a TSA approved travel toilette bag.

And.

I investigated getting the wheel chair today online, to wheel me through the airport on the way to the flight.

Turns out that SFO won’t do it for you, per se, you have to contact the airline that you are traveling via, itself.

Basically I will request it when I pull up to check in for my flight.  I won’t go inside and print of my ticket, I will go curb side to Delta and request the wheelchair at that point.  I will also check into my flight there as well instead of checking in at one of the kiosks.

I may ask my ride to actually come and get me just a tiny bit earlier to make sure I sail through on time.

I don’t believe I will actually need more time, but I would rather have it than not.

Needless to say I will be requesting it, “the chariot” as a dear heart said I should think of it, and I will ask to be seated outside my assigned seat if I can be made more comfortable.

I don’t think I can get the extra leg room in the cabin by sitting in the exit row, you have to be physically capable of assisting others, and well, I would love to play hero, but perhaps not on this flight.

I have a feeling though that the flight won’t be packed, it’s an odd time of day to fly out and it’s a Monday flight to Minneapolis, I think it will be fine.

It feels fine anyhow.

I don’t have much to do tomorrow.

Take care of packing my suitcase, doing a little laundry, taking a shower, having a normal day, whatever “normal” looks like.

Today it was have tea with a confidant for an hour on the back porch and do a lot of inventory.

I also called a lot of folks just to check in and say hi and see how my friends were doing.

I got some sun.

I sat and flipped through a Vogue magazine.

I ate nice meals that I cooked for myself.

I drank lots of tea.

Oh!

I edited more of my book.

It feels good to have done some work on that and to be moving forward with it.  I can see the piece getting cleaner and the showing, not the telling is happening.

I also love seeing the comments from my friend, it’s great to have a reader who can point out, this doesn’t make sense to me, this works, this doesn’t, try this not that, this is awkward, this works, but not so much this here, “you’re showing, not telling” is a big one and it is a pet peeve of mine to be told rather than shown.

I want the experience to be like watching a movie, so the more I can show what is happening the better that feeling will come across.

It feels quite satisfying to have had some distance and some time and perspective away from it and to be reading it bound, my friend bound it for me when he edited the manuscript, I am making notes in the margin and finding fresh ways to retell it in the details rather than in the use of adjectives and superlatives.

Extraordinary too, to relive the story.

Because it’s not just a story, it’s my history, it’s my interpretation, really or my history at that time in my life.

My perspective on the time has changed seismically, however, in just a sentence or two, I can be right back there, in the meat of it, in the city, on the Lake, where a lot of the action takes place, down in the Florida Keys, in and around Homestead, Florida, I am right there participating in the action.

And I see it.

Now I just need to have you see it.

I don’t want to describe that feeling.

I don’t want to say I am anxious.

I want you to see me sitting and bouncing a leg or wringing my hands, re-tracing the lifeline on my right hand while holding a cigarette in my left, over and over again.

I want the description of the action to be palpable and thick so you don’t have to hear the feelings, you can see them loud and clear.

Show.

Don’t tell.

I wrote a book.

Anyone can write a book.

Now I want to write a book that is readable.

I want to tell a story that is consumable.

I want you to want more when you are finished.

I want to inflame the appetite.

Of course going back to Wisconsin is going to arouse anxiety.

I am heading back to that place where I vowed to leave twelve years ago to become the next great American novelist and I shall return not having published or finished writing that great novel of mine.

That is ego.

That is not why I am going.

I am not going back to prove a point or be anyone other than myself.

Because my friend wants me, not the idea of me.

The idea of me can stay home.

I have better things to carry onto the plane.

Or wheelchair on to the plane.

As the case may be.

 


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