From April 2013
I’m learning amazing things about myself these days. For one, I've discovered that writing is a form of meditation for me. Well, I guess I knew that, but on a deeper level I've figured out what blogging does for me compared with journaling.
My natural disposition seems to be a rather melancholy, dramatic one. A lot of “woe is me” and “ isn't this terribly sad” and “it’s so tragically romantic,” that sort of thing. Yeah, seriously. It’s a little more subtle than that—I’m very clever, you know--but it’s there. That’s my native bent. When you see me bubbly and overflowing with joy, wildly wielding a positive outlook on life, well, it’s not fake, it’s just… determination. I have given some thought to who I want to be and I try to make decisions on a regular basis that will get me where I want to be.
To be fair to myself (something I am not often), I should probably say these are two sides to myself. Like that story that floats endlessly around on the internet, there are two wolves inside of me and which ever one I feed is the one that will grow stronger. So no, I’m not being fake when I am upbeat, even in the face of ugly circumstances, rather I have made a decision, sometimes a hard one. You may never know how much I want to cry when instead I suck it up and smile.
A few years ago I got to thinking about how elderly people seem to be a reflection of their whole life’s decisions. Those who continually chose to be angry and upset, to bitch and moan about what life dealt them, in their old age they seem to lose the strength to choose anything but this bitterness. But those who learned to let it go, to forgive, to love, to be content… Practice may not make perfect, but it makes it easier to practice again. Love becomes your first response even when you’re too tired to choose if you’ve chosen it over and over during your lifetime. I’ve thought about what kind of grandma I want to be. A crunchy, bitter old hag (I would make such a good one!) that makes you silently vow to never grow old yourself, or a kind, understanding old gal with laughing eyes that speak to you the richness of the a life well lived and well loved. I will be a cookie-baking granny either way, but I want those around me to eat my sweets with relish, trusting that I haven’t snuck in some arsenic.
When I journal for myself I tend to write eloquent lamentations. When I write for an audience I am more likely to choose the high road, feed the Love wolf, embrace the positive nature. I explore with my words and I see the struggle inside myself and I make a decision. Putting it in writing cements it. I walk away from the computer understanding what I face and who I am, able to hold my head up, able to choose life and love. Excellent and inexpensive therapy.
I do this for me, but I also do it for you, dear reader. I want you to see my struggles; yes, partly because I want you to know me, because I desire to connect to others on this level (and I have a nasty martyr streak), but also so that you will understand that you have the same struggles and the same choices. You have the same opportunity to contemplate and make decisions about who you want to be.