Side Trips

I’ve always been introspective and preferred my own company.  Here lately I’ve bordered on reclusive though, damn near hermit like. I go to work, I come home.  I’ll sometimes venture into nearby stores on my lunchbreaks, but as for socializing it’s few and far between, limited mainly to scattered text messages to the few friends that I have.  I’ve just recently come back to social media after months of not engaging, dipping my toes in the water of Facebook again briefly, only to abandon it for a few days and then come back and browse and post something and abandon it again.  I have taken a liking to Pinterest, as it is shaped by my interests more than it is by other peoples. Matt keeps me updated on what’s happening in the world, and I get notifications from a couple different websites about music news and odd little weather phenomena. Other than that, I am pretty disconnected from the world.

I’ve spent a lot of this reclusive, hermit like time thinking about my past.  About the life that I’ve lived that has made me the way that I am. This past year has been spent healing from a lot of the trauma that I’ve endured.  I realized at some point that I was letting all the loss and pain I experienced dictate who I was as a person.  I was letting the shit define me.   I came to the realization that I am not the loss and the pain, I am not the trauma.  Sure, it played it’s part in shaping me into who I am – I am not over here trying to deny what I went through.  But I also am not all of that mess.  I’ve removed myself from it.  I have made a safe, secure place for myself and for my boys.  I’m not a millionaire living in a mansion or anything, but I certainly have gotten away from the ugliness that plagued my childhood and young adulthood, and I don’t worry about our housing situation or where food will come from.  We’re secure and safe, and that means a lot.

I’m still healing.  I’m still dealing with the aftermath of abuse and ugliness – or rather acknowledging these things instead of burying them. Some days are good, some are not.  Hell, some hours are good, and some are not.  I’ve done a lot of things to simplify life so I can concentrate on healing, so I can give my full attention to myself.  I still have responsibilities to deal with, so I carve out some time here and there when I can to just sit with myself.  I’ll take half an hour out of my workday to walk when the job gets to be too much, or I’ll take a long bath and just sit there with my eyes closed when the day gets to be too much.  I’ve taken a liking to sitting on my deck now that the weather is warmer with a book – I spent the last couple of weekends in a book, on my back deck, drinking water with citrus in it and getting some sun. Because lately, life has been too much.

One of the things that I’ve been thinking about here recently is how much I miss my words. I miss stringing sentences together and sharing my view with others. I just haven’t been sure how to approach writing with this new, slightly healthier but still healing viewpoint. The other side of admitting I have legitimate mental and emotional trauma to heal from and trying to overcome it is a little precarious.  I’m learning how to live life all over again. And it’s more than a little confusing sometimes. 

I was out walking my property a couple weeks ago when the thought occurred to me. . . maybe I don’t have to write these long, drawn out life lesson posts.  Maybe I can just share snippets of this new journey I’m on.  If I’ve learned anything over this last year, its that I am not one that wants or needs the spotlight on my every move. I’m good with sharing bits and pieces, but I much prefer to keep the majority of things to myself.  I used social media and even these blog posts to make myself feel better about who I am as a person.  I was letting others’ opinions of me be validation that I was a good person, that I was worth something to someone.

I have come to the conclusion that others’ opinions don’t matter.  I don’t need to share every time I bake a cake with my kid or take them to dinner or to the park to know that I am a good mother.  I don’t need to be a famous author to know that I am good at writing and that I have touched people’s lives. I don’t need to share a picture of myself every other day to get validation that I am attractive.  No one needs to know how I’m spending my days or my evenings, if I’m with my kids or with my friends or just by my damn self.  I’m taking time to get to know myself and like myself.  Because its true – you shouldn’t rely on others for validation.  You should validate yourself.  If you feel good about what you’re doing and who your spending time with -or not spending time with, for that matter – than at the end of the day that’s what counts.

I took a side trip a couple weeks ago to a place where we used to fish when I was a kid, and last weekend I took a side trip to the location of my first apartment – I’ll be freshening up that old post with some new pictures and reposting on the Facebook page here very soon, by the way.  These are things that give me time to reflect and heal from the past, and I’m able to view these places with fresh eyes.  It was amazing to me to drive down old familiar roads and look at these places now. And it didn’t make me sad, or even think about bad times.  I had good memories from these places, and that’s when I knew that I was getting better.  There was a time this winter when I felt actual anxiety at the thought of going anywhere but to work, and even sometimes that was hard. Now I walked through the trees to the lake and sat where I sat all those years ago and just felt peace and contentment.  More on that later, though, I’ve gone and gotten sidetracked.  My point is, I took these little trips and the thought kept coming back to me.  I could write about this. I could write about the trees and the water and the peace I feel, and I think it could be good.

I think I could write about my little side trips down memory lane.  I think I could go on little adventures by myself and share them here. I think I could find my voice here again by doing this.

No promises, but I think maybe I could.

One thing at a time though.  For now I want to dig out my old post about my first apartment and update it and repost it. Then if I find myself in front of my computer again, great.  If it’s months again before another post, that is also okay.  But I intend to keep going on these little side trips and rediscovering old places and looking at them with fresh eyes.  I intend to let go of the past so I can embrace the future.  I intend to embrace this new version of myself and get to know her and accept her. . . and maybe even like her a little. Because when it’s all said and done its not about what others think of me, it’s what I think of myself.

Happy Saturday.

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