Friday, August 25, 2006

Some Peace, Just to Get Me to Sleep

Sometimes I just can't sleep. I don't know what it is because God knows I'm always tired. I think sometimes all the worries and doubts and plans and memories and well, all that head mess, it all gets so wired up and energized from running round and round inside my mind that it can't calm down. I find this usually happens when I'm stressed or upset over something. Am I stressed or upset right now? Well, I don't know how to answer that, but I guess that's a yes, isn't it?

I had a bad boyfriend once. Ha. Actually, I had him three times over, but the first go at a relationship with him was really nice, which kept me comin back for more. He used to get me so upset. He's hurt me more than I care to admit, and I spent many a sleepless night worrying over our relationship or fretting about something he had said.

I used to get out of bed and lay on the couch when I felt so smothered by all that worry and fear and heartache. And as soon as I laid down on that couch, it was lights out. Like getting away from him set me free from all that unpleasantness and gave me the relief I needed to sleep. I used to tell him that sometimes the bed felt too crowded and suffocating with all those thoughts and the pair of us trying to fit in there too. I think that was a little bit of it too.

Right now, though. There's no bad boyfriend. There's no family tragedy, praise God. And there's no real personal crisis that I'm going through. I am, however, approaching my one year anniversary of when I decided to leave my old life behind and start a new one. And I have started that new life. And it's happier than the old one and more fulfilling and challenging too.

But it still seems like the old problems somehow don't all go away. There are still old worries and fears exercising in my mind. The characters have changed a bit. Even the problems themselves are different, but still pretty much the same. I can't solve them tonight, of course.

I do have a song in my head, though. That I think explains some of this, and I hope that by getting all of this out and into the world, there will be enough room in my bed again for lil ol me.

Danny and I spent another late night over pancakes,
Talkin' 'bout soccer
And how every man's just the same
We made speculation
On the who's and the when's of our futures
And how everyone's lonely
But still we just couldn't complain

And how we just hate being alone
Could I have missed my only chance
And now I'm just wasting my time
By looking around

But you know I know better
I'm not gonna worry 'bout nothing
Cause if the birds and the flowers survive
Then I'll make it okay
I'm given a chance and a rock
see which one breaks a window
See which one keeps me up all night and into the day

Because I'm so scared of being alone
That I forget what house I live in
But it's not my job to wait by the phone
For her to call

Well this day's been crazy
But everything's happened on schedule
from the rain and the cold
To the drink that I spilled on my shirt
'Cause You knew how You'd save me
before I fell dead in the garden
And You knew this day
long before You made me out of dirt

And You know the plans that You have for me
And You can't plan the end and not plan the means
And so I suppose I just need some peace
Just to get me to sleep.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

My Day. My Independence Day.

Yesterday was My Independence Day. My Day. Mine. A year ago exactly yesterday, I was freed to go find myself a new life. I may not have more fresh-start opportunities like that, and I hope that one day I'll stop craving them. But I doubt if any previous opportunities such as that have produced as much growth as the past year has.

The year before the past year...uh, so that was like two years ago...anyway, that year was a really painful and difficult year. And I'm sure there was some growth in there somewhere, but mostly, I think that year was about hanging on. I learned survival skills, I realized the strength I have, I better understood the bonds I have with certain family members and I learned a little more about what I do and do not need and want. So that was an important year to crawl through.

But the past year. The past year, I have finally become proud of myself. I've realized and accepted (and set out to improve) some of my faults. That is hard work, let me tell you, and quite tough cuz I'm sensitive. More than anything, I feel like I've realized and developed my independence. I've always been independent. But the past year, I feel like for the first time, I truly was. And I finally have a job that is personally and professionally satisfying. One that makes me feel good because I am part of making the world a better place and because I am actually pretty good at what I do. I never understood how fulfilling all that could be.

There's more work to do next year, but it's good to exhale and realize how far I've come. I'm still very insecure about some things, still have major problems with intimacy, still have fears and doubts, still get nervous and anxious too much, still need to be more responsible. Ugh. When I think about all there is to do, though, I get lost in that and can't see what all I've done. Sometimes we get focused on the logistics and stats. We want to see numbers, evidence, quantification of progress, of accomplishment. But that's just not what life is all about. Life is about all the things you don't plan, all the things you have to look for to find, all the things you miss when you're focused on other things. And life is in the feelings.

Yesterday, I felt a lot of feelings. Proud because something amazing and historic happened at work. Peaceful because I remembered what I was going through at this time last year and all the pain during that time that I don't feel anymore. Happy because I feel like I'm on the right track finally. But also sad that there wasn't someone to truly share all of that with (why do you keep missing all my big moments?!?). And nervous and fearful for all that is still unknown.

But as I fell asleep last night, after finishing an empowering book, after talking to one of my most favorite people and after thinking about the past, I watched those silly red lights blink on the Washington Monument and realized where I am now. And I saw the Capitol dome and all the hope it inspires me with and remembered that the best is still yet to come.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Under-the-bed Monsters

Faith is a funny thing. It really comes with being a grown-up. We have to have faith all the time. So much so that it could make a person go insane.

They always say, 'Have childlike faith,' but children don't have to have faith in anything. Mommy drives them to all the places they need to be, she feeds them, she clothes them, she makes all their decisions for them and she buys them the Christmas presents they ask for. They don't have to think about any of that stuff or worry about it at all. There's no faith necessary in the life of a child.

But as adults, we constantly have to believe in things we cannot see and be certain of what we hope for. All that fancy talk just means that we have to appease ourselves constantly. We have worries and fears that would be scarier to any kid than even the monster under her bed. And all the while, we have to tell ourselves whatever works to assauge our nerves and anxieties so we can get through another day doing all the things that we have to do.

I want to go back to kindergarten. When even though I worried about how late my mom might be in picking me up from daycare, it didn't take any ounce of miracle to have faith that she would show. Why can't Mommy get rid of all of my fears and doubts now? It's hard out here for a girl on her own. But that's the tricky part, isn't it? I'm not really a girl anymore. (shut up, Britney Spears...) I'm an adult.

Yikes. Maybe that's scarier than all my fears and doubts and under-the-bed monsters.

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