Today, I am attempting to turn over a new leaf.
A lot has changed in my life– and I don’t even know how to begin to talk about it all. So I am going to do what I haven’t in awhile and just speak honestly. Write honestly. And hope that somehow truth, reality, and art collide to create something I can be proud of.
1. I moved into the basement of our condo with my wonderful boyfriend, Andy. I was living upstairs but then all of my past housemates found new places, and so I was the sole survivor. Thus, I have a new abode in the basement with an amazing man, and I could not be happier about it.
2. I have a new puppy. His name is Gilbert. And he is one of the best parts of my life. He’s a lab pyrenees mix from a shelter and he’s just four months old. He likes to crawl up to my face in the morning and give me all of the kisses. I adore him.
3. I am a nanny for three beautiful children (ages four, three, and eighteen months). They are hilarious, full of life, and so loving. Sometimes work is exhausting, stressful, and I come home feeling a mess. But mostly, I love it. I love that my mornings are spent outside running, playing, walking, and climbing with three children and a puppy. I love that I nap when they nap. I love that our afternoons are yet again consumed with outdoor adventures and sometimes picnics and kites.
4. I work at a church on Sundays– a Presbyterian church, not PCUSA. I teach two and three year olds about Jesus. To some extent I am in flux about my beliefs and convictions. But I can support teaching young ones about Jesus. That much I can stomach and agree with.
5. I’m in therapy. Twice a week these days. I don’t know how to feel about it right now. I have a wonderful therapist; the woman is a saint. But it’s hard. It’s a lot of work. And EMDR is this new thing that is incredibly exhausting.
6. I have depression and anxiety and OCD and PTSD. They’re always lurking in the background and in nightly dreams–so I light candles, breathe, take my medications, and try not to cut, or drink myself into numbness.
7. I thought I knew what my life was going to be, which I hear frequently from us twenty-somethings, but it was true for me. I was set: I was degreed, I was well versed in the culture, I was fluent in the language, I was excited, I was passionate. And it all turned out to be something I couldn’t handle. And while that might be because I wasn’t on any medications for my mental illness, it still feels like a blow to the chest– a blow to the soul. I was so sure, and so passionate, and so in love with the people I knew there…. and I couldn’t hack it. There are many reasons for this– but it all boils down to the feelings of failure, disappointment, and a lack of direction that have a tendency to consume my thoughts.
8. I grew up doing theatre. Auditions, Classes, Callbacks, Rehearsals, Shows… they were all apart of the norm. I didn’t know anything different. And I loved it. Art, Dance, Singing, Acting… It all captivated me, and gave me a great love for the Arts. I have great faith in the power of the Arts to draw out and embrace human existence and feeling, and that hasn’t changed over the years. My pursuit of the medium has changed. And sometimes I feel lost in the enormity of it all. It’s overwhelming and exciting, and altogether so much work– but the reward is better than any high.
9. I got a tattoo this last year which says: “Be Brave. Stay.”. I got it while I was in intensive outpatient therapy. Because the truth of the matter is that staying here requires me to be brave every day. It costs something to stay…and not to take my life. And that cost is 100% worth it (most days), but it requires me to be courageous in a way that drains me, but also is an absolute necessity.
10. I love to read, write, and run. I love to have adventures, and think philosophical and existential things. I want to understand life, my life and those around me. I want to understand and know suffering, and to be a comfort to those dearest to me. On a good day, I do one of those things– I read, I write, I run or go for a walk. On a bad day, I can’t hardly get to work and the idea of doing things that I love to do, is just too exhausting that I collapse after work and sleep, hating my inability to live as fully as I would like to.
Here are ten true things about me. Maybe tomorrow or in the next few days I will post another five or ten things that are true about me. It may seem ridiculous to do this– but for some reason, lists help me (probably my OCD). And it helps me understand who I am and who I want to become: to sit here and type out true things. Doubt, worries, and fear are all too easily believed. So, sometimes writing the things that I know about myself that are true, serve to remind me that I am a person. I exist. And I will continue to exist with imperfections, and I will still be me. I will exist with heartbreak, grief, depression, joy, hope and love and I will become more of myself than I have ever been.
And this is enough to go on for now.