Follow Your Gut

I remember, when I was a little kid, feeling like I had some sort of magical, untapped, limitless power inside of me. I would lay in bed at night allowing my imagination to run wild. I would create these perfect fantasy worlds in my head and I felt unstoppable.

I knew that there were limits in life. For example, I desperately wanted a horse but living in the suburbs that was not feasible. As my dad pointed out there were laws indicating how much land you needed to have and we did not meet the requirements. As I type this now, I wonder if that was true or just something he said to shut me up…

In my fantasy world, all the neighbors on my block would cease to exist. I wished them no ill will, they simply disappeared. Our entire street was vacant expect for my family, so all the “yards,” were now ours and we had plenty of room for horses. Of course, in my perfect fantasy world I only considered the parts of having a horse that appealed to me: Their beauty, riding them, interacting with them. There was never a point that I dwelled on their care, mucking out stalls, etc. That is the perk of fantasy.

My entire childhood and perhaps to some degree even into high school, I dreamed big. Nothing was out of reach, nothing was off limits. I could have whatever I wanted, I could do or be whatever I wanted. My dad always told me, “You can have anything you want in life, all you have to do is earn it.” Somehow though, I lost that. I let life get me down or convince me that I needed to be practical. While there were still beautiful stories in my head; picking up and moving to some distant city, or becoming a famous writer by the age of 22, or being filthy rich, or who knows, I abandoned them.

I started making safer choices. I’ve always wanted to write, since I was a little kid. I would write silly short stories to pass the time. I would tell intricately woven stories with my Barbies, or playing house or any of those things kids don’t seem to do nowadays. When I started college, however, I opted to pursue a degree in Human Resource Management. The classes bored me to death but they were safe. I was already a manager in a fast-food chain. They had a franchise office. I could get a business degree and that would guarantee a good job. I was also considering being a teacher but I wanted to teach Spanish and I was afraid I would always sound like a gringa speaking it which wouldn’t be helpful to students. I was scared. So I took business classes. (I don’t think I’ve ever admitted to anyone before why I didn’t pursue being a Spanish teacher).

I have bounced around in the years since high school, carving out little niches for myself. I’ve gathered up myriad experiences that have helped to shape who I am today. I’ve tried on lots of different roles, and pursued my varied interests. As a kid I always imagined myself being a waitress- I loved the interactions they had with their tables and I can say I’ve done that. In fact, sometimes I even miss it. I wanted to be a hair stylist but that also seemed scary to me as I felt like an unkempt mess. I overcame that fear and I did it and loved it. I’ve been a manager, I’ve been an employee, I currently get to teach in the job that I have now.

So where does that leave me? I am realizing never stop dreaming big. Never silence your inner truth. I am back in college and getting a degree in English. That scared the shit out of me for years, I couldn’t see a “practical’ way to apply that. It doesn’t matter though. I need to do it. (ok and now I have figured out “practical” way to apply it).I am reconnecting with myself, my passions, my soul. I’m learning to quit silencing what doesn’t make sense and listen to my gut. All in all, I would say I am in a damn good place.

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Destroy

I want to run away. Far away. I want to wreck everything I have built. I want to fall, into the abyss that I’ve outrun for so long. I want to break free from the restraints. I want to let the gray overtake me. I want to wallow in the sadness that is floating at the edges of my life.

But I can’t. That’s not what grown ups do. That’s not what I really want. It is just what I feel, a little bit. I am scared. I am taking stock. I am borderline unhappy at the moment. I am plotting my next move. So my instinct? My urge? Run. Wreck. Destroy. Topple all the pieces. Why? Because I can. Because then the slate is not clean but it is a fresh start.

Life runs in cycles. I am currently in my low. No, I am not bi-polar or manic depressive. At least not that I know of. I am missing Uncle John. I’m missing Grams. Aunt Marianne. Papa. I have odd dreams of them, some of them, or all of them. I have dreams of living relatives in odd situations. I have dreams that the ones that have passed on are still alive, even though part of me, even in the dream, knows they are gone. It is so odd and confusing.

There are changes happening. Changes I cannot control.

Unhappiness is important sometimes. It forces us to take a good, long look in the mirror. It is time to get really honest with myself. Come up with a plan. Not a “life plan,” that is too extreme. Maybe a year or two plan. What are my next steps? Where do I want to be?

In the meantime, I will just fantasize about destroying it all…

A Stupid Thing

The past few weeks I have had several dreams of my friend T, the one who vanished on me a year and a half ago. In these dreams I miss her so much it hurts. There is an ache inside of me when, in these dreams, I run into her in the oddest of places. Stores, salons, homes of friends, relatives, or strangers. 

The location changes, the people tied to me running into her changes. However, the initial confrontation is nearly always the same. I can feel anger, perhaps even hatred, radiating off of her. Somehow we are forced together, forced to interact. I am nervous. Here is this person, this friend that I loved for so long. She truly helped to change my life. It’s painful, seeing the disdain in her eyes as she looks at me. By some miracle, as we are forced together, cautiously, oh so slowly, things begin to shift. The anger starts to dissipate, my nervousness is melting too. 

Somehow, we find our way back to being friends. 

In daylight, I know that this is far fetched. Knowing that back when our friendship ended I did call and text for several weeks without a single response. Her departure was devastating but soon eclipsed by the loss of Aunt Mickey and Gram. I think in some ways, my grief over the demise of our friendship was swallowed up wholly and ignored. I can only imagine that is why it still haunts me… 

Back to present day and the stupid thing I did. Friday I had an inspired idea that I would reach out to her. With all the time that had passed maybe it was time to rekindle our friendship. I was nervous as I called and after a few rings I was sure she wasn’t going to answer but then I realize, she did answer. 

“Hello,” she said neutrally.

“Hey, T, it’s Kelly.” I was excited like a little kid, maybe the dreams were prophetic.

“Yeah.” 

“You’ve been on my mind a lot lately. I wanted to see how you are doing.” 

“I’m fine.” Click. She hung up.  

I was not entirely shocked. I was a bit crestfallen. I was also aware. It was time to let go. Totally. Completely. 

The only people who will be in our lives are the ones who choose to be. She has chosen. She doesn’t want to be in mine. It’s painful and it sucks. To be clear, I am not putting all the blame on her. I’m sure she has her reasons, just none that she ever shared with me. So I cannot illustrate wrong doing on my part, not because I am blameless but because I am not aware. 

I kicked myself for having called. I could have left it alone. I’m not that person though. If I feel, in my gut, that I need to do something; I do it. Did it bring up fresh hurt? Yes. Did it solidify where things are in my life? Yes. Is it time to move forward in that area of my life and not look back? Abso-fucking-lutely.