the last year of my life basically felt like a bad run-on sentence — or under construction.

the last year of my life basically felt like a bad run-on sentence. it just kept going, and going, losing the intended focus. with no solid punctuations. and just bad instead of poetic as previously assumed.

let’s explore.

[change & happy]

I feel like I’ve been complaining a lot lately. on it’s own, that’s fine. actually, no, i think that’s the problem. for me, on it’s own, complaining is not fine. here’s why: i write. uncover. complain. discover. do nothing. and 5 months later, write about it again. i keep doing the same shit. being drawn to the same individuals. relying on external sources for internal gratification. over and over. seriously, the same shit. the same. shit. (side note: read that sentence as if narrated by George Lopez; just feels right). aaanyway, i don’t know about you but I’m kinda tired of cycling through the cycles.

Never mistake activity for achievement. Bill Walton

Very true, Mr. Walton. very true. I’m not knocking working toward something, or aiming for improvement, or always attempting. trust. me. working toward better is what I’m all about. but activity does not equal achievement, as Mr. Walton so nicely and concisely put it. okay, so then what? well, i think one of those “under construction, in need of repair, come back later” signs is most appropriate.

I kinda-actually-definitely want to work toward better. like work-up-a-sweat-a-la-Brittney, put-in-that-effort-like-Iggy, exhaust-myself-if-it-means-i’m-finally-making-change work.

I guess the actual next step is to figure out the how. I have a vague understanding of my why. the only way to actually achieve my goal of making the world a better place is to take steps toward that, not just grasp up at all the fluffy shit I’m putting out there. …slightly aggressive but I need that. I need to be passionate. I need to be angry about where I’m at. This is by no means meant to be thought of in a self-defeating way. It’s a good thing. I feel, at this very moment as the words fill my head more quickly than my fingers can keep up with, I am realizing that I am no longer in that helpless place. I recognize that I can make change and don’t have to sit on the sidelines waiting for validation of that. I have the ability to reach my goals, to positively impact others. You have that ability. It’s just a matter of doing it. So let’s do it.

Okay, here’s what I’m actually working on & how I’m actually going to work toward doing it:

1. writing.

write. then write some more.i call myself a writer but it was recently brought to my attention that i’m actually not as good at it as i thought. ((more like, i never really questioned my abilities but the wake-up call was refreshing and taken in stride)). i’m not saying i’m a horrible writer. or that i should give up on my dream of eventually writing a book. or that i should quit. no, none of that. i’m also not saying that i thought i was an amazing author, ready to publish, great at an art i’ve never truly studied. (seriously, grammar and syntax aren’t my strong suit; just ask all the red squigglys that fill my page before I publish my posts). what i am saying is that if i want to be good better at this (at anything really), i need to actually work at it. with as much as i do, i feel like this has never been the case (the whole jack of all trades, master of none thing). So i’ll go to places like this–> http://www.macalester.edu/academics/writewell/ and write and edit and read and edit and write….then write some more.

2. decluttering.

i really do strive to live a minimalist life. books and sales get in the way of that a bit. but again, if i want it, i gotta work at it. shelves will be cleared this weekend. pile of papers are ready to be shredded after 3 years (don’t judge me). and shed is organized and very ready for the garage sale of your dreams once the weather warms up (fo’ reals. i got what you’re looking for…in a strictly-garage-sale-items sorta way). going here will help with this goal too.

3. singing

if i had more confidence and less stage fright, this would be my career choice. i love singing. i’m not the best at it but after being told a handful of times that i do it well, I’m starting to believe it. I don’t plan on making it a career (been working too long at the one I’ve got). Maybe a side gig someday. But regardless, I’ve gotta work at it. Choir practice helps. Sending recordings to a kind soul to critique does also. don’t get me wrong, this last thing was scary as hell but I found starting to make change with someone you trust helps make it easier…not any less frightening, but easier. another way is voice lessons. due to lack of extra income and limited time, things like this will do for now.

4. my faith

it needs work. I need work. this isn’t new. I’m just being more intentional about it now. After my weekend away that saved me last year, I knew I could only answer ‘yes’ when called to serve as part of the ACTS Team for an upcoming retreat. this will definitely require work, in the most amazing way possible.

5. my profession

I still haven’t perfected the whole “let’s actually believe I’m educated and trained and competent at what I do” thing with regards to my practice and training. probably partially because it sometimes feels like i’ve half-assed my way through a large part of my education. then only way to change (some of) that is to make up for that by learning. and reading. yes, folks, i’m actually reading! not having anymore coursework and avoiding my dissertation somehow opens up extra time. i (mostly) read an entire book last week, focused on codependency. and i learned! crazy how that happens! i think i’ll do more of that.

6. being a better friend.

anxiety, introvertedness, and childhood experiences all interact to create quite the clusterfuck of traits set of unique characteristics and quirks that at times work against me in terms in this department. (two side notes: 1. do you like what I did there? positive reframe, homies. positive reframe. & 2. my dictionary does not want to recognize ‘clusterfuck’ as a legitimate word. it suggests i simply use ‘cluster’ and omit the ‘fuck’ part, but we both know that that just doesn’t capture it as well). Anyway, my point is that I haven’t been the type to reach out and chat it up with others or drop by. nor am I drawn to picking up the phone for an hour-long call (this does happen with the right person, it just probably won’t be me making the call). Instead, I pray. & I think. Positive thoughts for others and concerns for their well being happen often. I’m starting to think actual contact might help decrease concern and increase positive thought. I’m making it a habit to answer phone calls now. And attend gatherings. And just be there for others, asking “how are things.” crazy simple. yet kind of amazing.

there’s more. of course. but i’m tired. ((i’m also working on getting that whole get-enough-sleep thing…i’ll let you know how that one goes)). this is a good start.

so what does this all mean? i’m not sure yet. i want to be better by actually working at it, that much i do know. i’m not there yet. uncovering and discovering and working my way toward happy as much as words allow me to will undoubtedly continue to happen.

“There were people who went to sleep last night,
poor and rich and white and black,
but they will never wake again.

And those dead folks would give anything at all
for just five minutes of this weather
or ten minutes of plowing.

So you watch yourself about complaining.

What you’re supposed to do
when you don’t like a thing is change it.
If you can’t change it,
change the way you think about it.” ― Maya Angelou

change.

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