White noise cannot,
drown out your obvious absence;
Or quiet my thoughts.
It’s a heavy realization:
Reflecting on 39 years
You are the most prolific liar in your life…And always have been.
Personally, I can convince myself that everything is true;
“The right choice.”
Rarely am I telling myself the truth-
Especially not in my head.
“Navigator” is an important role…
But so is “Driver”.
Both must give up control of many aspects…
But trust that both intend to arrive at the agreed destination…
Hope; that both travel in the same direction…
at similar speeds…
attitudes and road games can cause wear and tear…
upon both the vehicle and the occupants…
GPS often requires signals that can get lost…
Sometimes you just need to pull over and look at the map.
I’d like to say I’m like Stevie;
“I have no fear and only love…”
But I’d be a liar.
I fear I’m not good enough for you.
I’m afraid I don’t deserve you
Or your grace
Or your love.
And then I hear your voice.
It all melts away.
Everything is clear
And everything makes sense.
All of my decisions made from ignorance,
All of my choices made from desperation…
I pray to sustain the connection
and lose all of my doubt.
Unexpectedly, in my way;
Offering truth and love, for my consideration.
Reciprocating, in my way;
Giving freedom and beauty, for your consideration.
All the things I believed I had brought,
I really came for…
All the things you believed you lacked,
You were really blessed with…
You gave me a lantern.
I gave you the map.
Forlorn sigh and yawn,
My pillow has lost your scent.
A fortnight, plus half…
I had the most interesting insight today. To be honest, I will probably be reconciling and revisiting it over the next little bit. As I sat listening to a client today, I made note of a realization I had to contemplate later. Lucky you, I am doing that now.
I’ve noticed over the years that I am able to connect with people because somehow I am able to find something in them, experientially or otherwise that I can empathize with. I used to joke that I was a good social worker because I could identify with every Lana Del Rey song. More sad than funny now, I suppose, but still true enough ha.
During grad school, I often allowed myself to feel badly about this, as it was labeled countertransference. And if I am honest with myself, sometimes it may have been negative countertransference, for sure. But we learn to check our biases, as much as we can, as continually attempting to be informed humans. And the dance between empathy and countertransference is certainly a tricky one to navigate.
But what got me today, was realizing how easily I could understand the reasons, internal and external, subconscious and conscious, that this client was making the decisions that they were making. And I realized that I understood them because I had made the exact same decisions once before, for the nearly identical reasons.
All the parts of my personality and situation were right in front of me…
All the parts I have hated, questioned, forgotten, burned, and buried…
All of them.
And I felt no hatred, no questioning, no judgment for the client. It all made perfect sense.
But it was a grace I have struggled to provide within. As if I didn’t deserve compassion at all, let alone from myself. I have always felt a certain level of shame about some decisions I made in my earlier adulthood; even shame regarding smaller decisions I have made, more recently than that.
I have rarely felt any animosity or disdain toward a client, as I feel like I can understand so much of the reasons people do the things they do. Regardless of whether it is experiential understanding or trauma informed book learning, I can still understand most situations that humans end up in. (Mind you, I said MOST not all).
Yet the amount of doubt, anger, loathing, disgust, and pity I have felt for the younger versions of myself?
Vast. Expansive. Shifting. Sinking. Consuming.
I have BEEN Artax.
And yet, looking at myself, tonight, as I would a client?
Never before seen footage of a grown ass woman heffalumping sobs of forgiveness and understanding. That was a long drive home. Good gracious.
Who even the eff am I?
Haven’t done one of these in a couple years. Seems fitting as I am in my 38th year… which is the year I’ve been thinking about since I was 19 years old.
It’s been a wild ride.
And a long life.
Hopefully, I get 38 more years.
1. Codependent is not the same as interdependent… no matter how you package it, some people will never understand the difference.
2. Never take friendships for granted; even after 28 years, they can end without proper maintenance. Even with proper maintenance, people grow apart. That’s ok.
3. There are social contracts that we all must abide by, to some extent. However, any social contract that requires you to be anything but your authentic self (save for concrete moral deviance) can go fuck themselves. This is your life. You probably only get one. Love it. Live it. Choose it. You’re the driver.
4. “Stairway to heaven” really is truth. 🎵“Yes, there are two paths you can go by… But in the long run…There’s still time to change the road you’re on.”🎵 Two paths. Fear or love.
5. If you’re all the way right or all the way left, you can’t see the whole picture. Take a couple steps back and listen.
6. Echo chambers are bad.
7. Sometimes the best thing you can do as a parent is stop parenting.
8. You can lose/leave most of your things and be happy.
9. Dogs really are better than cats. By a small margin. But still better.
10. Money definitely doesn’t buy happiness. Always choose the job that feeds your soul. If you’re doing things right, someone will feed your belly.
11. When you have enough to feed your belly, feed someone else’s. When you have enough to feed your soul, feed someone else’s.
12. Energy is cyclic. I knew that years ago but I was definitely reminded repeatedly this year. Be mindful of the energy you put out. It’s easy to become comfortable, complacent, and forget.
13. Choose love. Even if it ends badly, you will end up better for it. You can leave with love. You can lead with love. You can heal with love. Always love yourself first. Insert some cliche about airplane oxygen masks.
14. Experiences are better than things. But… sweet gestures are still sweet.
15. Excitement and exuberance count. More than you realize.
16. Gratitude begets gratitude.
17. Douglas Adams really is a genius.
18. You can be aware and understand without co-opting and/or being offended. It really isn’t about you.
19. Except when it is… if you have a boundary, don’t let yourself or anyone else violate it.
20. There is healthy shame and unhealthy shame… learn the difference.
21. People tell you who they are and what they want through actions. You have to listen and watch. They often contradict each other.
22. Timing is everything. Sometimes things circle back around when you’re ready, sometimes they don’t because they were only there for the lesson.
23. The world, and humans, haven’t really changed. Comparisons are moot.
24. You can’t save anyone but yourself.
25. And Hobo Johnson/Frank is a lyrical genius.