This is a tough one to write. I just came from a beautiful and thoughtful memorial to a gifted, funny and special artist. The message was how important it is to live your life as you see it. To know that even though it’s not status quo, it’s alright to be who you are.
I realized that in being in a group of people that I have a habit of becoming very uncomfortable and having a hard time relating to those around me. It doesn’t matter whether I am at a party or at a memorial. It’s just hard feeling comfortable with myself. I start to judge what I am saying or how I am reacting to the situation. I judge myself and the voice in my head starts to tell me that I am out of place. That I don’t belong.
I wish I could say it had something to do with my age but it doesn’t. It has to do with the habit of thinking that I’m not enough. That people are judging me. That I am not living up to their expectations. That my actions are not the way everyone else thinks they should be. I start to judge other people’s reaction to me when in fact I have no idea what they are thinking or what they are going through. My habit is to bring it back to me which has nothing to do with anything.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I go into my old habits of disappointing those around me. I want to say the right thing at the right time and in the anxiety of trying I completely check out. I don’t follow through in making sure that I tell them that it is nice to see them and hope they are doing well. I get caught up in wondering whether or not I am following the right social rules whatever that means.
And if I am in a situation where maybe I need to say something to explain or express my short comings I hide my head in the sand for fear I won’t do it right. I admire this amazing, gifted, talented person to whom I shared his memorial. Because he seemed to enjoy creating, inspiring and helping everyone he graced with his wit, talent and presence.
So my new habit is to write a new story, sing a new song and jump higher than before. Habits may be hard to break but it is much more dangerous to break my spirit. That is something I know is not an option. I know the new habit I have to adopt is walking through the fear.
I recently saw a quote that has been sitting with me for awhile. “Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present. The result being that he does not live in the present or the future. He lives as if he is never going to die and then dies having never really lived.”
Money has always been an issue with me. Always afraid of where it’s going to come from and if it is going to run out. The fear is very deeply rooted and has been hard to shake. I have to admit it has clouded my choices on many occasions. Living your passion and not worrying about where the money will come has never been on my radar. This quote, for as powerful as it is, it is still, well, words. And putting my thinking to emotion in order to really believe it and live by it is what has been the most difficult part for me.
Bali will be the tip of the iceberg. I finally made the conscious decision to change it up. It is definitely uncharted waters for me and I have to admit not quite sure how it will play out. I know I will come back with new ideas just for being in a different environment. I want to know, not just in words but in actions that the universe is ready to take care of me. I want to trust it will.
I want to believe that humanity, for the most part, is good and kind. People want to help and make others happy. I won’t believe that being evil really makes anyone feel better. So when I hear of an injustice or act of violence I can’t comprehend how someone could act that way. I believe that, yet again, too much information, especially negative information, leads to an unhappy collective.
I know there is important information that needs to get out to keep me informed about my well being. I have found beautiful stories of how humanity has come to the aid of the less fortunate whether it be from man made or natural disasters. And I find I want to hear more of those stories. I want to believe that if I continue to be inundated by positive occurrences that I will be less judgmental and more patient. Yes, gentler and more kind.
I believe that humanity needs more of those actions. And it really does start with me.
As I await my trip to Bali I decided to go to Vancouver for a week and check out what my options would be if I decided to live in Canada. I love Vancouver for the mountains, the ocean and the laid back feeling of the city. My friend and I have been taking walks along the sea everyday and watching the trees change minute by minute. The weather has been kind and the sunsets magnificent. The smell of the sea air here is much different than in Los Angeles. I can feel the nip in the autumn air and I realize why I love an obvious change of seasons so much. Even this picture feels somber awaiting the winter snowfall. I love it. Some people may think it depressing but I welcome the feeling of change in me anticipating the inevitable.
We decided to take a drive up to Whistler as I had never gotten a chance to visit. The beauty of going somewhere without working is that you can come and go as you please. Usually I feel guilty if I am not working or have my family with me to justify my trip but I am trying to alleviate the feeling and just enjoy myself. Funny how difficult it is to really relax when you have always put others first. This is a new choice for me to do things just for me and I have to admit it is getting easier the more I do it.
I’d be lying if I said I don’t wake up in the middle of the night sometimes worrying about what the future will hold. But as I’ve said before the greatest lesson to learn when changing is to trust a power higher than you to know it will work out exactly the way it should. Trust has always been an issue for me and as much as I would like to tell myself I’m getting better, my past will sneak in every now and then to doubt the person or the situation.
My friend, her beautiful daughter and I had a lovely day in Whistler. It was more built up than I would like to have seen but wonderful all the same. We strolled through a farmer’s market and stopped by the local bakery in Squeamish (on the way to Whistler) to get some goodies for the Canadian Thanksgiving that was this weekend. The bakery was run by a family and had some of the most delicious sweets I had tasted in a long time. I don’t know if it was the fact that it was made by the people in the shop or whether I was enjoying the fact that I was in a smaller town surrounded by beautiful nature.
I’m not saying that there aren’t wonderful places in bigger cities but the sheer size of the shop reminded me yet again of what we seem to be losing in our lives. The drive to Whistler was a reminder of how vast our world can be and how beautiful it is when left to its own beauty. Where everything has remained the same for years and years. I am guilty of enjoying the convenience of a coffee shop that is familiar to me or a grocery store that stocks my favorite crackers. There is something to be said for feeling safe in the known.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that even at my age it would be much easier to stay where I am and live my life in the expected. I was hoping that with all I have done in my life it would be a given to constantly stir the familiar pot and not be so tentative. One of the only things I purchased in Whistler was a cup of espresso from the same coffee shop I always go to wherever they exist which is in a lot of places. Old habits die hard. I go along and think I’m being brave. Then it takes a trip to Whistler to realize I’m pretty vulnerable but determined to put my toes in the uncharted waters to still feel alive.
On to Bali…