Finding Rest

For years I’ve gotten to know myself as the leather belt that holds together the belt loops of other people’s emotions.

I carry bandaids with me.
A sewing kit.
Deodorant.
Floss.

It seems that in years past, I’ve found my identity in helping others. In being there for them. In having something to give them.

I’ve gotten up early and stood with people on days that scared them, watching for the tell-tale signs in their faces that I was needed – insecurity, doubt, panic. I momentarily carried situations, minimized details, and laughed to ease tension.

I got good at it, and pretty soon it became unconscious. Perhaps it was always unconscious.

One day I grew tired of the song and dance that I’d happily signed up for. It wasn’t such a happy thing for me anymore. I found that I had little identity outside of helping others, and didn’t feel valuable otherwise.

Time has passed, and I’ve been able to ruminate on my needs and desires. I’ve discovered that giving of yourself is a great thing, so long as you have enough to give.

There’s so much more to who I am than what I can give to people.

And it’s okay for me to be a bit selfish from time to time. It’s really the only way that I find rest.

WriteSarah

I’ve always felt like I never quite fit.

Never quite fit into what others wanted me to be, or what I wanted to be. Never quite made the cut. Never quite had real friends, real support, real guidance. Never quite knew what it felt like to be accepted, to truly fit.

There’s something to be said about being beaten down so much, that you’re at the point where you can’t even see yourself anymore.

When you’re at that point, face flat on the cold wet, cigarette littered ground, there comes a moment where something inside of you snaps. Something inside of you demands to be heard.

For me it happened slowly. I started writing.

I started expressing my deepest pains, started using my voice, started pushing back the silence that had smothered me for so long. Writing set me free from the world and it set me free from myself. But even writing had its sticky spots.

I wanted my writing to be more than it started out to be. I wanted to really be heard. I wanted the pain that had stifled me for so long to be ingrained in text for the world to see – undeniable and un-erasable.

I tried writing for an online magazine. It was tough.

Tough to have an editor take my words and change them. Tough to have someone delete half of what I wrote, re-arrange sentences, and then slap my name on it. Tough to realize that my writing didn’t fit into what they wanted it to be. Tough to realize that my writing (and me by association) wasn’t acceptable the way it was.

I tried again. I embraced humility – fully embraced it – and asked for a second shot. I asked a few times actually. And yet nothing.

So now as I sit here, bowl of cheerios getting soggy beside me as I type, I’m realizing that I don’t want to fit anymore. I don’t want my brain to be ruled by the idea that I SHOULD fit anymore.

Which leaves me with this: an emotional, often over-personal blog, that’s 100% me.

And I’m good with that. I’m good with that because I have a family that accepts me, friends that accept me, and a man that accepts me. I have my people and I fit with them.

Writing helped me to find that place of acceptance within myself, and ultimately, writing helped get me here, to this place of not caring about fitting anymore. Of being happy by just being me.

And Oh sweet blueberry pancakes, it’s a good place to be in.

Bouncy Castles and Road Maps: Failing and Being Enough

When I was a girl, I hardly stopped. Running, climbing, hiding, jumping, chasing, lunging, and flying (well, sort of). I was always moving. And I liked it. I liked moving. I liked climbing and jumping.

If you had asked me then, whether I thought I was “enough,” I would have tilted my head and given you a perplexed look. “Enough? Yeah. I’m enough,” I would have said, as if it wasn’t a big deal.

I would have expected you to say the same. I would have thought that everyone would know that they are enough. That judgements from others don’t matter. That character and moral fiber win out. That truth wins out. I mean, why not?

Now, with pages full of enough challenging moments to write a memoir with, I WISH that it was that easy – to see myself as enough.

Life gets harder. You learn to juggle. Life gets messy. You learn to cope. Life gets tiring. You learn to make sacrifices.

And in that process that is life, I think we begin to feel inadequate.

We fail at things. Let people down. Forget to call. Get the wrong brand of tooth paste. Sleep late and miss deadlines. It happens.

It happens, *drum roll,* because we’re human – a reality which, at times, I think we forget.

So here’s my new plan – my road map to believing that I am enough:

Number 1. Accept that I fail.

Number 2. Stop thinking of “fail” as a bad word.

Number 3. Tell myself that I do a lot. That I AM enough.

Number 4. Say it again – E.n.o.u.g.h.

Number 5. Continue to say it until I believe it 100%.

Number 6. Re-approach the idea of flying as an adult.

Number  7. Find a kick-ass costume, rent a giant trampoline or bouncy castle, and practice failing, while living out being enough.

Frozen Mid-Step

Blue oceans that you call eyes
Character in every movement
Strength and street smarts

And yet,
I’m not convinced.
That’s what Id say, if I could.

I don’t think you are either.
Don’t think you’re convinced.
Like a fox you play a game  
Maybe now it’s catching up

Tired of the game
Unsure of your next move
Ready for fast money
Though frozen mid-step.

I’m not convinced
But I could be.

Yes, I think I could be.