sloping into autumn

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Last night was the first night in a long time that I really, really didn’t want to be alone. I’d had a glorious day: a massage, beach time with lovely friends, a bit of elephant journal work.

But I woke up around 130am feeling feverish and scared, but I didn’t know why. My legs couldn’t shake that too-close-to-the-edge feeling, that vertigo-style pain and weakness. I don’t know where that feeling came from. I’d even scanned back into my dreams to try to figure out if they’d been nightmares.

They’d been strange and kind of scary, but I didn’t remember feeling terrified enough while in them to warrant this kind of feeling.

It wasn’t one of those things where you think someone else is in the apartment, or breaking in. I looked around for signs of that but it wasn’t the case.

What the hell were you trying to tell me, body? What was so deeply frightening?

This morning that feeling hangs with me, and so I’m not myself.

I know that with the onset of autumn, it’s going to be a relatively fast drop from the apex that was my birthday month, July in all it’s (my) glorious sunshiny ego. July with all it’s playtime, the place that spring had sprung us towards.

It didn’t take much effort at all to get up there; it felt like we’d been sprung upwards and forwards, landing at the top, new, loved (loving), faces all aglow.

I can already feel the shorter days, smell the drying grass, spot the dried leaves.

I would rather enjoy the roll downhill than fall down it, but I might need a helping hand.

Which hand(s)? Where are you? Do you need to be steadied too?

These lyrics (the song) seem to resonate of late. Perhaps it’s all the ocean and beach imagery.

“And darlin’ we will be fine but what was yours and mine 
seems to me a sandcastle that the gibbering wave takes. 
But if it’s all just the same then will you say my name 
say my name in the morning, so that I know when the wave breaks?

I wasn’t born of a whistle or milked from a thistle at twilight
No I was all horns and thorns, sprung out fully-formed, 
knock-kneed and all bright. 
So enough of this terror, we deserve to know light, 
and grow evermore lighter and lighter
You would’ve seen me through but I could not undo that desire.”

~ Joanna Newsom (Sawdust & Diamonds)

Freaked out but happier than a pig in sh*t

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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” ~ Marianne Williamson.

I have been neglecting my blog for a while now, with good reason: for the past month or so, I’ve been doing a virtual Editorial Apprenticeship at Elephant Journal!  Most of what us apprentices do is receive submissions edit them (sparingly). We also do social media, and are to write (at least) two pieces a month.

It is a lot of work, and I am learning so much.  I’ve had to make some sacrifices (mostly in the ‘play’ element of my life, but also it seems as if chores and exercise are going by the wayside). Some days are freaking amazing, others are a bit of a struggle: what am I doing well? What can I improve on? Should I/can I write more? What can I write about? Am I learning enough? Am I fast enough? Do they like me?

It is the perfect thing for me right now. It is exactly what I need to do. I felt it in my gut the moment I hit ‘send’ on my letter of interest.

But at one point the other weekend I started to panic. I went into this sort of paralysed state as I faced the ele writing and editing work that needed completion, even though I’d created plenty of time and space for it. I’d even had a wonderful Saturday, complete with some morning work, a massage and some fresh air and social time at the horse races, one of my favorite places.

Yet my shoulders were pulled up to my ears, my forehead was crinkling up, and I was retreating into a ball on the bed.  I was paralyzed out of fear.  I had to go into myself and really investigate what was going on.

My life had been improving vastly over the past few months.  More and more I was realizing that I had (or could have) much of what I wanted.  At that moment, in actuality, there was nothing wrong.

So why was I feeling so…stuck, when everything was going perfectly?

I realized I was freaked out because I was actualizing the fact that I really do have the power to design a life that I love, to do something meaningful with it.  And although this required work, it was work that didn’t really feel like work.

Everything was (is) coming together, and this is the biggest piece of the puzzle to fall into place yet.

So when I fell into that funk and started to resist the work out of fear, I forced myself go to the computer and just start.

I realized, then, how talented my brain is at problematizing! My mind is (our minds are) really good at creating problems that don’t exist. In some weird way, finding something to worry about comes so naturally, it’s almost like some strange security blanket.  Like, neurosis is my ‘go to’ when I’m feeling some sort of stress, even if the source of the stress is actually good!

As I recognized this, I pushed myself into my work a little bit more.  Brain went wayward again…and I brought it back.  Slowly but surely, this became easier.

I worked through that fear, and I recognized when I started to feel better.

Then I realized then that maybe my fear stemmed from the fact that I could actually succeed. Maybe I was finally doing something that truly made me happy, and part of the stress stemmed from wanting so much to succeed.

I reflected then on the things that had brought me to the place I am at now, and a lot of the shifts coincided with me sharing my writing, and my passion for it.

It began after I broke up with my boyfriend and subsequently published my first piece at Elephant Journal. People saw it, people read it, people resonated with it.

Due to the breakup, I was also developing new friendships and strengthening some existing ones. These people were openly supporting me in my work, and truly interested in the things that come out of this crazy brain.

These were people that genuinely resonated with what I need and want in my life.

They know that this is my purpose, and they support it 100%.

Which made me start to believe in myself more.  So I wrote a little more in my blog, and I published a couple more pieces at Elephant Journal.  Then this writing helped to facilitate more new relationships and experiences.  It was me pursuing this, being vulnerable, that allowed others to see the real me.

As I reflected on my path from the last ~ 8 months, I made the most important realization, one that must continue to be a main inspiration for me on this journey (no matter how scared, or tired, or stressed out I might feel):

When I write, everything else falls into place.