Reservation is Not a Weakness.

bukowski quote

 

In this digital culture of everything-on-display-with-immediacy, we can say anything we want and it might reach a million people in a day.

We can and do express and create and share ourselves freely, completely.

With so much information available at all times, with so much coming at us, we are easily overwhelmed with a million things to react to.

These screens simultaneously connect us and separate us, creating a fictional, two-dimensional world where we can “see” each other but not really be there.

I think it’s simultaneously freeing us and fucking us up.

I’m such a proponent of authenticity. But when it comes to sharing how we feel, I think that we sometimes confuse vulnerability and openness with reactivity and emotionalism—maybe even a little bit of narcissism.

I’ve certainly been this way, and I don’t judge people for it, nor am I asking people to suppress emotions or accept abuse.

We’re learning how to be open and honest, vulnerable and real, but we still need to understand when to choose our battles and how to step into them with grace.

But what if it’s sometimes in ours and others’ best interest to shut up and maybe even fake it a little until all parties are willing and able to have a reasonable conversation?

Expressing emotions is healthy and necessary, but we also need to know how and when it’s best to just take a step back while still facing the problem or issue (person) in question.

This offers space and objectivity in difficult situations—basically, a break.

Then when we’re ready we can step back in with fresh ears.

We now may more easily have an audience, but the flip side of this is that we have more responsibility to participate as attentive audience members as well.

A negative consequence of this sharing and connection economy is that we tend to talk more than we listen.

Or maybe we have always been that way.

Either way, reservation need not be seen as a weakness. It can be an act of grace and a tool of empowerment if we approach it in it the right way.

2016: A Blank Canvas.

narnia street light
via Pinterest

Well here we are, rolling into 2016.

I had such high hopes for how things would be by now. Some things seems clearer, but life isn’t glamorous.

Today was spent going to all three of “my” houses, working a little, blocked out of Facebook, head mildly sore from last night’s gin and tonics over beautiful warm improv jazz. We did a shot of whiskey with the bartender, because Dawn is…well, Dawn. And that’s what happens in Montreal.

It’s his birthday, so I can’t help but think of him. But he’s just another person I need to not have in my life anymore.

I messaged J earlier to let her know that I’m still riding the amazingness that was 2013 and 2014 — not in an overly-nostalgic way, it’s just that those two nights will be hard to top, ever. I miss them — the times, the people. Everything.

Those were the most perfect nights.

I still haven’t found community here and it wears on me a little every day. I try to focus on how much beautiful space there is instead, but it’s hard.

So it’s 650p on NYE and I’m sitting in my new kitchen having just finished a salami sandwich with fresh Portuguese bun, drinking Scarlett’s leftover vodka with Orangina. Later I’ll try out my new teeny tub — it’s not much, but enough for me, for now.

I’m in one of the most amazing cities in the world, but with no desire to go out.

I just left the fabulous Esplanade ladies for the last time. It was nice to say goodbye to them properly, but it still feels like another failed relationship. They didn’t find anyone to take my place. Mr. Boo (the cat) returned after a day or two away, and I was glad that I got to give him a little love too.

I forgot to return the keys on the way out, then felt like an ass when I read the text but didn’t turn around — bad etiquette for the last day of the year, I know. But I promise(d) to drop them first thing tomorrow.

Trudging through the snow on the way home, awkwardly carrying the last remnants of that place, I stopped to look at an old style street light and thought of the Narnia books.

It was then that I felt the cold weight of my new alone-ness.

I’m in a fresh new space for myself: white walls, white snow outside. It’s new, it’s bright, it’s clear. This is my first time ever living alone without even a cat to come home to. It feels more intense than I expected.

I can finally unpack, unload.

I can breathe here. And that’s why I’m here…to breathe.

I have one white plate, one white bowl, a few glasses, and bits and pieces of cutlery…I like it like this. I’ll have to buy a few more dishes, but not much.

There’s a spot for everything, I’m not in anyone’s way (nor me in theirs) and I have exactly what I need. The bed is comfortable and the walls are stark…there is so much space to play with.

I’ve always been scared of a blank canvas; I tend to get indecisive sometimes if there’s no guidance. I see the joy in it too. This is the test for now.

I’m scared that I will be this alone forever. I really do not want to, but I’m also finding myself less and less able to offer energy to others. I guess I wasn’t ever that good at it. But the thing is that I want to be good at it. I want to share my life with another / others in a real way.

It just doesn’t seem to work. So I embrace it (again) in the hopes that this is (again) only a temporary and healing respite. And there’s work to do.

There’s color to add, food to cook, people to drop by.

Basically my resolution is to fill in the blanks in a way that is fulfilling. Like, I don’t want to have days that I want to end. There have been too many of those lately. That’s no way to live, feeling like that.

Will I do it, for real, this time?

Will I fill in my life with actual, proper, full on joy in a way that I never have?

~

“Trouble
Oh trouble please be kind
I don’t want no fight
And I haven’t got a lot of time.” ~ Cat Stevens


 
~

“Oh take me home
Let me go all day
Just be here til I know
Til I know that the riot’s gone, the riot’s gone away .”  ~ Santigold