I have serious love for this title, which is why it pains me to confess that the words aren’t mine. They were coined by a longtime friend and came up during a discussion about chronic illnesses, pain, and living life. Credit where credit is due.
The first two problems make living life more challenging. I’m also cursed with perspective and a built-in hair shirt. I rarely allow myself to acknowledge my pain or history without qualification. Sure, there was bad, but not “kidnapped by Boko Haram bad.”
There was bad, but not Tulsa Massacre of 1921 bad.
This struggle of mine, that I also have value and weight, is not unique. I want to believe my issues are equal: I’m just not sure that’s true. And not just in an “I hate myself sometimes” kind of way.
It’s an interesting phrase, “my life.” It occurs to me that I’ve given it up regularly. I gave it away to an eating disorder, to caretaking, to peacemaking, and to attempting fixes to any and all externals in my orbit. Because to me, they feel necessary. They feel like “supposed to.” And yet, they aren’t. They are crosses I picked up without being asked.
I’m going to have to think about that. I’m going to be thinking about a lot of things. Hard to do, thinking. About oneself, at least. As with my actions, my thinking of late is often other-focused (though I’m sure the navel-gazing nature of a blog appears to discount that).
But, intervention beckons. An anniversary approaches. I like anniversaries. They’re opportunities to evaluate how things are going. They’re the New Year without the new year.
I’m not satisfied with my actions and directions. There are external qualification and inhibitions, but there are always external qualifications and inhibitions. June is going to be about evaluating and making changes. And, why not? It’s also the year’s midpoint. Halfway is a good time for a check-in.
I want to live for me. To live for me, but in a non-selfish, still helping other people kind of way. I know my thinking is going to swing back around to boundaries. It’s a persistent personality trait.
I’m also going to think about silence. Not the nice kind of silence that shows up when you sit on the deck in the early morning, and the world is still, save for the birds and their waking chattering. It’s odd how nature sounds don’t seem to count as the breaking of silence.
The other kind of silence.
The oppressive kind that comes from not talking about things that should be talked about. The kind of silence that leaves people muzzled and unseen.