I miss this place when I'm not writing and, truth be told, I don't have a writing practice elsewhere. That is one of the things I've been turning over in my head and my heart--how do I write enough every day that I can improve my art? Because in truth this blog can sometimes be like I'm taking off the top of my head, scooping out my brain and dumping it onto the page. Little to no editing. And when people respond to it, especially when they say "Me too" I want to keep doing it. But. A couple things.
I process how I feel by talking, or by writing. Writing felt like a step away from spilling my guts to friends and family members because it is a slower process and it takes having some quiet time to get the words out. But I am on this journey to find out who I am and how I feel and one of the things that I am very susceptible to is other peoples' opinions. It's so lonely to not have someone say "me too". So lonely to be asked "If you went and asked 10 people what they would have done in that situation I bet all or most of them would have done the opposite of what you did."
I've spent a lot of time worrying that there is something wrong with me and I don't want to do that anymore. It goes so deep, it's so entrenched in my way of being in the world, that it can feel impossible to root it out. To stand in my truth. Even writing that sounds cheesy. But what else are we here for? Maybe standing in our truth doesn't mean singing it from the rooftops and putting it in everyone's faces. I do think it means knowing what it is and being prepared to build your life around it.
It's taken me forty years to start saying I do have things I want. I do have things I need. It's always felt easier, more comfortable, less scary, to check in with everyone else to see what they want, what they need and then work with that. As though I did not have a solid self, a defined self. I was there to adjust myself, give myself up, hide myself, shrug myself off, in favor of noticing and providing for the needs and wants of others. This felt to me like being mellow, easy-going. I'm down for whatever, Whatever's easiest. Doesn't matter to me. Letting myself trickle away, letting myself off the hook of doing the hard work of listening inside to see what was there. What if what I want isn't good? What if it will make you mad? What if I don't know? For most of my life one of the scariest things I could imagine was to really want something and decide to try my hardest to achieve it. Scarier than the possibility of failure was the possibility that I'd get it and decide I didn't even want it.
I'm a 2 on the Enneagram. A people pleaser. I watch and listen to determine the needs of others, walking right past my own. Sometimes I do this by reading the expressions on their faces, which as you can imagine is not a very reliable way to communicate. Most of the time I forget I have a face that other people can see. One face that exists in the world rather than a blank, receiving space to take in what others are putting out. Who knows what outsiders think my expressions are communicating to them?
I love my life. That doesn't mean I love the actual day to day moments of it all the time. Or even often these days. But I love the chance that I have to live this life. To be the only Megan Doherty Shaughnessy Bondy there ever was or will be. I remember the moment that sunk in for the first time for me, it was like being released from a cage I hadn't known I was in. Ohhhh! I realized. No one can tell me how to be me because no one has ever been me. They don't know. Only I know. What power. What freedom. How scary.
A lot of my daily experience lately is deeply uncomfortable emotionally. And the primordial feeling that jumps right up is Run! This does not feel good! Change something immediately! And I have so many voices in my own head, even before I talk to a friend. I am on a spiritual path and I don't say that aloud very often. It involves yoga. Friendships. Reading. Reconnecting to my body. Trying to learn how to feed myself. Trying to learn how to lighten up on myself. Trying to say my anger out loud. Trying to take up space. Trying to stand still in the face of other peoples' anger and hurt and fear when it's in reaction to my truth. Meditation and mindfulness teeter on the periphary, waving at me gently because they wouldn't get frantic. Prayer. Exploring my feminine self, my womanhood, and what that has meant compared to what it really is. Trying to understand my sexual self. Learning to see what Whiteness has given me and learning what to do with all of that. Learning to truly and truthfully apologize without feeling like I am giving something away. Learning to let go of shame. Trying to be vulnerable. Opening my eyes to the fact that I have values that exist. That matter. Learning to speak up for them.
I have always been a questioner. A student. I am curious and that is one of the things I love about myself. The journey has sped up and gotten fuller, richer, deeper, harder in the past 7 years. It's become more intentional. It's involved therapy. It's a lot.
So that's why I haven't been writing much. But writing is part of the journey so it's time to come back.