I refresh my email, Instagram and Facebook in that order and stare out the window contemplating where I can get a glass of crisp white wine on this warm winter day – somewhere preferably with a water view. Escape sounds so much more appealing than writing.
For this recovering perfectionist, revealing the process, the unfinished, and the “in-between” invokes panic. To the perfectionist, everyone else’s opinions matter. At times, those opinions (or what I think they might be) can speak so loudly that I can no longer hear my own voice. Other times, I fall mute to the mere whispers of their can’ts, mustn’ts, and shouldn’ts. The perfectionist doesn’t want to write this blog on an unfinished process of transforming the fear of being in a new life chapter with the love of what’s possible here.
Moving from a vibrant life in San Diego, getting married, and returning back to the Bay Area where I fell from grace as a late teen has proved a most rigorous challenge. At times, my confidence and self-expression have seemed to slip away as if into thin air. I became ungrounded, desperately trying to cling on to things that could keep me from falling down a hole that felt all too similar to the one with the rock bottom.
But, I didn’t fall all the way back down that hole because it’s not there anymore. As I came back here looking my past fully in the face for the first time since I left, I did start to slip. But a magical thing happened; everyday I woke up looking for how I could choose love again. That’s not to say it’s looked pretty at all, but instead to distinguish that my intention is in a different place. Choosing love is always my goal, even if my current experience needs work to get there.
I grieved (and still do) the loss of a day-to-day life and network of deep relationships that brought such fulfillment and joy. From Sareouth’s big hug in the morning followed by breakfasts with Christina and her little man to walks with Kristie to creating with my cherished Heart of Leadership community, my heart and soul miss the connection of that vibrant life. I grieved the loss of the larger community and the places that held space for my darkest and brightest hours and allowed me to find my way again. When this sense of loss found its footholds in pain or fear, I blamed my husband for taking my life away from me. Yes, I went there, and yes, it was destructive to tender parts of our new union.
This is why I choose love. Day by day, I reach out to meet new people and find new spaces where the ground feels solid. Google Hangouts and long drives to and from Marin allow for special time to connect within and to the many people who I love just as much (perhaps even more) than I did when we lived together in the same city. And I hope, that each day will be brighter. I SoulCycle incessantly and hike and allow my heart to cleanse itself of the bitterness that only comes from its hurt to make space for love and light anew. I am cleaning up the mess of blaming another for my own decision to begin again.
The magic of choosing love is that its consistent choice over the years becomes an inoculation of sorts. It doesn’t stop the insecurities, triggers, or hurts from coming up, but it loosens their hold. I can stand strong with my own two feet on the ground knowing that they and they alone will hold me up. And I can lean on a community and wealth of lessons learned that keep me cushioned and help me get up along the way.
I am not perfect. Nor am I even close to being any bit enlightened. I am a normal person who has struggled a lot, who has celebrated a lot, and who has found herself on a path that is not easy but worth it. Choosing love invites me to the places I least like in myself so that they can transform. The only way out is through.
I sit here thinking that I should have had a more positive outlook on this move or that choosing love should look better. For me, this is it. And so often, just stating what’s true is the acceptance something needs to change or shift. So thanks for being with me here today as I chose love. I took four hours to sift through my truth, not allowing it to escape into the allure of a bayside beverage to numb the pain. And now to go try a another new yoga studio…