Instead of opening my MacBook and typing, I force myself off the couch and then climb into bed with my husband and two dogs. It is a night of almost seven hours of sleep. In the past, seven hours of sleep would be nowhere near enough, but now, with leaving for the gym at 5am most work days, I cherish any sleep over six hours.
So often, in the midst of a busy day at work or while navigating my car through traffic, ideas come to me. Realizations. Questions. Thoughts on life, on love, on faith, on journeying through all the ups and downs that accompany any and every little thing.
And then, when there is time to write, the ideas dissipate. Or the need and desire for sleep wins out.
This time of my life, this journey, is about so much. One of those things is deciding what matters in my life. It's about putting certain things and people first. It's about disentangling myself from the things that hold me back. It's about forgiving myself and others for past mistakes so that I can move on - never again to be captured by those emotions of anger, anxiety, and uncertainty.
And the things that matter include exercise, cooking, laundry, writing, reading. And the people that matter include my husband, our families, our friends, and our two dogs (because they are more people than pets).
Deciding what matters in my life is just one piece of this neverending puzzle. The other piece that I am struggling with currently is finding and making and keeping time for all the important things and people.
It's so easy for me to put myself last. To make everything into an excuse for why I can't do something like eat better or spend at least two hours at the gym every day. For so long, I did everything I could to stay where I was. To continue to hide in whatever fashion I could. To put everything else first and remind myself that eventually there would be time.
But there is never enough time unless you make the time. Life is so full with jobs, marriages, friends, and all that goes into living the life of a 26-year-old professional. It's all to easy to stay in a coccoon of life. To never move past this stage and into the next. To never become that butterfly.
I had to come to grips with the fact that my cocoon was not the safe place. The cocoon was the suffocating place, the place where my vicious cycle continued and I asked, Why is there no light? Why am I stuck here? without actually finding an answer. The cocoon was tight and uncomfortable, not safe and inviting--a trap, not a haven. And the more I wrapped myself in layersand layers of protective coating, the harder it was to emerge from that false sense of security. It was not until later that I realized a cocoon is not a sweet escape from life. It is the absence of life. --Abby Rike, Working It OutI haven't spent my entire life in a cocoon. There have been moments of beauty and brilliance. Moments when I was so close to understanding who I was. Moments when I felt like I officially beat every demon and had cleaned out every skeleton in my closet.
And then something would happen. I would retreat back into the cocoon. I would pull myself in and wrap myself in something - anything - to hide. Sometimes it was extra weight. Other times an unnatural looking tan. Sometimes losing too much weight.
I had my mother send me pictures from these moments. And I have every intention of going through them all and understanding who I was in that moment and why I was that way. I have every hope of sharing those understandings here and moving on. Because it is time to leave the cocoon permanently. There will be no going back this time.
9:00pm comes, and for the first time all day, I am ready to write. I've rested on the couch and had dinner. We have laughed over a sitcom streaming on Netflix and also watched an episode of Design Star. The house is cooling down, after my leaving the broiler on for too long. The glass from the broken wine glass is picked up.
Exercising is part of leaving the cocoon. Eating healthy is as well. Opening myself up is another part. And I am doing all three of these things all at once. Even on the days when I feel like doing nothing of the sort. Also on days when I feel like I have already blown it and wonder why I should even keep trying.
But that's the thing. Those days will happen. Always. It's my choice to make on how they impact me. And this time, for the first time, I choose to not allow those days to keep me from moving forward. I refuse to let anything stop me.
(title from "hands" by jewel)