14 JunLiminality, Schrodinger’s Cat, and Dis/Integration

There is a lot I don’t write online anymore, for a lot of reasons.

One of the things I’ve been struggling with is that I’m very good at compartmentalizing. Who needs to see which Venn diagram of the pieces that comprise me. Who is allowed into one safe space, but not another. Having a rubric of ‘what do I gain from sharing this with this part of the diagram, where and who is likely to find a way to use this against me? And what is my plan of defense if I need one?’ And there is virtually no public safe space. What happens when it becomes too much to manage all those pieces of the Venn diagram. What if the pieces that used to provide structure are merging and blending? What if, as those compartment walls become exhausted, I/we were allowed to integrate them into our being instead of watching everything fall to pieces in disintegration?

When I tell a community that I am an invisible part of that they matter to me, even though some of the people that I am directing that message at and meaning, truly, from the tenderest parts of my heart are not allowed to see that part of my Venn diagram, and even though I suspect that due to other parts of my Venn diagram, I don’t actually matter to them… It’s sometimes a heavy weight to carry. The price for ‘appropriate’ compartmentalization.

And when through experience I know that it’s dangerous and terrifying to stand up, stand out, and that even when I do, the validity of my voice, my opinion is questioned and judged or outright ignored or not heard. And when despite the danger and terror of standing up and trying to stand out, I do try to stand up and stand out, I am still invisible until I am heard and shouted down or ignored until I no longer have a voice, or the will to keep speaking.  Whether that’s on a timeline where the algorithms bury me, or a business room where I can never find the right way to ‘show value’ (or maybe it’s that I’m in my 40s and no longer a young, fresh, face — there’s a reason that age discrimination laws exist, or maybe I just suck at ‘showing value’), there is an echoing loneliness.  And as an introvert, sometimes I find more company with the wind, and the rain, in the dirt, the whirring of a spinning wheel, the pieces of me you’ve never seen (to steal a line from someone else).

Where is the possibility for wholeness? Where is integration? Some days even keeping Venn diagram pieces of me showing up is exhausting. Bringing the whole puzzle to the table seems… illusory and dangerous.  I am so proud of my people with the loud and strong voices, the right words that come at the right time, in the right order, in the right framing, in their wholeness.  And for the rest of us, in the in-between places, it has to be ok to be in liminal spaces.  My heart aches, I am tired.

Am I too much for ‘living out loud’?  I don’t perceive myself as whole, and picking my pieces apart threatens the integrity of my being.  And being told I am too much for sharing what I do share — even now that I don’t share at the levels I used to share — tells me, my whole self is “valued,” but please keep it contained and quiet and you don’t need to talk about that and what kind of ‘value’ is that?  But pieces keep escaping from their compartments awkwardly, demanding to be said when they shouldn’t be said because there is so much not to say that sometimes they break their constraints.  And then sometimes, they wilt in the deafening silence having been said.

Doris Lessing wrote a book called The Golden Notebook about the fragmentation of self & society, and one woman’s attempts to overcome it eventually by trying to combine four different journals into one ‘golden notebook.’ These days, it might be called the ‘bullet journal.’  I have this space, I have another blog (or two), I have a notebook with therapy notes, a bullet journal, a general reflection journal, five DayOne journals, calendars… and others. What does the ‘whole self’ even mean when even in the best of times, I can only expect even those close to me to see a facet of myself?

There is no graceful way for me to end this. I am experiencing the breakdown of my compartments as integration of my whole self, and the fear remains of others picking over the pieces of those evolving compartments and leaving me doubtful, silenced, hurt and all of me present, but still in pieces.

26 MayFlow

At some point I’ll update about the last five months here.  They have been momentous.  In the meantime, I offer this thought…

I have a friend who told me once when I was telling her about how hard it was to find life ‘balance’ that we shouldn’t be striving for balance anyway because it’s static and easily upset leading us to have to fight hard to retain/regain it. We should be like water and flow & sometimes it will be white water, sometimes it will be deep water, sometimes it will be crashing beach front water, but — go with the water, and rest when you come to a gentle wide river or a still day on the lake, or a happily bubbling stream or a quiet eddy off to the side of the white water. But go with the water.

This changed my perspective. There is no balance because you must put your priorities *somewhere*, but those priorities can shift and dance around each other like water moving around the rocks. The water doesn’t stop because a rock is in the way, it just moves around it and keeps going…

Today I am water reaching a barrier of some sort, I’m rising, and rising, and rising, and sooner or later either the barrier will remove and I’ll spill through, or I’ll rise enough that I go over the top and find my way on my own.

22 DecChristmas Break!

It’s official — I’m on break as of ~2:30pm this afternoon!

Small changes ripple out:

  • 3 Gratitudes :
    • I’m grateful I have a job that isn’t retail this time of year.
    • I’m grateful I have enough vacation time to take the rest of the year off
    • I’m grateful that (I think) our Christmas shopping is done.
  • One positive experience:
    • Getting started on dinner at a reasonable time. :)
  • Exercise: 
    • Oof.  Going to try to so some yoga tonight… Definitely going to the Y tomorrow.
  • Meditation: 
    • 3×3 minute & two more coming up.
  • Random Acts of Kindness: 
    • Letting the girls sleep in until nearly noon.

20 DecAnd Again

Small changes ripple out:

  • 3 Gratitudes :
    • I’m grateful for my kids, even/because they are persistent and clear about what they want even/especially when I say no.
    • I’m grateful for P who made chili for dinner tonight.
    • I’m grateful that Xmas break is coming up in two days.
  • One positive experience:
    • Nice walk during swim team with P & M1.
  • Exercise: 
    • Walking, a little PT in the ayem.  Need to get back on that.
  • Meditation: 
    • 3×3 minute.
  • Random Acts of Kindness: 
    • Not so random but I’m (trying to) helping M1 clean her room.

15 DecSlipped Away!

Time is sneaky like that sometimes.

Small changes ripple out:

  • 3 Gratitudes :
    • I’m grateful for my coven sisters.
    • I’m grateful for P who made turkey lasagna for dinner tonight.
    • I’m grateful that Xmas break is coming up soon.
  • One positive experience:
    • Nice walk & lunch with B today. (And yesterday I had a nice mtg with a different B!)
  • Exercise: 
    • TWO walks!
  • Meditation: 
    • 5 minute, 2×3 minute.  Need to get back on this.
  • Random Acts of Kindness: 
    • Made a point of giving our local Thai place some business today.  They’re family run & such sweet people. <3

12 DecFriday/Saturday Grats

Small changes ripple out:

  • 3 Gratitudes :
    • I’m grateful that it was a good meet today, even if M2 didn’t qualify for regionals yet.
    • I’m grateful this is a self imposed exercise and that if I miss a day it’s no big deal!
    • I’m grateful there are people like Amanda Palmer in the world.
  • One positive experience:
    • Getting stuff sorted out with the other CAYA folk for tomorrow — we work well as a team.  It’s nice.
  • Exercise: 
    • Ugh. NO.  For REASONS.  AGAIN.
  • Meditation: 
    • 2×3 minute.
  • Random Acts of Kindness: 
    • I timed at the meet and let P keep his freshly finished tattoo away from the chlorine splashes.   :)

11 DecThursday Darkmoon Grats

Small changes ripple out:

  • 3 Gratitudes :
    • I’m grateful that my kids are hilarious and awesome.
    • I’m grateful for Phix’s Curiosity Camp, it’s been really entertaining and sanity saving.
    • I’m grateful to be having lunch today and tomorrow with friends.
  • One positive experience:
    • Really nice catching up with a friend for lunch today.  <3 <3 <3
  • Exercise: 
    • Ugh. NO.  For REASONS.  AGAIN. I will do my PT like the nice man suggested…
  • Meditation: 
    • 2×3 minute.
  • Random Acts of Kindness: 
    • I totally had one and it’s slipped my mind entirely.  Huh.

09 DecWednesday-Schmendsday

Small changes ripple out:

  • 3 Gratitudes :
    • I’m grateful for big band music — it’s hard to be dour when you’re listening to big band
    • I’m grateful for my husband whose birthday it was today.
    • I’m grateful that I like dark rainy days, because hooboy has it been that in spades lately!
  • One positive experience:
    • The look on P’s face realizing his birthday gift was a Han Solo in Carbonite fridge.  :D
  • Exercise: 
    • Got a nice walk in between raindrops!
  • Meditation: 
    • 5 minute, 2×3 minute.
  • Random Acts of Kindness: 
    • I let someone who was parked into a long line of traffic even though while they were getting themselves set up, I could have filled in the space and they’d have still (maybe) had some room behind me to squeeze in.

08 DecTuesday Blues & Gratitudes

Ugh. I ate too much almond today. I don’t usually eat many of them, incidental slivers are no big deal, but I had a protein bar that was chock full of them first thing in the morning and it was bad like whoa.  Such nausea, so misery, all the sad.  I was at work about 45 minutes before I bailed and came home.  It’s true I don’t always enjoy the company party scene for a long period of time, but I do like going for a little bit, until I can’t deal with the bar noise and difficulty hearing people anymore and this meant I didn’t get to go.  I was dressed up nice and everything! BOO!

HOWEVER: I am still grateful for things.

Small changes ripple out:

  • 3 Gratitudes :
    • I’m grateful that I have a comfy bed to lie down in when I feel like crap.
    • I’m grateful that I have a workplace where I don’t get ridiculous resistance to self care (and besides, who wants someone lying on the floor of their office feeling like they’re going to puke? Ugh!).
    • I’m grateful for my husband making me toast when I started getting hungry finally as the almond was wearing off.
  • One positive experience:
    • Any day I don’t actually puke is a great day.  I was close but I didn’t. Given how raw my throat feels anyway, I think I’m super glad of that.
  • Exercise: 
    • Ugh. NO.  For REASONS.  I guess I should go put M1 to bed and come out and do my PT like the nice man suggested…
  • Meditation: 
    • 5 minute, 1×3 minute.
  • Random Acts of Kindness: 
    • I let a lady cross the road (though I had right of way) because there was a bunch of traffic behind me and she was out in the crazy rain.  Get on your way home, lady!  We’re warm and dry in our cars — we can wait for you to cross the road!
    • I also made sure P got to the mechanic to pick up his car before they closed, even though my Dad volunteered to take him on his way home after math with the girls.

07 DecMondays, Man…

Small changes ripple out:

  • 3 Gratitudes :
    • I’m grateful for my PT.
    • I’m grateful for my daughters’ orthodontist.
    • I’m grateful for my therapist.
  • One positive experience:
    • Rolling out of bed, I made it to my PT appt w/i 15 minutes.
  • Exercise: 
    • Ugh. NO.  And it’s supposed to rain 2-5 inches in the next couple days.  I need to do my exercises though & it would be good to do some gyrokinesis too & stretch everything out.
  • Meditation: 
    • 2×3 minute.  Need to get back to this too…
  • Random Acts of Kindness: 
    • I got lunch scheduled with a friend!  :D