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Put it down, before it gets too heavy.

7/31/23

You don’t notice pain, until you leave it. You don’t see your own fear, until you’ve walked through it. And you sure as hell, can’t heal unless you are ready. Time spent in hyper-vigilance takes time away from your senses. It took being pulled out of the situation to actually feel what needed to be felt. And now that I see myself from the outside, I am sad, angry, and living in the utmost regret.

As I look back I get angry with myself. I blame myself completely for the decisions I’ve made. I acted out of fear rather than integrity and came out the other end burnt out and depressed. So, staying stuck kept me safe in my ways, but it also made me miserable.

But, I wasn’t ready. Nothing will change if you don’t want it too. I avoided dealing with my mental health until it overtook me, and that is where I drew the line. It has taken every ounce of my being, and made me into one shell of a person. And for the first time in a long time, I feel safe. Confused, but okay. And for the first time, I want to take a risk for a life that needs one more chance to thrive. And for the first time, I am proud of myself.

This week, I am making substantial changes. That means leaving behind what I know, for something that may be better. I’m not sure what that is yet, but I am 100% sure it is the right decision. Normally I don't do well with uncertainty, in fact I usually despise the feeling of it. But now, I am sitting in a state of contentment, and dare I say excitement. As I look forward, for the first time in a while I see a spark of anticipation for the good in life. But also, the little things.

Think of it this way, when you are struggling, things tend to feel like they stack on top of you. But the truth is that they don’t. Struggles mesh together into one big feeling of hopelessness. And the moment they mix, it is hard to see what is what. You see, you can’t just try and untangle part of the mess, when the mess has multiplied. It takes meticulous separation and organization to really sort it out. So when your life starts to feel all tangled up, there is no room to see things from the outside. And when things feel heavy, all you can feel is the weight of the world.

I myself have just started to separate and organize my tangled up mess. I have to say, I have a lot of motivation, just maybe the wrong motives. Because I know what it feels like to live, and I want it back. The issue with that, is that the standards I hold myself to, don’t allow for me to be a human. I went from a million tangled strings to only 10. At first, it seemed impossible to untangle, but it became easier the further I got. Those last 10 strings wadded up so tight that I gave up. I let them sit there for a while, because the more I tugged, the tighter they got.

Minus the 10 wound up strings, my life has become so much lighter. It has allowed me room for more. The term “more” is really what you want to make it, but for me, it is the little things in life (not to sound cliche or anything). Like going on a walk after dinner with family, feeling the breeze of the summer air against your cheeks as you walk against it. Like sitting with your best friend in a parked car laughing at who knows what, till you can barely breathe. Like seeing a stranger help a stranger. Like a spontaneous hike, when you make the wrong turn and take the steep way up. But, it's fine, because there is nothing like the feeling of climbing up a mountain. Like sitting on the lawn outside your favorite ice cream parlor, eating moose tracks ice cream out of a waffle cone. While the occasional drop of melted cream drops onto your white t-shirt. Like eating your favorite food for the first time in a while without guilt. But most of all, impulsively driving across the country.

My life has been a careful calculation of predictability and control. From the moments of grief to the moments of unpredictability, things have never been the same. Control is just a side effect of whatever is causing pain. Impulsivity: It is something I love, but something I avoid. I think I avoid it for the sake of preserving the “perfect” version of myself, that doesn't REALLY exist. But after all, I think that is the key to living.

So let's back up, I am driving from the very bottom of the United States, all the way to the top. From the east coast all the way up to the top of the west coast. We are halfway done, and I don’t want it to be over. I like not knowing what the next day will look like. I like going with the flow. Adding an element of surprise to life never hurt anyone.

So what am I leaving behind, you might ask? To put it simply, 6 months ago if you would have asked, I would have said my life. My identity relies on it. I am not myself without it, but what am I with it? It brought passion and pain. It brought me everything, but left me with nothing at all. It made me feel love, but also anger. I get stuck in this picture perfect place. Somewhere peaceful, somewhere my 16 year old self would have flourished. But honestly, my 16 year old self is not there anymore. I am not that person anymore, and trauma has changed me. What once served me, has made me so angry. No matter how hard I try, I can’t get my 16 year old self back. That is absolutely terrifying. Terrifying, and terrific all at the same time. Because why would I want to be 16 again, been there and done that.

So what now? What am I really leaving behind? I am leaving behind something that brought more pain than it did pleasure. It never caused the pain, but it definitely added insult to injury. Those 10 strings I was talking about earlier, those have loosed up, not separated. And I am okay with that. I don’t see it as a dream anymore, I see it as detrimental. Detrimental to me. Because I am not everyone else, and that is fine. If it is not my purpose, then I guess that’s what I get. That's what I get for pushing myself through things I couldn’t push through. I did it to myself, and now ballet and I have a faulty relationship.

I spent years telling myself that I have learned so much, and I am a better person now. But, now I am not quite sure. Sure, I treat everyone else better, but I treat myself worse than I ever have. I don’t deserve support, but everyone else does. So instead of trying to convince myself of the positive, I am not going too. I regret what I have done. A lot of it was not my fault, but I had the choice to get help, and I didn’t. I had the choice to put everything down, and heal, but I didn’t. So that is on me, because like I’ve said before, your life is more important than whatever successes you have.

So my advice to you is: Go put it down, before it gets too heavy.











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