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Dear Introvert

writer. creative soul. black sheep.

Month

December 2014

life. in Disney quotes.

lies5

Wise words Mr. Cricket. And yes indeed, I have made a fool of myself. Not once, not twice, but many times. More times than I count on all of my fingers and all of my toes. People make mistakes. Lots of them. That’s human nature.You can’t dwell on the heavy of them all. Mistakes are meant to be made. Sometimes, it’s the only way we learn.

I try to stifle the feeling of regret when I think of my mistakes or any moments from my past where I have made a complete fool of myself. But I have a hard time forgiving and forgetting the mistakes I made when I recklessly ignored my conscience. My gut. You know, that tug you get in the pit of your stomach. The infamous internal warning system. It manifests itself for a reason.

I’ve ignored it only a select few times in my life. Every single one of those times my conscience was right and I was wrong. There was one time in particular where I ignored my inner voice – that decision almost cost me my life. My conscience was trying to tell me something. I ignored it. Fool. Doing so ended up stripping away years from my existence. Years I can never get back. But hey, I’m here and I’m okay so it’s neither here nor there. I’ll save the details for another blog post. But just the thought that if I only had listened, if only… maybe nothing would be different, maybe everything would. So I try not to think about it at all.

The best advice… words that may help you live without regret.. listen to your gut. It doesn’t lie. So when you feel it, stop what you’re about to do or not do, and really think before you act. If you can’t visualize your conscience, picture a cartoon cricket named Jiminey who is ready to poke out your eyeballs with his cricket-sized umbrella if you don’t listen to him. Do it. He obviously knows his shit.

 lies9   lies12

With that, I move on to Simba and Rafiki. Most of my past hurt. For years, I let it affect me in a negative way emotionally, physically, mentally. Though I didn’t run from it, I drowned in it. For me, it was the same thing. It took years to understand what this creepy Baboon with the acid trip voice gift wrapped us all in two short sentences. A movie I’ve literally seen over 100 times as a child and as an adult. Go figure.

I should of paid more attention to you Rafiki. But you were ugly and weird. I preferred young Simba over you. I’m sorry. So adult Simba reasons that you can’t go back in time and change the past. So stop worrying about it. It’s over. There’s nothing you can do except move forward and like Rafiki tells Simba, learn from it. Live in the present so that you truly live, not just exist in this life, right here, right now. Time stops for no one. You have a choice what you spend yours on.

Make it count.

The past can destroy you. It can eat you alive and then swallow your carcass whole as you idiotically volunteer to lay yourself out in the blistering sun to rot – – only to become a vulture’s next meal. Don’t be a carcass.

Be a lion.

But be the adult version of Simba after he has his heart to heart chat with Rafiki.

Hakuna Matata bitches.

As much as you can.

lies10

Timothy, you’re a genius. I can say that now. A few years ago, maybe not. Because sure, when you’re in the depths of hell, right smack in the middle of your misery being held down by those things, there may not be room for agreeing with tiny whisker-faced Timmy. At my worst, those “things” that were holding me down, had practically strapped and chained me within my own personal prison.

It was those “things” that made me want to punch Timothy in his tiny mouse dick, shove that positive attitude straight down his cheese hole until he choked on his sunshine words while I screamed “fuck you, you little rodent shit bag!”

But he’s right.

I know he’s right.

You know he’s right.

Whether we want to admit it or not.

Damn you tiny mouse counselor.

Case in point: I used to resent the way I felt I was “forced” to live my life because of life circumstances that were beyond my control. Poor because my parents divorced, poor because my mother didn’t care to have a daughter anymore, poor because my father had a job that left him broke and on the road the majority of the time, blah blah blah. I’m not going to have a bitch fest about my life. That isn’t the point. The point is that this all meant that I had to fend for myself financially with no parental cushion when times got tough, even when I was a teenager. It never got easier. I was never financially stable. Life always seemed to be a struggle. I worked more than I ever enjoyed life. It’s still that way.

But I got by.

I’m still getting by.

You will get by too.

These “things” that held up my life, that held me back, held me down, held me under, made me different, made life impossible at times, really did lift me up in the end.

These “things” I once resented taught me patience, humility, and strength. They taught me independence. Forgiveness. They taught me to look at adversity differently, to find my inner roar and build my strength from obstacles, from the challenges. I have so much life left to live and it’s up to me to do what I can to not let anything hold me down – – not finances, not relationships, not strangers, not anyone. Everything I have I appreciate because odds are, it meant my losing blood, sweat and tears to obtain it. If I want something badly enough, not having a trust fund isn’t going to stop me. A trust fund may make it easier, but that’s about it. It’s my birthright to obtain it if I work hard enough. And damn it, I will.

I don’t think about the people that have life easier than me anymore. I don’t think about them at all. They are them and I am me. That is their life and this is mine.

I am content as long as I am doing to best I can.

Even out of the most adverse conditions, the most beautiful flowers can grow.

Take your hardships and use them as fuel. Fuel to light the fire that heats the air underneath the balloon and the basket that will take you up and away from those “things,” lifting you, carrying you high above, redefining the angles and perspectives at which you view your life.

This all stemming from the wise words of a tiny mouse. An animal smaller than most, yet his words carry the strength of the heaviest of creatures that inhabit this Earth.

   lies13

You think things are going to be the end of the world when they happen. Like the loss of a job or a relationship ending or even something worse. They aren’t. Unless it’s death. That might be the end of the world for you or for someone else or both. But even then, unless you are the one who has died, you have the ability to continue on. Like Bambi’s mother said, even though it’s not what was there before or even who was there before, something new and wonderful can come into your life just the same. Maybe not right away, but it will. You never know what could happen. That’s the whole point.

Bambi’s mother reminds us that we are so much more than we think we can endure. That’s the beauty of the human spirit. We have such courage and strength living within us that makes us capable of conquering things that seem impossible.

Even if people tell you, even if the voice inside your head tells you “you’re worthless, you’re weak, YOU ARE NOTHING.” Or, “you can’t do this, you’ll never get over this, you won’t make it.” They are liars. All of them. Even your inner voice is a liar. You are a beautiful creature with the infinite ability to survive loss, grief and suffering. You are so much more than what you believe.

If something falls away in your life by your choice or by divine will, let it.

And then please, make room for something new to grow in its place.

Something wonderful.

lies11

 I repeat it Piglet.

I do.

Like a mantra.

Like a chant.

As often as I can.

I am not afraid.

I am not afraid.

I am not afraid.

You are not afraid.

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the truth about lies.

If you’re a chronic liar, lying happens as easily as breathing.

No effort required.

the liar.
the liar. [self portrait]
I would know. I used to be one. I could bullshit my way out of anything. I could morph into anyone you wanted me to be other than myself. Along with the lies came cheating, deception, manipulation and multiple personalities on any given day.

I had lies upon lies, excuses upon excuses, built high like tidal waves – top them off with a frothy crest of fake apologies, then crash them into anyone and everyone around me. I was the choppy, rough ocean waters in a bullshit storm. Eventually all the lies caught up to me, crushing me under their weight,  a violent tsunami, sucking me into my own undercurrent of forgery and fictional existence.

Lie to be popular.
Lie to protect.
Lie to escape.
Lie to save your own ass.
Lie to hold someone else accountable.
Lie to numb the pain.
Lie to be someone else.

See, I come from a long line of liars. That’s why it came so natural to me, it’s all I knew. I learned from the best. Lying to others but mostly to themselves, living their days with a constant denial of reality because their truths were unapproachable, downright frightening. The truth was frightening for me too.

Being honest with yourself means looking in the mirror to see – REALLY SEE –  who you are and what kind of person you have become. Who wants to do that when you have become someone you hate or someone you swore you’d never be?

Like a liar. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. A cheater. A drug addict. An alcoholic. A horrible mother. An insecure scaredy cat. A passive man who lost his set of balls. An out of control spender. A vengeful psycho. A self-loathing asshole. A body ravaged by a debilitating physical or mental illness. An emotional wreck. A partner who stays in a toxic relationship. A friend among bad company or maybe you’re the bad company for your friends. A significant other who turns a blind eye to infidelity. A person who cuts others down to make themselves feel better. A fake. An abuser. A miserable fuck who spreads more misery. A weakling. An arrogant show off. A nobody. A freak. A nerd. A coward. A lazy load. A closet full of skeletons. A past riddled with ghosts. A human stain. A family dysfunction. Or simply… just.. you. NORMAL, everyday, YOU.

Secrets and lies. Lies and secrets.
Guilt. Denial. Regret.
What ifs? Who cares? So whats? But whys? Back whens.. Where now?
How did I get here?

liar liar.

Lies so we don’t see and they don’t see, so nobody sees… what’s underneath the facade. We see what we want to see. They see what they want to see. We let them see what we want them to see. The only thing that really ever matters though is the truth of it all. The truth you know is real. Your honest self. Your real life.

The truth means you have to take ownership. The truth means accepting things you think will destroy you, things you know might destroy others. Why face what you can avoid? It’s easier to sleep in a bed of lies than on an uncomfortable, lumpy couch with your truth. Sometimes, lies are easier to live with. Justify the intentional or unintentional things you do to hurt other people, make excuses for you selfishness or someone else’s, morph your tragedies into a reason to walk down a path of cold hearts and black souls where the bad luck never ends and you’re destined for a life less fortunate.

Lie once, lie twice, then lie some more. Each time, it only gets easier until it’s all you do, until it’s who you are. We lie because we’re afraid, because we fucked up, because we’re fuck ups, because we can, because we’re human. And each fib that survives makes the next one to come out of your mouth or into your mind that much easier until it’s second nature to spew bullshit like lava, hot and dangerous.

The truth is a hard pill to swallow.

WARNING: you could choke on your truth.

The truth about your life and the people in it, the truth about your actions, the truth about your feelings, your mistakes, your misfortunes, your dreams, your talents, your career, your blessings, your friends, your family, your lover, where you came from, where you’re going – – your past, your present, your future. EVERYTHING.

It’s better to start choking, right now, then rush to go give yourself the Heimlich maneuver by slamming your stomach into a table top, fall to the floor until you catch your breath again, dust that shit off, chug a big glass of ACCEPTANCE, get up, walk away and keep on keeping on.

Choke on the truth of it all and then revive yourself.

Lying is so easy. Lie to others and they won’t hate you, they won’t leave you, they won’t get hurt, they won’t think you’re weird, they won’t judge you… right? WRONG. Some people won’t like you. Some people will leave. Sometimes you’ll do the leaving. You can still hurt people. People will hurt you. You might just be weird – – but who fucking cares?

Lie to yourself and it’s easier to accept the things you don’t like about your life or the people in it, what you were born into, who and what your family is, what you did or didn’t do because of this or that. It’s E-X-H-A-U-S-T-I-N-G. Instead, get your hands dirty with your truth. Own it – – all of it. Change what you need to, what you want to, what you must. Or, grant yourself the capability to accept the things you cannot change and then endure them. Embrace them even.

Muddying the truth with lies, infinitesimal or catastrophic, only shelters you from the reality of all that is you and all that is your life. But lying won’t save you. It’s like a dead body that should have never washed ashore. The killer swore if he added enough weight, the body would sink to the bottom of the lake for all eternity. But you need a lot more weight than you think to bury something so heavy. And the lies can add up to something no amount of concrete mass could ever keep hidden. The truth always surfaces, one way or another.

lies

Then, what felt like a day, but was more like a span of several years, I stopped lying so much, especially to myself. I started to resent the fact that I could look at me and tell my reflection something completely different than my reality and believe it. Really and truly. I kept denying myself the possibility to own my truth and accept it.

For so long, I relied heavily on the fact that my words and thoughts had the power to bend the truth to make people believe what I wanted them to believe and see what I wanted them to see. What I wanted myself to believe and to see. Because in all seriousness, my actual truth, well, sucks (most of the time anyways). But the fact is, it’s MY truth. No one else’s. It only matters to me and to those who care about me. And if they care, they stick around, despite my truth. I made it a point to try to be as honest as I could with myself and with others. And it had awesome results.

I can and do create change in my life.

Change when I need it, when I want it, when I deserve it.

I have the ability to accept the things I cannot change.

Accept my past, accept my mistakes, accept people for who they are.

I can let go of toxic people.

I can be by myself and not feel lonely or afraid.

I do not need to pretend to be someone I’m not.

I can be myself.

And people still like me.

I like me.

In fact, I like me more.

And if you don’t like me, oh well, that’s okay too.

I can speak honestly without fear or hesitation.

Sometimes the truth that comes out hurts..

but one simple truth is appreciated and respected more than a mountain of lies.

I let go of my past.

I try to live in the present.

I hope for the future.

I AM ME AND I DO NOT GIVE A FUCK.

I accept who I am, who I was, and who I want to be.

I’m no longer bound by the lies that kept me a prisoner, chained to my guilt, regret, resentment, anger and a whole shitload of other shitty feelings. I am free to let go of it all if I choose. Change is hard. Acceptance is even harder. But it’s worth the fight.

So battle for your truth..

and win.

tourniquet.

I need something to stop the endless bleeding of thoughts that spew from my mind and flood my heart.

083

I have been waiting to see Wild, the movie adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s best selling memoir. I have been waiting for months. I got to see it on Saturday. I knew it was going to be incredible. I still love the book more, but the movie portrayed every word, every feeling, every tragic and triumphant moment in Strayed’s life with accuracy and grace. Reese Witherspoon was brilliant.

But I walked out of the theater feeling something I didn’t see coming.

Sadness.

Because I’m still waiting for the ball to drop, every second of every minute of every hour of every day until weeks pass… then months… then years. I feel stranded on a island shaped like a plateau. I can’t go up and I can’t go down. I can’t go anywhere. I’m just stuck. I’m waiting for my AHA! moment, wishing it would whack me upside the head like a frying pan square to the face.

In the past, I thought slipping down into the rock bottom abyss was the worst it could get. Wrong. Not for me. It’s the standing still that kills. I know I don’t want to go back but I don’t know how to move forward. Watching Wild reminded me of the day I finished Strayed’s memoir for the first time. Back then, it gave me hope. Hope that I too could have a life altering experience that would propel me into the future, leaving all the dirt and the hate behind me.

I’m fucking pissed at myself and I have every right to be.

I’m not saying that I or anyone else needs to follow in Strayed’s footsteps and walk the PCT to find herself/himself and to find forgiveness. Not everyone has to spend months alone in the wilderness to come to terms with their life, their past, their mistakes, and their grief. But it is pretty bad ass isn’t it? Her story isn’t meant to make people feel small or incomparable. It’s meant to show what it took for her to heal in her own way. It was something she needed to do. And just the simple fact that it’s possible, provides hope for those still looking to get there.

I’m still looking to get there. I’m still trying to find my “Wild” experience.

But in order to do that, I have to let go.

So I’m on stranded this plateau. There are no valleys. There are no mountains. Okay. So what? Plateaus have edges. And it’s time to step to the edge, fling my arms out to my sides and dive off.

It’s the fear of flying without a security net. It’s the fear of substantial change. It’s the fear that the impossible can never be possible. That’s why so many people stay exactly where they are: in a job that they loathe, in relationships that lack love, support and communication, in a town that murders their soul, in miserable company of so-called friends, in a life that’s not really lived.

I’m sad because right now I am a coward.

I’m sad because I keep making excuses.

I’m sad because I identify with that girl who hiked her way back to life in 1995.

I was 10 years old then.

I’m sad because I know I have the strength in me.  We all do. The lingering question is what am I waiting for? The frying pan to the face? Time stops for no one unless you’re dead. I’m not dead, but I might as well be.

People have the ability to accomplish amazing things. I want to be one of those people. As long as it’s amazing to me, I honestly don’t give a fuck what other people think. It took Strayed hiking the PCT. Maybe for me it’s something as small as taking the time to write every single day because it’s what I love most. Maybe it’s honing in my photography skills. Maybe it’s morphing both from separate hobbies to a profession. Maybe it’s moving clear across the country. Maybe it’s quitting my job and spending a year traveling. Whatever it is, at least I’m doing SOMETHING. A baby step or a giant leap, at least I’d be moving forward.

My mind makes up for what my body fails to do. It’s racing miles a minute.

It gushes philosophical questions that make my brain swell. Universe shit.

Who am I? How do I do this? When and What? Fuck.

These questions drown my heart.

I better get myself a tourniquet.

Tie it right, tie it tight.

Stop the bleeding.

Start moving.

Heal.

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