Sorting Ourselves Into Loneliness?
Day one of 2018 kicked my ass.
It started at 3 a.m. with my son waking in a nightmare-ish kind of cry. I ran to him and calmed him, allowing him to return to sleep, beside me - kicking me all the way. I had my own nightmares after that about protecting him and the house and it was altogether an awful sleep.
He was full of vim & vigour all morning, instant demands and incessant needs that I couldn't seem to fill. Luckily, in some ways, it was papa's turn to have him for the day and night. But as I drove over to his place and Onyx quickly gave me a kiss at the door and toddled in, happier than could be, I returned to my car and cried.
I think I cry every time.
It's so damn hard to say goodbye to your baby. And yet, it's so easy for me too, which in turn gives me guilt which makes me cry. It's so easy because sometimes I am so at my limit I want to scream. Sometimes I do scream into a pillow. My nervous system is on high alert at these times and so saying bye for the night seems like it would be a welcome break. And it is, but that five minutes after drop off I basically drive home sobbing about how I hate this situation and how can I change it?
So it's 9:30 a.m. and my year isn't starting great. However, I get home and crank some music. I decide to do things the Giesbrecht way and get the dough-making supplies out. And I start kneading. There is something so beautiful and grounded about working with your hands. I thought of my grandma with every push and pull of the dough, even laughing that she would be pretty embarassed. My dough wasn't great. So I called my mom. Still, I was in a much better mood at this point.
I then need to borrow a rolling pin and luckily there's a lovely lady upstairs that's housesitting for my landlords who brings it to me. We begin chatting and she tells me about her life as a single mama entrepreneur in Whistler. About her educational background and her two boys. At one point, she looks me in the eyes and says, "You're doing the best you can mama" and I burst into tears. Thanks Universe. This is the one I needed today. So I ask her to dinner. "Will 6 o'clock work for you?" I ask and she smiles. Although her boys are grown now, we both don't go out much. "I'll wear a dress" she says.
I spent the rest of the day kneading and rolling that dough, channelling the strong Mennonite women who came before me and making the dough form into dozens of perogies - verenecke to be exact. My favourite food of all time. I listen to music, apply for a housing subsidy and look up "real estate agents with a heart" (yes, vulnerability is admitting that. It's not something that I would ever think I'd be doing, but I feel something really special coming up - a foundational year. I make green thai curry paste cubes (yes it's a thing), smoothie bags for days, and feel like I'm at least winning in the kitchen.
And then I come to my mat. All the energy of the morning and day catches up with me here and before I even hit child's pose I'm heaving crying. The ugly tears. Shadow side working it's way out of me and I decide that it's about time I feel like a woman again. To raise my head and sway my hips and I start dancing. I dance and groove my way through my whole practice and end with a nidra based on the full moon and the New Year ahead of us. And then I shave my legs (yaaasssss) and put on a skirt.
I'm about to head out for dinner, something I do not do...um.....ever. And I have mascara on and a necklace and I feel pretty. And as I'm about to go, I quickly pick up a book (because, twenty minutes of free time). Braving the Wildnerness by Brene Brown.
Now I love Brene Brown and I love the wilderness, but I didn't really know what this book was about when I bought it. But I open to the chapter called High Lonesome and I laugh.
I laugh at the way the Universe works.
The messages are E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E if we can just look around.
I have been struggling so much with community lately. So feeling the need to withdraw, to hermit. Feeling lonely and feeling disconnected somewhat from my community. Feeling more connected to trees than humans, to be honest. I braved the wildnerness all summer long and it was what I needed. And yet I've had this feeling like I need to decide who I want to hang out with based on what they like. Do they perfectly align with what I like? Do they want to sit with trees? Are they growing and evolving and waking up? Because you know, you're the 5 people you hang out with the most.
But the problem with this is, and Brene Brown will go into it, that if you ONLY hang out with the people who are like you, the world goes into a spiritual crisis. By 'spiritual' I mean that we all agree we are connected by something greater than ourselves and by 'crisis' in this situation, I mean that if we sort ourselves into these little piles of perfection and think we are right and we are only going to hang out with people like us, we lose the thread. We lose connection. I've been wondering why some of my friend groups struggle so hard to get together - me being the biggest culprit. We can never find the time because we are all 'honouring ourself'. BECAUSE WE ARE ALL HERMITS. And if I only want to hang out with those people, I lose connection.
I also lose insight, of other people, of other preferences, of my liberal sense of the fact that everyone is doing their life the way they need too.
I want to hang out with people that disagree with me.
I want to learn to be flexible. To bend and not break, to speak my voice with grace, but to laugh with others who disagree.
I want to gleefully challenge one another and connect with one another and my WHOLE LIFE I've had someone or a few people who just don't allow me to hermit. They have been frustrating at times, but they refuse to let me do that. They show up spontaneously and keep me tethered to the world. And so I realize, I'm ready to call that person in again. Sure, I can hermit when I want too, but I am ready for the friends-like-family and also for my FAMILY to be in my life on a more ongoing basis.
I'm ready to forgive my family and my many friend groups for being different than me (I wasn't ever mad, I mean forgive myself for thinking you had to be similar).
I'm ready to connect again. And I'm going to start the year with dinner with a brand new friend who is fifteen years older than me and a different thinker. Because that, to me, is being free.
Ciao & exes and ohs