Monday, April 6, 2020

Full Swing

I think of this space on the internet as my virtual kitchen. The kitchen is the beating heart of a home in my mind, whether much food is prepared there or not. My kitchens in real life tend to be a bit topsy-turvy. There’s always a jug of some type of flower, or pretty grass, or branches I find interesting on the table, which means pollen and wilting leaves are generally floating around. Shoes that have been toed off under the table lay forgotten, and more often than not there’s a basket of laundry waiting to be folded. I can never get around to folding laundry. 

Come, pull yourself up here to my cluttered, albeit cheerful imaginary table and let us chat the way old friends do. Bodies relaxed into chairs, elbows on the table, leaning forward to catch quietly spoken words, snorts of laughter coloring the air.

I’ll start first. In the four years I’ve been absent I’ve worked at school. Quit school. Fallen in love. Built a life with someone. Got a cat. Moved twice. Got a puppy. Promised to marry him. Worked on a farm. Fell head over heels in love with the act of growing food. Had my body utterly fail me. Turned yet another year older feeling as if I was drowning in a shallow puddle. Wrote an article that was published in a magazine with glossy pages. Felt broken. Ate my feelings and gained enough weight that I felt like a stranger in my own body. Couldn’t keep going with what I knew wasn’t right for me and called it all off. Lost friends. Renewed old friendships. Felt my broken heart shatter into so many pieces I don’t know how it pumped blood to my limbs.

I suppose it is just one version of a very old story, but it’s mine so it feels very important.

The last four months though, have seen huge changes in my life. I’ve had my proverbial work sleeves rolled up and I’ve committed to doing the hard work that must be undertaken if you are to become a Whole Person. It is gut wrenching, heart twisting work. When you attempt to look with clear eyes at who you really are as a person and the reasons for the choices you make, it can leave you feeling a tad squirmy, because it’s much easier to think of oneself as an unfortunate hero in your life story, rather than the reason behind the situations you find yourself in.

Squaring up to the truth though, gives you a wonderful opportunity to bring about change. 
You just have to be tough enough to go for it.

I’ve overhauled my finances, my communication styles, my unhealthy coping mechanisms
(Lord, don’t I sound like I’ve been in therapy? HA, I have.), my eating habits, how I spend my time and with whom….and four months of hard work have granted me a lifestyle that I can honestly say, “Here. This is me and who I am. I am proud of it.”
It's granted me peace. 

So, I’ll keep doing the hard work. I won’t settle for anything less than what sets my soul on fire. I’ll keep having uncomfortable conversations in order to keep growing in my relationships. I’ll keep fishing. Writing. Promising to fold the laundry tomorrow. Planting seeds. Exploring wild places. I’ll keep trying to improve my ability to braid. To nourish my body with food I’ve harvested. To push the limits of how far I can run and hike and swim and climb. To live a vibrant, gloriously honest life.

Thank you for being a part of this life of mine. It feeds my soul!

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