Friday, August 20, 2010

New Beginnings

In my latest spurt of creativity (ie going back to writing and reading, my original loves), I've been noodling this idea of new beginnings. I'm not going to get all Ramona a la Real Housewives, but I think I may understand a little bit of what she meant with her over the top "renewal" phase. Ramona had this renewal phase that lasted for the entirety of the most recent season. And a part of me really gets it right now. She needed to be selfish (probably not "need" in the same sense of the word because they have more money than sense, but you get what I mean). She wanted to focus on herself, do things for herself, and feel good about herself. Once she had accomplished that she was able to mend some fences with friends and renew (literally and figuratively) her relationship with her husband. And while Ramona is in no way a role model for someone like me, I have to say I respect her stance on preserving herself first. Here's how that analogy applies to me:

Recently, I've been more angsty (a word my lovely Erin used on me) than usual. I've been struggling with something that in this present moment seems monumentally disappointing, but in the long run is probably just right. I wasted a few days' worth of energy moping, and was very fortunate to have my close friend Ashley for comfort and of course my husband was my shoulder when I needed him. Then, part motivation and part coping mechanism, I threw myself into working on my classroom to get it ready for Freshman orientation before the marathon opening of school meetings started. I'm talking 12 hour days here; I was that desperate for a distraction.

Then I did something stupid and pretty much stuck my hand back on the open flame. I guess I had decided I was fine and could handle the situation, but I was wrong. It hurt. So came the telling facebook post about ripping off band-aids. I suggested via status that sometimes you should just rip off the band-aid and feel all the pain at once. At the time, I was wishing I had done that to start with rather than try to work through it, because that strategy was epically failing. The band-aid thing was supposed to be more discreet than me just blasting out all over the internet that I was angry, confused, and hurt. However, my ability to think clearly when emotionally ripped to shreds isn't as strong as I thought. Oops.

Someone who looked at this situation from the outside would probably say that I have blown it out of proportion and that no one other than me is that emotionally invested in it. They would probably say that the whole thing is silly and petty and who knows what else. And I have to admit, I blamed myself for my reactions at first. Why am I this upset? Why do I feel this way? Why would anyone care this much? How stupid am I for hanging on to these feelings?

I did some searching through writing about what I really felt and found what I was actually worked up about has value outside of the immediate situation. That was a big relief to me, to know that I wasn't really that worked up about the situation, but rather I was trying to cope with some fear, some rejection and a reminder of a part of my past. Those are things that no one would argue with. Everyone feels those at one point or another in their lives.

The first time I dealt with this kind of "Surprise! We don't really like you!" thing was when people who I thought were my friends back home were really just my "friends" in the sense that they just saw me as someone they had to deal with. The worst part was that this group included my closest childhood friend. At that age, you don't have any communication skills. There's not a way to say "we need to talk, we need to work this out", instead, their solution was to just cut me out of their lives but continue to take advantage of me should the need arise. Isn't hindsight grand? Needless to say, after the pictures from the night of my wedding surfaced on facebook, I got the message (oh social networking, you make great drama). You learn quickly after a rude awakening of that caliber to build walls. I did that for a long time, and was afraid to let anyone into my life. The people in my life now have changed me for the better, and it is because of them that I'm a better me.

My point, then, is this: instead of looking at the situation for what it is, why not see it as a new beginning? I have a chance to pursue other things now that I wouldn't have before, and that's exciting! I can really focus on my new position as yearbook adviser and put my best effort into my add-on program in school administration. Not that I wasn't going to do those things anyway, but now I don't have so much juggling to do in order to balance my time. I will be able to really support my friends as they pursue their dreams instead of trying to fit them around my other commitments.

Getting back into my regular routine with school and work has helped alleviate some of my anxiety by virtue of being busy. We have new teachers on my hall that I have been lucky to help get settled, and of course I've been reconnecting with colleagues I haven't seen since June. Ashley and I have talked about how this point in time is an opportunity to clean some of the unnecessary garbage from our lives, and I am already seeing the benefits of doing so. The best part about doing your own clean out is that you get to choose what stays, and you really get to evaluate why it should stay, making what you choose to keep in your life even more valuable
(look, I go everywhere from profound metaphor to Real Housewives in one post).

I'm moving forward. Isn't that what we all want to do after every bad occurrence? Don't we just want to feel whole again? I'm working through some new dynamics in some of my relationships, and I think it will really just take time, and probably a lot of patience with myself (which I don't have). Thankfully, the people I love and who love me have more than enough.

1 comment:

Ashley Lindsay said...

Beautifully put, my dear. I'm excited for your new beginning! Thank you for letting me be a part of your journey!

We are indeed cleaning that unnecessary garbage from our lives — mine is quite successful, even though it still really hurts.

I love you so much, and I'm glad that we will have more time now with me not in retail and with your newer free time to spend some weekends together.

Hugs and kisses!
- A