Getting into new patterns of life is not always simple. I’ve been working on this for the past several weeks and am seeing how hard it is to keep to this idea of consistency. I fight it. I can feel it throughout my entire body, this visceral child within yelling “I don’t want to! You can’t make me!”
This is part of growing up, right? Finding that inner child who has been hiding behind the kidneys every time you try to have an adult conversation with them.
“Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, you can’t find me. If you can’t find me, you can’t control me!”
God I’m tired of her.
Yesterday, I had a good little cry about it. At first I thought, wow how childish of me to let the tears flow simply because I’m frustrated, because the young one in me hates rules and routines, because despite my attempts I’m not getting what I want. How dare I use the time I’m meant to start my running/reading/writing journey to be here weeping in my sister’s kitchen. Get up and get it done, right?!
I needed to cry. I needed to release all the tension that builds up when you are trying new things. You see, right now it feels like there are too many things on the good ol’ life plate. I moved out of my 8 year house and back in with my parents, I quit my job to start being a creative and now I’m broke, not meeting my posting goals, and unsure what comes next. I’m rehabbing a van out of which I’ll run my creative life as well as trying to rehab myself from a nasty little marijuana and nicotine addiction. And, to top it off nice and pretty, the anxiety and depression that lay right under the surface have been… surfacing.
This is me. Tears streaming, choking, flailing me. And as I was feeling helplessly, overwhelmingly, dishearteningly me, I recognized the pattern.
I slowed down my thoughts and tried to breathe. Think Jaz, think. When do I feel this way the most?
Ok, first stop is how am I actually feeling? Horribly disorganized, utterly disgraceful in my work ethic and my outcomes, terribly unwilling to be better yet still expecting better. Ok, next stop, are those real? Disorganized? Dear god yes, always. Disgraceful in my work ethic and therefore outcomes? Perhaps. Terribly unwilling to do and be better? No, not in the whole of it.
So what’s the pattern?
It’s my thoughts. No matter how well I’ve done at something, my mind has a nasty comment to offer.
Finished a painting – “oh well anyone could dribble on a piece of paper such as that.” Write a new story – “well that’s trash and you know it, no one will read that.” Wake up early and take my dog for a run – “congratulations, now you’re doing as much as everyone else.” Make dinner for myself – again, congratulations on this menial job.”
Didn’t I tell you, that little me is ruthless!
So how do I stop her? And, not just stop her, but change her mind and therefore our patterns?
This morning I decided to challenge her. As a kid, I was always the dare-choosing, tree climbing, knee-skinning, jump-off-the-top-of-the-play-structure kind of kid, so I knew I could get her attention with a bid.
“Hey little Jaz!”
“What?” I hear her in the back of my brain.
“I bet you couldn’t go for a run this morning.”
“Yeah, I bet you’re too scared to go for a run.”
“Oh you think so huh? I’ve already got my shoes on, LET’S GO!”
“Oh little Jaz!”
“I bet you can’t finish one post for this morning. You couldn’t, I know you couldn’t.”
“Oh yeah? Well check this out!”
This may seem infantile and maybe a therapist would question my methods here, but I know me. Sometimes I can be a bit too competitive, a quality I’m actually working hard to tame oddly enough. It’s not something I’m easily rid of, so instead of exiting competition from my life, instead I work to compete only with myself.
“I bet you can’t finish that novel you’re working on.”
“Oh, you are on!”