“The art is what has happened to the viewer.” ~Robert Irwin
This is an unveiling.
Your life happens in the slow reveal of truth through experience. This means that you start to notice what is already there.
It is the change in perspective that lets you notice the giants forming in your space. The excess that started eating from your fridge and leaning over your shoulder while you were spinning circles around yourself trying to keep up with your own tail.
The stepping back shows you where the invasions began while you were high because if you speed up enough you will reach “escape” velocity (Reed).
Like I said, this is a slow reveal process. You do not want to wake up and realize that you are living with a stranger in your body, nor do you want to look into your children’s faces like they belong to someone else.
While you were out in the fast lane, the inner wheels kept spinning. You are not the key to existence one way or another. You are a part of it, and this means you can step on, or step off. It will continue moving without you, without a thought.
The danger of uncertainty. Does everyone deal with questioning themselves like I do ? I think this is a pretty common theme for most people, but my biggest question is when does it start? When does the double checking everything about ourselves begin?
We stand in the elevator with an umbrella next to another couple also holding an umbrella. Another woman without an umbrella steps on the elevator and hits her floor number 4. She notices the lights from our higher floor numbers compared to her “4”, so she says to all four of us,”Are you tourists?” a man from the other couple says, “How can you tell? Is it because we have umbrellas?” We all laugh a bit until the woman responds, “No, no I can tell because they only put tourists on such high floor levels.”
We arrive on floor 4 just in time for her to say all of this, adjust the collar on her raincoat, and make a slow, theatrical march out to her lower leveled room. She wanted us to know that she had the better hand no matter what because she was a woman who knows exactly who she is, and we are not to think anything less of her for being on a lower level floor. This was so bizarre to me that she felt embarrassed almost by the level of her room number! People are so strange. Why are we conditioned to believe that these things define who we are?
The things that we actually get embarrassed about and are insecure about can get so far from reality sometimes that we forget to examine them from a logical stand point. Like: if you are judging yourself so intensely, but you do not think twice about the same things with other people, then, my friends you are living on the bottom of the heap. This is not real because you cannot go below zero as a human being. You do not get to beat yourself up while assuming that everyone else in the world is allowed to be human. UNFAIR. UNFAIR.
When did we start double checking ourselves so intensely? When did it start going beyond, do I have food on my face? did I forget to wear deodorant? did I brush my teeth? do these people like me? Maybe it is the thought that you are missing out on something. Maybe it was about 8th grade or so when all of the girls seemed to know something that I did not.
Sitting at the lunch table was no longer just me and my sandwich in the slow reality I’d always known. It became something sharp and stinging.
My mom and I talked about this recently, and I thought it was really interesting how even in the late 60’s early 70’s bullies could twist your arm and punch you in stomach without saying a word or laying a finger on you, but you would still walk away with deep wounds.
You would walk away with an experience that could ring and ring around your mind again and again.
Why do some experiences stay with us while others we have hunt and search for to remember? Where are the golden years of your life, and why are they so hard to remember sometimes? The ones where your mind lights up like stardust falling from behind you where every time you close your eyes, you get to go home. These are the things I ask myself as I stand in the mirror at 29. Why did those girls want me to think that I was “out of the loop”, and why do some people still act this way?
Adults forget that children believe what they say sometimes. Adults forget that children are always on. They are not just on when they are being payed attention to.
I think adults who do not have children have an even harder time of realizing that these are small people who will eventually grow up to be large people in the world.
They are not just kids who stay kids in a phased Norman Rockwell painting. They go out with all their senses just like everyone else except they have more space to fill because they do not know as much, yet, so I think that adults should remember just how much of an impression they leave on something so inexperienced in this life.
Treat young people with care because you’re building the future whether you like it or not. We could all stand to lose the excess if we can help it. If everyone is going to double check anyway, maybe we should make sure to avoid adding to the punch.
Why are some of us beelining for the finish or the top of the hype? What does all of the giggling and whispering and pointing and laughing actually prove? Is this because some of us are on a new level, and they are proud of the fact that they maybe never have to return to where you are sitting, alone at the lunch table, back on the level of reality?
Maybe there was some intense embarrassing thing that happened when they were the ones who felt out of the loop. I don’t know. These girls were lightyears away from my mind and heart space, but the thing I did not know, that I know now, is that this is okay. Stop judging people. Stop judging yourself, too.
Stop Punishing Yourself
The new IOS update cleared up a lot of things in the cloud, so when I opened my email last night it pulled up a photo from the Snowpocalpse of Atlanta in 2014. The girl in the photo below was so scared of herself, her ideas, and her creativity. Why was I waiting for someone else to tell me that it was okay to be myself? Why was I so hard on that girl?
She was a really good dancer with good ideas. This is not the way I remember feeling though. I did not feel beautiful and boundless. I guess you don’t ever feel that way completely. If right now is the best time to be brave, then I have to stop punishing myself for unrealistic, unfair things.
Right now is the best time to be brave. This is the mantra for lately. I love this. I need this. When do you let go and when do you keep going. You cannot have both. It is an abusive trait. Go on now and be who you are because you must know what you like… right?
This is the moment where I give up on pretending that I am a second choice thing that needs to wait on another person to tell her if she is or is not something that is okay.
This is the moment I stop screwing around with myself and start putting the truth behind every breath and word that comes out of mouth.
This is who I am, and this is what I want. If this does not align with you then I am sorry, but I am not going to keep denying myself what is good for my heart and soul.
I will not go malnourished again. I just realized that I do not want to be told NO anymore when it comes to basic human rights, and I never want to abandon myself again. Sobriety is the most rewarding aspect of this new perspective.
Behind the bottle, as I am in these photos, I was incapable of loving myself completely because I could not find the truth. She would never be free.
This is the truth and freedom they talk about. This means from anyone and everyone, and most importantly from myself. I will not keep myself in the dark for my own needs however justifiable. I have fallen so hard for things I deemed justifiable at the time, so that means that this self love is a non-negotiable just like not drinking or doing drugs.
I will not budge for my negative thoughts, and I definitely am not going to budge for anyone else either. The giggling and the laughing you hear from anyone is just noise, and it does not compare to the beauty and music of the forest of this life. Real love and soul-level-living is heavy and honest, so you will know it as a slow, steady and EVEN, and it is always on time. Step on, or stop off because it is going to keep going with or without you. I hope you come with… ❤
All of my love,
You know who
For more on the sobriety journey follow The OAM on Instagram @the_oam, and The OAM facebook page. ❤