Cue my ten- thousandth listen of ‘I Drink Wine‘ off of Adele’s album – 30. Stay at the chorus, ‘So I hope I learn to get over myself, stop tryin’ to be somebody else, so we can love each other for free’.
I don’t often think about the things I can and can’t survive because somehow, so far, I just do. I have continued to be here complete with my aliveness in years that have taken so much from me. Yes, I have gained so much in the same breath and still, my breath feels better held than released. I’ve spoken a little about how jarring movement, progress, ends and beginnings can feel when it is a reminder of how much has and is changing. Especially while I still feel like the ground beneath my feet is sinking sand.
I am a lot of things and lately, loudly, I feel more full of need and want. I am working on having kinder and gentler internal narratives around being in need of community, on not obsessing over self- reliance, sufficiency and soothing. I am increasingly aware of how impatient and so, easily frustrated I am with my inability to be or do things in the ways I’d like to. This, I can now relate to my struggle with accepting care and support when I feel like my front facing self is inadequate and undeserving of it. This idea of a ‘front facing self’ stems from one that my ‘relationships require self- mastery or perfection in order for love & care to be offered‘.
Listen, learning to be me has been a really long journey, I tried being small and feeling things in little ways. It took me a long time to get to know myself, to accept myself, and even on some days to really like and love myself. And then it took me a whole other load of years to have the courage to actually live in the world as that person. And it’s been trial and error, chewing on ground glass.– Tracee Ellis Ross
I am more honest with myself about how much more in need of my loves I am than I have thus far allowed myself to be. This honesty is only now starting to translate to the discomfort of asking for what I need when I do and not padding these asks with qualifiers that distance me from the vulnerability of being seen as just as much in need of care from my people as they are from me. A big part of me hoped that I wouldn’t be drowning in calamity when my ability to ask for support stopped being a thing I wanted and became a thing I was doing anyway, full of shame, discomfort and all the fears of being seen in the ways you are when you have a deep- seated desire to be held.
I read a painfully honest newsletter piece by Ijeoma Oluo on why she feels she sucks at friendship. In it, she wrote about how almost all of her relationships have been defined by how she can care for people and how this helpfulness has impacted how fulfilled she felt in them. In many ways, I resonated with having decided for the people I am in relationship with that what was ‘meaningful’ and/ or ‘good’ was based on how ‘useful’ I could be to them, even when they affirmed that I had space to be my full self in need of anything. So I only showed up when my ‘front facing self’ could be my best or better self. I now have a lot more context for why the cycles in and out of this ‘ideal self’ felt impossible to keep up with and I realise how disengaged it has kept me from my humanness. How much it has robbed me of the space to be seen fully, held and loved in ways I have and continue to need. I am committing to allowing myself to be a whole person outside of myself, my head, my room. To allowing myself to be as I feel more readily and honestly.
Letting asking for help be strong instead of weak
Embracing not knowing and letting trust lead the way
Letting rest be enough
Letting my best be enough
Letting right now be enough
Swimming through waves of doubt to see myself clearly
Remembering how simple most of our needs actually are
Being with the ebb and flow of gutting grief and big beauty
Letting an impossible amount of love move to and from and through me.
Noticing the power of tiny mundane moments; noticing they are actually everything
So tired and so alive– Lisa Olivera