Monday, March 24, 2014

my life as a negative feedback loop

I won't insult the intelligence of anyone reading by pretending it hasn't been a ridiculously long time since I have added words to these virtual pages. Life had gotten away from me. I finally found a job I whole-heartedly threw myself into, as is normal for me, in an effort to not only impress my new employer enough that they decided to give me more hours and full time status, but also, I think to prove a number of different things to myself. After my period of unemployment, and in part because of it, I came to what was a pretty low point for me in my life. Finding a job, even a part time one I had absolutely no experience in, felt like an opportunity to assert my economic worth again. So I went at it. Balls to the wall, like I usually do. Like new love, it was blissful and exciting and I was vulnerable and life blossomed with possibilities again all at once. I tried so much it was exhausting and much of the creativity I had fostered over those few months when I had excessive amounts of time on my hands went away like dust in the wind. Uncared for, it slowly slipped through my fingers until writing became a mechanical act and wasn't about truth, beauty or creating anymore. It was something else that meandered its way onto my to-do list. Then it quickly wandered back off as I lost two regular freelancing gigs I that had sustained my family after the loss of my regular job. Suddenly I felt all of my creativity slip through my fingers like sand. I had nothing left to say. My will to write had left.

Fast forward a few months and my husband had another back surgery, leaving him unable to work or help around the house much for a period of about 3 months. Suddenly life became so hectic and overwhelming I could barely breathe and each day was more about necessity and survival than pleasure or love. About that time I realized I had lost all that I thought of as myself. I was living in such a way that I wasn't at all proud of where I had ended up and saw no real future for myself at all. I was drowning in a sea of antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds that cut me off from my ability to truly feel anything deeply, so I quit taking them. I started spending more time learning to cook wholesome vegetarian food, food I felt good about, and making time to nourish my body and mind with semi-regular hikes and a yoga practice. Also about that time, my digestive system started to readjust and reassert itself about what it wanted from me in ways I had never before experienced. I have spend the greater part of the last year trying to learn to pay attention to my body and how it reacts based on the inputs I give it. It's been an eye opening, humbling and expensive journey to this place where I can finally eat some things without immediately feeling like I am going to vomit. A small success but hard won and much appreciated for certain.

Since I have spent so much time over the past year and a half focused on recognizing things that do not work, it seems that has become the theme of my life at this juncture. I'm finding myself perpetually bored yet overworked, surrounded by people but longing for connection, and busting my ass yet more in debt than ever. And there seems to be no end in sight. Once I reach a place where it seems like thing s are going well, this negative feedback loop reasserts itself and I find myself in the thick of it again, caught up with fear and anxiety over how I am going to pull everything off without losing my sanity. The best part is that I am writing again for the moment, thankfully, for an amazing website called Rebelle Society and, although it is not a paying gig, it is a great outlet for re-exploring my creativity and learning to be vulnerable at the same time. I am also going semi-strong on my home yoga practice, though I really wish I had the time and financial means to practice with other people. I've also been dreaming of participating in a meditation group or retreat somewhere, but am shy and nervous about going on my own. I long for that sense of community that comes from time shared with people who hold common beliefs, something I haven't really felt often for quite some time.

As for busting out of the negative feedback loop that is my life, through my yoga practice, writing and spiritual searching, I hope to be a little more at peace each day with the way things are, even when they suck. For now, I am working on practicing mindfulness as I bake bread for my family and wash the dishes and cultivate hopefulness as I plan starting seeds for our next adventure of pallet gardening this summer.

Who knew that what I'd be growing here on this SemiFarm would be myself?

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