Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Notes To Self

    As the weather shifts towards wintery conditions, coats are being pulled out of the closet that have not seen the light of day for 8 months. I am inclined to jot down thoughts, quotes, ruminations, while out and about, and shove them into pockets where they become a crumpled wad of insight. Finding these notes, so many months, and an entirely new life later sheds some interesting light into my own dark ages.
    "The problem with chasing the storm is that it wears you down." A quote from a movie character. I don't remember when I wrote this, but I know why it struck a chord. The last few years had worn me down, fighting the good fight, struggling over what seemed to me insurmountable obstacles, and alone, always alone. Which inspired a self revelations, and another note, "I have myself, I need no one else."
    It is all too easy for me to think back on last winter, the cold, grey days that seemed unending. The melancholy that wrapped me in its dark, clammy embrace, refusing to release me. Depression brought on by the sheer, overwhelming nature of major life changes. The birthing pains of a new life and love of self. Days and weeks that turned into months of crying. I lost track of how many days passed without a single tear-less day. And then slowly, oh so slowly, I began to have 24 hours with no tears. Then several days without sinking into the black morass. Soon, crying returned to its regular status of rare and justified. During this phase, my return to sanity, my notes were encouraging, "It is not what we carry with us, but what we leave behind that defines us." "If you do not like where you are, change it. You are not a tree." "I am Me. No excuses. No regrets. Simply, inexplicably Me." "What I want. What I need. What is right for me." And, "I will become who I was meant to be all along."  Yes, it may seem like so much happy horseshit, blithe cliches. But there are times when words can help reinforce vague notions, support shaky ideals, protect the child within. Sometimes we need to be soothed by platitudes, even when self inflicted. We need to be reassured that "Everything will be okay, you will be okay."
    Some of these catch phrases became mantras to ward off demon attacks, and as a way to quiet Brain when it was gibbering and running in circles. Yes, my most often used was nothing more than, "I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm okay..." over and over and over, until I could breathe again. Sometimes, lying alone through the night, staring into the darkness, passing time until I could justify getting out of bed and hitting the treadmill is when my phrase, "I have myself, I need no one else," would pound on the inside of my skull.
    The point of all this rambling, and there was one, is that I find these Notes To Self written last winter, and am made mindful of how far my life has come in a few short months. I have long stopped hanging my hopes on the actions of others, and have taken the helm firmly in my own hand, the mistress of my own destiny. I don't let the failings of others rule my life. I feel as if I am in a whole new world. As if I am a new Me. As if all the jagged shards of my life finally formed into cohesive pieces of the complicated puzzle that is the Life I Deserve. I am piecing together my world, my reality, my own Nirvana. The task is not complete by any stretch of the imagination. It is a work in progress, and will remain so throughout my life. But now I feel as if I have enough pieces in place that I can see the overall picture, with my imagination happily filling in the blanks. Yes I am a work in progress. Life is  work in progress. But my Notes To Self remind me of just how much progress I have made.

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