Monthly Archives: November 2010

hungover

I’ve been having a bit of a “family hangover” since I was around them all over the holiday.  The more I settle into myself and become stronger in who I am, the more it seems that I was born into the wrong brood.

I sure love my little people, though their parents (and grandparents) can drive me nuts.  Everyone gets along and is very nice to everyone else, meanwhile, I’m thinking “How the hell did I end up like this after growing up with all of them?”

I love them all (well, maybe not my brother-in-law) but after getting back to my house I noticed that I felt more alone after being with my family and having a few more of my illusions about them stripped away.  Today I am likening this feeling to the way I felt with Mr. X when it all fell apart—when I lost who I thought he was and came face to face with who he is.

A lot of it is religion and politics, but it’s more than that.  It’s a way of seeing the world.  It’s an approach to life in general.  It’s fear vs. curiosity, black and white vs. every color imaginable.  So much is labeled “forbidden” for them, so much is wrong.

In spite of all this, my Alexander teacher told me I’m looking better each time she sees me.  She said my back seems stronger, that I am taller.  In this spirit of not fearing, not forbidding, I am working on engaging with the world with my body, with my posture and movement.  More about that soon.

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sorry

Tonight in my Alexander Technique lesson, my teacher (and friend) said she wanted to work on speech patterns with me.  We’d never done that before.  Previously we had just focused on movement, muscles, bones, and posture.  Tonight she had me read a passage from a book to her.  In this exercise, and in many of the other exercises we’ve done, I have noticed that my inclination is to hunch over, to draw up, to lean forward, to try to conceal as much as I can of my own body.  As if I could hide in plain sight.  From the very beginning of our lessons, she’s been working with me on standing or sitting to my full height, and not trying to make myself shorter, not trying to make myself smaller.

The things she pointed out to me tonight about my speech patterns, both the words I use and how I hold my body when in conversation, did not come as much of a surprise to me.  She asked me a question she had asked me earlier in the lesson and I answered in a roundabout, defensive way.  I heard myself doing it, and yet, I couldn’t seem to stop.  She had me answer again, and this time I was direct and made no excuses, no apologies.  I felt more powerful, more assured as I spoke the words the second time.

As I think about the lesson, I know that I apologize, make excuses, and talk in a round-about, trying-so-hard-not-to-offend way.  I think this comes partly from the feeling that I constantly carry that I am about to get in trouble, that I’ve been doing something wrong and am on the verge of being caught.

And so it makes sense, if I’m feeling unsafe with people, on-edge, it is no wonder that I am so slow to let others in, to let them get close.  If getting close to people means having to justify myself all the time, if it means having to guard myself, or be contrite for who I am, it is not worth it.

But if I can somehow hold my ground and let them in, if I can manage both things at once, well, that would be amazing.  That would be living.

I think my teacher put it best when she said to me, “The more grounded you are in yourself, the more you stay in touch with yourself, the closer you can get to other people without giving yourself away.”

What I have been fearing is that in letting others into my life, or letting them be closer to me, I will lose myself.  Alone may be lonely at times, but at least I am intact.

So now I want to learn what it means to be grounded, to be present in my body, to stay in touch with myself, especially in those times when I feel uncertain or afraid.  I want to have my cake, and eat it, too—without apology.

cozy

At the moment I am sitting in my room, Miss Famous on a leash.  My friend, “Nanette,” who owns the house I live in, just blew into town for the weekend after a three week job in Sin City.  (Do they still call Vegas that?)   She’s arranging her things in the bedroom that my former, crankypants housemate used to occupy.  She’s hired a housecleaning service (she had a Groupon), and there are two hardworking young women here right now, also.  Miss Famous is on a leash because New! People! Are! Very! Exciting!

I thought Nanette would be back permanently* by now, but she’s taken another temporary job, also in Sin City, and so that won’t be until the end of January.  She made this quick trip home to make sure the house was in order after Crankypants moved out.  So after tomorrow, I’ll be holding down the fort by my lonesome.

The whole time I lived with former housemate, I pretty much camped out in my bedroom most of the time.  Now that I actually have full use of the closet space (Nanette’s things were taking up about half of the storage area before) it feels even nicer to me to be there. Of course, now I’ve got the entire house at my disposal (and don’t live with someone around whom I’m at least a tad uncomfortable), and I’ve been trying to branch out.  I’m trying to get used to sitting in the living room.  Part of it is my room just feels cozier to me, and part of it is just habit.  I’ve even started to leave my purse in the living room, by the front door.  Normal thing, yes, but until lately I pretty much contained myself and all of my belongings to the bedroom.

My room, no longer with Nanette's things.

I am also trying to branch out when outside the house, as well.  Well, actually, just getting outside of the house is pretty much branching out for me.  I get very comfortable and cozy in my familiar spaces and have a hard time reaching into new situations.  I tend to go to the same stores places to eat over and over and over again.  I’m feeling stronger and happier, but still pretty happy to keep to my familiar routines.

Here’s to branching out.

Miss Famous, who definitely is NOT into branching out at the moment

*”Permanently” for Nanette means “for several weeks until she gets antsy/and or a job offer that sounds tempting.”

something to make you laugh

I just read this and laughed the entire way through.  It is particularly good for people who have experience with dogs.

Read it and let me know if you liked it.

 

in brief

I’ve been fighting off a cold (and mostly losing) the last few days.  I’d bet money that I caught it in the hospital last Friday while I was waiting, waiting, waiting before, during, and after my mom’s surgery.  She had her foot fixed, and now hopefully she won’t limp around all the time.

While I was there with her, and in the couple of days after, at her house, I could see as clear as day where my hesitance to ask for or accept help comes from.  Even the day of the surgery, she was apologetic and (I could tell) feeling guilty.  Sound like anyone you know? (hint: she writes this blog)

The good part of the weekend was all about my niece.  I got to see her play volleyball (she sure doesn’t get her unbelievable athletic ability from me, thank goodness) and watch a bunch of silly TV with her.  She is more and more amazing every time I’m around her.  I can’t help but wish and wonder how it would be if she were mine full time, and not just every-once-in-a-while.

I’m detecting a pattern here

I just went through my posts from 2010, looking for something to submit for the Creme de la Creme.  It seems like the vast majority of my posts can be divided into several categories:

So there it is, my blog in a nutshell. 🙂

(Oh, and no, these are not my finalists for Creme de la Creme.  Just examples, that’s all.)