Earlier this evening, I rolled out my yoga mat in preparation for an hour's worth of restorative yin yoga. Unfortunately, thanks to my dog, Beau, yoga is never an easy undertaking at my house. Beau actively and vocally makes his dislike of yoga quite apparent the entire time that I am trying to do yoga. He does not understand his human's large movements in a 6' x 4' area that don't involve a game of keep-away with him. He doesn't understand why his human's floor contortions do not involve a session of playful wrestling. And, he doesn't appreciate the way that his human mocks him with downward and upward facing dog. So, he bugs his human, constantly.
When I'm at the front of my yoga mat, he plops down at the back of my mat. When I'm at the back of my mat, he is at the front. When I'm in the middle, he sits down in front of me and wags, shakes, whimpers and stares at me until I acknowledge his presence on my mat. And, any pose that has my head between my legs, sends him into a worried and frantic tailspin. He rams his head into mine, attempts to push my head back into an upright position and licks my face until he has achieved what he set out to accomplish -- resetting his human's head into its proper position.
Tonight, as I tried to relax into the idea that I would be holding a yoga posture for 5 minutes, a sad, bored and neglected Beau sat down next to me and let out a whimper. His whimper prompted me into recognizing a sadness that I felt inside. And so I cried. I cried like the rain that had been constant throughout the day. And I cried because of the rain that had been constant throughout the day. I cried because I had PMS and really wanted pizza with a side of bacon and macaroni & cheese. I cried because all I had in my refrigerator was bok choy, lettuce, kale and collards. And I cried because I so wished that I would have been mindful of my cycle before I went grocery shopping this week.
After about 10 seconds, I quit crying because crying over a strong pre-menstrual desire for pizza is wrong. Defeated, I also quit doing yoga and decided to give Beau some love and attention. As I loved on him, I looked up at my wall of favorite photos/artwork and my still-teary eyes immediately fell on a card designed, created and mailed to me by my very talented friend, Woodie*. The card reads, "Be where you are" and the letters "OK" are written in each of the four corners of the card. In the midst of my hormonal sadness, Woodie's words and art immediately put a smile on my face. Wearing sweatpants, having an irrational sadness over the lack of pizza and dealing with a nagging worry that I am growing sideburns is where I am. And, it is OK (except the sideburns… if I am indeed growing sideburns, that is not ok).
To be honest, I liked being where I was last night a lot better. Last night, as I drove to my boyfriend's house for dinner, the weather was magnificent. The sun was setting and creating a lovely, pink-lemonade glow across the sky. The mountains were standing strong and proud in their awesomeness. And, in the distance, a train passing over the interstate was silhouetted in the splendor of them both. I remember thinking, at the very moment when I saw the train, "I fucking love where I ended up."
I do love where I ended up. I love where I am. I love that I went through a huge emotional breakdown/breakthrough in my mid-30s that culminated in a divorce and relocation back to my home state. I love that I dated a couple of men who weren't right for me, as I now recognize the one who is right for me. I love that I have become clearer and more confident in my decision to remain child-free. And, I love that I have finally discovered my true passion (indeed, it was there all along) and that I am headed for a major career change.
As I'm human, I do have moments of sadness, fear, self-doubt, self-consciousness, anger and frustration, but, overall, I've never been as self-aware and joyful as I currently am. So this is 40 years old? Hell yea! My early 30s, all of my 20s and most of my teen years were difficult. The difficulty was not due to any major traumas or hardships; instead, I didn't enjoy those years because I didn't know myself. And the parts of my self that I thought i knew, I didn't particularly like. There were parts that were shy. Parts that were awkward. Parts that were uncertain, uncomfortable. And parts that felt diminished. These parts of my self lingered through my teens, 20s and 30s.
Every single one of those parts is still part of me. The difference is that, after all these years, I'm learning to embrace those parts instead of trying to be someone that I am not. Every year, my intuition gets stronger. My desire to follow my own path becomes clearer. And, I get more and more comfortable in my own skin. I still feel shy and awkward around most people; however, instead of beating myself up and feeling shameful, I'm starting to recognize that being shy is part of who I am. It's just me. I still feel uncertain and terribly uncomfortable with making decisions, but instead of constantly worrying about whether I am on the right path, I realize that uncertainty is part of life and I trust that whatever path I am walking is, in fact, the right path. And, ultimately, as much as I want to be on a path, I realize that sometimes it's really not about my path. Sometimes, it's just about being where I am.
*Woodie's beautiful and inspiring blog is located at https://tastekillscreativity.wordpress.com. Her Gratitude posts are one of the best things on the web.
This is where I am in April:
On Challenging Medical/Dental Professionals
After a trip to the dentist this week, the race is on for me to heal a dental cavity that was first reported to me over 2 years ago (by a terrifying dentist who sang Janet Jackson's "Escapade" while examining my teeth). I have 6 months before a (new) dentist will check it again. I think that I'm going to follow this woman's lead.
On the Decision Not to Have Kids
I've been a big fan of Megan Daum for awhile. I'm excited to read her newest book, Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids. I enjoyed reading this NY Times article about the book.
I also kind of enjoyed reading this because reading quotes from celebrities that I really don't care about makes me feel better about my own decision
On New Beginnings
Last week, I applied to go back to school and earn a new degree. I'll reveal more later.
Some more new beginnings that make me happy:
This week, it rained. And, it rained. And, it rained. I made a playlist (of course!) to help me get by.