It’s been too long since I last posted to this blog.
There are always a thousand and one reasons to be silent. First are all the requests, explicit and implicit, from others, to Not Talk About Them, and by extension, not talk about my decisions, choices, and trajectories.
Then there’s the plain fact that if I’m going to write in any sort of real way about my own life, I’m going to alienate some swath of people. I am still not hardened to those losses. I know I can’t please everyone—I don’t want to please everyone—but the conditioning goes deep, this sense that I have failed as a human when people turn away from me, especially when I’ve tried to be honest and vulnerable.
And sometimes I turn away from others. I try to hold myself and the others with compassion. My Inner Wise Woman says: Whether you turn away, or I do, let us trust that these are acts of self-care. May we uphold the importance of boundaries.
Boundaries. They keep coming up. They keep whispering to me, “You need to know yourself better. You need to be more clear. You need to say No a whole lot more, so when you say Yes, it carries the energy of conviction. You need deliberation, rest, and patience. Stop overriding your own instincts.”
So much of my pilgrimage, traveling back home to myself, has been about recognizing internalized stories. I try to unravel those narratives, to question them, to hold them in my hands and dismantle their pieces so I can decide, do I want to keep you? do you serve the greatest good? are you killing me? are you molding my thoughts and behavior in ways I don’t like and haven’t been able to see?
Selves are made of stories. I tell stories. I live stories. It’s what I was born to do. I take the clay of my life and push it this way and that and say, “Look.” I use my senses and my intuition and try to translate the staggering flow of information. There is so much. There is so much. Sometimes I lapse into silence. Sometimes I fear the stumbling of words, the choppy attempts at communication. I was dutifully trained to be a perfectionist, and I am still taking a sledgehammer to that monolithic barrier, hoping that out of the harsh flurry of flying stone chips, there will be something comprehensible left to present. Here I am, writing, trying to praise myself for writing anything at all, hacking hard at the cruel, implacable stone of judgment.
I want to understand boundaries, form, structure. I don’t want to be a passive recipient of lines and definitions set up by others. I also don’t want to dissolve into formlessness just yet. I want to tell stories that make sense. I want to define myself and my life in ways that make sense. I guess this is a longing to be sensible. And not sensible in a stodgy, gray way, but in a way that’s alive and downright magnificent.
Chalk this blog post up to “stuff Jen writes to herself that she apparently needs witnesses for, but isn’t remotely satisfied with how she’s articulating things.”