Monday, September 24, 2007

One Grind At A Time

As many of you know, I've been trying to create the type of life that I want to have, one in which I feel in tune with myself and my ideals, where I nourish my soul and feed my passions, where I'm at peace in the present, balanced, and completely happy with me. It's harder than one would think. I date the beginning of this effort to around the time I eliminated two major causes of toxicity - a job and a boy - from my life. With those two negative elements pruned away, I was free to focus on making positive changes for me (many of which were kind of about rediscovering me), and that's what I started to do.

I found a new job that I really enjoy, built new friendships, and took a trip that I had been wanting to take for years. I tried a diet, started going to the gym more frequently, and opened myself up to new social experiences, dating, and enjoying this amazing city and all that it has to offer in the way of restaurants, clubs, museums, outdoor space, and, of course, shopping. Kidding (kind of). I assumed a new motto, which though not neatly encapsulated in any little phrase, is about living life in the present, trying to focus on being happy now, and making each moment the best that it can be. It's about making the changes that I want to make now, at once, and not waiting any longer to be who and what I want to be. A worthy goal.

Though I have accomplished a lot, there's still a lot I need to do. I'm still far away from where I want to be, and I don't know why. Attaining balance, for example, has proved elusive. I understand that many people, including yogis, struggle for years and entire lifetimes to attain a state of balance, and I recognize that I'm in good company in my current state of failure (or current state of partial success). However, I want it now, and it frustrates me that I haven't done a better job of reaching that point.

Part of it is the city. There's so much going on here all the time - much of it fantastic, pleasurable, and stimulating -it's hard not to feel stretched thin on a regular basis. Part of it is my job. I'm a lawyer for a large corporate law firm in New York. Even under the best of circumstances, working with the best people, it's stressful, and it's a challenge to make good choices to deal with that stress (such as yoga instead of happy hour). Part of it is being single. I'm on my own - along with my friends and family - in this journey at the moment; I don't have that sense of stability, security, or added strength that comes from being involved with a loving partner. I'm also dating, which with its ups and downs, uncertainties, doubts, and unknown future poses its own challenges, many of which, on occasion, pluck away at my best efforts to be wholly happy in the now.

I don't like that dating does that to me. I don't like that I'm the type of person who could have my center pricked and bruised and thrown off kilter by the unknowns of the dating world. As I think I've expressed before, I'd like to be impervious, invulnerable, and perfectly and absolutely one hundred percent happy in my singledom. I hate, loathe, and despise more than words could ever say that sometimes I feel like I'm missing something from the present by the mere fact that I'm not in a relationship. Ugh, did I just say that? I don't want to be that woman - the type of woman that needs a man to be happy. I know that I'm not that woman. But yet, I also know that I'm not completely 100% happy in my singledom, and I must admit that I think it would make me happy to fall madly in love with someone terrific. Or to go on a date with someone terrific. Or someone remotely interesting, for that matter.

I don't like nor want to get emotionally caught up in the dating thing. I realize that's a funny thing to say for someone who also says that she wants to fall in love, which would presumably involve the embroiling of emotions. That raises the question of whether I truly want to fall in love right now. Good question. The truth is that I just don't know.

No, that's not right.

The truth is that a part of me does not want to fall in love right now. I haven't yet attained in my singledom the life that I want for me. I want to fully maximize and appreciate this time when I'm on my own (and that's why it irks me that sometimes the pitfalls of dating make me blue). I want to make more of the changes that I've been trying to make forever. I'm sure your familiar with the litany by now: yoga, going to the gym regularly, meditating, being healthy, etc. I want to prune away the rest of the negativity, get my shit in order, fill up on positive elements, and make my life how I want it to be, now. Before some boy waltzes in and mucks things up.

This weekend, I took some much-needed me time and turned something that could have been negative and discombobulating into a positive wake-up call. I spent Saturday cleaning my room, sorting though piles of paper and boxes that I hadn't gone through since moving out of my Ex's place, getting rid of old clothes, and reorganizing. The end result was a far less cluttered bedroom that is actually quite cute and inviting now that a portion of the junk has been cleared away. Internally, I feel less cluttered as well. On Saturday night, I went out but kept my alcohol intake to one drink and then called it an early night (1:00 am) so that I could wake up refreshed on Sunday morning for yoga and church.

That's right. How much to I rock? I did yoga and went to church this morning, and I'm not even religious. I did yoga on my newly de-cluttered floor from a DVD that I had bought months ago but never opened. The DVD is called "Yoga For Happiness," and the guy who leads it is not only hot, but also really funny. His name is Eoin, and I think I just might make him my new imaginary boyfriend. To give you a taste of his sense of humor, while I was leaning into pigeon pose, Eoin said, "Feel the honey in your hip." Recall that pigeon is not the most comfortable pose to hold for more than a few seconds. He encouraged us to lean into it more, and while I summoning my energy and grimacing, he said, "it should feel good, like someone licking ice cream off of your body." What?? Bent over my knee, I burst out laughing and then easily leaned in to the pose more.

This is what I need more of in my life. Eoin. OK, fine, not him. Someone like Eoin? No, focus. I need yoga and other activities that give me something positive in return when I put my energy into them; activities that make me feel happy, healthy, grounded, and balanced. Things that cultivate and nourish the happiness that I have within me, and build a sense of security, peace, and satisfied joy. Visions of hot men licking ice cream off of my yoga-fied body are also perfectly acceptable.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that this weekend, though it started off with a little emotional dip, I managed to turn it into something really great and productive that ultimately made me feel balanced and happy - exactly what I've been striving for! Granted, it's how I feel now, and tomorrow may be a totally different story. But, for right now, I'm proud of me. Along with cleaning, yoga, and church I also bought a host of new kitchen appliances that I've been meaning to get for ages, including a super fancy blender and a programmable coffee-maker.

One of my dreams has been to become the type of person who has her life so together that she wakes up each morning to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, and then sets out to face the day with her non-Starbuck's coffee-filled, eco-friendly, reusable mug in hand.

Sometimes it takes big changes to become the person you want to be. Other times it takes small ones. Tomorrow at 8:00 am, barring some technical malfunction, I will be just a tiny bit closer to becoming the me that I want to be. I can't wait.


Starshine said...

Such a great "catch up on Buttercup" post!

It sounds like you had quite a Sunday! Did you go to church with the friend that you told me about?

Have a great week!


tara said...

Balance does not mean walking in a perfect line.
Think of the tight rope walker at the circus. She is up there with her balancing pole, teetering this way and that. Sometimes walking perfectly and with ease, sometimes wobbling a frightening amount. Either way, she does not fall.
Balance only means that we meet back in our center. It does not mean perfection.