I am greeted this week by a view of diffuse brown and green mountains tapering off into a distant haze, clouds melting up into white gummy skies. From up high, everything looks soft and peaceful. There is no hint of the constant frenetic undercurrent of movement that is so apparent when you drive down the mountain into Northern California freeway traffic. Things change when you look at them from a different vantage point.
I spent Sunday night not sleeping. I knew I was “processing,” a catchall term that really means “going over and over in your mind all the stupid things you have ever done/said since the day you were born and thinking about the grand meaning to them while trying not to kick yourself too hard for having done/said them.”
[See: compassion for self]
I decided to use the time as a doorway. When I awoke in the morning, I decided, I would have stepped through this magical doorway back from the Land of Who I Was Once and into the Land of Who I Am and Wish To Be, Dammit. I noticed the potential irony of that decision at about 3 am, when I still hadn’t slept, knowing I had an alarm set for 5:10 so that I could catch a plane the next morning and realizing the very real possibility by that point that I would fail to sleep at all and therefore fail to step through the magic doorway.
Ha, ha, Self. Who has the last laugh?
But I dropped off into oblivion at about 4, missing entirely a text message that came in at 4:44 (auspicious sign)(I know people who are awake very early) but becoming instantly awake at 5:10 with the sense that I made it through the doorway after all.
I’m not the only one this past week, or in my case two weeks since I can pinpoint with deadly accuracy exactly when the shift back into Revisiting My Awkward Past began (not to mention the embarrassing nadir on Christmas Eve, replete with family — not my own, but does that matter? — and an sudden overabundance of wine), who has been revisiting old patterns and becoming immersed in the sense of inevitability and disempowerment that comes along with such an often unwelcome visitation. I’m glad I had the presence of mind to remind myself that I have a choice in how I experience things. The steamroller approach didn’t work well, but coaxing things along did, apparently. And now I’ve shifted back into The Good Place after taking my personal Black Swan moment as a jumping-off point with which to enact internal transformation.
What this all means in a tangible way is that I can now see that, for instance, I had a completely different experience of childhood than my brother did, and that neither perspective is probably the entire one that was available to us. Meaning, I can now try to flow into the entirety of what was really happening and change my Now as a result of allowing myself to experience the possibilities contained within a different Then. It really is that simple if you can become disconnected from attachment to things having been a certain way. The crappy childhood I had existed mainly in my perception of it. Yay!
It might help that I am perhaps just a little unhinged (loose grasp on reality). I mean that in a good way.