I haven’t posted lately, but I haven’t forgotten you! I swear.
I started this year determined to find balance. No more “all in” mentality. I was going to learn the art of mediocrity.
How am I doing, you ask?
Well, since you asked…This morning I woke up and cleaned the entire house from top to bottom before I would even allow myself a cup of coffee. But…I did not put away all my laundry. Some of it is still folded on top of my dresser. I know…scandalous, right??
Last week I put in way too many hours at work and chastised myself constantly with my guilty mommy complex. But, with the kids at their dad’s for the weekend, I decided to play hooky from the gym last night. Instead of trying to sweat away the stress, I ate Rubio’s fish tacos in bed while watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. And I’ll have you know, I didn’t even brush my teeth before falling asleep. Yay me!
And I have decided to embrace my bitter, scorned woman mentality. Yup, that’s right. Another one bites the dust. As it turns out, I was right about that guy I swore I’d be bringing into the new year with me. Of course, it was only for a day or two before he shattered my heart into a million pieces. Again. But this time at least the break up is going to stick. I stopped letting his charms loosen my resolve and he decided he didn’t want to talk to me about the fact that he cheated on me. According to him, I need to just leave it in the past and move on. I tried to make him understand that it was not in the past, and that we have trust issues as a result of his actions. He refused to own up and tried his cute and sexy tactics on me. When that technique didn’t work he called me crazy and said I’m “unrelenting and unforgiving” (yo, dude, you CHEATED on me. You should be grateful I was willing to give you another chance!) and we went our separate ways.
Since then I’ve experienced a purging of sorts. Old wounds, it turns out, haven’t healed as well as my façade would have people, or myself, believe. I’ve experienced a sort of emotional infection, the festering of a multitude of heartaches. Emotional gangrene, perhaps? It’s not just the loss of Darian that I’m grieving, or rather, the loss of what I hoped we could be, it’s also the loss of Chris, Derik, Michael, Gary, Tim, and that guy I went on one date with who never called, even though we talked all night until they closed the bar and kicked us out. Was it because I let him tip the valet for me? Because I said no to a third glass of wine? Ugh. Those kind of questions will drive anyone insane.
That’s the problem with giving myself permission to not be perfect. The walls are crashing down. I spent so much energy trying to project this perfect, put-together person, because that’s what people expect of a life coach and minister and what I expect of myself.
I’ve always been open with my experiences and struggles, especially when it comes to my faith, but always in retrospect. I talk about things that have happened to me and the lessons I learned from them, not realizing that what I was really doing was keeping those painful experiences close to my heart but behind the façade of objectivity. As if they never really happened to me, but to someone else. As thought they were just another plot point in one of my books or something that happened to a friend.
Embracing the art of mediocrity has forced me to see these things within myself that I refused to see when they didn’t fit my standard of perfection.
A painful process, to be sure. But in the words of Tori Amos: “You have to crawl into your wounds to discover where your fears are. Once the bleeding starts, the cleansing can begin.”
I am beginning my cleansing. It is a slow process, like a scabbed over wound that seems to take forever to heal. My faith has waned, but as I face my fear of living alone and bitter for the rest of my life, I still believe God is crying with me, his arms around me. It’s more than enough.
My debut novel is being released in 6 days. It is the culmination of so many things, so there is healing in that alone. The subject of the novel is redemption, so this is a suitable time to release it out into the world. I don’t know where this will lead, or if anyone will even read it, but if I fail I’m going to do my best to give myself permission to be okay with that. Regardless of whether anyone but my mom ever reads my book, the main character Grace still finds her redemption. And so shall I.