An Exercise in Grounding

Wassssup (entering old school today- tongue out and all).

I think we are all aware that the world is, well, to put it gently, “off”. Now, I could spend the next hour writing about how I am feeling and all the scary ideas that are running through my head. Most typically, this is exactly what I would do. I would want you to know your aren’t alone in this and we are all going through it together. However, I don’t think that’s helpful right now. I think we are all feeling the unknown and we all have a better understanding of just how intense anxiety can feel. So, I thought it might be best to switch it up on the interwebz for a moment. You know, share something that isn’t all about a pandemic, or anxiety, or toilet paper.

I’ve been racking my brain over the last few hours trying to figure out exactly what that would be. What I could write about when my mind seems to be consumed with all of these things and more. What would help me to slow down and for a moment forget I’m alone in my apartment, unsure about the state of the world?

Gratitude.

It’s so simple, I am surprised it took me a few hours to come up with it. Just hear me out, I know that sometimes it is annoying when you are feeling one way and people are like “just think of all that you have”. Sometimes it makes me want to puke in my mouth. Sometimes I want to be angry and scared and petty and vent and not think about all the good. Sometimes things just suck and I want to sit in that suckiness for a bit. We have every right to do so. There are other times though that thinking about all I have can alter my mood in ways I never thought it could. When a brain is on fire and is able to say I am thankful that I have water to put it out- that, my friends, is power. A power that is free of cost and fills up time and is totally doable in, let’s say, a quarantine situation.

Today I will be making a list of 25 things that I am so incredibly grateful for today.

  1. The sun is shining, baby. Gettin’ that Vitamin D under my skylights as I am writing this.
  2. I have a place to live.
  3. There is food in my fridge, freezer, and cabinets.
  4. My friends are amazing. They check-in on me. They call me. They send me texts. They remind me that I am loved. I may be physically alone in this apartment, but I am definitely not alone.
  5. I have hobbies. I write and I dance and I run and all of these things keep me grounded.
  6. I am working. People still need our care and I am going to help provide that care for as long as I am able to.
  7. Netflix.
  8. Hulu.
  9. Disney+. (Yes, they all get their own separate numbers because that’s how grateful I am for each one.)
  10. My family group chat right now is straight fire. We even got a water challenge going so we all stay hydrated.
  11. Memers are on the top of their game. They say laughter is the best medicine and damn, Instagram has been saving lives with its pure comedic medicine.
  12. I have a washer and dryer in my apartment. Thankful for this on a daily basis.
  13. I am healthy.
  14. I have running water.
  15. Electricity.
  16. My awesome book collection is, well, awesome.
  17. Coloring books are a gift.
  18. Fat activists/diet school dropouts reminding me that it’s okay to eat. That I don’t need to prioritize weight loss in this moment or any other moment. And that sometimes food is comfort.
  19. Healthcare workers.
  20. Grocery store workers.
  21. Therapy. Talk about your feelings- get support.
  22. Soap. and subsequently-
  23. Lotion.
  24. Candles aka therapy of the aroma variety.
  25. I’m alive. And while life can seem so fragile, it’s that fragility that reminds us just how important it is to live it.

If you’re still feeling overwhelmed right now, just check-in with your body. You are here and that is enough right now. Maybe you could make your own list. If 25 seems like too much, think of 1. Maybe you’ll start and not be able to stop. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll remember all you have right in front of you. Or maybe you’ll just want to sit it in the suckiness for a bit. That’s cool too.

If you are struggling with any of the things on this list, like lack of food or TP or essentials in any way please reach out to me. I may not be able to help out a lot, but I will do what I can.

Also, if you’re just looking for an ear, I am pretty good at listening, or so I’ve been told.

A[wo]men

i

love

you

-simplicity

 

 

Clothed and Afraid

I’ve been in an unpleasant mood for quite sometime. I must admit, my move here has not been the seamless transition I was hoping for. I feel lonely most days. I miss my friends and my family back home. As I have mentioned previously, I have never lived alone and the longer I do it… the more I hate it. I am an ambivert. Not too loud, but just loud enough.

As someone who identifies as an ambivert, I mean that I am both an introvert and an extrovert. I like the balance of being alone and being with others. When I am given too much of one or the other I break down. Prime example was my trip to Paris last summer. Everything I did was in a group for two weeks STRAIGHT… and the last day I burst into tears in front of the whole class. It was mortifying. (Friendly reminder: I was 26). My body was literally rejecting socialization. I missed the very last class we had together because I felt like I was going to throw up. On the flip side, when I am alone for too long I turn on myself. I say things like “I am going to die alone” and fully believe it. I become this shell of a human who doesn’t know how to function.

The hard part now is that I don’t know how to find that balance here. Or rather, I do know how, but I am finding it hard to get there. Currently, my life is my work. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my job. It is everything I could ask for, but it was the only thing I had asked for. It is strange because in New York I didn’t panic. I felt at home the second I saw the skyline. I had instant friends and places to go and people to see. It felt like I had been living there for my whole life. I haven’t felt that here and I shouldn’t expect too. This is not New York. This is a new chapter in my life and I know I am still adjusting and I can guarantee a year from now I will be writing a post reflecting on this one and how different it feels. Because that is life. One moment you are down and the next moment you are up. Without those ups and downs you are on the most boring roller coaster I have ever heard of.

However, I am ready for the up. I am ready to stop wallowing in self-pity and figure out how to find my balance. I am not sure where to start… okay that is not true at all. I know where to start, it’s just that part of me doesn’t want to. I have to put myself out there and that sounds scary. It is much easier to hate your life while you watch 10 hours of television than to go introduce yourself to a complete stranger and hope they like you. It is vulnerable and I will be the first to admit that I am scared of rejection. So much so I have remained single for most of my life.

I like when people ask the question “what is the worst that could happen?” in regards to rejection. The funny answer: “I could die!” The real answer is that they could not like me which doesn’t sound that terrible, but if someone doesn’t like me it resurfaces all those insecurities that I work so hard to ignore. It makes me want to hide under the blankets and never return to the outside world. I know better than anyone that this is ridiculous. Not everyone is going to like you. That is just a fact of the world. Except, I want me to like me and when they don’t like me it makes me question if I like me. Ya see? Why ya gotta go and make things so complicated? (Never enough Avril Lavigne references.) Then to make it even worse, if someone here doesn’t like me this likely means their friends won’t like which then equals out to like half the island not liking me. Small town probs.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that I am a scardy cat and I need to not be. I need to be more confident. This is the feedback I have always received from any supervisor I have ever had. You would think I would’ve gotten the hint by now. I need to keep telling myself I love me every day. I actually do this. Every morning I wake up and say, “Sarah, I love you and you deserve happiness.” Some days I believe it and some days I don’t, but that doesn’t matter. The more I put myself out there the stronger I will be for it. That is part of the reason I started blogging in the first place. As long as I write something every Sunday, I know that I am going to be okay. It is a place that makes me feel safe in a world that can really scare the crap out of me.

In the same realm as last weeks post, I don’t have magic words to feel better. I am just trying to sit with this. I am trying to remind myself that I am living in a whole new world and it takes time to adjust to a new culture and a new life. My frenemy, time, seems to always be there, patting me on my back. Always letting me know that the longer I sit in fear the less time I have out in the world.

I would like to end this post with three things I am going to do this week to demonstrate that I am working on gaining more confidence and fighting the fear:

  1. Meet someone new in the community and talk to them for at least 10 minutes (and not about the weather!).
  2. Ask someone new to hang out with me next weekend.
  3. Go to a yoga class.

I will report back on these next week.