Thursday, March 24, 2011

Reactionary

When I think about the past year, I'm not sure how to describe it.
Even though it is March, it feels like I am coming to the end of this year for me. The end of some sort of cycle or perhaps just a marker I can't avoid. I'm sure it has something to do with my grandparents. The last time I saw them alive was at the end of March last year, beginning of April. A month later, everything would change. The past year has been difficult to say the least but I am also tremendously grateful for it, because it blew the lid off everything. It forced me to stop and sit still. It forced me to feel. And it inspired me to want to change. Even through some of those dark months, I was still trying to power through a heavy depression, one I had never experienced so deeply. The guilt, regret, self-hatred felt like it was going to wash me away at any second. I can remember sitting on the beach in July, by myself, before anyone else got there, and watching the waves, listening. There was no distraction and I suddenly felt terrified and then came completely undone. Leading up to that year and a few moments during it, I witnessed me and my anger in almost out of body experiences. Like the angry me was fighting the real me to the death and I wasn't sure who was going to win. But I knew that if the angry me won, I would lose everything. I started to see myself as the product of something I never had control over. I started to admit that maybe I wasn't always right. That maybe the reason I was so directionless in my own life is because I never focused on myself. I took care of other people. Told other people what they should do. Judged them when they thought they knew better than me. I realized I had a compulsion to immediately respond with advice, when friends or family had problems. I had an opinion on everything and everybody, except myself. I had no idea what I needed for me and I am still figuring that out but I have a hell of a lot more of an idea. My identity has been founded on being the animated, passionate, angry one, the tough one, the bossy one, the agressive soccer player, the fighter, "the hurricane" as I have been nicknamed by family.  And if there is one word I had to use to sum up this year I think it would be Reactionary. And for so many reasons. For the trail of events that happened and how things unfolded. For the way I have always been and what I have now put as one of my foremost goals: to NOT be reactionary. To take a minute before I do anything- before I say yes, before I open my mouth, before I take action, before I promise, before I judge. To just wait a second and give the real me a chance to weigh in before angry me pulverizes 9 out of 10 options. I don't know why I am writing about this. I was looking through writing prompts I never wrote and was getting tired of the idea of "assignment." One of the subjects was anger and the first word that came to mind was reactionary and then my chest sunk a little and I knew I should write on this word even though when I started I had no idea why. I feel good right now. A little sad with the anniversary of their deaths approaching but a little happy and proud at what I have done for myself this year. I feel stronger than ever even though I am not as tough as I used to be. And I feel so grateful for my life and the people I have in it, especially Mike who is the most amazing person on the planet, I'm convinced. I could not have weathered the storm without him and we have come through the other side with a kind of respect and love and deep understanding of each other that blows my mind everyday. Alright, enough mush. Here's to a happy, healthy spring when it fucking gets here!