Thursday, October 31, 2013

My personal Battle of Jericho

On Tuesday night, I was sitting at my dining room table and realized that I finally have a new picture in my head of what my future is going to look like.

For about 2 years post-grad, I had a clear picture of my future. Well, I didn't know what the job portion was going to be - but I knew who I was going to spend it with.

It's funny how we "know" things, isn't it?

Well, needless to say, the who isn't my who anymore, and the what my life is going to look like isn't the same either. For nearly a full year, I was lost - really... really... really lost. Far more lost than I'd ever want to admit. 

Earlier this week, I had an emotional and mental breakdown, complete with sobs and ugly crying. You know the ugly cry - it's not a glistening tear - it's the kind of crying that leads to red, swollen, puffy eyes the next day.

Remember when I said I wanted to be vulnerable in my writing? This is me being vulnerable.

Okay - back to how this post started - On Tuesday night, I was sitting at my dining room table talking with a friend, and I looked at him and finally said out loud, "I have a vivid picture of what my life is going to look like. In this picture I'm alone, but I look so happy. I'm a insert dream job here. And I'm happy." 

(I'm not quite ready to reveal what that dream job is just yet - it's many, many years off - but maybe I'll be ready include you in on the dream soon!)

For so long now, I haven't seen anything. And I had convinced myself I was okay with it. I was going to live in the moment, because that's what people do. Carpe Diem. Seize the day and all that good stuff.

After a few more conversations with the friend - we said good night, I put on pjs, washed my face and crawled in to bed. I was mentally exhausted from all the realizations of the week, yet my mind continued to race.

As it turns out, my "live in the moment mentality" was simply a really nice wall I had built up to protect myself from the fear and anxiety of losing the "what my life is going to look like" picture. Well friends, I'm here to tell ya, that wall came CRASHING down this week. 

Sometimes, I think in terms of blog posts - well last night this post started writing itself, so I jotted down some notes on my iPad. (Funny story, I finished typing out my notes at 11:03pm - the exact same time I finished typing my thoughts for my "Dear 30-year-old Elizabeth" letter, earlier in the week. I guess 11:03 is my peak creative thinking time)

Anyway, below is what I wrote. Retyping it now, in the light of day, feels really raw but really honest:

Walls. We build them up - they're a coping mechanism. A way not to feel. They're protection - keeping away the hurt.  The thing with walls is that they're great when they work -- sometimes we even forget they're there -- until they come crashing down. When they fall, they fall hard, and there's wreckage... rubble... damage.

If you're not ready, what happens can catch you a little off guard. I was anything but prepared for the meltdown that just happened to me. Turns out I'd built up a wall, and I didn't know it. I thought I could just pull at one of the loose bricks and everything would be okay. Well, here I stand with a huge pile of broken bricks at my feet. Trapped in the wreckage that I created for myself. Dazed. Confused. Unsure of what to do.

Whew, how's that for vulnerable? Initially, when I started on this post, all I could come up with was "do you ever just feel really lost?" I decided I wasn't quite ready to write it yet -- obviously I've come up with a few more words since then.

Having a clear picture in my head - something to work towards - gives me hope and peace for the future. Feeling like I'm just walking through life with no real direction is such a scary thing for me. I'd built up such a strong wall so that I wouldn't feel scared. Slowly but surely, I've started finding interests that are becoming huge, monumental, monsoon-size passions that are rocking my world and creating that new picture in my mind.

You guys, I'm happy, and I'm excited! I'm excited for the future - for the journey - for the wreckage. I'm geared up (and terrified) and ready for the adventure! The wall is down - there's going to be a lot to climb over, and probably some more walls to break down, but demolition has started. And boy, it feels good. 

xoxo, E

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