So today for a little while
I put down my phone
and just swung on a tire swing in my parents’ front yard
for like 20 mins.
I had a few moments to spare, just waiting to pick someone up, and I decided to let my mind wander. Sharpen the saw as they say. Reboot. I decided that I needed a moment for my mind to not be working.
And what I had time to contemplate was this:
If anyone asked me what I was doing at that moment, my first response would have been: “Appreciating the fact that I don’t have kids”. I never before appreciated how great it is to be free of the responsibility of raising a human being. Like, really truly appreciated having free time where you don’t have to pay attention to things like what the baby just put in its mouth. Then I started watching my twin 9-month old nephews while my sister works. And hot damn are they a lot of work! The only thing that makes it bearable is the fact that I don’t have to do it all the time.
Then I got to thinking about all the other things that I could be grateful for in that moment that I would usually have taken for granted. The fact that I’m not sick. My body doesn’t hurt. I don’t have any medical conditions that are bothering me right now. It’s easy to breathe. I’m not too cold or hot. It’s quiet and peaceful. No one’s bothering me. I have a moment to myself.
I want to actually give attention to the things I can be thankful for in my life before I miss them. Too often have I taken advantage of the good moments in my life and just focused on what’s bothering me about a situation. Then when things change I look back and long for that time as compared to the current one. It’s an awful cycle, and I’ve actually started to break it. When petty gripes about things or people come into my head, I don’t just let them flow freely from my mouth anymore. I consider my audience and try to filter some negativity out of my talk. For “those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man”, right? (Matthew 15:18).
I am definitely not the same person as I was just a few months ago. And not just with the way I talk. I’ve been registering a change in my mentality and am getting more used to and comfortable with it. Between when I moved here and started my job to now, I noticed that I approach things so much differently. I am more sociable and positive. More confident and less self-conscious and anxious about pointless shit. I smile at strangers and try to be friendly most of the time. I don’t know what the hell I told myself in the past, but there is no reason not to smile at someone as they walk past or say “hello”. I used to overlook friendliness as too much effort or something atypical of my cynical standoffish personality. But these days charisma comes easily to me and I just want to talk more and get to know people. It feels so good to join in with the positive vibes.
I attributed these newfound social skills to working in a hospital, where you interact with so many people in a day in the break room and hallways. But I think it’s actually this town. The environment I’m in now is so different from school. I cut myself off from talking to people or getting involved in anything towards the end of high school, and then became even more reclusive at community college. Then moving to a larger city just wrecked my sociability. I was obsessed with what everyone else looked like, while thinking that everyone was watching me or cared about what I was doing. I became an extremely anxious and self-conscious hermit, and am thankful to say that I have not experienced such a low point in my mental state since.
Of course, this was also at a time when I wasn’t old enough yet to partake in the alcoholic beverage (publicly), and so I missed out on the massive bar scene of the college town where I lived. I also didn’t even go to college at the time, so I was just completely excluded from everything and I felt it. But being just a tiny bit older, crossing over that last threshold into adulthood makes such a difference. Instead of being forced to drink behind closed doors, you can openly say “Hey, let’s get real toasty and have a blast”. It’s amazing.
I’ve also been living in an all male house for longer than I thought I could handle, and such an environment has toughened me up considerably. I’m just comfortable around guys now, whereas when I first experienced being the only female around, I wanted to tear my hair out. (Not sure why, I just didn’t like feeling like I was the different one). But this has made me even more comfortable with being me. If I’m the only girl around, there’s no pressure on how I have to be. I have absolute freedom on how I express my femininity, because I’m the most female one around. If that makes any sense…
Alright. I think I’m way off topic, but that’s O.K. It just feels so good to write, and it’s been a long ass time.
The point is: I got a moment to mentally escape today, and I felt like the old me. The one who likes to be alone with her thoughts and do therapeutic things and then post random shit on the internet. I love being grateful for simple things, because that’s how I get through life. I have my own little world that I like to go to, and it’s been abandoned for a bit. Just long enough to gather dust and spiderwebs in some dark corners.