Part VI: Move In Your Own Direction And At Your Own Pace|Lune, 6 Parts
pause, take a moment
you want this
you’ve always known it
use caution, be safe
you should try
not everyone loves
not everyone feels
so be you
first — and no one else
learn to love nature
yes, love it
not just take pictures
get caught up in it
everything at once
guard yourself, be true
you know you
better than we do
*Author’s Note: This is the final installment as far as sharing my journey in therapy here on Medium. My focus will simply be on gaining as much as I can from it and journaling at home, instead. Thank you to all of you for the support, kind words, sensible reminders, and for reading. Peace.
There are some gritty parts of me that I find, of late, bring me no pleasure to share. Isn’t that what this is all about, though? Releasing, removing everything from the system that clings to the depths of my bowels and makes it hard for me to handle life accordingly? I can vocalize this now without actually sly-giggling while I state it, but I have a problem with relinquishing control, especially if I feel a situation at hand will crumble if I do not have my hands somewhere in the mix. Ego knows when the right time is upon it. I take on quite a bit of responsibility, but I always have. I am the eldest child, the first great-grandchild and grandchild on both sides, so naturally, I was given the green light to make a few decisions before I truly knew what decision-making was. The problem is, that stuck . . . And it did so a little too well.
Ego knows when the right time is upon it.
While speaking to my therapist during our last session, I informed her that I can feel a lot of tension fall away from me because I am letting things go — things of which I have no control. There have been so many events that have happened recently that would have seriously made me break or lose my cool, but for some odd reason, I am regaining balance. I want to say that I can pinpoint when it took place, but really, I cannot. I just know that it feels good. At work, I am one of the “go-to people” and when I am not there, things do not typically flow the way they should. But, I feel the brunt of it too whenever anyone is out or away from work. We are all a part of a great team and each of us brings something incredible to our facility. We play our roles and we play them well.
What has been hardest for me, recently, is separating work-life from home-life because I have begun to get rather close to my teammates. So when the workday ends, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I am no longer in touch with the members of my team. When one works closely with others for over a year, bonds take place — feelings mature. You become sad if something happens to one of them, if they’re ill, have been in a car accident, or if the stressors of life begin to wear them down. I am learning to feel what I need to feel for them but to not feel like I have to solve their problems or find a solution.
Some things do not require our input.
And in learning this, I can continue to move forward with self-care and self-love. It is not my duty to hold the hands of my adult loved ones. It is not expected of me to center around them and jump onto every little case that causes a bit of friction in their lives. I have to learn to step out of the way and only be available when asked — if asked. Some things do not require our input. They simply require us to be present in that moment when we need to know what is going on and nothing more. Making room to pull this piece of me away from my skin is opening up new doors for me to be able to focus on self-care and self-love more. But, it will take time — years, I am certain.
My therapist notices that I would rather handle someone else’s problems and ease their pain than willingly acknowledge mine and work on regaining my own balance. I admitted to her that it is easier to help someone else than to help myself. That I have been in the nurturer/caretaker role for a very long time and this — this taking care of myself, is all relatively new to me. Taking time away from work to go on adventures, mini-vacations to places on my bucket list, and to spend time away from the electronic devices that can cripple me have been the best methods in ushering me to a place of centeredness and understanding.
I want to understand how to better care for myself but not to completely shut out or cut off the problems of others. The hard thing is finding a happy medium. When is it okay to step in? Is it ever okay to step in to ease someone else’s burden or pain? Should I wait until asked or use my heart to continue to guide me to know when the time is best? I like to say, that “I am a flawed piece of life still learning how to live,” and there is much truth in that statement. The quiet space of my therapist’s office is the circle of openness that I need. I am shedding and although it is scary, this is necessary. We are not meant to remain the same throughout our lives. Age ages. It keeps going and I am making it a point to go along with it — to grow along with it.
“I am a flawed piece of life still learning how to live.”
None of it is easy. I have turned the mirror on me and who I see when I stare into it is a beautiful being who needs tender love and care. I also see someone who can be so much more if she pushes fear to the side. The main thing is the fear of noticing how much of me needs changing — how much pruning I require in order to stand up straight and sway passionately in the sunlight. I take at least an hour or two out of my day and I read. I unplug. No television. No cell phone usage. No laptop or desktop usage. I simply sit in silence or I read. Is it helping to shape me into a better person? I think so. I feel as though the opportunity to embrace peace and quiet daily when my world is so full of noise is going to further help me on my journey.
“You have to know when to let go, Tre. The sooner you do this, the easier it will be.”
Her final words to me during our last session — the light that needed to be shined on my face still stings . . . “You have to know when to let go, Tre. The sooner you do this, the easier it will be.” I am fully aware of my path and I know it will be hard to stay on it, but I want to move forward. I just hope that what I see of me as months pass will pull me closer into loving me instead of shifting me even further away.
So far, the lovely State of Alaska has given me so many memories and I will have extremely beautiful visions in my head for years to come. Thankfully, both flights were smooth, with minimal turbulence and I found myself sleeping both ways; from Charlotte, NC to Phoenix, AZ then from Phoenix, AZ to Anchorage, AK. I am happy that this was the case.
I landed on time each time with only one snafu. During the Phoenix connection, several of us were not alerted to the fact that there was a gate change so we found ourselves booking it from one end of the airport to another in order to make the flight within three minutes.
Let me tell you, that was a scary experience and gave me anxiety that shot THROUGH THE ROOF, however, I was amazed at how quick-on-my-feet I was in assisting one of my flight-mates in encouraging her to run or walk fast and that we’d surely make it because she was so much more frantic than I was. We made it, of course, and smiles stuck to our faces within minutes of the connection.
So far, I’ve experienced Girdwood and its beautiful mountains, hidden waterfalls, and wide open spaces and Portage for the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. And now, for the photos:
A Beautiful Life
Halfway ’round the world
I’ve found beauty that connects
And lifts my spirits
This evening, I will be traveling to Alaska for a full workweek. It has been incredibly long since I took an actual week off of work for vacation. I am going to Alaska, more specifically, Anchorage. My reason for this is to celebrate my friend’s upcoming birthday and to experience beautiful sights and landmarks. I have never been to Alaska, having a close friend who lives there will inspire many more trips in the future. I will soon be able to mark this off my bucket list.
But first, I am looking forward to this time away and my internet usage will be limited as I intend to totally immerse myself in my surroundings. I need this. My mind, heart, and soul needs this. I know for a fact that this will be a great experience, not just for me, but for my writing, my mental fortitude.
Jernee will be with my Mom. I picked her up yesterday and she and Jernee will have a week together to enjoy each other’s company and get reacquainted. My friend has a complete itinerary and everything I envision to do in Alaska, within my means, will be done.
To say that I am excited is an understatement, however, I am nervous too. I hate flying. It makes me severely anxious. I intend to take one Aleve capsule (to curb any headaches or backaches) before boarding and will read and sleep for most of the flight or, try to.
It is my prayer that each of you will enjoy your week ahead and that life will be more than kind to you.
It is an odd yet beautiful thing to shed, to release. As painful as it is, I am becoming more and more aware of its necessity. I cannot keep holding on to things that are not of my control — living in the past.We hashed this out at my last therapy session. The moment I walked into the room, I noticed a few changes. The lighting was just a bit different and my therapist had taken a paraphrased quote by Will Rogers placed it on a note card, and plastic-framed it for display. I snapped a picture of it after relishing its power. We began by me discussing some of the things that have taken place of late and allowing her to process each of them before commenting. This is how we operate. This is what works for us and it has proven beneficial with each visit.
Since my last session, another team member left our facility, one who left decided to come back, and my old supervisor who is now the Clinic Administrator of her own new facility asked me to come and work with her. Needless to say, the constant shifts and overwhelming changes had me on a path of spiraling down, but I have taken the tools learned in therapy and applied them to my daily work-life. Home is a comfort away, so much of these tools are not needed there. I can process better, relax and decompress, and breathe openly without feeling pained. Home is also therapy.
“So, do you think you’ll take the job with your old supervisor?”
“I am still weighing my options with that. I’d have opportunities afforded me there that I do not at my current job, plus — no weekend work and more holiday time off. Did I mention that the practice is closer to where we live?”
“So many pros. Cons?”
“Well, if I took the position, I’d be leaving a team of great people and I love where I currently work. I’d put them in the position of trying to replace yet another person. I just wish things had not taken place the way that they have, but I have no control over that and I am trying to find a way to deal with each blow as they come.”
“You said it best. You have no control over these things. I have a feeling you will choose what you believe to be the best option for both you and your current place of employment. Remember, self-care is important and if transferring will possibly aid you in maintaining self-care, do not deny yourself that.”
I won’t deny myself what I know is best, but I will not live in the world of a “possibility” or “probability,” either. The job offer comes as an “if.” The facility is new and building a name for itself while marketing its existence and gaining a few new patients each day. I could be a big part of this as I do love telling people about where I work. Our organization has proven to be one of the top organizations in North Carolina. I also believe that I could advance a bit more with this new facility and it would be such an honor to watch it grow and shift and take on new phases in operations as they come. I also know that there is a big chance that other people may be hired even if my old supervisor is currently the Clinic Administrator. She has power, but the higher-ups of our organization have more.
I am waiting, but not waiting at the same time. “Whatever will be, will be.” I tell my therapist this and she commends me on my ability to go along with what is taken place without emotionally breaking down.
“You are moving closer to your center, Tre.”
I hope she’s right. I tell her how I feel myself holding in so much tension and it is all piling up in my neck and shoulders and she stands up and shows me a method her chiropractor introduced to her since she tends to hold tension in the same area. She signals me to rise from the couch and follow her in motion. I do so. We center our heads, hold our arms out horizontally, spread our fingers, and then push our arms down, centering our elbows, and touching our hips with our hands. I could feel the relief in my neck area as the method ends. I tell her that this method will be a useful thing to do right before bed. She agrees.
There were brief moments where I teared up — just thinking of possibly leaving yet not knowing what lies ahead, frightens me. I want to be able to make a difference wherever I work and I get the opportunity to do this daily at my current job, however, roles have shifted and some people are clueless to their roles and that can be a harmful thing. I fear another toxic work environment, but I also believe that I can prevent it from becoming one.