Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Choice to Lean In

“You want an easy answer? Go Jesus, Go Allah, Go, go, go Atheist. I’m a Jew.
My obligation is to wrestle. It’s to engage. It’s not just to simply blindly believe.
I mean that’s how I see it... And maybe, you’ll never decide.”
~ Rabbi Dave, Weeds

During the course of conversation with new friends last night, the topic inadvertently at a few different points leaned towards religion/spirituality, and sex/sexuality. Near the end of the night, I made a comment that this is something that seems to happen often in my conversation circles... Wondering aloud if I thought that was more about myself or others, I answered with a laugh, “Well I'm the common denominator in those situations, so likely it's more about me!”

These are two areas of life that I have struggled with, grown from, and continue to be interested in – particularly the development of... And so I engage with them, wrestle with them, read and converse about them, share my journey's story and devour those of others' who are willing to share. But what stood out for me from that conversation last night was these new friends' acknowledgement that I choose to continue to engage and wrestle with these topics that I have struggled with; that many people would instead choose to turn away and avoid them.

I've never looked at it as a choice I made or continue to make. It's just something that I do as part of my life-long journey of self discovery and awareness; of the discovery and awareness of others.

I have a yoga teacher friend from whom – in reading her writings and attending her classes, even in our face-to-face conversations – I often hear a message about leaning into the difficult spaces: the yoga poses; the emotions; the intellectual and relational struggles that pop up like tiny pebbles and giant boulders along life's path. A message about how leaning in and facing them is the only way to truly move past them, to learn, to grow. And what relief and release is finally found when that pebble can be dumped from the shoe or the boulder pushed out of the way! When we are able to contort our bodies and souls to fit into those difficult spaces comfortably! Even if just for a short time...

So maybe it has been a choice I sub-consciously made. Or maybe it's one of those things that I feel I don't have a choice about because it's just in me to engage and wrestle. I do know I've found some of my most amazing conversations, friendships, and memories because of leaning in to those spaces; leaning into the struggles of those topics; leaning into my own spiritual and sexual development. And now that I know I have a choice about it – I'm going to keep leaning in!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

“I'm a big kid now”

I've apparently been the victim of growing up, which apparently happens to all of us at one point or another. It's been going on for quite some time now, without me knowing it. I've found that growing up can mean a lot of things. For me, it doesn't mean I should become somebody completely new and stop loving the things I used to love. It means I've just added more things to my list.”
~Taylor Swift


I bought a bed!

A brand new queen size mattress,
and a real bed frame with a headboard.

For some this event may not mean much – a bed is typically a standard purchase when one moves out on their own; buys a house or rents an apartment; starts their life after graduation or beyond mom & dad's place.

But after years of transient living and piecing together used and borrowed items when needed, this is the first piece of new furniture I have every truly shopped for, selected, bought and owned of my own accord (OK, so I did use some birthday money towards the bed frame... but the significance remains the same! And my piano doesn't count, because I was 17yrs old at the time and it has always been at my parents' house). I even picked up the bed frame in my own little Honda Fit and put the pieces together by myself. This bed – this event – is significant to me.

My dad's supportive comment about it: “Who's going to help you move that next time?”

This is the first time I have felt sufficiently stable and committed in my decision to be here, to actually purchase furniture.

I feel so grown up with that decision, with that purchase. It feels a little like I've taken control of my current situation, and put some direction in place for my future. It feels a little like I've matured to a point of accepting my reality and wanting to make the most of what it is, rather than trying to find an elusive what-I-thought-it-would-be.

In conversation with a new friend the other night, we talked about the constant struggle in growing up. And in some ways I hope I never stop struggling because I think that is what will in part keep me young at heart. But I am happy to have grown up beyond my single mattress.

That first night in my grown up bed I sprawled out into a star-fish shape smack-dab in the middle of it and smiled. Then I rolled up into my new comforter made specifically for this bed by my Grandma, mom, aunt and myself, and slept...