So Fancypants McGillicuddy here decides to start a New Project, not like she doesn’t have enough going on at the moment, but it is a New Project and she can hardly resist the lure of the New Project, so fresh and unspoiled by reality, and also she can hardly resist speaking in the third person, at least for a paragraph.
The New Project is this idea I have had rolling around in the brainmeats for a few weeks now. Health Month does a good job of keeping me accountable for three daily goals I think are important this month (or did last week when I set the goals, at least): taking a multivitamin, writing in my private journal, and getting thirty minutes of exercise. But there are things I want to track that are more ephemeral, yet still quite crucial to things like Health and Sanity.
If I waited to start this until I had it all figured out, I’d never start it. So here goes with the first day of the New Project. It is called Avoid, Embrace.
Step one: write about something I have been avoiding.
I avoid walking from my new job to SoMa because I travel through the geographical setting of most of my bad San Francisco memories. I try not to write about this here for so many reasons, but then all the reasons join up into a giant reason-robot and start shooting lasers at other things in my brain and I forget why I am trying not to write it because there are lots of explosions. Actually, I am pretty sure there is a more scientific explanation for what happens in there, but it is boring.
I walk through this neighborhood and I am reminded of a lot of ridiculous bullshit I put up with during that time period, and how bad I still feel about it, not because it happened but because at some basic level I decided that I deserved it. I accepted it. I started wearing it like a signature perfume, all that bullshit, and I thought it smelled pretty nice. And now I smell it and I am horrified. Again, not because it happened, but because there is something inside me that hates the rest of me enough to let that all be okay. For years.
So this is a pattern, and I am watching it very carefully to prevent it from repeating, but there are lots of memories in my head that remind me of this pattern. Those memories can be real assholes, I tell you what. And I again wonder why I hold so tightly to these memories when they are just husks, wrappers of whatever happened, the details of which I no longer retain.
Sometimes I go read a book or watch TV instead.
And sometimes I write it down, because maybe you’ve felt it too, this endless thought-turning, a rock tumbler with only sand inside.
Step two: embrace the thing I have been avoiding.
Of course, this is the hard part of the New Project. I am very good at avoiding and not as good as embracing. I want to say something bright and sparkly here like “say YES to LIFE! woohoo!” but that is not how I am feeling right now. I mean, I say yes to life and all that jazz, whatever that means. But it seems empty. Something specific is in order.
So my step two this week is to walk through that neighborhood of bad memories and take some photos. Not of anything in particular, just to see the place through new eyes and to stop blaming it for my negative feelings about my past. I will post the results here, and probably write a little too.
Do you want to join me in your own Avoid, Embrace this week? I look forward to reading your results if you do, so leave your notes or a link to your post in the comments.