Monday, February 23, 2015

Pontificate is a weird word

I have been pontificating on the meaning of my life and what I really want out of life. Like a lot. You want to know what the answer is?

I want to be happy.

That may not seem like a lot to some of you. In fact, it may seem like I am shooting below where a lot of you think I should. It's a good thing that I really don't care. Haha.

You see, it probably takes more to make me happy than most people. Not because I am impossible to please, or because I have impossibly high standards, or whatever. I don't have a specific life plan for happiness, but I know that the road to happiness takes a few things. It takes hard work. It takes humility. It takes also takes love. Let's talk about that. :)

I was born into a family that values hard work. I've been doing hard work pretty much all of my life. I am not a "delicate flower" that has never dug a trench or cut her own firewood. I know how to build a house, I know how to build a wall out of just rock so that it will stand for eons. I know what hard work is. I have my parents to thank for that. They are two of the hardest working people I know. Anything worth getting in life takes hard work and dedication. I never understood the "newer" generations complaining about having to "work" or do things they don't want to do. It's called work for a reason idiot.

I am a prideful person. I know I am. Humility is not something that has been easy for me to learn, and I'm still learning. I don't have a lot to say about humility because...well, I am super terrible at it. However, I read a quote once that says, "Pride is concerned about who is right. Humility is concerned about what is right." Or something to that effect. I try to remember that when I am being stubborn. :)

Gratitude. Gosh. One thing I have learned in life is that NOTHING is guaranteed, and everything in your life can be taken away from you...and at some point probably will be. Hitting rock bottom isn't something I would wish on my worst enemy. However, hitting rock bottom is helpful when you want to see what you are made of. It is also a good thing when you want to see who your true friends are...which leads me to the last topic in this happiness seminar.

Love. Love is a weird thing. It feels impossible to fall in love right now for me...but it also feels scarily easy at the same time. I am surrounded by some great men. Men that it would be SO easy to fall in love with. But...well...that's a conversation for another time. Romantic love is something that I'm trying not to focus on at this moment, because I'm learning to love myself. I think that learning to love YOU, no matter what you look like, what your job is...what you've done in the past...THAT is what is important. Anyone can be happy when they are with the love of their life. What about when you are alone? Can you find happiness in the quiet, lonely moments? I'm working on that for me. Love is something that can bring profound happiness to the people around you. If you just love the people around you...without reservation or is just BETTER.

Happiness! That's the goal for 2015!

Okay. I'm done. I want some peanut butter now.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What a ride!

I'm sure you all are wondering when the playful and funny Karyn will be back to blog for you. The little mini posts are all pretty much from her. However, if you have been reading recently, you know that I am currently in therapy and working through a lot of things. A part of that for me is to blog about what I have been up to and what is significant for me in this moment.

I will try to be more playful, but there is more to me as a person than the "funny girl" or the "crazy, fun girl." This is a part of that. So yeah. My blog, my rules (as if I were structured enough to have any). This is a serious post. So, read on if you'd like. Or just stick around. I'll have something fun and breezy in a week or so.

Have you ever thought to yourself, "It would be better to feel nothing than to feel like this way another moment"?

There was a point in my life where I wanted nothing more than to just turn to stone so I didn't have to feel anything again. There was a long stretch of time where I turned to drinking to numb the pain. Numbing the pain was a "quick fix," but it never helped anything. So, I tried to pull everything in my life together and make it better. It worked for a while...until "the pit of despair" (movie reference!) opened up after a series of heartbreaks, betrayals, and just plain terribleness happened that plunged me into a mire of negativity and depression.

So, doing what felt like at the time as a smart and logical thing, I turned off my emotions...or as my friend C says, I broke my "give a damn."

Apathy is something that has been an undercurrent in my life for a long time. I never wanted to feel what I was feeling again, so I turned it all off. Some people deal with their issues by hurting themselves, or emotionally vomiting everything all at once, or not eating, or abandoning the people they love. I did something equally terrible to myself by becoming apathetic.

I can hear your collective gasp. To try to articulate what I mean in one sentence... I believe that the emotional pain we inflict upon ourselves is as much or more hurtful that any physical harm we do.

No one that is as outgoing or extroverted as myself can stand being alone for any given amount of time. I crave human connection. I need a drug. I need it to be happy. Even if it is just sitting with a friend doing absolutely nothing...that means more to me than anything.

So imagine what it was like for me to sit in a room filled with people and to not connect to or feel anything for anyone in that room. To actively choose to cut off the one thing that I actually need to be happy---human conenction.

It is so incredibly lonely, but the mental state I was in didn't let me acknowledge that as a symptom of what I was doing. It was because of the people around me. It was their fault I was feeling lonely. It was their fault I was sad. Couldn't they see past my fake smiles and laughs and see what was just beneath the surface?

Spolier alert: the answer is NO.

There is a music video that I think translates my journey. It is a bit of a controversial video. None of the people I have shown it to really got it. It is the "Elastic Heart" music video by Sia featuring Shia LeBeouf and Maddie Ziegler. (<--CLICK IT!) If you don't mind the tangent, I wanted to pontificate about it.

People only focus on the fact that a grown man is doing weird and vaguely intimate interpretive dancing with a girl in a cage. Yeah. That's what is happening in the video. However, I was never weirded out by it. The first time I watched it, I cried...for hours. You isn't two people in that cage. It's just one person. Shia and Maddie are parts of the same person.

Just like my apathy (the cage). I locked away a part of myself... the most beautiful part of myself (Shia's role). The more powerful part of myself (represented by Maddie...and the innate need I have to connect to people) wanted to just break free. But you can't be free unless you unlock all the parts of yourself.

There are so many things I love about the video, but the part that haunts me is at the very end. The girl is pulling at his arms and trying to get him to step out of the cage...there is a moment where the hopelessness of being trapped within yourself...where all the worries and sadness and heartbreak is evident on his face.

It is so raw and beautiful. I have always admired Shia as an actor, but that raw emotion...that is what true acting is. I feel like he took a note right out of my heart and played it in all it's melancholy glory. WOW. Anyway...back to the story.

It took me a long time to figure out that apathy and indifference wasn't a viable life plan. It seems like a no-brainer....and for some people I'm sure that it is. For me it wasn't that simple I guess. There was a lot going on that I didn't have the skills to cope with. I'm SO lucky that I have the most amazing friends on the planet, because they were the ones to pull me through. They stuck by me...apathy and all and showed me it was okay to open up again. That I was worth working towards being healthy and happy...that I deserved it. Some of them didn't say that in so many words, but there is something transformative that happens when people love you unconditionally.

At first I was like a feral animal. I couldn't trust anything or anyone around me. I was rebelling against any kindness or love that anyone gave me. I hurt a lot of people. I can only say (again) that I am truly sorry for the pain I inflicted.

I started working on me. Moving away from the apathy, and really FEELING what I feel. It's harder than I thought it would be, and more wonderful as well.

For a long time I was terrified of my own feelings. I tried to minimize the risk of my life by turning to apathy. As time has gone by, I've been contemplating a lot of things about where I want to end up in the future and I decided that I can have a safe, comfortable life where I would never be in fear of pain or hurt, but what is the point of a life like that?

I think it was Hunter S. Thompson that said, "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"

Sometimes finding yourself and bearing your soul is the only way to find what makes you happy. It's time to make risks and take chances! Mistakes will make me better...and the people that hate me in my mistakes and sins aren't worth my time. Look past your fear and face life head on!