I realized over the weekend a lot of the discombobulation I was feeling in relation to what was happening was coming from the overarching question of who am I without them, really?
And the answer is I don’t know. I have no fucking clue. One thing I’ve been practicing is more compassion, towards myself, towards others. It’s like my own form of praying at night, I think of people and send them genuine positive vibes from my soul. Thank them for being part of my life, and extend goodness and kindness and support their way. And I get stuck, every time, on my family. A few other people too, but I can’t muster genuine compassion for them. And the book I’m reading says not to force this so I’m not. I’m simply noticing the resistance and moving on.
My identity for so long was tied up in my relationships to them. What I was doing, what I liked, where I went, who I associated with. I had my identity of the “smart one” and “good one”, the “ballet dancer” and “girly girl” all defined for me. Not by me. And when I tried to break free of that in high school, I was met with such incredible resistance in so many ways. I still remember my shock in first year University when I found out that not everyone was expected to go home and see their families every weekend. My actions depended on theirs. My reactions too. They became about diffusing crises and ‘not making things worse’. I wasn’t allowed to react in a way that I found authentic, to be quite honest I was never able to find my own authenticity and boundaries and norms.
So my friend Dave is right, I don’t know who I am without them – but he is also right when he says I don’t have to right away. I am so used to living by a rigid set of rules that allowed for no personal exploration – that I feel so lost without any set of rules. I feel like I’m doing life ‘wrong’. But maybe… maybe I can live by general guidelines. By that gut feeling that says “this crossed a line for me.” All the studies, and my therapist, say that body awareness and getting to know yourself through movement and activities that you have genuine interest in – that this is a good way to express yourself and learn more about yourself.
So… I took a contemporary dance class last night for adults. It took me three weeks to actually go, but once I did, my goodness. I rolled around on the floor and ran around with other adults and made a C with my body and half-ass did cartwheeled across the room. And I felt the floor meet my body and its physical limitations and I moved with the music and I felt the boundaries of my body the way they exist now. I was never allowed to do anything but ballet (you should have seen the fit when I quit) – and it felt like I was reclaiming something. I went with two girlfriends and realized after 10 minutes that there was no judgement and it was about expression – expressing yourself. Not expressing what anyone else was thinking or doing or telling you to do. Expressing what was right for you, in that moment.
I’m going to go every Monday night. It’s something stable, something to look forward to when my consistency with A is changing to every other week. I am also joining a girlfriend at hot yoga tomorrow morning, and have signed back up for yoga therapy with N. It was – getting hard for me with her, I couldn’t express myself and the emotion was too much. We’ve had a few email exchanges and I’m ready to work with her again. It helped that A encouraged me – she had since formed a sort of partnership with her, refers clients, and has said she is very well respected within the community… so that was helpful.
I have no idea who I am. And that’s my experience right now. I’m simply listening to what my body is telling me is a good idea, and what my body is telling me is a bad idea. This morning I was supposed to have an allergist appointment with a new allergist, and I decided that I don’t want to go. I’ve been reaction free for almost a year, and I know the culprit. What I’m doing is working. My husband wants me to go, but I am so tired of feeling out of control of my body. I don’t want a strange male doctor to touch me right now – and I’m choosing to decide that that is okay.
So I’ll yoga and contemporary dance the moments away and in the process slowly discover who I am. What I like. What I want. What relationships I want to cultivate. And there are likely to be some relationship casualties along the way. But I’m living by the philosophy of as long as I am not actively setting out to harm someone, and I am doing what feels right to me, then I’m good.
So who am I right now? I’m someone discovering my body, my boundaries, and my needs – for the first time.