Waiting for the Thaw: Reflecting on #VOWcharge & VOWfreeze

My favorite yoga teacher used to tell us, “When the climb gets harder, make your world smaller.”

Funny thing…sometimes that narrowing happens all on its own.

I’ve been in training to become a yoga teacher since October; in two weeks, I’ll be finished. That end cannot come soon enough.

I think I knew that January and February would be a slow slog through endless hours of poses and assisting and karma classes, but I didn’t anticipate it would be this difficult. How small (and petty) my world would become. While I’m thankful for the experience as a whole, it is lacking in authenticity, and it has made little space for me to bring mine into it. More than anything, it has taken my joy, and I know it will require a steady fight to get it back as soon as March hits.

I didn’t anticipate Charge being so filled with its opposition. I have big plans for this year, but instead of being able to jump in and run towards my goals, I have been forced to crawl towards one. Painfully slow. With red ants crawling all over my body.

Maybe my One Word (Narrow) is trying to tell me something.
Maybe this month it actually has.

What I did do in January was re-charge, as often as I could. When I had the chance to unplug, which wasn’t often enough, I did. I had to. My survival depended on it.

When I had an opportunity to go out with people, I chose Tribe or nothing; now more than ever I need to be surrounded by those who make me light up, who love to see that fire.

I started dating someone, and I’ve been taking slow sips instead of draining my glass.

And as I continue on in February, as we Freeze, I choose to focus on these moments:

The ones when I have a chance to breathe without being cued to do so.
The ones spent with my people.
The ones when I wake up with him.

And I try to build on those.
To invest in myself and my squad and someone who could become my person.
To give myself grace and space to do just those things.
As I wait for spring and the wild things.

 

Soldiering On: Reflecting on CHARGE

We’re a month in and I’m still scratching out the 7 when I write the date, or doing the awkward turn-it-into-an-8 thing. Which, let’s be real, lasts until March for most of us. But January flew by, making CHARGE so apropos for the month because I soldiered on right along with it.

The switch from weekly to monthly posts is a god-send, I must admit. Starting my second semester of grad school my time is increasingly valuable since my freedom is dwindling. There have been nights — so many nights this month — when I was entirely unmotivated to do a thing. Drained from pushing onward, moving forward, striving upward. Though that’s our natural state, Steph’s and mine. We’re Evolvers and to CHARGE ahead is the only way we know how.

I spent a lot of time pondering other meanings of CHARGE this month.

  • To move relentlessly progress despite obstacles
  • To spend money you don’t have by putting them on an account to worry about another day
  • To (re)charge one’s energy
  • To make demands or accusations
  • To trust something into another’s possessions

Perseverance is a word that has resonated with me since before my divorce. It has always represented a standard of living that I respect and a trait I try to embody. I’ve found strength in it; knowing that regardless of what I encounter I’m not one to get stuck. So this month in the midst of home-buyer remorse (which I can say has abated as time has progressed), too many open cases at work with too many interviews yet to conduct and too much pressure from higher-ups to get them resolved, and an enormous pile of academic articles to digest — I would pause for recalibration. To reCHARGE before I CHARGED forward yet again.

A depleted battery will ultimately fail to get you through the day.
Demands can always be honored but only if given the margin to gear up for it.

January I geared up for the year ahead and all the energy it will surely drain from me. These days I’ve put into practice setting aside self-care time (tarot reading, the occasional House Hunters and wine binges with my beloved, and moving my body in a way that feels good). Funny how at 32 you still have to re-learn those things, but that’s evolution. Sometimes things don’t progress in a perfect lineage. Incrementally you see the shift; it may not always make sense but you know without a doubt that things are not what they once were.

February we FREEZE
(though some of us less than others… i love you subtropical climate)


Check out Steph’s #VOWcharge post (coming soon!)


image accessed via Reddit

Getting Ready to #VOWcharge into My Saturn Return

I remember the day I started showing up for my own life.

It started with a girl. It ended with an email.

. . .

Two summers ago, I kissed a girl, and I liked it. And not in the we-were-drunk-at-a-party kind of way. Actually, now that I think about it, we were, drunk at a party. But, I was completely sober when I sent her an email that afternoon telling her that I liked kissing her—not girls, just her—and that this was the kind of email I’d never sent before.

. . .

Before I go any farther, I need to tell you that this is not a story where I come out. I know that what I say here is going to be new information for some (I’m sorry, Madre), but this is not an entry about how I found out I was a lesbian. I’m not. I don’t believe things are that simple. I believe, as I think most humans who have gotten curious do, that sexuality is a spectrum, and I knew pretty early on in high school that, at least for me, it was.

. . .

That same summer, I read You Are a Badass by Jen Cincero. Sister told me it was necessary.

I understood why after.

. . .

Towards the end of that summer, I went on a few dates with a girl.

I think it was the bravest thing I have ever done. Not because going on a date with another girl is brave. But because I was willing to ask a question that I didn’t know the answer to, and I was ready to know the truth and live it.

. . .

She liked my collar bones. I thought hers were the most beautiful I had ever seen.

That’s not some girl-on-girl metaphor by the way (at least not that I know of)—collar bones are seriously underappreciated. I notice them a lot now.

She was lovely.

. . .

I remember a conversation with a friend not long after I had decided that I did not want to date that a woman.

We were at his condo. I could tell you exactly what I was wearing.

He said there was something different about me. That I just seemed like I was exactly where I needed to be.

I remember knowing, in that moment, what authenticity feels like.
In my body.
In that soul-deep place of my being.

. . .

It wasn’t that I had kissed a girl or dated one or decided I was or I wasn’t something.

It was simply the fact that I had shown up and allowed myself to be seen.
For nothing less and nothing more than I was.
Just me.

. . .

I rang in 2017 with pizza, champagne, and a girl kissing me, and I mean really kissing me, at midnight.

She was lovely too.

. . .

I rang in 2018 with a man kissing me, and I mean really kissing me, at midnight.

I liked it better. But only because I know now that that is what I want.

. . .

Nietzsche once said that you have to have chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.

Let me tell you, that labor, it feels like fire, and it’s hot.

Danielle LaPorte says it best: “We’re dancing with the Divine because it turns us on to life.”

Sister suggested I read her book too; White Hot Truth…I highly recommend.

. . .

When I think about narrow, about charge, January’s word, I think about that fire. I think about what it feels like when you find a thing that lights you up. When you meet a person who makes you spark.

But more than anything, I think about what it feels like to be seen.

. . .

One of my best friends in the whole world wrote me a letter nearly six years ago in which she said this:

“You’re fire and neon. You need to find someone who can stand to look at you without sunglasses.”

. . .

That’s where I am this year, as I get ready to storm my 29th trip around the sun:

Committed to showing up and being seen as 100 percent me.
Unwilling to settle for less than that light and those sparks.
Refusing to be anything but fire and neon.
Averse to anyone who needs to see me through shades.

 

Image by Me: SATURN RETURN by SRoshelle [Collage, Watercolor, & Ink]

v-e-r-b scrabble tiles

A List of Things Built: Reflecting on My #OneWord2017

I started 2017 with a list of things I wished to build in the upcoming year.
I start 2018 with a list of things built:

 A playlist.
Chaturanga.
A stack of hundreds of pages of creative work.
Tribe, anchored rather solidly at a used bookstore in Southeast DC.
A body I love, even on the days I don’t like it as much as I could.
Certainty in what it is that I want.
In a becoming.

Those last two words sum up my #OneWord2017: a becoming.

And perhaps instead of trying to write something poignant, I will share the words of someone who already did, in a letter to me, after my #VOWresolve post (my favorite post this year):

While risking sounding miserably cliché, I hope you can, in some ways, enjoy the process of becoming. Because, the truth is, we never stop. Becoming, that is. And I don’t think there is ever complete resolve. We are ever-evolving in ways that we can’t even comprehend.

But I know you know that. 

My wish for you, sweet lady? That you, in the midst of waiting for clarity regarding your next bold move, can focus on what does make sense. To really focus on those pieces that you’re collecting—picking them up, studying them in different shades of light, and realize that, “Damn. I am the compilation of a lot of cool things.”

And as for the frenetic aloneness? I hope that you can try your best to enjoy what solitude affords you. Even though it seems like a burden (especially at 3 am), there are so many gifts that solitude gives. I’m wishing I had more of it myself. And the solitude won’t be with you forever. I’m sure of it. 

Here to the pieces. All of them. Whenever they choose to show themselves.

I am still very much waiting on a some pieces, a couple of them somewhat impatiently, but at least I know what they look like now.

With all that in mind and taking her wish into consideration, in 2018 I have decided I am going to attempt to focus on what does make sense, on the pieces I have collected and continue to. I am going to

NARROW.

And with that in mind, this month, we

CHARGE.