It hit me on the dance floor out of nowhere, and my heart stumbled. I regained balance just as fast because it was a familiar punch reminiscent of the start of the fall season. Restlessness and yearns for change are my yearly reminder that the fall season is around the corner. Change is in the air; students go back to school, people start new jobs, vacation season comes to an end, and I yearn for change. But rather than creating the time and space to attend to my yearnings and inner turmoil, I tend to pack my calendar full of work activities. It's not necessarily intentional, but it had been the case for years. I, probably in my subconscious, choose to stay busy to avoid what my heart places in front of me.
The feelings always pass through, because no one can bloom under a burden of yearning and helplessness. That evening, I was thankful that it passed quickly because I was on the dance floor at my friend’s wedding. I was dancing with many of my closest friends in a room full of joy and laughter, I wasn’t about to indulge my issues or let them ruin or even taint the joy of the day. It passed, and as the tail end of the familiar feeling swoosh through my heart and out my body, I decided this season was the ripe time to bite my teeth into it, to acknowledge it and to honor it. For many years, I had felt helpless, and also felt like I lack control or power over my life and choices. To be honest, based on a few roadblocks and obstacles, that statement may be true. However, I am weary of feeling that way, and I desire to shift.
There is something beautiful about spending days with girlfriends and having an absolutely great time dancing with them, cuddling them, loving on them, being loved on by them and bantering with them. Then there is something humbling about standing literally in the love, joy, and excitement of the week and feeling out of place. Like I was stuck in 2007 still and everyone had moved on, found love, got married, built amazing careers, had kids, saw the world, found their voices and thing, bought a home etc., while I felt stagnant and stuck. I have felt that way in my life on and off for a while. A part of me also anticipated this feeling, because every time we gathered, everyone came back to the table with new life developments, and I had the same old story. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited for the weekend, but I also knew what to expect. This uneasy feeling of not belonging and of stagnancy came up a few more times over the weekend.
I thought about what seven years of feeling stuck and stagnant could possible wreck, and when I gave myself the liberty to engage the uncomfortable and uneasy feelings, I realized it wrecks A LOT! For one, not belonging and feeling stuck prevented me from truly knowing and choosing myself in some circles. Not in the arrogant and self-absorbed way, but more in the “this is me and these are the gifts and flaws I bring to the table.” In many ways, I hadn’t fully developed my voice and stance in some circles, and sometimes I tend to match the aura, personality, and voices of those around me. I see it in the banter I engage in with some friends. I don’t always allow myself to just be, instead, I try to match something in order to feel like I belong. I find myself speaking too loud, too often and out of character just to be heard above the noise. To fit in regardless of being dressed in 2007 garbs. All of that meant I ended up exhausting myself in the trying.
The great thing is awareness can be instructive, and it empowers me to choose better whether life shifts or not. How I engage in my relationship can change and for the better, but right now I'm still processing...