<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy Fran. She’s currently living the island life after giving up 15 years spent in the corporate world. WOW! What an adjustment. She is here to talk about her life, love, and all things nerd. I only have one more thing left to say … HIT IT FRAN!!! </editorsnote>
#TalkNerdyToMeLover’s Fran Dingle
It was some time in my late 20s that I started hearing about balance. At work. At yoga. From older more wise friends from other countries. “Fran where is your balance?”. I suck at balance. I only know how to ride the highest waves, I seek the free fall rush. In love. On projects. I know how to wholeheartedly lose myself in someone and something. What I do not know how to do is obtain balance. I get too high from riding the waves of butterfly love and praise from others that I lose myself so quickly and so easily time and time again. It’s only after I have crashed and am hiding in my depression shell that balance pops into my conscious thinking brain. At this point I resent the balance I was yet again unable to achieve.
Then I covet. All of you, everyone else – they have balance. Fucking jerks. They have jobs relationships children high level responsibilities beautiful homes, they have balance. Their lives are good. They make it work. Everyone else has happy routines, they have lives. I never see or hear about any of YOU hiding away for days, weeks, months, YEARS trapped in your own heads, insisting on your personal unworthiness.
This past weekend was ground breaking for me. I went ALONE, completely alone to an event. Driving to the event my brain was crazy ouch mother fucking messy. I came up with several different game plans on the way to the event to skip the event. I tried to will a cramp, a migraine, I wanted to throw up but couldn’t. On repeat was “this is going to suck, no one is going to talk to you, everyone is going to look at you and say why the fuck is she here” Couples are going to secretly call you the strange lady alone and question why is she here.
Somehow I pushed away the coocoo talk I was having with myself. Instead of driving past the event to a little coffee shop where I planned to hide and kill time with an iced peppermint latte, I went. And wouldn’t you know, I had a GREAT time. Go frigging figure.
The event was an annual parade, The Krewe de Barkus, I volunteered to walk one of the animal shelter dogs in the parade. My initial angst about being the weird girl alone quickly disappeared when I discovered one of my neighbors was also volunteering, we chummed around the whole the time and I had an absolute blast down on the board walk in Christiansted – we grabbed lunch, put up flyers, sat around joking with the other volunteers, had many laughs people watching. Another friend ended up meeting up with me at the parade, it was the first time we had hung out in a while. Not only was I having a genuine great time in the warm St Croix sunshine, I was rekindling an important friendship. I definitely was not a girl alone and people did not avoid me while whispering behind their hands.
On Monday I went to the shelter to walk some of the dogs, they desperately need help with this. I ended up walking six dogs and met a bunch of really nice people. Again no angst. I rarely have angst when animal angst is present, animal angst of any sort trumps my shit any day. I’m hoping I can help these dogs on their way to finding forever homes as they help me right back. A super cool group of people work at the shelter, everyone was really nice to me. I walked six dogs, 4 big ones and two little ones. Oh they were so happy to be out! And they were such good dogs. Oh I wish I could bring them all home. I’m going back to walk them tomorrow. My fingers are crossed some of them aren’t there anymore. The secretary asked me if I wanted to help them this coming Sunday at a car show – to walk the dogs and use my big booming voice through the crowd to draw attention to the dogs being up for adoption. It makes me happier than happy when someone is specifically asking me to USE MY LOUD VOICE as this rarely happens it’s always a “SHHHH Fran, god!” said in a most bitchy manner. Yay yay YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!
So what’s different now versus a month ago? 2 months ago? 2 weeks ago? First of all, the biggest change is that I am writing. I’m writing consistently no matter what even when I don’t want to. It’s coming out. All of it. I’m keeping up with this blog and I am journaling again even if it’s just a few sentences or I write “I don’t want to write right now” I am writing. Which means I am alive. Which means my brain is working towards a positive freeing action versus a dark spiteful coveting action. I’m also AWARE of my insane insecurities and I’m not taking comfort in them. I am fighting them tooth and nail. I’m allowing myself a little slack to have bad moments, bad days, even bad weeks. I’m no longer feeling like these occasional downturns are the way it’s supposed to be. I’m quite tuned into the fact that it’s the depression that turns this all around on me and not the other way around. Life is not supposed to suck and today it definitely doesn’t suck. Pushing thru the insanity and consciously stopping it on Saturday has allowed me to get out of the house and out of my head.
Another positive step I have taken is work on maintaining my solid forever friendships as well as throwing out some olive branches to a few folks I walked away from for no reason. It’s so nice when I allow myself to step out of resentmentville. Where I covet everyONE and everyTHING else. When I am envious of your struggles because at least you have something to struggle over. When I’m not trapped in that insanity I am a lovely and delightful friend and of late I am cherishing getting to be that friend. My mind isn’t eating itself telling me you are only friends with me because you feel sorry for me.
So back to balance. It’s creeping into my life. Ever so slowly, but’s that ok. I’m now able to see what so many friends and all of my therapists have stressed to me all along. I am able to understand not every situation isn’t going to be the funnest most special time ever. I have never wanted a canned evening on repeat over and over, I’m doing a really good job of making sure I’m not attempting to recreate one. There is no need to devour this thing they call life, devour and hastily consume the moments of good. Suck the life out of them before they have a chance to be enjoyed for real and with balance. When I do that the good is over too quick and the bad that follows always lingers longer and is held deeper than any of the good. The mental anguish is being pushed further and further away. I’m really putting myself out there – mind body and soul and I’m enjoying myself versus deconstructing myself and every move I make. It feels delicious and I am very determined to keep embracing the goodness of all the wonderful things and people around me. I’m finally starting to feel and am able to embrace what I have been coveting for so long: balance.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” George Bernard Shaw