Rain, in sheets, straight down, no wind. A deluge, but silent and soft. Then turning into a shimmering drizzle, descending so slowly it almost seemed suspended. Moments of sweet, hot sun so bright I put my sunglasses on, except when the clouds moved in front, and the cold became such a sting I fluffed my scarf and pulled the collar of my coat closer together.
Throughout the downpour, blue skies and sun. Sunshowers. Surprising. Strange.
The weather yesterday felt so confusing, and it echoed my mood lately.
A confusing jumble of satisfaction and longing. Satiation and hunger. Desire and boredom. Opposites swinging back and forth on a pendulum so fast it started to blur together and I found myself inhabiting contradictory states simultaneously. Listening to podcasts on spirituality and ways of being while cooking, I was also compulsively checked my phone for messages, feeling lonely and sorry for myself at the same time as feeling congratulatory for having such a lively and bouyant social life.
‘You can’t have it all Janelle’, the voice scolded me, as yet another voice shouted ‘your life is awesome Janelle’ and another one muttered ‘no one likes you Janelle’ and yet a fourth voice said ‘make up your mind Janelle’ and a fifth chimed in ‘how do I reconcile all these opposites’ and a sixth said ‘chill out Janelle’ and another one said ‘you’re missing out, you’re missing out!’
Fear of missing out (FOMO), loneliness, greediness, hunger, irritation, deep dissatisfaction.
Thoughtfulness, introspection, love, kindness, generosity, fatigue.
Being a seeker. Constantly seeking. Questioning, wondering, exploring.
But also retreating, hiding out, desiring peace, solitude, steadiness. Certainty.
Sometimes it’s exhausting being me. But I know it’s not just me. I think you can probably relate to these thoughts, this push and pull between states of being.
I found myself, yesterday, with the volume turned up on my contradictions, in a particular state. Constantly checking my smartphone and my e-mail and my facebook profile for messages, despite having been very social two days ago and social yesterday as well (farmer’s market, pottery studio with my daughter, grocery shopping, and quality time with my daughter) illuminated this desire to be wanted.
I didn’t want to do the reaching out, I wanted to magically have messages for me. I wanted verification that people love me and want me (even though I already get that verification), and I wanted it on all the gadgets that would give me a mostly false sense of connection, of community, of intimacy.
I wanted to soothe this small but gnawing part of myself that is so resistant to the things that make me feel good. The part of myself that doesn’t like exercise or meditation, that resists stepping out of the house and being social, the part of me that still carries funny old hurts and personal slights and snarly, gnarly feelings.
I wanted to watch TV all day, and eat buttery croissants and blueberry pie and meringues and bacon. I wanted to stay in my pajamas and abdicate life as a mother and drink really hot coffee with rich cream and talk trash about the people I’ve felt irked by.
But I wanted to. And I WANTED people to call and text and show up at my front door. I didn’t even care who they were, or whether I desired a connection to them. I just wanted them to want me, and reach out to me, so I could feel superficially soothed by the ping of text messages and voicemail, and a rising ‘unread messages’ number count on my e-mail.
I want, I want, I want.
At the same time, I wanted a day by myself to walk in forests, ride my bike for two hours, listen to mindfulness podcasts all day long and meditate. I wanted to sit down and finish a painting that’s been waiting 6 months to get up on my wall. I wanted to start 6 (thousand) new painting series. I wanted to start running and exercising (and felt frustrated by the fatigue that has stopped me lately). I wanted to devour my way into a sense of peacefulness.
I didn’t do that either.
What I got. A day of play and connection with my daughter, a bit of time outside, time being social at the farmer’s market and a sense of the gnawingness of the wanting that was present internally.
Can you relate?
This gnawingness. This discontent. This hunger and questioning and seeking and the challenge to balance my present reality with the wanting for more and also for less. This juggle of being satisfied, but striving. Of certainty and unsureness. Of the yes and the no and the maybe, all jumbled up and rocking like a boat in the ocean on a brisk day?
As usual, I’m so curious.
What is the seesaw that you’ve been riding like? How do you get close to an equilibrium? What throws you off balance? How do you deal with the push to seek satisfaction and validation externally, the pull to find reassurance through the phone, e-mail, social media? Where’s the centre that keeps you steady?
I’m interested. Maybe I’ll learn a few techniques from you!
Until next time,