Life amidst the emotional wounds of existing post break-up with the one who convinced me he was ‘The One,’ but whom a higher power revealed to be be a highly skilled manipulator with a control problem, is not all bad. I’m a little confused and uncertain about just how I (OF ALL PEOPLE, like I’m so special or something) landed the most handsome, charming, well educated, successful, emotionally empty man in Richmond. Not only did I score but I stuck around long enough to become a victim. Awww snap. Thank God for sobriety and it’s resulting clarity, for last time around I spent 4 months not knowing what was happening, and drinking a lot to overcome feelings of guilt, perplexity, betrayal of self, and violated boundaries.
So yea, I’m working through some shit. But I’m also more inspired and motivated than I’ve ever been, something that I thank this unhealthy man for catalyzing me into. Every time I get with this guy my life changes in radically major ways that bring me face to face with my truth. You know all that talk about your partner being your mirror and all that jazz? Even though I’ll never understand him (he has no emotions or empathy), I do understand that the mirror theory is not bullshit. He somehow forces me to see myself as I am – glorious, intelligent, capable – and while I’ll never know whether he was flattering me to get me to cave into his premature requests for marriage, or if his infrequent [look up slot machine syndrome] positive commentary on my abilities were genuine, I did and do still believe him. He helped me (perhaps unintentionally, not realizing it would backfire on him) to realize the level of my baddassery and therefore I ejected myself from his confining and dangerous little cockpit, out into the world of creating a life that I want.
That’s what I’m working on. Creating what I want. What do I want? What am I GOING TO GET? A sexy, stylish, and wicked smart hub for the travel enthusiast who cares about being healthy, looking good, minimizing their footprint, living life turned on, doing good for others, and devouring geographical nuance as expressed in culture, landscape, and adventure.
The last 7 days have definitely been transformational. Richmond, aka my hometown and current digs, has been on fire – especially in the literary scene but also in arts and culture. My journey through the week in RVA included an incredible talk by Noah Scalin (@noahscalin) about Creative Sprint, the book he co-wrote with his sister Mica Scalin (@micawaves). At some point I’ll do a legit review (good intentions?) but the most touching messages I received were: “Make stuff, and do it a lot” and let go of Perfection. Perfection is not your friend. If you want to explore your creative side, you have to do things over and over and over, in different ways. He kinda mentioned how we all want to do something once and be great at it, but seriously, that’s not how life really is. Inside my head was doing battle. “Um it’s not? So that’s why I never get anywhere with creative projects? ” Mind blown.
Several other authors were in town and I planned to listen to them but kept remembering I needed to take some emotional space for myself to heal. And eat way too many donuts. Sy Montgomery, who wrote The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness, read from the book. Instead of eating all those donuts I really should have forced myself to the far corners of Henrico County to hear Dr. Hilda Lee speak on her book In the Labyrinth of Binge Eating. But I wallowed in my own disordered eating instead, swearing that one day I will read that book.
My current reading list is big and my to read list never stops growing. I’m pregnant with books into which I can escape when I need to. My priority is to finish Lit by Mary Karr, which we reviewed at our monthly sober women’s book club. She is a phenomenal, poetic writer so if you’re into memoirs or recovery from alcoholism (or anything, really), check it out. Other books on my currently reading list: Good is the New Cool – Market like you give a Damn by Afdhel Aziz and Bobby Jones, Capture Your Style by Aimee Song (@songofstyle) , and Hold Me Tight: 7 Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Dr. Sue Johnson. This last one is on hold – I picked it up trying to figure out how I could become more emotionally available, but soon discovered Mr. Sexy Control Freak was a force I needed to escape, not one I needed to reckon with.
So many other cool things have been happening here, too. VCU’s French Film Festival, the 24th annual James River Film Festival, the weekly South of the James Farmer’s Market, and probably my favorite experience of the week – the Virginia Antiquarian Book Fair held at the Virginia Historical Society. I only regret 2 things: 1. not spending the whole weekend there and 2. going with someone who doesn’t give a damn about old treasures.
It’s Sunday, technically the beginning of a new week. I am in need of a new way of being. It seems my life is an endless cycle of endings beginnings and starting over, definitely not linear in fashion, definitely not predictable. I appreciate this aspect of my Earthly experience and accept it as a divine gift of always GROWING. Always stretching to accept new information, taking on challenges, trying institutions on for size, and parting ways with bad habits, old patterns, and dismissing fuck boys – all with relative celerity, anthropologically and geologically. Each time dismantling a restrictive system of thought, particularly about myself, like sledgehammering away a concrete wall around an Oak Tree’s massive trunk. I’m getting bigger, better, and taking less shit not only from those who would seek to limit me, but from the sinister version of myself who is in truth the only legitimate one standing in my way. And this, my friends, is the birth of Creativity.