Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A path with heart

Hello from Hermosa Beach! I moved in with my fiance this month. It is ridiculously beautiful here. We are walking distance from the ocean, and surrounded by excessive homes. Real estate is expensive here on the ocean, and people are constantly tearing down huge multi-story homes and replacing them with huge multi-story homes. We live in a non-fancy apartment building that happens to be in a gorgeous location. You can see and hear the ocean, which is especially nice at night (the sound) and mornings and evenings. The sunsets are stunning, and there is something about the ocean early in the morning that makes you feel like nothing else matters.

I, on the other hand, am not feeling stunning or fancy. I feel exhausted, in every way. I don't know if it's all the stress I've experienced with the job, trying to transition into a different life with different goals and priorities entirely, sleeping poorly and the ongoing nightmares, depression, being overwhelmed, or something else. Or, more likely, some combination of factors. I feel like I'm in limbo between my old life and a new life. I really want to get into my new life, but it's such a new way of living for me. I moved gradually into the corporate world, but I don't have that kind of time to switch gears.

Plus, I have been experiencing an explosion of PTSD symptoms coming to the surface. My dreams, for instance, are incredibly draining. Some of them are like flashbacks, but memories of the feelings and anxiety rather than events. I still have dreams where I wake up terrified that my dad is in the other room. My conscious mind, once awake, knows that he isn't really there, but my body is overcome with panic. As long as I'm still in the dreams, I experience all of the mental and physical stress of what's in the nightmare as if it was really happening. I also wake up screaming and yelling sometimes. It is hard to shake the foreboding and confusion of the dream once I wake up, even if it wasn't a flashback. I have dreams about violence, threat, arguing, rejection, and betrayal. Nightly, it is waves of uncomfortable feelings I have pushed down for years. It is my subconscious trying to let go of all this toxicity that came from the trauma I experienced. After 40 years of protecting myself from being overwhelmed by these feelings,  it takes a long time to let them all out. There is no back door. They have to pass through my mind and my body before going out in the aether. I guess that  it's easier to experience this while sleeping rather than while I'm trying to be functional during the day, but it makes for very poor sleep.

I am also having the worst writer's block of all time. I have pages of topics I'd like to write about, but there seems to be a physical force pushing me away from my computer and my blog. I actually dreamt last night that I was in a house full of old ladies, along with my dad and my brother, that had secret rooms that once you wandered in you had a hard time getting back. I set my laptop in a room of old ladies, and then went to find my power cord and couldn't find the room again. I am so used to writing on the computer that trying to write another way is an even worse writer's block. (Ask any writer. I think it's pretty universal, even down to the brand of typewriter or computer, the style of journal, the pen or pencil, etc.) Even in my subconscious, powerful forces are keeping me from my computer, and therefore, my writing.

The mystery is WHY. I have the desire and time, but I feel stifled. I'm afraid, but I'm not sure of what. It might be that because I've always considered writing my life's purpose, I'm putting too much pressure on myself now that the time has come. It could be that I am overwhelmed with all the changes in my life and finding it hard to focus. I got engaged! I left my job! I moved in with my fiance! What the hell am I doing?!

When I was in junior high, my art teacher told my mom that I needed to choose between math and art. She said I had a talent for both, but I needed to pick a direction. My art teacher in high school told me that I could "do this" if I committed to it (art). I was overwhelmed with surviving my parents at the time, then my life, and then I did choose poetry when I was in college, and then gave it up and switched to accounting. Now I'm switching directions again. I don't think of myself as a giant boat, but changing course is taking about as much effort. I found another Carlos Castaneda quote that applies:

A path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself alone one question. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't it is of no use.

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