Here we are again, smack dab in the center of the holiday season. Now there's something you need to know about me, I LOVE Thanksgiving and only slightly less Christmas. I'm the dork who will spend more on wrapping the presents than I do on the presents, who will create a whole gingerbread village just for the fun of it, who will make more work for myself with a smile if it means having a more festive season. I can't help but compare this year to where I was last year at this time. Last year was...hell. The only way I got through the holidays was floating on clinking ice in a mixed drink, which makes me all the more thankful for where I find myself today.
I've spent this last year lightening the load, both physically and emotionally, and find myself more healthy on both fronts for the effort. The shock of this whole process we call life and healing is: it takes MUCH longer than even your longest projected estimate. No problem, I'm just about the most impatient person in the tri-state area. I want to "get there" like, yesterday. Internally, I have been feeling stalled, not sure how to proceed how to get to the hard stuff. I am still going to counseling, and since most of the family crisis has subsided, trying to work on the lasting effects of the damage. This, I can tell you, is much harder. Less crying drama; a lot more practical living changes. I am really scared of taking back the reigns, of being responsible for myself, so I guess I'm choosing infantilization over that. There are legitimate reasons why I am having a hard time finding jobs and getting started, recession, job market, no car, no real jobs around here...then there's the fact that if none of that was going on, I would still be here, in this same exact spot. The hard truth is: I am choosing to be here in this place, and will be here until I can overcome the fears that seem so much bigger than the frustrations of living in self-imposed arrested development. Or maybe not. I live in fear of seeing the same patterns I am familiar with showing themselves again, and probably am creating them as I fear them. Sometimes the vicious cycle feels like a cyclone sucking you round and round. Am I going to be able to get out of this?
Here's me hoping that this tension, this place of the not-quite is a really good sign that I am about to break through, that all of these last years have been the dress rehearsal for the real show. I have already been surprised by the shape of my life, and look forward to the unfolding.
I'd like to give an update for those who are interested on how the confrontation with my dad's pastor ended up. The pastor called us back after a few months of doing nothing and asked to meet to apologize. I did get that at this point, he didn't quite get why he was apologizing but did it nonetheless, which I can respect for what it is. He tried. I also had a really good meeting with the assistant pastor, who was much more able to listen to me and hear me whether he agreed with me or not. The whole process brought me to this: I now can see what is my stuff and what is not, what I am responsible for, and what I am not responsible for. I have gotten to the point where I can recognize when a response is not about me. I can recognize when someone is bringing their own issues to the table and not feel so personally attacked. Its like, "oh, ok...this is not about me. This is your stuff." Simple as that. Its not all about me really :) So my brother and his family are going back to that church and my mom and dad are still there too. I don't go to that church and am ok with that...
I must go to work now. I have a part-time job for the holidays and am loving being out active with a little cash in my pocket. Feeling blessed. Hope you are too.