I see what you did there, life

That right there is one of the 9 intentions that I wrote down for myself back at the new moon (no, it doesn’t actually look that cool in person, I just happened to do some filter stuff post-production).

They say you should put your intentions out there and accept them as they come to you. Looking at my 9 scraps of paper last night I realized that this one is coming to fruition in a slightly different way, for the good of my own personal development I believe.

The big 2-and-a-half year relationship that ended a few months ago hurt me. I had never felt so betrayed in love and I honestly wasn’t sure if I’d be able to separate the feeling from whatever relationship came next. After a few weeks of dating a genuine good guy though, I began to see the difference between the two and started to feel safer (still a bit guarded, but safer). I was in fact capable of dropping that baggage off at the train station and just sending it off to the other coast.  This is awesome news.

I wrote that intention after being with someone who had, without my conscious awareness, fostered the building of a fortress within me.  I’m not proud to admit that I let that happen but I am proud to admit that I came out of that relationship determined to figure out who I am.

Looking back at this scrap of paper, I can see what I was trying to go for: rather than finding (notice how I changed it from “find” to “attract”? sometimes I just have to have a laugh at myself) someone who would either encourage the wall-building or just allow me to go about my life with the wall intact, I wanted someone to actively help me challenge myself to be happier and healthier in my habits.

It took a tough discussion, a panic-and-run, some continually feeling awful, and a lot of contemplation to figure out something which has broken down a Wall of China-sized wall for me.  This level of deconstructing should NOT happen in a relationship (at least not a newly starting one), at least not for me.  I have some shit to figure out and building myself (mySELF, not my wall) back up as the sole brick layer is the best thing I can do right now.  Yes, I do still want to find that ultimate partner in crime to join me on the roller coaster ride of life, but for once I realize that I have some work to do on my own for a bit.

Thanks to a paid plane ticket to Baltimore for work, a friend who lives in DC with his girlfriend (so a free place to crash), and cheap public transit between the two, I am officially taking a 5 day vacation by myself to tour DC.  SOLO.  I am SO FREAKING EXCITED.  I have never in my life traveled solo.  I’ll be there on a Saturday-Wednesday, probably hanging out with the couple on Saturday and Sunday (ummmmm I found an EIGHTIES party at a club that Saturday night, costumes encouraged, so YEAH we’re going to that) but they work weekdays 8-5 so I will be on my own then.  I’ve already started planning my sites to see and I can’t tell you in words how excited I am to do this.  Traveling solo probably isn’t a big deal to a lot of people, but this is something new and exciting for me.  On my list so far is the American Indian museum, 80’s party, the Holocaust museum, drag queen brunch, the Museum of Natural History, M Monday at the Duplex Diner, the Washington Monument, karaoke at an awesome gay club, I even requested a pass to tour the White House from my Congress woman, and the Smithsonian Zoo (because: baby red pandas).  That list is not exhaustive by any means – I’m sure it will only get longer.  The whole trip will be an excellent time to just let myself think and breathe the different air without a concern in the world.  SO EXCITED.

So you see, world, I’m on to your little game.  I get it.  I shouldn’t need someone to break down my walls (though there certainly was a catalyst in this) and I shouldn’t be relying on anyone but myself (and perhaps the assistance of a qualified mental health professional) to figure out my true core and build it out from the ground up to be more whole, happy, healthy, loving, accepting, and empowering.  I think I can play by those rules.

The Tao of Jessie

Hello internets!

I started this blog on one of my war paths toward a forced life goal where I was determined to succeed at something I wasn’t even sure about.  I wanted to become a life coach.  I still kind of maybe do.  But I wrote posts under the guise of educating the masses on business, money, life, and mental health through the stumblings of my life.  I did that, it was cool, I tried to force content out of myself and I didn’t like it, and then I stopped writing – a lot of the time.

I recently read the book The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff and although I got lost at times while reading it, the book’s messages struck a chord with me.  My favorite concept was Wu Wei.  According to the first thing that pops up in my Google search, I found this on the term:

 

Wu Wei (Chinese, literally “non-doing”) is an important concept of Taoism and means natural action, or in other words, action that does not involve struggle or excessive effort. Wu wei is the cultivation of a mental state in which our actions are quite effortlessly in alignment with the flow of life.

In the book, Benjamin uses water as a metaphor for explaining the concept by saying that water doesn’t try to push over rocks in a stream as it goes about its path, it simply flows around them.

I read that part of the book, while laying on a beach in the early morning, half distracted because I was also trying to figure out 5 different “life things” in my head at the same time, and I just had that moment of “Well, shit.  That’s a new concept I could probably use in my life.”  It’s completely obvious in hindsight, but having grown up stubborn, strong-willed, and often analytical to the point of either destruction or inaction, this was news to me.

This was about 3 weeks ago.  I’ve applied the shit out of it since then (after a minor ((read: major)) hiccup that I had to analyze into destruction) and it’s been really quite nice.  I have tried to shove nearly everything in my life into nice, neat boxes.  I have tried to put aspects of my life on planned-out trajectories that are often completely arbitrary but “I MUST know where I’m going!  How will I ever get to XYZ if I don’t know where/what/who that is??”  None of this has worked for me.

This Wu Wei concept in life is fantastic.  I now am keeping an open mind about EVERYTHING.  I actually had a titanic self-discovery yesterday that I’ll be writing about next (read: I use “titanic” because it’s actually not fun or good and involves a lot of bad acting on my part).

I’m writing now because I want to announce that as of today, the direction of this blog is in fact, directionless!  From here on out, I’m going to treat it like it’s just my medium to tell anyone on the internets that life is weird and this is how it plays out on MY adventure.  There might be business-y things, or mental health discussions, or postings of my own personal failures – who knows??  I don’t, yet!  I realized that there already are TONS of blogs on how to do business-y life things successfully.  Or stuff about this or that.  You know what’s NOT already on the internets???  MY take on life as I stumble through it, one adventure at a time.

There you have it, Jessie Does Life through Tao.  I hope you stick around!