Sometimes, you put your foot in your mouth

I have too many words. All jumbled around in my head. I hear the advice from my mother ringing in my head… “Jenny! Keep your big mouth shut!” I can’t even tell you how often I heard that phrase growing up. I had a big mouth. I’d sit and talk about anything with anyone. I’d share my opinions, I’d ask all the questions. I was a talker. I’ve learned to keep things to myself over the years… I’ve also begun to struggle with suddenly being too quiet. And what a strange pendulum swing to find myself on. In the past couple of years, I’ve really been working on finding the right balance between the two. And although I, for the most part, do a fine enough job of it – there are also times when it feels like I fall flat on my face.

I had a moment like that yesterday. I knew I needed to say something… but I also knew it would be wise to be very careful with my words. As it was highly likely that I wouldn’t be able to clearly paint what I was trying to say with them. And if I somehow screwed up and my intentions were misunderstood, I’d be hurt and worried and unsure of the end consequences. I even tried to talk myself out of speaking up. “Maybe I’m wrong? Maybe I’m being unreasonable? Maybe my thoughts aren’t quite complete enough to share yet! Maybe if I speak up – I’ll lose? Maybe if I share – I’ll have to face judgement or fear?” Again – my mom’s advice rang in my head.

And then the moment came… My words came vomiting out of my mouth before I could even stop them… despite all my practicing and planning and lecturing of myself prior. Even in the moment – I was yelling at myself in my head. “OMG Jen… What are you DOING?! You’re totally not making sense!! You’re confusing the situation and making it muddy! JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP JEN!”

…. But I persisted. Man, i’m an idiot sometimes. I got so worked up that my tears began to flow. And the words became more jumbled in my head. The logical side in me suddenly could see that I was no longer clear. My comments and arguments were no longer quite aligning to what I’d set out to say. But I did have good intentions. I was trying to strike that balance. Trying to find the place where I could share what was hurting me. Where I could somehow share that perhaps a new boundary or at least the concept of one was starting to grow. I apologized. I’d completely flubbed up this beautiful day, this beautiful moment. But in no way could the genuineness behind my apology be articulated. “Bah! Why are you LIKE this JEN?! Why do you have to be so broken sometimes? Why can’t you hold your emotions in check long enough to speak when you’re feeling scared?!”

And all I can say is that afterwards… at the end of the day when I curled up in my bed, when I looked back at that moment to think about how it all went…the tears flowed freely and my whole body shook. I felt both pride that I did speak – and shame that I didn’t speak well. And the whole situation rocked me to my core – because I woke up with a wet pillow, swollen eyes and a raging headache. My tears had obviously continued into the night.

This morning – i’m trying to figure out why this shook me so much. I’ve certainly put my foot in my mouth many times in my life. Why did this one moment leave me feeling so tangled up … and I think it comes back to vulnerability.

If I look back at my past – I have always hated sitting for long in uncomfortable moments. Sitting in that level of discomfort is so bothersome to me that I will try and “fix” it. I will try and do whatever I can to bring about some sense of relief… some clarity… a rule.. an expectation. I think in those moments, when I’m the MOST scared – I’m looking for a box to put myself in. And sometimes, I might look to someone else to define the box for me. Maybe because I’m struggling to do it myself.

I believe in embracing vulnerability and know that there is strength in embracing those moments in our lives. Often it’s in those vulnerable moments that we learn and grow the most. But I also know that it’s been in my vulnerable moments that I have been hurt the most. And that often it’s been the people that I truly love and seek love from that, intentionally or not, have hurt me the most when I’ve been the most vulnerable. You’d think I’d give up sharing and being brave at all. I suppose that’s why I push myself to speak up and to keep being brave. I don’t want to stop in my path of growth and learning and self discovery.

And that is why – I will keep going. Even tho I’m now scared of the consequences of my speaking up. Even tho I still don’t have a box to put myself in. I’m determined to learn to sit in the moment. It’s a lesson that is long overdue for me. And I’ll have to learn to be ok with occasionally putting my foot in my mouth.

A strange energy

There is a strange energy in the air today. Actually – for me, it started last night, but it is still hanging there. At first, I thought it was just me. I thought maybe I was being overly sensitive or touchy. But after today, I’m thinking it’s not just me.

Part of my job is to study human behavior. To understand reactions & behaviors at a deeper level and be able to clue in to what someone is really feeling or saying and what is driving them to do it. There’s a science to it – and there’s an art to it and it’s something I am constantly honing and working to improve and adjust. Because of this – I can be very sensitive to the emotions and behaviors in the people around me. I can’t tell you how often I’ve read an emotion on someone and wanted to just run up and give them a hug. I have done it actually – to complete strangers. What I saw on their face made it THAT dire.

Today – there is an antsy energy that I keep coming across. It’s impatient and edgy, bordering on annoyed. I’ve stumbled upon a few folks today who are struggling with it and no amount of me trying to comfort or soothe seems to be doing any good – so I’m just going to hang back and let everyone just do what they’re going to do. My hope is my own tribe of friends and family know that if they need comfort or soothing from me – they can always count on me, and that’s enough. 🙂

I was struggling with a moment last night. I had a silly dialog in my head that ultimately I had to just shut off and delete the script. I felt misunderstood and suddenly wondered if I’d ever truly be understood by another. But ultimately – thinking that way is silly and destructive. How can anyone ever truly understand another? All we have is our own life perspectives that color our lenses. We will never be able to pick ourselves up and place our feet in someone else’s shoes. At least not entirely. I suppose it once again filters back to the expectations we have in ourselves and those we love around us. We think that because someone is in our tribe or inner circle – that they’ll just somehow know or understand all that we’re thinking or feeling. Like magic. It reminds me of the work I have ahead of me – to keep deleting those old destructive scripts that do not serve me. To keep learning to strengthen my abilities to communicate and to stop leaning on old expectations that just don’t hold up.

So much work to do …. but truly, I’m enjoying this path towards … it’s cheesy to say enlightenment or well-being – but that’s sort of what i’m doing. It’s my path towards the best version of me. All of me.

Gratitude

It’s almost 2:30 am. I’m still wide awake – and, if I’m honest, still a little tipsy from a night of fun with my brother and my best friend. It was a … unique.. kind of night. It started with an amazing dinner and advice of quite serious nature, with a stop over at a bar with laughter and ended on my front porch in a very different kind of discussion, one that I hadn’t anticipated entirely, but wondered if it would come. All in all – I’d sum it up as truly an amazing night. One where I learned and grew exponentially from where I started this morning.

I haven’t been honest with my brother, at least not entirely, in 3 years. For many reasons – that were all perfectly justified. It wasn’t that I was lying – I just stopped allowing him into my inner circle of trust, and we hadn’t really talked about it, even though we both knew it had happened and when. Tonight – the gates came open. And it wasn’t bad. I was honest and let him into my inner circle again. It was scary and left me feeling incredibly vulnerable – and the timing of it all was definitely not the best. But the judgement and dismissal I thought I’d face didn’t come. Instead I was met with complete support and love and care – mixed with some sage brotherly advice to move cautiously and take my time and heal. It was not what I expected – but definitely what I needed to hear. After that, we talked about all sorts of stuff we hadn’t talked about in years and some new topics we’d never discussed previously. I suddenly feel grateful to have such amazing support in my life. We may not always agree on everything -actually – we don’t agree on many things quite often, but he supports me completely and trusts in my judgements and decisions and has my back in it… and I cannot fully describe how much I appreciate him for it.

With age comes wisdom. This phrase has been in my head tonight. I don’t think I’m wise. I don’t think my brother is wise – well – ok maybe sometimes. But I DO think that I’m getting smarter as I get older. I’m starting to really understand what I want and need to prioritize in my life. I want to really focus on finding my own happiness and my own well being. I want to become a better person (not that I’m a bad one – just that I want to keep improving that and adding to that). I want to keep learning and growing and improving who I am and what I bring to the lives of others around me.

I’m so grateful tonight. For my brother and for my best friend. Such amazing men who’ve come to teach me so much. They push me to better myself – but not for them – for ME. They love me whether I grow or not. And that truly means so much. I didn’t get the greatest examples of love growing up – and I’m coming to realize I haven’t seen it much as an adult either – but there ARE a few in my life who show it to me when I really need it. I think BECAUSE I haven’t always had the greatest examples – it means they mean just that much more to me. They help me look at the world from different perspectives and remind me to push myself to be the best version of myself. They remind me of what I’m capable of and never let me forget my own worth. I love them both more than they’ll ever really know.

I’m seriously dedicated to giving myself a year to find better balance in my life and to get a clear head and focus on my goals. I’m excited about it. It’s going to be a lot of work – but it’s also going to be a lot of fun – and for the first time .. in I don’t even know how long – I feel good. I feel hope. I feel .. patient. Anyone who knows me – would laugh their ass off at that statement. I am NOT known for my patience. But that’s how I feel right now. I’m not in any rush – for anything. I’m just enjoying each and every single moment – in the moment. Life is happening – and it’s going to do what it’s going to do and I’m not going to stress about it. Instead – I’m going to work on me – bettering myself, learning, practicing, and keeping on keeping on.

You are on my mind

Sometimes…. I catch myself thinking about you.

And so begins the what if games that swirl thru my head. Makes me wish they had a soundtrack and some lights to go with it.

What if I had done something different? What if things had worked out in a different way between us? What would the picture of my life look like had a different journey taken place? It can be an intoxicating fantasy to revel and daydream in.

What if…

I find myself wanting to linger in my daydreams a little longer.

What if…

I want to pretend I feel your strong arms around me.

What if…

I want to pretend I can feel your lips caressing me.

What if…

I know that ultimately it doesn’t serve me well to fantasize about something in my future that may never even happen…. but who am I to know what the future holds?

I spend so much of my time being responsible and being good. I think it is ok if I allow myself a moment to dream and hope. I think it is ultimately amazing, given my experiences, that I can still dream and have such faith and hope.

Maybe… who knows…. sigh…

What if…

How do you calm your nerves?

There are two days left in my work week. Then I’m off for some surgery and recovery time. I’m nervous and anxious to get it all over and done with. I know it will go just fine – and that I’m likely worked up and worried over nothing… but I’m struggling to contain my anxieties and nervousness this week. I regret setting my week up to where I had to come into work for the first half, as my brain is definitely NOT on my work.

One of the things I had to do this weekend, in prep for my surgery, was to complete an advanced directive and update my will. Such an uncomfortable thing to think about and complete…. even if it IS the responsible thing to do.

The one thing I realized as I was thinking through things – was how small my circle of trust has truly become as I’ve aged. When I was younger – so many people had my trust – people who didn’t deserve it in many cases. Now – there are 2, maybe 3 people whom I trust. That’s it. It’s a strange feeling. I’m happy to know that I, at least, have those few amazing souls in my life. It made me wonder what people do who have no one. No family, no friends, no solid relationships they can trust. How do they know that their children will be cared for if they have no one to entrust them to?

I made my annual homemade kahlua this weekend. It has to steep now until christmas – better yet – new years. I’m excited to give them out as gifts. It’s interesting, I love giving gifts to others, and often put a lot of thought into it. I’ve never been a fan of giving gift cards – they seem so impersonal, and last minute. And the experience a person has while opening a gift card is almost too quick, and anti-climatic. I want to see a person light up when they open something from me. That’s always my goal. To have them feel as if they are cared about, and like the person giving the gift knows or understands them at a deeper level.

Is the day over yet? I’d really like to be done, to go home, snuggle with my pup and a soft blanket and just do what I can to let my anxieties settle down. What do you all do to settle yourself down when you’re nervous? Give me some of your favorite tips and tricks.

Much love to you all in Neverland today. Hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend.