confessions of a tight knitter

the sea

I didn’t have a photo to go along with any of the different topics in this post, so I’m placing one of my favorite images here. Maybe it will soften the blow for the randomness you’re about to read.

I think I had a dream about Burt Reynolds last night. Not the “now” Burt, but the younger, Smokey and the Bandit Burt. This has nothing to do with the rest of the post – I just wanted to document this somewhere.

I’ve been called a tight knitter. (For the record, I call myself a stone cold knitter.) I guess that could be considered an insult, but I have this new thing where no matter what kind of comment I receive, I try and take it as a compliment:

Dental Hygienist: You have a lot of saliva.
Me: OMG!! Thank you!!! I didn’t think anyone would notice!!!!

Lab Technician: You have tiny veins (after unsuccessfully poking me four times for a blood test).
Me: Do you know how long I’ve waited to hear those four words? I love you, Lab Technician…

Back to knitting. Okay, so my stitches are tightlywoventogether.  You could easily jump to the next logical conclusion: I’m wound tightly.

(I know, this is kind of a weird post. Burt Reynolds, medical personnel, and now knitting, but not having much to do with knitting, either. I understand. You’re angry and confused because you really wanted the details of my Burt Reynolds-infused dream. Or maybe you’re not even in front of your computer anymore. My eager-to-please tendencies are severely tested by this, yet the feline part of me is totally unconcerned.)

I can admit to this. Tight stitches = perfection, control, fear of failure. (I’m only speaking for myself of course, because I dig metaphors and I’m always on the lookout for lessons from inanimate objects.) But here’s the thing: I used to be even more tightly wound. You see, I have a very severe Inner Critic. But in the past few years, I’ve begun to feel more grounded and centered. Some of the seeds I’ve planted – realizations, practices, mindfulness, self-care, trust – have slowly started to emerge. It’s pretty awesome, even with its crazy and unpredictable moments. The Inner Critic can be a dirty bastard, so it has been a delightful surprise when I can either head it off at the pass, give it the side eye, or be met with serene silence.

I’m serious. My head is more empty than ever before. If you don’t believe me, I’ve also included a photo below of the white noise in my brain:

 

 

 

Isn’t it lovely? Don’t give up, TightKnitters. Plant those seeds. Plant a lot of them, and often. This is what it’s like to tame the beast. And someday you, too, can have an empty head just like mine.

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it’s a new day, it’s a new dawn

 

“Goodbye, Hell Hole!!!!!!!”

That’s what I shouted – because I’m mature and grown-up – as I drove away from my tiny, sweltering ex-studio. I was putting it behind me. Literally.

it's a new day

I’ve been living in my new place for three weeks now. I find myself smiling uncontrollably. I can hear sheep, cows, horses and chickens out in the distance. The most consistent sound I hear is of leaves rustling in the wind.

It’s all music to me.

blackberriescherry plums

I’m currently visiting my folks and packing my car with all of the things that wouldn’t fit in my old place. [I just checked the manual and yes, your parents’ house is supposed to act as a storage unit. Thought so.]

I’m excited to be bringing more personal items and much more kitchenware. My new place is inspiring and full of promise, and I am motivated to step up my game to expand into and embody the possibilities.

The past six months have been a mixture of stress and joy, of limitations and discovery. I still haven’t been sleeping well; I wake up at 4am, 5am, 6am and my mind starts whirring, but this time in a good way. There is so much to do, so much to make happen.

strength

I’ve always had difficulty figuring out where I was going: Where do I belong? What am I doing? Am I making the right decisions? But I think I understand The Force now. You can’t always use your eyes to see. If you know yourself, trust and have faith in yourself, you do your best to feel your way through while remembering to R-E-S-P-E-C-T yourself. You recognize rightness in your bones and you go where they lead you. Dem bones be smart.

I’ll continue to stumble, to doubt, to hope, to practice gratitude. And I’ll try and hold it together if I need to juggle all of those things at the same time, but I make no promises. If you go to your local grocery store and happen to witness a small Asian woman sitting down in the middle of the potato chip aisle, alternately laughing and crying, please don’t disturb me. I mean her. She’ll be fine. It’ll pass.

It’s a grand ride, this life. Full of unruliness, stillness, sudden twists and turns, and the potential for laughter in the face of fear and joy. Better hold on tight. Or loosen your grip. You know what to do for you: The Force awaits.

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again. ” ~ Pema Chödrön

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The Deep Down

I am on the Brink.

The Edge of the proverbial cliff (of change, not despair).

At the end of every year, I feel a strong urge for revitalization. To shed old layers of skin and emerge with new intentions for the coming year and beyond.

I have had plenty of time to (over) think in 2013; I took chances and treated them as baby steps. It’s time to walk now. To run. To leap. I owe it to my self. You owe it to your self. I mean, I’ll do it solo, but I’m hoping to have company somewhere along the way. Whenever you’re ready. No pressure.

Some of my intentions are to be more aware of and quickly put a halt to self-judgment (work I’m continuing from 2013) and expectations, and trust and accept myself enough to just be. I’m going to strive to look at every situation as an opportunity to experience without expecting any guarantees of success or answers.

Is it possible? To throw everything you have into something or someone but be smart and aware at the same time? To have faith and also trust your instincts to know when and if you need to shift, adapt, stay or move on? Deep down, we usually know something is wrong for us. It’s our ego that holds on tightly; our stubborn, fearful, overprotective ego. It thinks it knows best, but it really doesn’t. It’s our deep down we need to listen to and strive from the center of that place. But I be crazy sometimes. I get carried away. I don’t always listen to my deep down – lalalalalaaI don’t care what you say, I want PYP! Well, I got what I wanted – sometimes at the expense of my self – and learned from the experience. Good things came from it, I carry them with me, and I carry on.

I’m looking to make some big-ish changes in the next few months. For now, I need my rest. I’m run/walking my first 10k at 9am. I guess I really am literally walking and running into the new year. No leaping though. Well, maybe I’ll throw in a leap or two in the name of triumphant symbolism.

Here’s to an incredible 2014. I hope it is filled with discovery, opportunity, purpose, good health, laughter, and love. 

The Chihuahua Effect

I didn’t expect to get picked up during my double date last weekend.

And then he literally lifted me straight off the ground and pretended to abduct me into a windowless van.

This happens every so often – the lifting part, that is. Not a very dignified thing to happen at my age, unless you count the time I needed to be carried across a rushing river.  But that was based on survival.

The Librarian wasn’t the one who picked me up – it was the husband-portion of the double-date. He totally upstaged The Librarian with his enthusiastic, open personality. I’m friends with his wife, but this is only the second time I’ve met him – the first time being very brief. He hugged me after I joked about my personal space, he lifted me up, and in general, he seemed to like me a lot. My friend was nonplussed. My own biased opinion is that I believe other women find me completely non-threatening. You can totally trust me with your husband or boyfriend. Seriously. Hand him over.

Why do I sound so creepy? I might as well have a windowless van, too.

Before you think what you’re thinking, I have to explain that The Husband’s reaction towards me is what I call the “Chihuahua Effect”. I never had a term for it before, but it seems fitting since I seem to like referring to Chihuahuas. If for some reason you think they’re cute, and they do something you think is cute, as in: “Did you see the Chihuahua? She has an underbite!  Haha! That’s so cute – I gotta take a picture of her!”, then the Chihuahua Effect is taking place.

I don’t know why I can’t find a single man that I find attractive to react this way. I wouldn’t have to work so hard. I’d simply flash my underbite at him and I’d be golden.