Time to refocus and clean house a little. It’s the first day of a new month, hopefully this brutal winter is on its way out, and it’s a fresh start to a new season.
I don’t know about you, but February sucked ass. There’s really no other way to put it. For me it actually started back in November, if we’re being brutally honest, and because I have this habit of doing what I think people want instead of listening to my gut instincts, things tend to go on way too long before a good house cleaning happens.
You know what I’m talking about. Your gut and everyone around you is saying, “No. This isn’t right, you’re depleting yourself going down this path,” and you are so afraid of letting people down or you feel obligated to tough it out, and then you hit your limit, which at that point has you lighting a match once you’ve doused everything in proverbial gasoline?
And when it happens, you stand there watching it burn, and you say to yourself, “Shoulda listened. Woulda been easier to handle this months ago. Coulda bypassed feeling like crap over the last few months.”
For me, a lot of it had to do with this second chance at total freedom I was given in late January. My past was over. Officially behind me. No more struggle. Nothing left to worry about or hold me back. You would think I would embrace this closed chapter in my life. Giddy with being free of this thousand pound weight on my back, but nope. It literally paralyzed me. It was like being stuck in waist deep mud, and you can see the shore 3ft away.
It was so weird. Was I that enmeshed in the struggle, that now that it’s gone I don’t even know who I am without it? Am I so conditioned to be fighting something that I am lost without it?
I knew what it was. Deep down I knew what I had to do to move forward. I had to shed that last bit of “Old Jenn” skin and officially embrace the joy and fear that came with “New Jenn”. I consulted my therapist, healers, friends, family, and they all said the same thing. I even went on a celebratory Caribbean vacation to mark this milestone in my life, and my gut instinct when I came home?
Change it all. Delete the JSJ blog, go for the next chapter, clean house, do those other projects, embrace the world out there you haven’t seen yet. The people you haven’t met. The lessons you haven’t learned.
On that vacation, I didn’t think about writing or the day to day grind. But I did run. Every morning, I got up and hit the treadmill and looked over the ocean. The running was there. Being stuck in the quagmire of my own mud had made me lose focus, and that weekend of sun, fun and running brought it back.
I didn’t listen to my gut. I tweaked things here and there, and even asked the universe for a sign on what to do. Was the direction I was going in the right one or not?
Obviously I got that sign I was asking for. No, it wasn’t. But again, too scared of upsetting people to make a hard change, so I just kept pleasing them at my expense. My hip and knee were also just blown. Maybe too much running on the ship. Most likely too much navel gazing instead of getting out and clearing my head.
Finally, I got mad. Wait a minute here…THIS IS MY LIFE. I know what I need to do, and I just need to do it. Quick like a band-aid. So I got back on the treadmill, pissed off that I haven’t been able to run outside since New Years because Mother Nature needs a damn estrogen patch.
I started with 20 minutes. Fast. No dread of a long countdown mind fucking me while I run on that stank treadmill, but something that was actually a lot harder than a steady paced five miler, but perception of a short clock would not make it a state of never ending dread on a moving belt.
Then I went to my Yoga class that I had been blowing off, and my favorite instructor, Meg, was subbing all week. Score. I set my intention for the practice that day as, “Get my mind right.” During the practice, Meg came over and offered an adjustment and Reiki as I was in pigeon pose. After class I thanked her, and asked her why she picked me. She knows I do not like to be touched, and like to hide in my little corner of the studio.
“It was all over your face. Not the same face I always see, and you’ve been different in your practice. I knew exactly what you needed.”
It changed everything. All of a sudden my mind was right, and my energy was centered. I was also still pissed off. Mostly at myself. But with that anger, it was time to clean house. It was going to suuuuuuucccckkkkkk, because I knew that a handful of people were going to be mad at me or even hate me for it. But last year, when I started my first journey, I cleaned house for the first time, and removed every toxic thing in my life, no matter the consequences. I had left the door open in November and some of that dirt blew back in my house. Time to get the broom.
And yeah, it sucked. It’s hard to see people not understand that you are a person with feelings and goals, and that sometimes the landscape changes in life and you need to go with your gut. I’m human and it does put a pang in the guts to see people act like you’ve wronged them, or you owe them something when you’re just putting up a healthy boundary for yourself. It’s hard not to scream back and try to make them see your point. But they never do, and they’ll go on to the next, as will I.
The lesson here? Keep moving. I’m injured, and I won’t be able to race until the end of March now, so that just helped the mud I was stuck in that much thicker. Those moments I got out of my head and on the treadmill or yoga mat? I came that much closer to doing what I need to do, but I wasn’t consistent, so it just turned into an endless cycle of peaks and valleys that went on for months.
The other lesson is to listen. Listen to your gut, what the universe is telling you, and what the people who always have your back unconditionally are saying, even if it’s a difficult truth you don’t necessarily feel ready to hear. I didn’t want to hear, “Shut down JSJ and focus on the big picture, it’s time to move on.” Fear is a bitch. But it’ll also keep you stuck in the mud.