oh i am sleepy this morning. another quiet, self-reflective friday. a little melancholy mixed with happiness mixed with not enough sleep because of excitement that turns into a little reflecting pool.
i cannot believe i will be 30 next wednesday. in my day-to-day life i do not usually talk about my birthday; i don't tell people about it. and to be honest, my birthdays have never been all that super special. not that they have been awful...just not all that exciting (though my parents did throw me a decadent 14th birthday party - a surprise with 6 friends from school. though one friend, of course, told me about it; i always acted like i did not know. it was delightfully fun and at a club my parents belonged to so we had to dress up and all that fun stuff. kind of wish for one of those parties again. the surprise feels so good...like you thought no one really understood that all you ever want is a little party just for you. but then they do). but something about coming to this space and writing from my heart invites me to talk about it. i mean, i am turning 30. i know i am "young" but 30 is that age that seemed so very old 15 years ago. 30. i am excited as i have this image of waving good-bye to my twenties. bye bye crazy decade, bye bye. i am ready to own my body, my skin, my truth, the knowledge within me, and i feel like my thirties will bring me more of that (as will the decades after that of course). yet i cannot believe i will be 30. i also cannot believe that this will be the second birthday where my grandmother will not call to ask the magic question, "do you feel older today?"
i am wrestling with something. the idea that when you need to move away from something in your life, for reasons that are personal, and you want to act with integrity, there are sometimes things that you do not share. you do not want to hurt another person if you do not have to. who wants to hurt another person? you understand that the decision is about you, and even though it may affect others, it is a decision you need to make for yourself. yet, the other person/people will not understand. this is the way of it, right? the cycle of human communication and relationship. i am referring to a specific instance and just a pattern in my life all at the same time.
as i approach this new decade and the idea that i want to live in my life, really live in it, i am trying to become "the observer of myself." watching what i do and examining it. trying to let go of self-judgement and seeing it all for what it is. and what it is, is me. a person with feelings, emotions, a heart, a soul. a person doing the best i can. a person trying to notice the patterns and learn from them. and one pattern is that i can give of myself so much that i forget who i am. i can get sucked into a relationship, a job, a friendship where i am a support system for someone and that person sees me as a support system and thinks "liz is so strong" and doesn't see that i need support too. i do not believe this is an intentional response, it just happens. and i think sometimes the other person feels like "oh good! someone to help me with my challenges, someone to listen, someone to care about what i think and need and want."
i respect that people have these needs because i have these needs as well. but i am not strong enough to hold it all up. to listen and brainstorm but not hear, "how are you?" to drop everything when i am needed but not have anyone to talk to in my moments of need. to give all of my good ideas away (well, this one made me laugh out loud. there are always more good ideas, but hopefully you understand what i mean). and because of this pattern, when i feel like the pattern is starting again, when people hurts my feelings and i try to tell them in a gentle way to help them see it and not invite defensiveness, but people brush me off for whatever reason, i begin to back away. i know this pattern because i know myself.
see, the thing is, i am the one who lets this pattern happen. it is me. and i realize that i can't always back away. i need to try to set the boundaries. step up to that challenge even though it can be hard. i need to sit in the quiet i always invite others to sit in, and really listen to my heart and what it needs and wants. i need to realize that the reaction another has is about that person; my reaction is about me. and i also need to realize that not every relationship that develops this pattern has to say in this pattern.
i struggle with figuring out how to tell someone how i am feeling because my experience has been that people do not want to know. they take it through their filters and make it whatever they want. the defensiveness and confusion sets in, even if what you have to share is small and is your truth. it is interesting. i wish we could let our open hearts guide us without bruising one another. i wish we could listen to other people's needs and hear them for what they are. i wish i could do some things over again.
but all i can do is face the next chapter with my open heart and do the best i can. because really, that is what we all try to do.