Life is messy...it never matches what it should be, never what you want it to be and most definitely it never measures up to the ideal. Seasons come and go, sometimes before they should or long after they’ve overstayed their welcome.
Loving the mess that is life takes some doing...and some perseverance. It’s so easy to idealize what the future holds but it’s also easy to be so negative that all you end up doing is dreaming about something better but never actually doing anything to make the now better.
A couple years ago I felt like I was in a dead end job and there were most definitely dreams of escape. Yet, I was also so worn down that I couldn’t see escape in actuality. I didn’t believe that I could do it, that I was good enough to get another, somehow better, job. I was so scared and stuck...and honestly really angry, a lot. When escape finally came, it was messy and stressful. Maybe I could have stayed, maybe I could have quit when I had a new job lined up but that’s not how it worked out.
That was the first time (at least recently) that I embraced the mess. I was miserable, there was a final straw and a way out. It was my first step towards taking care of myself and letting the mess of life happen. I really, really hated it and yet, I was actually relieved and happy (between bouts of freaking the f*ck out).
Everything in life is pretty interconnected, in not embracing the chaos of life I had inadvertently, I think, created a lot of problems for myself. I ended up living in dreams and fantasies of better times and didn’t spend enough time investing in the here and now. I wasn’t able to be vulnerable with anyone, let alone myself.
Vulnerability and messiness are scary and so, so hard. Honestly, especially with those closest to you. You have the most to lose there. Right now I’m feeling super vulnerable, more sensitive, I’m crying a lot more (which, btw, still hate it, though the hate has lost some of it’s bite), I feel like I’m messing everything up because life has become so messy. Even when all the signs point to everything will be fine I still react poorly to feeling so out of control. My deepest darkest fear is that I will be abandoned by everyone that I love...and I will be the only one to blame for pushing them away, somehow.
And yet, I’m pushing through the fear and being vulnerable, being honest with myself and those I love about where I am, how I’m feeling. It hurts, but honestly I’m really the only one that keeps beating myself up over it all. I’m trying to stop the self flagellation and trying to embrace that life is messy, but it’s hard when the season is slow and you are on the melancholy train...all the damn time. Or, at least, it feels like it.
So I know this post sounds so...melancholy, but I promise that I still see the joy, the happiness. As I talked about in my last post, I have hope that the good times will come back around again, and that is not nothing. I have to remember that the mess comes with highs and lows...and to be completely honest the more I’ve embraced and tried to love the mess, the happier my highs (and lows) have been. It’s all still, just, a LOT for this recovering perfectionist.
The process is important, far more important than the destination. So I make an attempt every day to embrace the chaos and mess, to let go and live.
—A Recovering Design Imposter
PS. These are some offsets from my succulent (with some catnip in the foreground)...it started growing up and rather scraggly just after I bought it last year and I wasn't sure what to do about it. Turns out that some forgetfulness was in order and I have now discovered, I think (and hope), that I have the watering schedule figured out. Plant parenthood has definitely taught me some about the embracing the mess. This succulent should grow in cute, tight rosettes...but because I was figuring things out that didn't happen, I nearly wanted to throw in the towel. I'm glad I didn't!