Hello Neighbor

It’s 2023 – perfectionism is out the window. I’ve suffered in silence long enough and I don’t care who knows it. It’s true that I’ve been distant, in more ways than one. I call out to my soul which seems so far away at times. Feeling a foreign connection to my own body, my home. Who are you anyways? For so long I thought I knew, I was sure of it actually. Life has a funny way of showing someone the parts of themselves they push down and tell to hush in fear that the dark parts of them might be scary. The “me” that is emerging from this mess is different. I’m not even sure that “Rays Up” fits who I am anymore. Though it is a mission I’d love to live up to. I wish I could tell everyone that life is always rainbows and sunshine or that life is what you make it.

I can remember filing poems and blank lined notebook paper in neatly titled accordion folders at 10-years old. I wanted the world to be organized, predictable, and most of all – safe. Fast forward to twenty-some years later and life is not at all safe, organized or in the least bit predictable. I’m learning to accept that; not that my world wasn’t shattered when I assimilated and continue to assimilate this hard truth.

Trauma is like a unwelcome neighbor with no name, parading through your home without so much as an introduction. It rifles through your things; ripping up memories and shrouds of hope along the way.

I’ve always told trauma to leave, without asking for it’s name; taping back together the distant memories through my rose-colored glasses. I preferred to dance around it, to avoid it, anything but direct my attention at it. Trauma has taken up residence in my home, and I’m learning it’s many names.

From the outside looking in, one could say I have achieved what some seek to achieve their entire lifetime; loving partner, stable home, good job, and a handful of people that love me. Why can’t it be that simple? Yet I continue to push myself, whatever driving force is left of me, towards dullness. I tell myself I should be happy, that I’m absolutely atrocious for thinking otherwise. Yet here I am; confused, heavy, distraught, empty. I have this re-occurring thought that there are other people out there that have it far worse than I do. That thought doesn’t motivate me by as much as I would like it to, but it does taunt me without effort. I sit here in a room dedicated to my talents, my work, my energy; typing away while a gorgeous sunset envelops me. Have I stopped dreaming?

Part of the reason I started this blog was to help others be the best they could be. I sold the notion to myself that I had done the hard work to have earned that soap-box. I see now that the real work has begun. Through one of my most bleak pieces, I hope my readers can see that I’m trying to find my way out of this mess. I hope that they can see I am not perfect, I never have been and that is OK.

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