The Week of 6/25/2006
Witty one liner: You rock! I rule
Quote of the week: Cut out
Offbeat oddity (courtesy of the planner): None
Planner’s final word of advice? Carpe diem – seize the day!
Apparently sixteen year old Michelle wanted to go out with a bang and decided to let anyone who opened her planner up to the last day of the academic year know that Past Michelle rules everyone, even Present Michelle. This witty one liner reminds me of what my mom always says “You rock! You roll! You so out of control!” It’s her mini pep-talk that I highjacked and used all the time at my cafe job to try to inject some energy and positivity into that destructive hellhole.
I feel like I need to come up with the deepest most profound quote for this last edition because I don’t want the series to go out on a whimper, but there will always be a better quote . So this is the one that I picked:
There’s a trick to the ‘graceful exit.’ It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over — and let it go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or its past importance to our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up, rather than out. – Ellen Goodman
I think that this is a very important quote because it highlights something that I am struggling with currently. It is very easy to slam the door shut on something, lock it shut tight and then deny it either happened or decide it was all good or all bad. Most things are not all good or all bad. There are silver and black linings, there are ports in storms, and eyes of hurricanes. It is easier and simpler to say that was all bad than to reconcile the good moments with the bad moments because it can feel as though the good detracts from the bad. It is a mentality that I have combated for at least six years. If it wasn’t ALL bad then I should be fighting for it, fighting for the good pieces, the salvageable parts that are worth something. But just because there were good times doesn’t mean the bad times are lessened in their negativity or importance.
Although my first relationship left me with extreme doubts as to my intelligence, self-worth, and capability of love, it also gave me confirmation that I am attractive and lovable, and it gave me access to the world of gaming that I had never had before. My relationship prior to the Brazilian Helicopter Pilot left me shaken for almost three years, incapable of even considering a relationship and wracked with anxiety when I finally started dating again, but that doesn’t mean there was nothing good. I went to an awesome concert and discovered a band I still love today, I got to discover and play even more board games, I found a friend, and he and his family helped me get through Hurricane Sandy.
To hold what seems like two conflicting ideas in your head seems wrong and impossible, but it is something that we humans do all the time. Small cognitive dissonances that make life more tolerable, but this one is the hardest for me. I can see and understand the grey spaces in almost every situation except my personal life. It has to be either all good or all bad because in that grey area is the potential for uncertainty regarding reality and the space for others to manipulate me. Just because there were good times doesn’t mean I have to stay in a bad situation. Just because it was ultimately a bad relationship for me, doesn’t mean that I never had feelings or that the feelings I had were bad or false. It just was.
As for the planner’s last word of advice, I try to seize the day every day, but that doesn’t mean buying everything I want or indulging every opportunity that appears. It means staying present in my life. To smell the air as it comes through my window heavy with rain and greenery on a hot, humid night and be pleasantly reminded of being home in CNY. To really feel my hand and my boyfriend’s when he is holding it. To eat what I want, but be aware of my portions. To step away from the anxiety every time it arises. To let go. To not cling.
Imagine you are holding onto something that you don’t want to lose. You are crushing it tightly in your hand. When I say let go, you imagine that handing opening up and dumping the something you don’t want to lose onto the ground. But that is not what I, or the Buddhists, want you to do. I want you to open your hand and leave it palm up. Let your something breathe and rest in your hand. If it wants to stay, it will stay, but if it needs to go it will go. And if it is anger and hatred, you can look at it and see it for what it is and choose to let it leave you. So imagine that thing or person you are holding onto much too tightly. Hold your hand up. Let it go.