This week is the first time I’ve had time off from work in six months. I needed a road trip – badly. Getting out of town in the dead of winter on limited funds left me with few options. So what did I do? I spent the weekend with good friends in Ottawa, a journey of almost 8 hours in single digit temperatures. But I was rewarded with the most amazing gift – the gift of self-awareness. It wasn’t something I was expecting or prepared to find – it just happened.
Actually, what kick-started this epiphany was, of all things, watching a documentary called, “Hungry From Change”. It’s about the food industry and how humans are being poisoned by unhealthy food. The difference between this and most documentaries is that this movie wasn’t somber or negative. Rather, it was upbeat, affirming, and sympathetic towards the viewers who were struggling with the issues that were associated with food. The film maker was At one point in the movie the issue of stress was brought up. I jokingly turned to my friend Sonja and said, “I’m not stressed. Do you think that I’m stressed?” “yeah, I do”, she said, “and I think you’ve got some stuff going on that you haven’t dealt with.”
This is a woman who I met through her blog, but had not met in peson. I considered both she and her partner Stefan as friends, although we’d never spoken face-to-face until this past weekend. Her candor and frank response took me by surprise and left me speechless.
When the movie ended, Stefan excuse himself from the room to make dinner, leaving Sonja and myself to discuss the movie. I enjoyed it very much; it was an eye-opening experience and a catalyst for change in my life. But there was the matter of her comments – what did she mean? How could she know enough about me to comment on my life? Sonja said that picked up on some clues from my Facebook page, especially from the comments I’ve made to, and about, my girlfriend. Sonja told me that she wasn’t the woman for me, that she was temporary and she didn’t want the same things I wanted. All of that is true – my girlfriend is temporary. She can be a bit brash, somewhat unrefined, and the effect of her divorce from an alcoholic husband have made it difficult for her to express herself in a loving or sexual way. And that’s not the type of woman I want. Sonja also told me that there’s stuff in my past that is keeping me from living Life the way I want to live.
All of these revelations were difficult to handle and I began to cry. It was a good, cathartic cry that I’ve been hoping would surface for some time now. I gave myself permission to cry because that’s what I sometimes should to do. Just like I have to allow myself to let my past go – my divorce and My Love, among many. Just like I have to give myself permission to be happy, which I have now done. Up until now I have been putting up with stuff I don’t want in my life – books I won’t read, bad food, people who don’t challenge me to be a better person – all things that make me feel content to have around, but they don’t necessarily make me happy. I deserve to be happy and surround myself with people and experiences that make me happy.
Especially the people – Life is too short to be with anyone who is oblivious about you. We too often attract or seek out people who are not suited to being with us. That one became the “ah-ha” moment of the visit. It’s not easy to finding someone who wants to be with us, who is excited about reconnecting after being apart from you, a person who wants to drink every last bit of your essence and you want to do the same for them – those are the people whom you want to share Life and love. Be happy and live Life the way you want to live it. Someone will come along that wants the same things from Life as you.
In the meanwhile, discover new things. Bring those long-lost pleasures back into your life. Play the music that makes you happy and dance,dance, dance. Bring friends back into your life. Have the courage to weed out the things in life that are holding you back. They’re just things. It’s just stuff. If you have stuff in your life that’s there to give the impression you have a life, get rid of the stuff and really live life as you want.