Sunday, August 09, 2015

One Step at a Time

The illustration above summarizes how I've been feeling lately. Recent months have brought about a ton of change professionally and personally; most of it has been painful but hopefully for the better. Some mornings it's a chore to answer the alarm. Others I'm up before sunrise seizing the day.

I've been seeing a therapist for over a year and a half and, after some initial reluctance, embraced the process of being honest with myself for at least one hour a week about my shortcomings, and how to change negative behavioral patterns. I initially hoped for a short and fast road toward self-improvement, like a single track velodrome race. Instead it's been like a touring bike ride, filled with familiar yet constantly changing topography, alternating periods of sagging in the saddle and rising to attack chunks of distance, and "a-ha" moments that are as humbling as they've been revelatory. 

It could be a mid-life crisis. I'm hoping it's lasting personal growth.

Mostly, I've been reminded of what already enriches my life: a circle of very good, longtime friends who provide support and hard truths in equal measure; a dog who's been my constant companion on this road, always there to rest her Berenstain Bears-shaped head on my knee whenever I feel low or filled with doubt; I continue to be proactive about improving my physical and emotional health; and I'm still blessed that I'm able to write for a living.

It always comes back to the writing process, one I've engaged in for as long as I can remember. Journalism is fulfilling but once the stories have been filed and my bills are paid I can still take a step back, open a word processing doc (or take pen to paper) and conjugate some nouns and verbs for myself. It can be healing to simply get the thoughts out of your system. For me, it helps cut through the fog in my head, center me for the daily tasks that don't go away, and serve as a reminder to take care of myself first and foremost. I've written here before I would not be a stranger to this arid corner of the Interwebs. Maybe a re-commitment to making this a garden is in order.

Stay tuned.

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