Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 stuff

For the past few years I've taken the end of the year/start of a new year as a time of reflection. Earth shattering, right?

I was always interested and more inclined towards a life filled with growth and personal development. I picked this tendency up a notch in 2012, in the early days of grief following Bryan's death. It started out very black and white and at times, contradictory. I'd spend my days juicing and meditating. I'd spend my weekends drinking too much vodka or sav blanc, polishing it all off with a dirty cheeseburger on the journey home.
2013 is when I really let go of what wasn't serving me. I travelled Thailand with Tim, for just a fortnight, and I still look at that time as one of the most refreshing and pivotal times in my life. I stepped away from the party girl lifestyle (with immeasurable help from Tara Bliss and Gabby Bernstein.) My weekends started being more about fresh air, self help seminars, farmers markets. I collected crystals and amped up the visions boards. I stepped away from people who weren't serving me. I changed jobs. I felt, well... legit.
And in a way, that's kind of where I'd been since this, until 2015-2016. I think it was a gradual process, where my anxieties and insecurities started slipping back into my habits, my thought patterns.
We travelled UK and Europe for 7 weeks in 2015. It truly was the most beautiful holiday, but I don't think I really allowed myself to relax. I planned the holiday pretty solidly, and for the 'free' days, I was grabbing Tim's iPhone, searching for the best café/sight seeing destination nearby.
This might be pretty standard, but for me, it wasn't ideal. I purposely never bring my phone on overseas holidays. I like to test myself in loosening my grip of life, and plans, and just going with the flow. But I hardly did.
Like I said, the holiday was incredible, and while I came back refreshed for a few days, it really didn't take long for the discontent and worry to creep back in.
And then I had a wedding to plan.
I didn't realise it at the time, but the 12-14 months of planning the wedding did not do me any good. Hitting the pillow at night, I was bombarded with the To Do Lists, the Burden of Expectations, all the when/what/how/what if's a mind could muster. I found myself wired, the darkened room with the glow of the iPhone replacing night time cuddles, sex, peace. I got stricter with my diet. I took so many ridiculously expensive supplements. I did the yoga thing (admittedly, on and off) and the gym thing (at least until I realised that gyms steal my soul). Even meditation became a 'to do list' thing, not so calming when approached so mechanically. All these things became an act of doing, not being. And I kept at it.

Like I said in my last post, by the time the wedding rolled around I had cut out dairy, gluten, sugar and most animals products out of my diet. I had contradictedly added a whole lot of toxins back into my life - the contraceptive pill (after being diagnosed with endometriosis in April), makeup and skin care, and, have I mentioned the stress??

The day after the wedding, I ate a Ferrero Rocher that the accommodation had placed on my pillow the night before. I felt like a rebel. I also had a cup of tea with cows milk, and a big hunk of real bread with avocado for my breaky.
This has escalated. Following the wedding, the stress remained, as we moved houses just weeks after. Since the move, just over a month ago, I feel like I've lost myself a little. The junk I've been eating is horrifying. I've been drinking alcohol and had a little cringe worthy drunken night out at a friend's birthday a couple of weeks ago. I feel lost and constantly nauseated and SO tired. Now that we're settled into our house, I'm faced with the perfect opportunity to begin again. To find 'balance'.

I felt so tense having to have to much control of my life over the last year or so. The journey into self development started lovingly. I was curious, I was open. Then it became rigid, more from a place of fear than anything else. I started living in my head again, my heart no longer knowing what to trust. I'd research veganism, environmentalism and minimalism incessantly, thinking THATS who I have to be to take it 'next level', to truly be spirited, wise, loving. And it started weighing me down. It started feeling so incredibly heavy and exhausting.
Having a drunken night out didn't serve me. I can admit that. But it's also hard to ignore the fact that Tim has said that he felt like he's got me 'back' since the wedding is over. He's appreciated me loosening the reigns, at least for a little while, until now that I've started stressing over the home and anything else I can get my anxiety-craving mitts on. Why am I so addicted to stress?

So am I the hippy girl? Or do I just like the idea of it all? Or am I the 'laid back' girl, who isn't that at all, but at least enjoys the world seeing her in that way? Either way, I can't continue with this destructive pattern that I've found myself in again. I've felt so nauseated and insecure and the fatigue is keeping me rooted in place.

So I haven't really made any resolutions, except maybe to stop eating salt and vinegar chips on the regular. I feel like I'm having a bit of an identity crisis, maybe it can be normal for a newly wed, to feel a little lost? Particularly after dedicating the last year to wedding and house plans.. now what? How do I want to approach this year?
I know I want to approach it with health and vitality, but I don't want to be stressed about health and vitality. I do recognise that I don't do 'balance' too well though - not someone that can simply stop at a chocolate or two. Gimme the whole fucking box.

Tim's away at the moment, for a few days. I'll be spending 3 nights without him, for the first time in a very long time. He's camping with his friend. My initial response was needy/crazy wife. I really had to snap myself out of it. When did I start losing my independence? I'm trying to pinpoint it, I'm not so sure. Maybe sometime in 2015? I do think, in hindsight, that's when I started becoming too neurotic. I think that deep down, I am more independent than I give myself credit for. I don't need to hide behind my husband. I have my own friends, my own creative pursuits, my own passions. Tim is so wonderful and vibrant and fun, but we are also very different. I've noticed lately that I've kind of stopped some of my free-thinking ways, and have given in to many of the 'husband/wife' stereotypes. But I can go for a walk by myself after dinner. I can wake up early, and go to the market, and go to yoga, and pursue my interests independently. And I can also take the bins out or move furniture or work things out independently. I need to nip this in the bud before it stops being cute, and starts becoming an issue. I can own my femininity, my strength, my sexuality - independently.
I think I'm always going to be quirky, a little up and down throughout the month, a bit of a seeker. I think I'll always be someone that grows. I give myself permission to change my mind, to try something new, to let go of any family dynamics that have become ingrained within me. I give myself permission to start fresh, as a newly married woman but simultaneously a newly independent woman.
This is why I'm writing. I knew that I needed to get something out, to put something out to the Universe for this year. I've done plenty of reflecting, constantly, throughout 2016. But that was all on the external stuff - achievements, really. The surgery, the wedding, the house. But what about me? What has been truly going on behind the scenes during this time?
I still feel like I'm a bit of a hippy, in my own way. I care a lot less about crystals, but I still appreciate all the personal development books that line the bookshelf. I appreciate all the cookbooks, too. I think falling off the wagon and eating terribly has been a true lesson for me as I've come to realise that I feel awful. My productivity declines. I'm in a fog. I've hardly pooed properly for weeks. (Soz).
So here we go, my word for 2017:

Some other words that are appealing to me right now: Wellness. Ease. Joy. Humour. Nurture. Comfort. Slow. Tenderness. Confidence. Curiosity. Authenticity. Presence.

I'm letting go of looking for something to stress about. I'm allowing ease and softness into my life, into our home. How beautiful would it be for Tim if he came home on Thursday to a home that was clean, warm, peaceful? To a wife that greeted him with a giant smile, a kiss, and asked him if he had The Best Time Ever?

Here's to a year of strength, to the core. Of freedom from the self inflicted shackles.
Less social media, more love.
Less indoors, more outdoors.
Less whinging, more laughing.
Less worrying, more living.


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