Love Fiercely

loving-fiercely

I have a few swirling thoughts to blog about. You’ll have to bear with me while I meander about and sort of figure out what I want to say as I say it. And let me preamble by saying that I’m going to say something shocking below but I have no intention of breaking up with Payam nor have I ever. It’s just an example.

Ahem.

I’ve always identified with being moody. I was one of those kids who would get their feelings hurt easily and go hide in a closet or under a table to cry. The adults in my family would dismiss my behavior.  I had an artist’s temperament they would say and go on with their lively conversations, ignoring me until I got bored enough of my hiding place and came out in a better mood. Of course I would wish they would come to comfort me and I think occasionally an Aunt or my dad would do that but for the most part, I just felt like my moods were too much trouble for the rest of the world to deal with and nobody really understood me.

This moodiness has followed me for the rest of my life. I’ve come to realize that I cycle through up days and down days regularly, almost like clockwork. My moods often have very little to do with my actual situation or surroundings.  So I’ve come to not trust my moods. It’s a tricky place to be.

I have really great up days so I’ve come to accept that my down days are the price I pay. Usually the down days have something to do with hormones. I can pretty much look back at any conflict I have ever had and blame it on hormones. Of course some hardships I’ve gone through are not my “artists temperament’s” fault but I definitely know that I could deal with them better if I wasn’t the “moody artist” that I am. Or at least that is what I’ve always told myself.

The other day I was in a mood. It was one of those moods where you see everything negatively, even down to the dust on the floorboards.  I was reflecting on my relationship with Payam (poor Payam) and things were coming up short.  I am pretty critical by nature. It can be a terribly negative trait but it also helps me with my creativity and my work. I can be discerning in design, knowing with strong feelings what colors or fonts to discard in favor of others. Where to put something on a page and not. I know my own mind and I can easily visualize what I want things to look like and what exactly is wrong if they do not. I can curate a photoshoot, cropping out this offending detail in order to focus in on something else to tell a story… It’s a blessing and a curse and definitely part of being an artist!

This is all great for work but not so great when you are on a team or in a relationship and you find yourself curating the people around you. Just picture me finding Payam taking a nap on the couch while watching soccer. Maybe he’s snoring with some leftover snack sitting on the coffee table. It’s an innocent enough thing to do. But of course I am all excited about getting my steps in for the day (I’m type A) and listening to podcasts about health and wellness so I launch right into a full-blown lecture on how we should walk everyday and his napping is not aligning with my big picture.

It’s an innocent request but what if Payam doesn’t feel like walking every day? What if he has back trouble and foot trouble and me nagging him really puts a damper on his mood? He doesn’t like being judged by me. Who would? He doesn’t want me to think he’s lazy but walking everyday can actually be painful for him.  This is just a silly example and Payam does actually walk with me quite a bit but you get the picture.   You can imagine how my criticizing can not really work out so great for me and our relationship. I know this so I might keep my criticism to myself and fester inside every time I catch him napping on the couch. If I let things go too far, I start to day dream about what life might be like if I had an athletic boyfriend. Can you imagine what I’d look like if I was with someone who liked to get up early in the morning and run?!!  Maybe I start blaming my flabby body on Payam…I mean, that’s extreme but I could start to think that way if I let this sort of “moodiness” go on for too long.

You know the last thing I want to do is break up with Payam. I love him!  I love us. He loves me, flabby body and all! How am I going to force him to fit into my idea of what life should be like? I can’t! I’ve tried that with previous relationships and they’ve failed miserably and caused me great pain.

So I caught myself.   I decided I was going to stop myself every time I started judging and replace those critical thoughts with LOVING FIERCLY instead. At first it was just an experiment but it worked like magic. You should see the smile on Payam’s face when I come in from a dog walk and I am so happy to see him instead of low-level pissed. I try to make emoji hearts come out of my eyes and I think they really do and then he responds with even bigger emoji hearts coming out of his eyes!  I linger in hugs and tell him how much I love him. He hugs me back with even bigger hugs.

I find myself wondering why I ever was having negative thoughts in the first place. He is the best team member ever!

It’s a crazy fact and I think the real secret why arranged marriages work. If you make up your mind to make something work instead of break it down every day, it WILL work. The more you love, the more you find your partner loving you back. It’s amazing how much we can love. It really is our super power. We can infinitely love. Just think about that for a second. Infinitely. It is the basis for all religions. It must be a truth that centers us.

It really was an epiphany for me. I think I should go make some t-shirts or something. Just kidding! But try it!

LOVE FIERCELY!

It’s so hard to write this stuff. I keep judging myself in every different light I can think of. But I still want to say it.

Words off, ears on.

Paint tarp art.

I got up early this morning and wrote in my journal for three pages. I heard on a podcast somewhere that if you are trying to find direction you should write three pages of whatever you want everyday no matter what for six months. Then, supposedly, at end of the six months you’ll have a much clearer picture of what you really want and what you need to do to get there. I’m probably bungling the idea but you get it roughly.

This appealed to me because it sounded a little like blogging. I love writing so any kind of prompt is a good idea to me. I figured I’d give it a try. I’m not particularly trying to find direction but I have been feeling unsettled inside lately. Maybe three pages a day would help me figure out what it is that is bothering me and how to fix it.

I sat in the early morning chill with the dogs at my feet and scrawled out words for three pages. I thought I was going to write about all the many mistakes I made during our annual New Year’s party. I thought I would catalogue every blunder, every conversation, cross-analyze them for all possible future criticisms from each and every person’s point of view and make some kind of giant dump of all the fear, hurt and uncomfortableness I feel on the regular. That’s what my brain does. I have been feeling a pomegranate-sized ache in my heart lately and I knew I needed to work it out. Journaling helps me do this. I also wanted to think about resolutions and make some plans for the new year. Maybe even scrawl out a bucket list of wishes and preventions for future anxieties. I’m making you tired just reading that, I’m sure. Welcome to my brain.

I sat there looking at my page, preparing myself for the hand-cramps that were sure to follow taking on such a laborious task and then I was suddenly overwhelmed by the awfulness of my plan. Did I really want to do all that work? There would be so much writing. So much chasing my tail with all the writing.

What if I just didn’t? What if I forgave myself for all the mini-micro errors that happened yesterday and just moved on? What if I didn’t apologize? What if I didn’t re-hash it? Do my friends and family really care? I love to be self-deprecating and all but at what point is it just better to move on instead of bringing it up?

I remember my Aunt telling me the story of the hostess who burned her cinnamon buns and never said a word to her dinner party about it. She threw the cinnamon buns in the trash and took a quiche to the table instead like it never happened.  She didn’t comment on the smoke. Nobody asked. It was like it never happened. A good hostess doesn’t apologize said my aunt.  I didn’t really agree at the time but I’m sure she meant it as a confidence-builder for me since I seem to over-achieve in the self-criticism department.

And then it came to me. Maybe this year my new year’s resolution will be to be quiet. A year of quiet. Can you imagine? I could stop attacking myself from the inside out. I could stop being such a chatter box who constantly bares her soul to the world. I could learn to be a good listener instead…This sounds impossible to me now, as I have a tendency to word-vomit, I’m terrible at keeping secrets AND I use social media regularly but maybe a year is a long enough time to really take something like this on. I’m not going to get my hopes up too high or anything but it’s something I’m thinking about.

Don’t worry, I have no plans of going on a writing hiatus or giving this blog up or sitting in a sunbeams in the redwoods mediating (though that does sound nice) but it is something I’m thinking about today. Maybe I’ll still be thinking about it in a year. I hope I can say at the end of a year that I know something about quietness and even better, I could say that I’m a good listener. That would be really awesome. I’m not so good at that right now.

Words off. Ears on!