Looking Back…

I was just looking back at a couple of drafts I had started for posts over the past few months.  It is interesting to reflect on my thoughts caught in limbo.   I feel, sometimes, that this is the story of my life.  I am caught in limbo.  There are many things I would like to do and even feel that I should do that would be much better for me than what I am doing.  The problem is those things never become reality.

Everything around me screams for attention and I do try.  I try to split out my moments to handle it all.  And in that splitting, I am finding myself splitting myself off further from the me I really want to be.  It is crazy, looking back, I am seeking calm and I have tools and knowledge that could move me there but I am not using them.

I am surrounded by things, by tasks and responsibilities.  I am burdened down most days by just getting through the day and I let it overtake me and bleed me dry.  I let myself give everything for everyone and looking back, I take very little for myself.  The fleeting moments that I carve out for me are riddled with guilt.

Where did this need to be everything and do everything for everyone come from?  How did I accumulate so much to do, to take care of, to be responsible for and to manage?  Looking back, I let it happen and maybe at times I encouraged it.  Why would anyone encourage this descent into madness that is “too busy for me?”

Looking back, I remember a sense that I didn’t have a real chance to be a kid.  I was a little adult at 2 years old.  I was living with my grandmother, my uncles and my father.  I was expected to be well mannered and quiet and reasonable.  I was not encouraged to play or to dream.

Looking back, as I grew, I was encouraged to be responsible to get good grades, to make people proud, to take care of younger siblings, to help an older sister adjust to a new house when the mother that kept her died and she was forced into a life with my father, myself and a new stepmother and the list goes on.  Please understand that I do not blame my father for this as he did the best he could with what he had.  I can understand that as I look back. But looking back, when I had the opportunity to be me and to do what I needed for me, I chose to move to another life that was more of the same.

Looking back, I do not ever remember really enjoying playing with other kids.  I do not remember ever feeling connected to small children and I babysat very rarely outside of my own siblings.  Looking back I was a bit of a loner.

I was a loner struggling to make sense of life but given nothing or no one to actually explore that need to understand.  And so I did the only thing I knew.  I kept being responsible and taking on more.   The more I took on, the more I felt I mattered and I was doing the right thing.

But here I sit and I see now that all of that taking it on and being responsible has created the craziness that is my life.  Yes, I remember a few fleeting moments of joy and calm in my life.  They are spread out very far apart and the only feelings I have about them is a sense of longing for those few days and a feeling of guilt for the longing.

Looking back I have spent far too much time feeling guilty for wanting anything for myself.  It is time to move  forward and start carving out more moments for me.  Will this mean that I must step back from some things?  Yes.

Honestly, this post is really a look back to some time ago.  I started working my basket at my job and it has been immensely satisfying and successful.  Of course, some of the people who have been accustomed to me doing and being everything are making a hard transition to the new me.  It has been a learning experience for them and I find as time goes on, I am feeling more and more calm about who I am at work.

Now is the time to start applying what is working at my job to the rest of my life.  Because I cannot see myself doing what I am doing, where I am doing it, for the rest of my life, it is time to define who I want to be in the bigger picture.  I have been defining myself by my job and how that helps me to be the responsible dutiful person in my personal life.  I think that calm I seek is only going to come to me when I can start thinking of me in the bigger picture.

That brings me to today.  I am limbo because I know what has worked to some success at my job but I am terrified to start trying to make it personal.  I am split between the have to and the want to in my personal life.  Maybe today is the time to quit looking back and start taking those small steps in my personal life.