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A beginning

I bet those who don't know me and those who do, alike, would be surprised to find out how many hours I spend walking off my thoughts. Because, as you may well know, you can't run away from them, much like you can't run away from yourself. The adage is true even in the context of mental health. But what you can do is walk alongside yourself, holding hands with your thoughts along the way. Now, I heard you can do all those things without leaving your apartment. In fact, you can do them while sitting perfectly still, criss-crossed on your meditation poof. I have not yet harnessed that skill. Yet. So for now - I walk.

I've walked in despair. Tears flowing like rivers from my eyes, soaking up my sweatshirt and blurring out my sight. I've walked in fear. Fear of what each new day may bring as I meandered my way into my one-act play of a successful and happy (ha!) corporate professional. Those days I walked extra fast to get to work on time. I've walked out of pity. For myself and the disgusting world around me - full of pain and war and tragedy with no foreseeable end to this mutiny of human spirit. I've walked in shame. Oh how many miles I've walked in shame! If there was a prize or a career out of walking out your shame, I'd win gold - every.damn.time. That one is tricky though, as I've found in time. Much like you can't out-run yourself, you can't out-walk your shame. Shame requires an entirely different approach. One I've been working on years to perfect. It's simple in theory but oh so hard to achieve. You know, the crazy little thing called love? Yes, the only way to curb shame is to out-love it.

Except there is no strategy for the kind of universal love that heals even the most treacherous of emotions. For as long as I've known myself, my life has been filled with blueprints, lists, and sure-fire quests to achieve perfection. And over the years I've developed a tendency to rationalize all my moves and decisions. I believe in professional settings this tendency is referred to as Pure OCD or Generalized Anxiety. And sure, I've sat on a comfy couch before, tissue-in-hand, recounting my entire childhood, while a lady, with oversized glasses falling off her nose, scribbled hurriedly in her notebook. But no therapy, yoga, meditation or the good old friendly advice to "just shake it off" seemed to help my desire to outwit my thoughts. My thirst for normalcy was so powerful that I stopped at nothing to design this presupposed rulebook for out-loving shame, and with it fear, despair and anything else that seemed an off-putting enough barrier to my internal perfection.

Years passed, and my laugh lines started turning into wrinkles. Earlier this week, at 31 years old, I plucked away two gray hairs from my eyebrows. EYEBROWS people!! Time is definitely a merciless and elusive opponent. So maybe this is was a call of wisdom, or maybe I'm just tired, but I've decided to give up on the rules and start experiencing life instead. Try to, at least. Because, you see, when you've spent your life analyzing the world in order to outwit it, you forget why you are living in it in the first place. My thoughts have stopped me in my tracks so many times before. Mid-sentence and mid-opportunity, paralyzed with fear of choosing the wrong direction and shaming myself all over again. Well, this is me attempting to play nice with my thoughts while declaring my independence from the hold they've had on me in circa 1991.

This is what this blog is about. It's a story like many others. But I'm coloring it with my own hues. Follow along if you'd like to know where this journey takes me (and you) for the ride.

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