Coming back to life

A million years ago, I started this blog. I was looking for a creative outlet. My job had become comfortably hectic. Still stressful, still busy, still challenging, but all in that good, comfortable way that lets you know that you’re good at what you do.

And then everything changed at work. And then I changed jobs, and my whole world got messy.

I went to an organization that was not culturally sound, led by an insecure person with a Ph.D. in mind games. I was verbally and mentally abused at this organization, and I don’t mean that figuratively. I could not function on a personal level, because all my energy went into not getting yelled at or blamed for something. So I used games and movies as a mental escape from that insanity.

I quit running. I quit lifting weights. I quit caring about my appearance. I quit caring about much of anything other than my daughter. And so much of my family’s day to day existence fell to my husband to manage. And he’s an entrepreneur, which is an 80-hour-a-week “job”. So, he didn’t sleep for a couple years. A very long couple of years.

I have a new job. One that doesn’t include any kind of abuse. I’m starting to shed the victim mentality (hide, stay under the radar, avoid reality), and I feel like I’m coming out of a long slumber. Coming to life again.

It feels like the right time to resurrect this dusty old blog.

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Moving from escapism to being present

I rely greatly on escapism. I believe that the pursuit of ways to change myself (the blog itself) is a form of escapism. I have never really learned how to be alone with myself. I listen to the radio in the car, watch TV at home, read books, magazines, websites, blogs, and surf social media sites in order to escape being alone with myself.
Hagiwara Japanese Tea Garden in San FranciscoOne of the reasons I started this blog was to force myself to look a little deeper at this need to escape “me”. To discover the reasons behind the driving need to change, improve, press forward, but never looking inward. What is it that I dislike so much about myself that I don’t ever want to be completely alone with my thoughts? It’s still early in my journey of discovery, but I’m already practicing being more present with myself.

I was happy to have the opportunity to conduct the savoring experiment. It was exciting¬†because I thought the exercise could teach me how to ignore the desire to escape the moment, and to be fully present for a variety of activities. And it did! For a month now, I have been actively looking for ways to focus on me, on an experience, a moment, a feeling…¬† And it has become much easier to get into that mode, as I have practiced savoring daily. The full summary of the experiment (coming on Saturday, March 2) will have more details about what I discovered, and how I might incorporate these findings into my daily life moving forward.

I’m no closer to figuring out why I have tried so hard to avoid being “me”, but I believe I’m much closer to being comfortable being alone with myself, as I am today. If you haven’t yet tried savoring, I highly recommend it. It’s habit-forming in a really good way!

Craving more of the benefits I’ve experienced through the savoring experiment, I went looking for more information on being present. In no time at all, I found a post on Zen Habits from 2008 that was just the thing. Check it out – it’s a great article.

Have you tried savoring yet? What about being present? Do you find yourself seeking out escapism?

Photo credit: Wikipedia