Friday, June 20, 2014

Lessons Learned :: Summer Solstice 2014

Photos by Megan W from our morning pajama quest to get green stuff for the day.

Lately, there have been a few moments where I stop and think, "Hey, I think I like how I handled that," and feel like maybe, just maybe I'm starting to grow up.

I've always been growing up, that's certain, but also most certainly, some lessons have taken a lot longer to learn. There are certain cares that I no longer care about, things that used to easily sway me that no longer take a toll.

Growth is something I want to seek out, I desire to develop, change, and carve out certain parts of my life while working on others.

I thought I would note these along with a list of things I am actively working on.

1. Accepting myself, faults, failures, and all.

I've lately become more comfortable with the idea that I screw up, a lot. I make mistakes left and right. I've become more accepting of this not in the sense that I want to keep messing up, but not letting myself get hung up on a past error.

I want to surround myself with folks that will speak into my mistakes in a loving way, especially when I don't see them yet.

2. Not feeling like I have to go everywhere, do everything, and turn every moment into a story.

I used to (sometimes still do) feel this heightened urgency to constantly go and do everything. Every weekend had to be an adventure and if there was an event, I needed to be there.

Not so, anymore.

In fact, as write this, there is an event going on that I had been looking forward to for weeks. I was looking forward to it so much that I went and paid the $5 admission... and then promptly left within five minutes to go home, do some writing, reading, and go to bed.

Why am I not there?
 Because I know, in the long run, it's better for me to go home.

I've been running on full for the past week. I went straight from a work day to driving home to driving to Leavenworth and back to all Sunday with family on Father's day to driving to pick up a guest who I was with just about 24 hours a day for the next few days. After I dropped them off at the ferry, I got a quick break at the library before going to one jam session with a lovely gal and went straight from that to another jam session in a barn with a lot of fellows and a lady-human. right after that, I went home, slept, woke up this morning four minutes before work started, raced to work, worked for a few hours and then caught the ferry just as they were starting to untie it, hung out with Sarah and Nate all afternoon on Orcas, caught the next ferry to Lopez which arrive about 15 minutes before the event started.


And after all that, I feel tired. I feel exhausted (and grateful that all I have to do is support myself).

To top it off, I forgot my cello, and it would be a 40-minute drive to retrieve it and come back into town.

So here I am, and fine with that.

When I go to Seattle, I don't tell folks and I don't make too many plans. My time there is limited and I try to keep it low key.

One of the reasons why I'm on Lopez is because there aren't too many things to do, and that jives pretty well with how I operate. I like my alone time - I like time to create, think, stretch, make music, wander, and write. In Seattle, there's something going on every night and I used to feel like I had to do it all.

3. I'm learning to do what's not always comfortable, but what I know is right.

I try to seek this out daily. This week I threw up three times out of fear of doing what I knew I ought to, but I followed through and it turned out well. It wasn't at all what I wanted to do, but it was the right thing.

4. Knowing that not everyone has to be my cup of tea and know that I won't always be theirs.

I've known this for a long time, but lately I've been more accepting of it.

A recent example is that a few weeks ago, I met this human - they gave off the sort of high-school-bro-dude vibe. I'm not sure how to explain it. It sounds weird, but it's the sort of person that might've intimidated me a while ago because they're accustomed to intimidating that and I used to be quick to feel small. They're the sort of person that slips in deliberate phrases to make you feel lousy, and I used to give into that.

This time, I didn't waste any energy on it. I let it slide... and promptly walked out of the room, without being harsh or cold. I just knew I didn't need to be around them. I didn't need to win over their approval and didn't really feel a need to get to know them. A few weeks later I saw them, I was content playing my cello with a group of musicians. They waved me over to ask my opinion/advice. I treated them politely, engaged in conversation, and kept things comfortable. Bam. Nice and simple.

5. Be selective with whom I share my emotions, stories, and hurt with.

I used to not really know about emotional boundaries - hadn't even heard of the term. I'd quickly share a story of pain with anyone. Not anymore. No, sir.

The other month, I met a human and they were drilling in on me, asking about a certain topic.

"I don't think I need to talk to you about that," I told them.
 They respected this, but asked why.

"I don't really know you, and this is something I've already worked on, a lot, with folks I know and who I know love me. If I saw that you were in a position where you'd worked through this before and I thought you'd have wise insight into it, then I'd probably want your input, but as I see you in no different a place than me, I don't see how sharing this with you will be beneficial at all."

Now, I am open to comments and different perspectives, but I knew that telling this person my story wasn't for the sake of making anything better.

6. Silence doesn't always have to be filled.

I like people who are ok with silence.

7. Deliberately choose who I spend time with.

I spend a lot of time alone and love it.

Lately, I've been trying to find a balance of being in the community and hiding out in Tobbit. I can't meet the community when camped out. To initially find out who I want in my life, or discover who is keen on having me in their lives, takes a trial period of a few weeks, I think, a few hours. From there, choose deliberately who I want to be with and really invest in them.

8. Trust should take time to build.

There's nothing awful about taking time learning to trust someone. It's not an insult to them. Learn to trust as they prove trustworthy. If they don't prove trustworthy, no need to kick 'em out of life, just stay extra aware around them and keep emotions and intentions in check.

What I've been working on this past year...

1. Not getting hung up on certain emotions.

2. Seeking out opportunities to assist others but do it in a sustainable manner.

3. Listen. Listen. Listen.

4. Learning when it's best to openly communicate about things and when it's good to just let it be.

5. Learning to let things slide and sort themselves out with time.

6. Being a good hostess.

7. Emotional boundaries.

8. Early to bed and early to rise.

9. Clean morning. Clean night.


  1. You have a whole lot of wisdom for a gal your age. I can really relate to your first two points. Accepting that failures is hard. Some times they leave me in tears. But there's always healing.. and I'm grateful for that. I too also have this silly desire to fill every free second of time I have. It's silly and leaves me tired! I feel yah!

  2. Enjoyed hearing about your lessons, also enjoyed seeing that green green house and that beautiful hemp to the right of you. Thank you.


Your words make me grin.

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